Dissertation Diaries |Awkward Emails, First meeting & First draft

So, I went to finally meet my dissertation supervisor, but before that there was awkward encounter over emails. Okay, looking back it is quite amusing even though at the time I was taken aback.

Me: Hi G, is it okay if I make an appointment with with you? Regards, —

G: Yes sure that’s fine. Pick a time between 10 and 11.30.

Me: I’ll meet you at 11.

G: Dear –, If I wanted you to come meet me at 11 I would’ve offered.

Me *confused, and thinking how rude* : Hi G, sorry I misunderstood your email I’ll meet you at 11.30. Apologies, —

(What I felt like emailing G-dubbs -…)

Hi G, you clearly don’t know definition of the word “between”, but I can inform you it doesn’t mean the same as “or/either”. On the other hand, I’ll take your appointment at 11.30.

Anyway, this whole awkward email encounter made me feel apprehensive about meeting him. I mean, he has given us lectures before, but I haven’t had a face to face encounter with him where I need to make extensive conversation with him.

So anyway I went to see him, and it was completely fine, and I don’t know how to describe him, but he’s a good kind of weird, and funny. I think all lecturers are perhaps, it’s to do with extensive studying that they become slightly eccentric.

So we discussed my dissertation, and he helped me gather together a better idea of what I’m trying to say, and also his suggestion of contextualizing the novels because they are published about a hundred or so years apart.

So in the part that of my dissertation that he suggested about the contextualizing I’m going to talk about how “The Monk” is obviously written as criticism on Catholicism. Perhaps, I’ll put how “The Monk” was banned in the past because of its shocking content  Also, how both the novels kind of distance the horror from England because “The Monk” is set in Italy, and Dracula in “Dracula” obviously comes from further afar Europe. God Forbid such things happen in England or originate in England. Also, the significance of religion at the time.

Also, I asked him the question about should I set my dissertation out in sections, or small chapters, because we were told to write our dissertations like sections/chapters we went to the dissertation introductory talk. He replied saying, “Well it’s already in structures isn’t it, you’ve got the introduction, then the first part discuss’ Matilda versus Mina, the second part discuss Agnes and Antonia versus Lucy, and then the conclusion”. So that clarified that, which means my dissertation will have a contents page, which I feel excited about.

Yeah so a quick overview of my dissertation:

  1. An introduction outlining my argument, and contextualising everything I’ve said above.
  2. the first section is going to comparatively discuss Matilda from “The Monk” and Mina from “Dracula”, and how their masculine traits do or don’t make them abject.
  3. Discussing Antonia, how she is constructed in the text, how she’s raped by Ambrosio (who turns out to be her own brother) and how the text deals with that by killing her off (so, she doesn’t become abject). Agnes, and her illegitimate child, how shes tortured underground – (pretty much buried), and how her marrying her lover, and the child dying nullifies her shame, and stops her becoming abject. Then, finally discussing Lucy from “Dracula”, how her whole character construction just emphasizes her beauty – seems as though there’s nothing else to her – and how her become Undead makes her abject, and she can only become acceptable in society again, and accepted by God spiritually after her death, by the rituals the males characters carry out on her body.
  4. Conclusion.

I’ve got the daunting task now of getting my first draft done, so he can mark it, and give me pointers, so I can improve it before submitting it.


In other news, I was really disappointed with my English language module result for my mid-semester essay because a few silly mistakes, such as mix up in dates, meant I only just scraped a 2:1.

I also spent the whole of yesterday after my meeting with G finishing off my Modernism essay, which I submitted this morning. Hopefully, I’ll get a good mark because I need it!

Here’s what I could see from my library window. It was a beautiful crisp autumn day!


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