completion, or one more step on the road

When you begin a PhD, the dissertation (or thesis, depending which part of the world you are in) feels like an unscalable mountain. How will you possibly do so much research, read so many books, produce so many words?

At least for me, as I’ve worked my way through and picked up many new projects and collaborations while continuing to write, it has shifted from a source of anxiety into various other roles; it has become a backbone and a background for all the work and thinking that I do. By the time you arrive at these big milestones, they never seem as large as they did when you were looking at them from a distance. There are new ones in sight: shaping the dissertation into my first book, thinking about the second book and/or multimodal project that I am already beginning to craft from my digital and fan studies work that didn’t fit into the dissertation. And all the other aspects of my future career, whose details are yet to be mapped out.

Still, it felt very good to print out this final draft yesterday, in preparation for my defense. I’m not much of a fan of hardcopy, in general. But some things do need to be physical.

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