#RhymeYourPhD

…is an idea suggested on Twitter, over the weekend, by Cambridge early modernist Liesbeth Corens

– inspired, as the tweet suggests, by ‘Dance Your PhD’, a competition sponsored by the journal Science with a proper prize and everything (for last year’s winner, see here). The rather great website lol my thesis also springs to mind. The first such verse offering, by also-Cambridge-early-modernist Harriet Lyon, is shown in Liesbeth’s preceding tweet.

With somewhat more humble ambitions than a sponsored competition, but nevertheless in the vague hope that this might catch on, here is my contribution (also originally presented on Twitter – no doubt exactly what the site’s creators had in mind when they set it up). This is cheating a little because it’s not my whole thesis, just one aspect of the project I’ve been working on lately.

There once was a seaman from Stepney
Sued his boss in the High Court of Admiralty.
‘You pay me my wage!’
Said the sailor, enraged,
‘Or I’ll have you clapped up in the Marshalsea.’

Who says historical knowledge can’t be presented in weird and wonderful ways? Well, perhaps not that wonderful…

It’s no fun rhyming alone, so I would be delighted to hear other people’s offerings (I’m entirely certain Liesbeth would, too; it might make up for me blatantly stealing her and Harriet’s idea). You don’t need coordination, rehearsals, or costumes (I can’t imagine historians dancing their PhD without costumes), just a little bit of doggerel. Extra points will be awarded for particularly challenging poetic forms.

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4 thoughts on “#RhymeYourPhD

  1. Pingback: #RhymeYourPhD | exploring public histories

  2. Pingback: Hello and #RhymeYourPhD | Crossing the Past

  3. After much contemplation:

    William of Orange brought liberty,
    But he also brought oh so much more;
    His new subjects could not foresee
    Years of hunger, depression and war.

    #RhymeYourPhD (or rather #RhymeYourDifficultSecondBook)

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