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It occurred to me as people started sending book recs that the reading list from my graduate history seminar on politics, institutions and culture in America might be useful to share, too, so:

  • Alan Trachtenberg, The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age (1982)
  •  Keith Revell, Building Gotham: Civic Culture and Public Policy in Manhattan, 1898-1938 (2002)
  •  Seema Sohi, Echoes of Mutiny: Race, Surveillance, and Indian Anticolonialism in North America (2014)
  •  Mai Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (2005)
  •  Eric Rauchway, The Great Depression and the New Deal: A Very Short Introduction (2008)
  •  Margot Canaday, The Straight State: Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America (2009)
  •  James Sparrow, Warfare State: World War II Americans in the Age of Big Government (2013)
  •  David M. P. Freund, Colored Property: State Policy and White Racial Politics in Suburban America (2007)
  •  Nathan Connolly, A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida (2014)
  •  Penny M. Von Eschen, Satchmo Blows up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War (2006)
  •  Kim Phillips-Fein, Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics (2018)
  •  Elizabeth Hinton, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (2016)
  •  Nancy Kwak, A World of Homeowners: American Power and the Politics of Housing Aid (2015)

You can find a lot of these used on line or available as ebooks from university libraries if your local library doesn’t have copies. Some of these are dense academic reads, but this was one of the most enlightening and important courses I’ve ever taken, and these are a great start for anybody wanting to better understand systemic inequality in America.

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Perseverance has paid off despite many many moments of self-doubt.

I may have an official PGR blog post published via an academic institution by the end of the month! 

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I have had a good day today.

Having your work peer reviewed by a fellow student and doing the same for them is such a good way to keep academic discourse happening while also having a well needed catch up. We’ve given each other some things to work with and extending our work from around 500-700 words to 1,500 words and doing the peer review again next week.

Also, I approached a university yesterday to be involved with their UK wide PGR research blog and they came back saying they would be happy for me to be involved. I am excited to get my research out to a wider audience that isn’t my immediate academic group but I am also a little apprehensive as I have no idea how to summarise my work in 500 words.

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Anyone using the Pomodoro technique for advice? Does it work and what apps would you recommend (free apps just in case I don’t like it)?

As I am getting more and more done with my project and have started to figuratively put pen to paper, I need to be a little more strict with how I use my time and what better time to experiment with different working styles than when I am home for the foreseeable.

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28.05.2020 This is the most exciting post I have made on my studyblr!

Unconditional offer to study MSc Spatial Planning at UCL’s Bartlett School of Planning!

I have spent the past few months applying to this course, and I just received my acceptance email! I have an unconditional offer, because I already graduated from my BSc. I worked so hard to get to this point, and I would be happy to take any questions regarding my application. 

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26.06.20// Early morning reading (Rabelais) and my customary cup of tea. I’m trying to be better about getting up early to devote time to reading before the day properly starts. This morning I’m hoping to get through maybe 30 pgs or so.

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I am starting my language facilitator role on Wednesday and I am having to wake up early to make sure I have everything ready and that I have coffee in my system before 9.30 on each of the days that I do the role. This means that I have to be super organised for the next 4 weeks to juggle between teaching and PhD work and I am now planning specific time slots for certain parts of my project development every week.

However, I was a little optimistic last night when I decided to try and wake up at 8am and ended up sleeping in until half 9, it is a Bank Holiday after all.

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Yet another bank holiday weekend in lockdown. I have done quite a lot of work and done a few meetings this past week so I am glad to be able to just catch up on my leisure reading rather than academic reading this weekend. The Metro books are really interesting, a bit of a slow burner but I am hooked, although starting a dystopian book series during a pandemic probably wasn’t a good idea.

I had a very good catch up with a PhD colleague yesterday (we shared the same supervisor for our MA and now have her for the PhD) and it’s nice to know that I am not alone in feeling very overwhelmed at the moment with my research. We are both doing medical discourse, although in different ways, and I have missed being able to bounce off ideas and what we have done like we did over coffee and vegan chocolate cake. We are also going to write things and send to each other for peer reviewing (which we were going to do anyway) and hopefully that will make us both accountable for our work and perhaps get us to a point where we can start writing articles for publication.

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Mum: What are you up to?

Me: Abstract for an edited volume.

Mum: Which journal?

Me: The…[several attempts at pronunciation]…I can’t pronounce it but it’s in Poland.

Mum: [giving me the side eye] Where do you find these?

Me: Internet.

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