Thursday 6 June 2019

Brief thoughts on a PhD journey completed

Well its done. I've been awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in Archaeology.

My research has ranged over landscape archaeology, landscape history, monasticism, cultural geography, psychogeography, landscape in art and literature, folklore and further afield. I've probably meandered a bit too widely. 'Deep topography' is what I call it (nicked from Papadimitriou), but that doesn't yet have much currency in academia.

Three full years of landscape contemplation in the field, on walks, at my desk. Sometimes a slog but mostly stimulating and rewarding roaming, a privilege. Followed by a strange few months when its hard to get your bearings, to know when to sit back and think 'phew, I've done it': thesis submitted, but now I need to get a job as PhD funding stops at this point; viva successful with corrections to do, but bloody hell that was a hard experience and now I've got to work on those corrections (in my spare time); corrections submitted and now another wait; examiners approve corrections, subject to formal approval; official award notification - I think this is it: the last hoop, job done. Except the graduation to come with the daft cap and gown number, but that's the 'fun' bit.   

Anyway, the thesis is available through the University of Exeter's ORE open access portal 
and the data-set appendices along with links to related articles and other stuff can also be found here. The core strands of the thesis now need to be synthesized into a long-form journal article and the data-sets lodged with the relevant Historic Environment Records.

I hope that all of this is of some use to others researching or with an interest in the historic landscape, sense of place and our complex reactions to it.  

Now my attention turns to scaling the heights of postdoc funding for a future project on paths in the landscape, to future writing projects and to my day job looking after the public footpaths of Bristol town. I might even get round to writing some more long-winded Landscapism blog posts. 


  1. Thank you Dr Landscaper, I've really enjoyed following this blog. And I love the term Deep Topography

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