So the flap over Barack Obama's executive order on undocumented migrants seems to be dying down, perhaps only because it's Sunday and this is Thanksgiving week. The articles I've accumulated so far have pretty much all been in reaction to the "flood" of undocumented minors over the border earlier this year and Obama's speech and executive order. I have not done the serious search for articles yet. It's time to take stock of the articles I have already accumulated for analysis.
I have located a connection I have been seeking between the rise of neoconservatism and the rise of neoliberalism. But this isn't as significant an advance as I'd hoped. It's still one step removed and it occurs during George H. W. Bush's presidency rather than Ronald Reagan's.
Note: This proposal has been accepted by my committee on November 10, 2014. Saybrook Institutional Review Board clearance was received on November 16, 2014.
There are multiple updates at the end of this post.
My adviser and committee chair has now accepted the latest version of my dissertation proposal. The next step is its defense, which has yet to be scheduled. That succeeding, I will then finally be actually working on the dissertation.
In the meantime, I have lots and lots and lots of reading to catch up on.
I have now submitted a second draft of my dissertation proposal. My adviser and committee chair had many comments on the first draft and answering them all meant finishing another book on critical discourse analysis. Methodology stuff is always dry and my patience for focusing on it, never great, seems to be waning.
No matter how carefully I try to categorize texts into the various species of conservatism, there will always be oddball fringe cases. Of course, Lyndon LaRouche has always been an oddball case, an extreme anti-communist Democrat, erstwhile perennial presidential candidate, and, if memory serves me correctly, an ex-convict on some criminal tax violation. I'm not chasing all that down today.
Yesterday (Thursday, September 18), shortly before 1 p.m., I learned that I had successfully passed the oral examination, traditionally known as a "defense," on my qualifying essays for Ph.D. candidacy. This does not mean I have a Ph.D. It does mean I have passed an important milestone. It also means that I may put the letters Ph.D.c., standing for Ph.D. candidate, or A.B.D., "all but dissertation," after my name.
With luck, I will achieve candidacy today. (Update: My defense was successful, with comments mostly oriented towards improving my communication of a very complex set of ideas.) The conference call begins in a few minutes. The following are some notes.
I have now written the dissertation proposal and it is in the hands of my naïve reader (thanks, Mom).
One of the sadder realizations is that while I am writing the dissertation—and I will spend more time writing than actually researching—I will be constrained in what I post here in order to avoid pre-publishing material from the dissertation. But there is an important piece to the method, discourse-historical analysis (DHA), that calls for results to be shared to the general public, not just in scholarly settings.
Owing to financial aid issues with Saybrook's new computerized records system, we moved forward on selecting a dissertation committee. This is so I am registered so I am eligible to receive the disbursement.