On Friday I had my first tutorial with my supervisor for my masters dissertation. I should have had this first tutorial weeks ago but due to other issues I have had problems with booking one. However it was great to finally get to have a chat about my proposal and the feedback I had got for it as well as discussing what my next steps would be and how to progress forward with my study. It was also a relief to discuss my concerns about deadlines and certain aspects of the study. In particular I wasn't completely happy with the structure or framework of it. I was also uncertain about the theoretical side and whether I was going down the right path with the reading I was doing
My supervisor completely understood where I was coming from and really understood me and my interests. She had already picked up in my proposal the weakness I had with the theory and although I had identified a usable structure, she felt I had overlooked more juicer options! I was able to explain that I had not overlooked certain areas but had been lead away from them to a more theoretical based study during the proposal stage. She reassured me that I didn't need to use this approach and it should be what I wanted to do as it was MY study. She felt I should use a more historical approach considering my background and interests and use the theory to look at the wider picture when necessary. I completely agreed with her. I had originally wanted to focus more on the history of the war memorial and how its meaning had changed. I had also wanted to trace the history of the war memorial and war commemoration in general from the end of the First World War to modern day. I had been steered away from this when writing my proposal as it was considered a too wider date range. However with my supervisor's help I now have a plan that covers all the things I wanted to look at while still being academic and suitable for my MA!!
The slight downside to all this good stuff is that I now have a long list of archives to find and books to read. Although this will be fun and I will enjoy doing it, it will also take a lot of time and with a deadline fast approaching time is not something that I have a lot of! However I am sure I will figure out a way of fitting it all in. Plus when your enjoying something, its amazing how quickly you can whiz through it!
So my next steps are to track down the archive for the war memorial committee that was set up in Bexhill, have a look as the Mass Observation archive at the University of Sussex to look at the observations of Armistice Day in 1937 and 1938 as well as throughout the Second World War and to look at both local and national newspapers to see how Armistice Day and the burial of the unknown warrior were reported. This is on top of lots of reading and beginning to draft a chapter!
Better make a start..........!