About 6 months ago the time to start developing a thesis topic arrived. I’m at my fifth idea after four have been rejected by either my overseeing professor or myself. At this point, I’m even minus an overseeing professor and I have no idea where to turn for assistance.
I will say, though, that my rejection of certain topics has been due to the realization that I’m tired – exhausted – of talking about, writing about, researching about Israel and the Middle East. My first thesis dealt with the relationships between the Israelis and the Palestinians towards themselves; the impact of their respective cultures on their presents and futures. I wrote that in the States, so it was less painful (though it was painful).
When do I get to talk about something else? Research something outside my own realm? I don’t need or want the convenience of being surrounded by Israelis and Palestinians in order to write my paper. I want something else – something far, far away. Something that I can read about without feeling physically ill. Something I can read about without half-glancing away to avoid the helpless feeling.
I think that I will continue to pursue the topic of collective memory and culture, identity and conflict, but I will look to use a different case study. All eyes on Northern Ireland. Sometimes you have to stand outside the conflict in order to see clearly, right? Hopefully this will develop into a worthwhile study, especially considering recent (positive) news in that region.
Let’s just hope it doesn’t get rejected. I think my professors have a penchant for disproportionately focusing on Israel and the Middle East, like everybody else on the planet.