Thursday, 21 February 2013

Legacy: Landscape and Authenticity in the Literature of the American West

At long last, my novel and thesis have been submitted to the examiners, and my viva is scheduled to take place on 18th April.  Dr. George Green from the University of Lancaster will be the external examiner, and Hugh Dunkerley from Chichester will be the internal examiner.

Now that most of the work is complete, I look forward to sharing more of my research, here. Please stay tuned!


Therese Miller said...

How did your viva go? I'd love to get some pointers. I'm so nervous about mine because I'm still worried about my nowhere near perfect thesis topic ideas though my thesis won't be done in at least a year. How long did it take your thesis to be done?

Loree Westron said...

Hello Therese. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I've just returned from a trip back to the States and haven't quite got myself organised yet...

The viva went really well, though none of the questions I'd prepared myself to answer came up. Still, I think the preparation I did helped me to relax and feel reasonably confident on the day. As my supervisor constantly told me throughout the past 4 years, 'nothing is ever wasted'. It sounds like you have plenty of time before you need to worry about your viva, so I wouldn't stress about it too much at the moment. However, you might be interested in a book that I found which helped me to prepare for the viva - How to Survive Your Viva by Rowena Murray. There's a chapter on the types of questions that might come up and a chapter on how to go about answering them. So all very helpful stuff!

As for time it took to write the thesis, out of the 3 years and 3 months I spent working on the project, I spent a solid 15 months or so on the thesis alone. If it had been up to me, I would have finished the novel, then turned my attention to the academic work. But because I had to submit the first parts of both for the MPhil upgrade viva about midway through, I needed to work on the thesis before I finished the novel. However, I think the novel really benefited from the academic research, so this turned out to be a good requirement. Because the creative work and the academic work needed different ways of thinking, though, I couldn't work on them at the same time. Instead, I worked on the novel for about a year, then spent six months working on the thesis leading up to the first viva.

Good luck on your own project. I'll be interested to hear about it.