My Thesis Finally Available on ProQuest
When I completed my Master’s thesis in the Fall of 2007, I paid extra fees to ProQuest (aka UMI) to make an electronic version of it available as a PDF file for free. I figured that with my values oriented towards openness and such, I did not want my thesis locked up in ProQuest’s gated community as so many others have been.
For those that aren’t aware of things academic, just about every Master’s thesis or Doctoral dissertation done in the United States for decades has been archived by University Microfilms (UMI) in order to provide a repository for academic work. People with University library access can often browse this archive of previous academic work, which is helpful if you are doing your own academic work. This is because most theses and dissertations, like mine, will never be published and, therefore, aren’t accessible for people doing academic work without the use of archives like that provided by UMI, which has since changed its name to “ProQuest” (along with changing owners). By their own account, they have more than 2.4 million theses and dissertations in their archives.
I found out recently from a friend of mine working with ProQuest that my thesis data was finally online. I figured it would take six months, which turns out to be about right. You can see the official page for my thesis, which provides a link to either download the entire thesis or preview 24 pages of it. The whole thesis is only 93 pages. For those unfamiliar with it, the abstract for it is:
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was a 19th century English society engaged in the creation of a systematic form of western esotericism. Its founders created a synthesis of previous strands of esotericism and spiritual thought that had existed in Europe. One aspect of this synthesis was the creation of a new vision of the soul. This soul went beyond a simple mixing of elements from earlier traditions and provided an integral portion of the spiritual vision that gave an overall purpose to the spiritual practices of the Golden Dawn. A discussion of the nature and structure of this soul, its key influences, and unique aspects gives clarity to some of the spiritual goals and vision of the Golden Dawn as a system of spiritual practice. This demonstrates a system of thought unique to the end of the nineteenth century that places it with other spiritual traditions of the world.
As some may recall, I did make print copies of is available through Lulu this last year, which allowed my mother, grandmother, and at least one of the people writing an academic recommendation for me to read it. That page also has a slightly differently formatted PDF available for download for free.
For anyone interested in the official, filed, copy of my thesis, it is there for retrieval. This seemed noteworthy enough to mention in the midst of various other things. The contents are relatively esoteric (cough) and I’m quite glad that I have received my degree and moved on to other things. This was kind of my last hurrah for western esotericism unless I write a couple of the articles that I’ve thought about over the last year.