I found it quite difficult to settle on a topic for my dissertation proposal. Initially I wanted to write about a topic I had covered before in first year, Japanese subculture, but I was advised against doing so, as it would become stale. After that, I searched for other ideas that I liked and came up with a few that were ‘alright’ but wasn’t particularly passionate about, such as installation artwork, or stage productions. In the end, after another tutorial, I finally decided on writing about kimono, as it is a topic I am already fairly knowledgeable about.
Finding research was a lot of fun for me; I really enjoyed reading about the history of kimono. Books on this topic are usually filled with beautiful pictures and not very dense writing. Listening to other people talking about their chosen topics I became glad that I chose something more sociologically, historically based, rather than philosophical, because I know I would have ended up hating that.
I visited Martha Lee, who helped me to track down a lot more relevant books and articles to help with my dissertation, and recommended that I try for an inter-library loan so that I can get my hands on some of the books that aren’t in Llandaff library.
I am quite pleased with the outcome, and really enjoyed learning so much about the garment and writing it all out in the lit review. If I were to improve my work, I would focus on using in-text citations, and making it flow more like an actual essay, rather than an information dump. Looking at it all together I am actually quite proud of myself for taking in so much information, but I am well aware that I will find the next phase a lot more difficult.