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If you were to write a disertation, what would it be about?

Posted: October 4th, 2008 11:06 pm
by jkid
Title says it all. :)

Posted: October 5th, 2008 4:27 pm
by johnpa
"Doctoral Defense Committees as Sado-Masochistic Bonding Rituals: Studies in the Usage of Arbitrary Authority and Calculated Acts of Humiliation in the Modern University Setting"

Posted: October 5th, 2008 8:20 pm
by Taurus
Medieval haircuts. Or does it have to be about Japan. Actually, I nearly did a doctorate in medieval haircuts. But I gave it up to become an investment banker.

Posted: October 6th, 2008 3:01 pm
by jkid
Or does it have to be about Japan.


No, not specifically about Japan. i was just interested in what choices people would make. Medievil haircuts is something I would never have thought of... :D

Posted: October 6th, 2008 7:32 pm
by Taurus
It was very fashionable at the time! I mean, the application of anthropological techniques to the study of medieval history was very fashionable when I started doing my research...

Posted: October 6th, 2008 10:41 pm
by Belton
I think I'd like to do a controlled study of how 2nd language learners learn kanji. If only so we could move on from anecdotal evidence or methods developed for native learners and develop some useful and proven techniques based on some sort of objective study.
First find a degree program, then find 500 odd test subjects and convince them to follow regimes and keep records then be tested on their skills. Should be enough to keep a team busy for a couple of years. Wonder if a Japanese Government Agency or Foundation would pay for it...?

I've read undergraduate dissertations. Other than getting a grade towards a degree, they always strike my as a somewhat futile exercise. Maybe half a dozen people will ever read it and maybe only the author might actually learn something. Even then the trend seems to be to show you've read someone else's books rather than come up with original ideas. Oh and the ability to present a structured argument I guess. Maybe it's a step on the way to writing something people might actually read.

Posted: October 8th, 2008 8:18 pm
by jkid
It was very fashionable at the time! I mean, the application of anthropological techniques to the study of medieval history was very fashionable when I started doing my research...


I hope my other post didn't come off as me making a mockery of your dissertation topic choice. I think it's an interesting and certainly a unique one.


Belton, something in this area would be what I would write on. 2nd language learning/acquisition.

Wonder if a Japanese Government Agency or Foundation would pay for it...?


You never know. It would certainly be a beneficial study.

I've read undergraduate dissertations


I didn't even know there was such things as undergraduate dissertations until a week ago.

Posted: October 8th, 2008 9:28 pm
by Taurus
jkid wrote:I hope my other post didn't come off as me making a mockery of your dissertation topic choice. I think it's an interesting and certainly a unique one.
ago.


Not at all! On a slightly related note, I just got in touch with my old tutor to ask for a reference, and it turns out another of his old students has just finished a PhD in Japanese history - a microhistory of a village in Fukuoka, apparently. I wish I'd thought of that.

Posted: October 9th, 2008 9:29 pm
by jkid
a microhistory of a village in Fukuoka


Well there you go. :)