Desire path: defending my thesis proposal

This afternoon, I just finished defending my thesis proposal – a textual study of camp films in local cinema.

I have been waiting for this moment all year. I’ve been doing my MA for 4 years already and I want to graduate next year na!

Panel listens while I ramble. Photo by Ranie, who went on half-day leave to be my moral support. 🙂 Next year, he’ll be in my position.

My reader, Sir Patrick, and my panelists, Sir Junel and Ma’am Dela Merced, have major comments about the focus of my proposal. I wanted to identify feminist discourse in a body of films which I labelled as camp. But they pointed out – rightly so – that the discussion of “what is Philippine Camp Cinema” has not yet been established, so it would be problematic to create an assumption and work with that. In my proposal, I used text from international publications kasi. And I had pointed out (and they did) that maybe Western definitions don’t fit Philippine aspects of “What is camp?”

Their recommendation was to shift my agenda: that I venture instead into defining what Philippine Camp is. Instead of focusing on 21st Cinema, I’ll look into the corpus of Joey Gosiengfiao – whose films are more established as solid camp. I’ll let go of the likes of Eugene and Ai-Ai for now, so my study won’t be fully be a gender-themed one anymore. But my conclusion could point that Pinoy camp could be female-dominated? Let’s see.

It would be exciting because now my thesis could not have more significance in Phil. Film Studies – camp has really not been defined / identified theoretically. (And actually it seems easier).

Very different from what I proposed, but my adviser Ma’am Shirley convinced my panel to let me go on, do a major revision, and proceed w/ their recommendation! So thankful.

On the desire path in front of CMC. Symbolic – closer to my desire of earning a Master’s Degree!

It was less nerve-wracking than I thought it would be. Maybe it’s because my panel are former instructors. Maybe it’s because in my heart, I’m settled on finishing this no matter what and I’m certain of what I wanted to say and work on. I’ve also foreseen the comments from my previous discussions with Ma’am Shirley, Ranie, and other peers so the reco didn’t seem daunting. Most “relaxing” milestone I’ve ever reached, I guess? Hehe. In any case, it’s a huge relief.

It’s nice to have a desire path that I can keep walking on. even as I also push onward on the main paths of career and life-related stuff. Sometimes it’s like, why even study at this point? But I don’t want to lose momentum. I don’t want to stop feeling interested about new things. It’s both practical – teaching / academic life is a perennial bread-and-butter option for writers – and personal – I like the feeling that I still have many things to learn. Sounds cliche but dead srs.

Shoutout of course to Ranie, who said the same things my critics said from his first read (haha), improved my presentation layout, watched my presentation, and never wavered in believing I can do this.

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