On starting a PhD weblog

While I’m not a complete stranger to academic blogging, most of the writing I’ve done online (and still do) is of a personal nature. Although I believe I could explain applied theatre to my nieces and nephews—well, maybe not to K, given he’s not even a year old yet—I want a space where I can indulge in more complex, yet still hopefully accessible, language and ideas about the field. In short, I want a space where I can write in a relaxed manner, i.e., be stupid irreverent.

(Writing with a twelve year old as my oldest reader in mind though is fantastic writing practice. I don’t think I’m always successful in writing something so accessible, but this makes me pay very close attention to concision and clarity.)

I do have practical reasons for this blog. First, reflection and developing a writing habit benefit my own learning and practice. Second, I’m taking two courses (more on this below) this summer that call for some kind of record keeping.1 Lastly, I want to discover different ways I can “write” about this field.

So what will the posts be about in the coming weeks? I’ll be attending Sojourn Theatre’s and Center for Performance and Civic Practice’s workshops in Chicago end of June-ish. I asked my advisor if I can have these credited, given they’re so connected to the kind of work I want to pursue both as an artist and as a scholar, and he said yes, they can and will be. (Both workshops fall into one Independent Study course.) Afterwards, in July, I’ll be taking classes on Drama and Youth in the United Kingdom. I’ve never been to any of these places; I’m already so excited, I’m having trouble sleeping.2

  1. I’m a PhD student, not candidate; I have roughly a year to go before I can even make my dissertation proposal.
  2. Just to set the record straight, because I’ve had irksome encounters with some folks who have made remarks about my background when I was put in situations that I had to share what I was up to this summer: none of these were paid for by Mommy and Daddy, Inc. I acknowledge the middle class privilege that I was born to and still do benefit from, especially when I’m in the Philippines. I’m also grateful for the generosity of others who believe in me, i.e., fellowship granting organizations. But one thing I’m learning to speak up more about and not discount is how I wouldn’t have gotten here without my own two feet as well. /gripe