In a move of inspired creativity last week, second-year MALD student Kirstin Ellison challenged her fellow soon-to-graduate thesis-writing peers via the student email list:

Fletcher, I’ve got to tell you — my thesis is killing me.  Just now while composing my title, I happened to notice that it clocked in at a ridiculous 17 words.  The words of our esteemed Professor Perry came floating back to me — “cultivate pith!”  After all, whose advisor wants to read a wordy, boring thesis?  With this in mind, I decided to rework my thesis into a more condensed and verbally-frugal format.  Yes, Fletcher, I rewrote my thesis as … a haiku.  Why use 17 words to say what 17 SYLLABLES can cover just fine?

And thus started one of the longest email sequences I’ve ever read, with student after student appending an addition to the collection.  Here, for the first time on a blog, are Fletcher Thes-kus (thesis haikus).  A representative sample, with the poet’s name and thesis title included.

Caroline Andresen
Title:  “’Where Are Your Peacekeepers Now?’  The Protection of Civilians from Threats Posed by Armed Groups in Eastern Congo and Afghanistan”
Taliban, congo
Stop killing civilians now
Oh, wishful thinking

Hilde Berg-Hansen
Title:  ??
Three thousand words in
I still don’t have a title.
Iran, Elections

Maren Christensen
Title:  “Judicial Reform in Afghanistan:  Towards a Holistic Understanding of Legitimacy in Post-Conflict Societies”
Building Rule of Law
Legitimacy Lynch Pin
Calling all Afghans

Jamie Lynn De Coster
Title:  “Profiling Pirates: Exploring Somali Piracy in the Context of a Collapsed State”

Somali pirates
Are people too. Yet, a threat.
What should we do?  YARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Julia Doehrn
Title:  “‘Seeds of Terror’ or ‘Poppies for Peace’? – The Impact of Illicit Economies and Drug-Trafficking Networks on Post-Conflict Stability”

Seeds of terror, huh?
The money flows upwards though.
Stop corruption – now!

Kirstin Ellison
Title:  “Hamas’ Use of Female Suicide Bombers:  A Case Study in Militant Groups Reinterpreting Women’s Roles in Jihad”

Women in Hamas
Sometimes, they blow themselves up.
Sometimes, they don’t.  Why?

Kent Fogg
Title:  The Accession of the Western Balkans to the European Union:  The Conditionality of Sub-Regionalism”
Balkans were broken
Quick!  Get them in the EU
Or maybe, not quick

Amanda Gardner
Title:  “Police Reform and Non-State Armed Groups in Post-Conflict Iraq and Bosnia: Accountability versus Effectiveness?”
Police, post-conflict
Stop hurting, start protecting
Chase away armed groups

Joshua Gross
Title:  “The Fog of Peace: Comparing U.S. and UN Approaches to Conflict Management in Nepal”

Die feudalist die!
So, so sick of retrograde
ideologies

Courtney Kemps
Title:  “More Than Just Credit: A Case Study of Vocational Training Workshops Offered by a Microfinance Institution in Peru”

Give women credit
Then teach them to make ice cream
Does this really work?

Christine Martin
Title:  “Strategic Management of Technology-Enabled Development Projects”
Tech is really cool
Increased voice for citizens
Please manage it well.

Fabian Olarte
Title:  “An Evaluation of Colombia’s Security and Economic Revitalization During the Uribe Administration. What does the future hold for Colombia?”
Uribe’s Yucca
FARC’s Arroz con Frijoles
Santo’s for dessert?

Viviana Rivas
Title:  “The Stagnant Mexican Automotive Industry: Drawing Lessons from Other Automotive Industries”

Mex Car Industry
You are screwed. Can you learn?
Probably not. Ugh.

Nina Tandon
Title:  “Defaulting Treaty Obligations: How the Lack of Clarity in U.S. Domestic Laws Contributes to Noncompliance”

We make agreements
We never intend to keep
Though other states weep

Elli Tsiligianni
Title:  “Flying Greece Sky High: Marfin Investment Group Sets Eyes on Olympic Airlines”

Onassis founded
Government mismanaged
New flag in the sky?

Bapu Vaitla
Title:  “How Good Change Happens: The Politics of Child Undernutrition in Brazil and India”

Big people, listen:
Food is for the smallest ones
Nurture your nature.

 

3 Responses to RE: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: thesis haikus

  1. These are all very constructive topics towards contributing to our collective effort to make the world peaceful and just for everyone.

    Jessica, I was wondering on how can I possibly contact Joshua Gross? I have read few other writings about Nepal before.

    Thank you.

  2. Thanks, Subhash. I contacted Josh Gross and I’ll connect you if he’s able to be available right now. As you can imagine, thesis work is occupying much of our students’ time!

    Jessica

  3. Thank you so much Jessica. We got connected!

    Subhash

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