So You’re Working on Your Doctorate?

But what does that actually mean? I have created this page for two reasons. Firstly, to be transparent. Since I am doing community work and photographing rural people and their communities, I wanted those involved to be able to access my work before it enters its final stages. Secondly, because so many people don’t know – what I do, how I do it and why. This page is for those seeking to do similar work but also for friends and family to understand what is involved in the process of completing am interdisciplinary PhD.

PhD Progress Bar

Course Work - 1 year
Comprehensive Exams - 1 year
Dissertation Proposal - 6 months
Field Research - 6 months
Written Dissertation

Using Postcards to Share Knowledge

The Postcard as a tool for field research? Conducting field-research in rural Alberta it can be difficult and even antithetical to the research to connect with people on an overly formal wave-length. As a result I have taken up the use of the postcard as a tool for engagement and connection. This document, which provides the participant with critical information about the project allows them to know their rights and how to revoke my use of their image, if they feel so inclined. It is less formal than an traditional ethics form but allows the information to be communicated in a way that is respectful of a culture more often to deal in handshakes than hard signatures.

What Your Dissertation About?

This interdisciplinary project aims to explore visualizations of rural Alberta through interactions/interventions with a documentary project called Keepsake (1980). The Keepsake project represents a significantly under-represented archive of rural communities in Western Canada. The archive, keeping with the critical and reflexive goals of the project, is utilized as a way to represent, critique, and expand upon rural narratives of place and placelessness. This will be accomplished through a series of photo-based interventions creatively rifting on the Keepsake archive. The project will blend a production-orientated approach that is: rooted in academic rigour, informed by a history of Western Canada, and which utilizes photographic and archival materials as a way to address the knowledge gap of rural spaces and to create a more accountable conception of rural representation in Canada.