Starting my PhD at Northumbria University in February 2015, I handed in my thesis on 31 January 2019:
One year off twitter. One year of writing. A small tree later, printed. Bound. Handing in today. pic.twitter.com/eNIxgEdKoI
— Katja Leyendecker (@KatsDekker) January 31, 2019
This left the defence (the viva) outstanding. On 8 May 2019 I successfully defended the text! And… *drumroll* the thesis passed with minor corrections. Thanks goes to the examiners Dr Rachel Aldred (University of Westminster) and Prof Irene Hardill (Northumbria University), not to mention my supervisor Prof Rosie Parnell who was instrumental in giving me the confidence in using autoethnography (as the appropriate methodology for reporting on my own campaigning experience).
As for my contibution to academia, I hope to have added to the discussion a conceptual clarification of (Urry’s) socio-technical automobility: clearly splitting the phenomenon into two distinct realms of institutional and social automobilities. This conceptualisation should help political campaigners and decision makers interested in change processes to frame debates more inclusively.
All the while I am gradually relocating to Berlin leaving my stomping ground in Newcastle and the wonderful newcycling.org (external link to newcycling.org). In Berlin, I am linking up with the fabulous Changing Cities e.V. to harness the power of local campaigns for national initiatives (external link to bremenize.com). I am looking forward to connecting with the wider and vibrant campaigning and lobbying that takes place in Berlin and way beyond. With Changing Cities colleagues we recently “invaded” the National Cycling Congress 2019, held in Dresden. “Weiterdenken” indeed (think beyond). Onwards!
— Changing Cities (@CCitiesOrg) May 13, 2019