Earlier this year, my Alma mater, the Institute of Social Studies, requested permission from its graduates to scan and publish our Masters theses … At the time I had no thoughts of academic glory or recognition (still don’t actually), it simply seemed like an easy opportunity to get my thesis from its current digital format and location, WP on a 3/4inch ‘floppy’, into a format which was more accessible! [For those already confused by either of these references – Google them and all will be clear – including an approximation of my age!].
It was ‘so cool’ to receive this today. My words of academic wisdom and conviction, in a modern format I can share with others, or simply ‘have’ for posterity. No more visits to the copy shop to reproduce my foray into academia, nor visits to the post-office to send it off to those interested. With the click of a button, a link on a page I can share it – immediately. Granted, time has allowed me to find some spelling and grammar mistakes that I and technology (and I may add a few fellow readers at the time) missed, and can no longer ‘correct’! Time has also strangely enough, reminded me of who I am.To quote myself (another ‘cool’ factor): “The analysis that follows is optimistic. It is based on faith in the positive pronouncements and actions taking place, with sufficient cynicism to allow reflection on as many and as contradictory aspects as possible, but not enough to allow for despair. It is a very personal search for hope and a reason to move forward. From it I have perhaps become more cynical but in so doing more aware.”
In 1994, I undertook a discursive analysis of the UNDP Development Reports to demonstrate how Human Rights – ALL of them, social, economic, political, and cultural were finally on the way to being part of an integral development discourse. Phew.
The paper is entitled “A Diamond in the rough: Towards an integrated Human Rights Project” and as I reflect on the world around us I realise perhaps how naive I was then, but I also realise that despite my optimism then, and developments today, I can still see signs for optimism. I am too far removed from the academic debate these days (not to mention the adrenaline of those days) to enter into a discussion with those more in the know, but I do remain optimistic.
Now all I have to do is figure out how to upload the ‘too big a file’ which my paper was … so, if for any weird reason someone (other than my family :)) would be interested in reading it, let me know. Although I have been informed that it will ‘be available on the internet’ soon … also, sooo cool!