Methodology Blues

I don’t really know how to feel about this week. I think it started well. I finished my colour-coding, which felt like an achievement. But since I finished that, I’ve felt a bit lost. Ideally I would have jumped straight into my first chapter, but I remembered that I still have lots to sort out for my transfer viva in September. I have to write a 6000 word report and prepare an oral presentation on my thesis. On the surface that seems fine, but remember how I messed up my last bit of official paperwork? Yeah. Also, a large part of the report is me discussing my methodology. I have no idea how to go about that. I’m doing a literature thesis. I just read books and theory and write about them. I’ve never had to articulate any form of methodology before and I’m getting a bit stuck.


This week I also came to the conclusion that rather than trying to do novels, autobiographies, and blogs I should just stick with trans-authored fiction instead. Initially my arguments for using autobiographies and blogs were that they provided the real lived experiences that are the basis of trans theory; blogs were going to be included specifically to counteract the gender and race based prejudice of the publishing industry. These are good points and I stand by them as issues, but trying to include everything within one thesis would mean that I have very few words available for the analysis of each narrative. Luckily, through twitter, I found some books published by TPOC (trans people of colour), which I hope will even things up a bit. Now eagerly awaiting post from America.

Anyway, back to methodology. Having narrowed down the genres I’m using, I’ve theoretically narrowed down the number of methods I need to consider. Previously one of the big questions about my thesis was how I was going to comparatively analyse formally and non-formally published works. They have different aims and different styles. Also, in using autobiographies and blogs I’d also need to look into theories about life-writing as well as literary criticism for the fiction.

The overall plan is to use trans theory to analyse literature. What I’ve done this week is look into how queer theory was used to analyse texts, I found a handy site with bullet point questions that queer theory asks of literature; I then translated the themes of trans theory into possible questions to ask of a text using that framework. Does this even sound like a thing that will work?

Agh. Anyway. I’ve written 1000 words on that so far. Well, probably about 450 words on that and the rest is on a couple of articles I found about the renaissance of trans women’s writing. I don’t know if I’m magically expecting something to click. I hope it does.


5 thoughts on “Methodology Blues

    1. Yeah. I’m not quite sure what they want from me, but I guess it’s just the obvious stuff that I’ve been assuming everyone gathers from my intro. Thanks 🙂


      1. Yeah, the real obvious stuff. For my undergrad, I had an idea about methodology, then I collected the data and then I went back to the methodology and realised I had made so many mistakes. Pick one, stick with it and follow it to the letter from beginning to end.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hello, I used to feel a lot like you about methods. But since I now identify as a critical theorist, I guess methods are kind of my thing!

    Best advice I ever heard was never to impose the structure from outside your work. You need to draw it out from what you hope to achieve and why – that should lead you to the methodology quite logically. And enable you to explain it to others coherently.

    Best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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