Finishing a ‘thing’

This week just passed, I handed in my honours dissertation. At 10,000 words*, ‘Between Person and Property: Unfreedom in Narrative Histories of Merovingian Gaul and Lombard Italy‘ isn’t the longest of projects. But it’s easily the longest thing I’ve ever done, in terms of both length and time commitment.

I’ve been living with this project since last November, buried under chronicles and histories of the early medieval West. I’m fairly proud of it, I think. It makes a couple of interesting points, alongside several not-so-interesting ones, but you can’t have it all.

I’m left with the question, though – what do I do with it? It’s not quite a normal essay, something to be marked and forgotten about, but not quite a proper bit of postgrad work, to be parlayed into conference invitations and the free nibbles they provide.

So, with that in mind, here are some possible uses for my dissertation:

  • Academically-rigorous cat litter.
  • Surprisingly wordy doorstop.
  • Ambitious hat.
  • Terrible frisbee.
  • Even worse football.
  • Motorway service-station sandwich.
  • Kindling.

If you’ve got any ideas, or can remember how you used yours, I’d love to hear them.


* If you discount some notes, a bibliography, a quote or two . . . just generally don’t look very hard and assume that I stayed under word limit. 


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