My PhD thesis has been officially approved by the committee! This is a big moment in the Dutch PhD system — I submitted the manuscript to a committee of 5 professors, who decided that my Wild Justice: The Dynamics of Gender and Revenge in Early Modern English Drama is ready to be publicly defended on the 22nd of June.
That means that in five months’ time, I will be standing in this room. Although the picture is not very clear (here’s a 3D-view of the room), there’s three different kinds of lookers-on to be distinghuished. Not only will the dozens of past professors’ portraits on the walls be scrutinizing my performance. More importantly, I will be answering questions from a corona of professors who will be monitoring me from the dais at the top end of the room. The photo is taken from the perspective of the friends, family, and colleagues who will hopefully fill the rest of the room.
See the tiny person standing up on the left hand side of the picture? That would be me, on the 22nd of June. Fortunately, I get to take two friends, my paranymphs Bregtje and Inge, who are allowed to sit right behind me, and may hand me a new pen if mine gives up on me, could quickly look up a page in my thesis is a member of the corona refers to it in a question — or catch me if I faint.
The best part of a Dutch ceremony is the sound of the tinkling bells on the staff of the beadle who enters after 45 minutes to tell you that time’s up: “hora est”!