On Finishing My MA Thesis


I submitted my MA Thesis on 10 May. The title came to me a few hours before I submitted it, (and the one above is actually the penultimate draft.) The final title was, “‘If You Do Not Have an ID in Kenya, You Do Not Exist’: Or Stateless Kenyan Nubians as Biopolitical Subjects.” The Thesis itself addresses sovereignty and biopolitics in the colonial and postcolonial state.

Since I submitted it, I’ve been dealing with a sort of ‘let down.’ This is 8 months of work (almost like gestation!) that culminated in a 58-page document with 18.389 words, produced through 11,807 minutes of ‘editing time’ (the equivalent of about 196.8 hours or 8.2 days). Broken down, this means that I spent about an hour a day writing my Thesis over 8 months (to say nothing of the research process, which included reading and producing annotated bibliographies.)

I will never deny how much effort academic output requires. Academic work is work. It’s just not the work I want to do. Political Theory is like a delicious meal that I can partake in, but few people are able to enjoy it with me. The cost of entry into the debate is too high.

But this feeling of ‘let down’? I suspect that it is burnout. The process of Thesis-writing gave me momentum, and I’m no longer hurtling forward. I’ve crossed the finish line and my blood is pumping and the exhaustion has set in. Now I must assure myself that I ran the race well and move on.


  1. congrats! what an accomplishment. even if few people can enter into the discussion, the work is still appreciated. now is the time to rest and recuperate.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s