Humanities PhD in Australia - advice and suggestions!
January 11, 2013 3:27 PM   Subscribe

In March I will be starting my PhD (humanities - gender, fan culture and writing) but I have been out of academia for a long time. I finished my Honours in 2002, completed a Masters but since it was coursework (librarian coursework at that) it doesn't really count as far as the rigours or the demands of a PhD goes. I've started trawling Jstor and a couple of other databases I can access through the State library while I ease into it all and I was wondering: what are some of the crucial humanities texts that I've probably forgotten/missed in the past ten years?. The ones that are expected to be referred to in any thesis about gender, writing and identity, or humanities in general. I'm building my reading list/book list but don't have uni library privileges yet so I'm stuck with online/non-academic library access - unless it's something I should buy (aka Strunk and White, Judith Butler etc).
posted by geek anachronism to Education (10 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Could you give a little bit more information on what your thesis will be focused on?
posted by kylej at 3:38 PM on January 11, 2013

For recent studies in gender and fan culture, I would definitely look into the work by Mary Bucholtz and Kira Hall. For more general (but older) stuff in humanities and culture, get solid on the classic works about social capital by Bourdieu and public sphere by Habermas. Also, UCSB has a page of links to language and gender researchers around the world...a lot of great names found there.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:04 PM on January 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

This may be obvious, but if you already know what program you'll attend, perhaps the best answer is those of your professors and the works they cite.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 4:37 PM on January 11, 2013

Or to add to Monsieur Caution's idea--find syllabi from courses they've taught recently or ask them to send you copies of reading lists for those courses if you can't find them online.

If you can't find them for your specific school, see if other schools have similar courses and see if they have reading lists posted online.
posted by BlooPen at 8:01 PM on January 11, 2013

Oh, and if you can find names of people who have recently finished your program or who are close to finishing, you could email them and ask for the bibliographies from their dissertations. Or even their lit reviews. Most people are discouraged that their massive lit reviews never get an audience, so you'd probably make someone's day with this approach!
posted by BlooPen at 8:13 PM on January 11, 2013

I think there may be somewhat of a cultural difference occurring between US and Aust PhD programs - my supervisors and the program itself are fairly wide-ranging. An Australian PhD is pure research no coursework at all - most course work is undergraduate level. The work produced by my supervisors is not really in the same area as my thesis (the way regendered characters in fanworks/original works reject or reinforce notions of femininity) - so far they have not had specific outcomes/ideas about where I should go but have suggested articles/books to read.

I've tracked down a few theses that deal with similar areas, but I was looking more for generalist and classic works. My peers are working on theses that range from specific Australian writers to musical theory to Dickens so some of their work will be useful but a lot of it is well out of my area.
posted by geek anachronism at 9:08 PM on January 11, 2013

Check your MeMail too.
posted by barnone at 10:00 PM on January 11, 2013

I'm sure you're familiar with it already, but Monash-based Simone Murray's Adaptation Industry (2011) could be useful for its analysis of audiences.
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:01 AM on January 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

David Gauntlett's work?
posted by heyjude at 10:14 PM on January 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

For fan culture, there's a 4-parter here about how the economic crash in Japan lead manga publishers and anime directors to more narrowly target fans, and how fan culture has developed.

In times of a substantial and profitable mainstream consumer market, large companies were justified in ignoring the yankii and otaku segments as potential customers.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:43 PM on April 15, 2013

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