PhD Month 1
As I write this, I've completed the official 4th week of my PhD. I haven't gotten much done on the actual thesis -- this month has been an endless parade of orientation and on-boarding events and workshops (mainly virtual, but I did get to meet my cohort-mates in person, which was very nice). I do, however, have an office now -- a cozy one at the very top of the Art History building -- and am starting to think seriously about my chapter questions, so there is some movement.
I am also still exploring tools to use for my thesis. I was hoping to use Scrivener for writing because of its corkboard and binder functions, however, it seems like its really not set up for any sort of reference and citation functions. There are workarounds, but they all seem to take far longer than I'd like to spend, and I foresee deadline-doom and forgetting of references, etc. etc. I think I will stick with Word for now while I explore other options.
I have decided to use Mendeley as a reference manager. Most people I've spoken to who use Zotero for Art History have problems with it, but overall I've heard good reviews from Mendeley. I'm booked in to take an intro to Mendeley class on November 12th. I'd like to have gone back and written short summaries of all the books I read for my MScR dissertation by the time I take this workshop before I forget them all, since it's already been over a month since the hand-in for that dissertation.
I'm also struggling with how to organize and look at my images. I was hoping for some sort of dream software that would let me fully reference and annotate images, as well as offer a good image gallery view for image comparison and organization. I've found a great bit of freeware called PureRef that seems to main be geared towards animators, but which lets you drag images into a gallery (with or without fully importing the sourcefile), play around with size and order, add notes to images and to the gallery, and has a function to keep the window floating on top of your other windows, as well as to make the window transparent so just the images float above other open windows. While it's not ideal, it should be a great help to me for visually organizing my images, which is really important to me given that my thesis is all about image comparison. Example below.
Upcoming this week I have a meeting with my supervisor Luke to present my idea for the Annual Review I have to submit a 10,000 word rudimentary chapter for in May. I think I'm going to focus on the role of Victorian theatre and casual theatricality in the evolution of narrative photography, including the influence of cartes de visite and tableaux vivant, which is something I didn't find the space to write about in my dissertation, but which is nevertheless very important to the development of early narrative photography.