Thursday, March 28, 2013
On February 22, I posted about having finished the defense draft of my dissertation, with all its statistics. I'm pleased to announce that I had my actual defense yesterday, and I passed. (My friends and I did some imbibing last night to celebrate.) So, yes, you may now address me as "Dr. bklynbiblio"....uhm, I mean Dr. Ferrari. Well, actually, I'm not officially done yet. After a 2-hour discussion with my 4 readers, I have a number of changes and additions I need to work on in the dissertation, but fortunately there's nothing major. I hope to actually deposit the final draft in the next couple of weeks, and then it's graduation! It does seem strange that it was almost exactly 3 years ago that I took Oral Exams (see my Before and After posts), and here we are at the final stage. Upon hearing the news on Facebook of the outcome of my defense, my friend & colleague Carolyn Conroy wasted no time updating the "About Us" page of the Simeon Solomon Research Archive, adding my new title. Family members seem rather tickled by the idea that we finally have a doctor in the family. People keep asking me if I will use the "Dr" as part of my name, but I doubt it. American society sees "Dr" as a medical practitioner and to use it would give a false sense of who I am (in other words, I can't write out prescriptions). In the academic world, it's commonly used, but even then I have always preferred calling someone "Prof." In the UK, "Dr" is a noteworthy title for academics actually distinct from "Prof," higher in status than some professors in fact, so I can understand why it is used more frequently there. For me, I think Roberto C. Ferrari, Ph.D. looks rather chic and says exactly what I want it to say. And if you're wondering about the image above, it's Cupid Pursuing Psyche, a marble bas-relief from ca. 1840 by John Gibson (image: Royal Academy of Arts). Although I don't discuss this particular work in my dissertation, I thought it was a lovely example of his work to exemplify his achievements in sculpture.