academic life

Herring out of Brine: Indefensible

Herring out of Brine: Indefensible

The PhD defense or viva voce examination is the Humanities’ ultimate rite of passage. In part, a court of your own, soon-to-be peers; in part, a speech act conferring and in some less lucky cases denying the status of a Philosophiae Doctor. Despite its arcane name, the variety of graduation formats and procedures is surprisingly broad, and it tells arguably more about the granting institution and its surrounding culture than the discipline, department or quality of research being evaluated.

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