So along with my ongoing quest to be fit y 40 I am in the middle of the process of getting my PhD in Transatlantic History. So far I have completed 2yrs of a Masters degree complete with a thesis on Marie Antoinette and her Image. I have just finished 2 yrs of doctoral classes and am now preparing for my Comprehensive Exams where I will be in a room for 3 days answering huge questions with nothing more than what ever happens to stick into my brain. It is daunting to say the least. The good thing is that recently I have set my committee of professors (3 who give me questions and 2 who are additional readers), set my topics/questions, and set the date.
So, beginning Monday Feb. 14, 2011 at 8am I will start day 1 of 3 of the written portion of the exams. I will choose one of my 3 exam fields (Cartography, Intercultural Transfer, Atlantic Revolutions) and will have 8hrs to answer the question given. The next two days I will do the other two fields. Thursday will be a day of rest before Friday. Friday is the oral exam! At 11am I will go into the conference room and all 5 professors ask me to defend my answers and answer more questions (usually there are 2 to choose from on the written and whichever you DON'T choose they ask you in orals.).
Yea, I am freaking out a little bit. I have about 12 weeks to get my readings together, get organized, and get to reading. I have really slacked off all semester and am glad my advisor made me set a date. It was the fire I needed lit under my booty!
So, Feb 14-18 I will be tackling the following:
1. What is the field of "Atlantic History" and how is it useful to historians of the 17th, 18th, and early-19th Centuries? What are the criticisms/objections to this new field of history?
2. How did the Haitian Revolution impact the Atlantic World?
3. What is the "Age of Atlantic Revolutions"? How is it defined and what is its importance to Atlantic History?
1. What is the difference between Atlantic and Transatlantic History? How does the field of Transatlantic History challenge the idea of traditional national history. What are examples of Intercultural Transfers in Transatlantic History?
2. How was travel and travel writing important to intercultural transfers? Are there gender differences in travel writing?
And for my Cartography exam I need to know all about the following:
1. The Cartography of Early Modern France, 1500-1800
2. The Nineteenth-Century exploration of the Upper Nile
3. The Dutch East India Company at the Cape (South Africa), 1642-1800
SO... If I drop off the Earth for a week at a time you know why!! :)
Next blog: The Dissertation