Author Archives: Oxford DPhile

About Oxford DPhile

I'm a doctoral candidate in English at Somerville College, Oxford. My thesis, tentatively titled “Just Literature: Evil, Victorian Narrative, and the Problem of Theodicy”, explores the interplay between literature and theodicy – the justification of a good God in light of the existence of evil – in the works of A.H. Clough, J.A. Froude and George Eliot. I teach English Literature at the University of Würzburg, coach academic writing in English at Oxford, blog about the tricks and pitfalls of thesis writing, and love to collaborate. My novel "Das Unglück anderer Leute" was published by Galiani Berlin in August 2016.

What’s in a Shitstorm? Some thoughts on approaching the hurricane

Today something disturbing happened. I was about to post something witty on twitter and, as I was typing, I stopped myself. I still thought the post was funny. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. But there was a nagging feeling that if … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

20 things to fear when doing a PhD

Sometimes, in the throes of anxiety, it is hard to express what precisely it is that makes one so afraid (EVERYTHING! THE UNIVERSE IS CRAPTASTICALLY SCARY! WE ARE LITERALLY ALL GOING TO DIE!!!). For future reference I have made this comprehensive list … Continue reading

Posted in thesis psychology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why is my curriculum white, male and straight and how do I fix it?

I never wanted to be the kind of person who had a non-inclusive curriculum. I am of the lefty, hippy-dippy, queer, equality-loving, anti-racist, anti-ablist, anti-lookist, anti-anti-semitism, gender-equal, anti-colonialist, anti-all-the-bad-things, pro-all-the-good-and-kind-things persuasion and it always bothered me that the classes I … Continue reading

Posted in oh the humanities, teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Resolutions in Bits and Pieces: Two Ways of Getting Shit Done

Trigger Warning: This is a post about things going well and a meditation on how I contributed to things going well. It might help you in your own endeavours. However, if you are not  currently doing well and feel reading about someone … Continue reading

Posted in getting things done, on writing, thesis phsychology, thesis psychology | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

What is an argument and how do you make it?

As a lazy person, I don’t like answering the same questions in every class I teach. And while there are great introductions to academic writing, it is really hard to convince students to read books on writing, when they are busy … Continue reading

Posted in Academic Basics, on writing, teaching | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

No, you should NOT be writing right now. Writing guilt is the eating disorder of academia.

Quick question: What should you be doing right now? Your answer is “God, I should really be writing!”? Congratulations. You’re an academic. As @AcademicsSay eloquently sums up time management in academia: But here’s the truth: You should probably NOT be writing … Continue reading

Posted in on writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“The Value of the Humanities” and other trick questions

This Friday, at the Oxford graduate conference on value, I asked a terrible question about “The Value of the Humanities” . It was during a roundtable between three senior academics, among them Helen Small, author of The Value of the Humanities. What … Continue reading

Posted in oh the humanities | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments