The Voyeur Stands Where She’s Most Familiar (#SisTulisThesis)

At the start of my PhD journey, I encountered Michel De Certeau’s seminal piece called Walking In The City that very much spurred me into the direction my research went in. I even adopted walking as one of my main methods during my year-long fieldwork in Kuala Lumpur City. What I neglected to share in my PhD Thesis which I’ve submitted for examination more than 2 months ago is perhaps something I’ve taken for granted at the time of doing my PhD. Only now, in this post-thesis-writing calm and after ample time and space from my PhD, do I get to linger on my experiences before and after the fieldwork.

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#SisTulisThesis

My PhD journey was not as smooth as I hoped it could be.

Before I started PhD, I had many people telling me that I’m sure to have it easy because I’m single and I don’t have to juggle my responsibilities between doing a doctorate and being part of a family. I agreed with this statement and I recognise the immense stress and responsibility that my friends who are on their journey with families have to deal with on a daily basis. Therefore, I didn’t like to feel that what struggles I went through were big enough a problem to be concerned about.

This is not a healthy view to have when doing PhD.

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#SisHabisThesis

As I’ve explained in my previous blogpost, I was using the hashtag #sistulisthesis whenever I post snippets of my PhD journey on Instagram. Since I submitted my thesis on the 29th September, I opted to use the hashtag #SisHabisThesis (I finished my thesis) to commemorate my activities after writing and while waiting for the comments and results from the external examiners. Read More

FIRST!

I’ve been wondering why I never started blogging during my PhD journey. I did occasionally upload photos and insta-stories (which disappear after 24 hours) with the hashtag I am proud of coining for myself : #SisTulisThesis. The hashtag, for those who are not familiar with Malay language and the Malaysian slangs, meant “I write a thesis”. Sis is the term commonly used by Malay Muslims to call other Malay Muslim women. Tulis means “write” in the Malay language.

And a thesis is a trigger for an existential crisis backed by mounting financial woes and crippling anxiety episodes which are turning into an academic norm.

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