I have had my 1st Research Committee Members’ Meeting with 3 of my supervisors; The Chairman & my main Supervisor (Prof.Dr. Abdul Muati) who is The Dean; and the other two co-supervisors are Dr. Hamisah Zahrah Hasan (The Head of Communication Department) and Dr. Moniza Waheed (The Vice Chancellor Award recipient scholar)!! Now, you understand why I was quite nervous and anxious for this 1st meeting; my committees are those of the top honchos!! Haha! But of course, I feel blessed and really excited with this journey and looking forward for another sessions to tap knowledge from their feedback, responses and critics for the betterment of my research.
The two must-read rhetoricians, Aristotle (Father of Rhetoric) and McCroskey (the modern Human Communication expertise/Rhetorician)! The slides I’ve prepared for my supervisors and my own notes I made from the McCroskey’s.
Now, we had our 1st meeting at Anjung Bestari Room (thanks to Prof. Muati’s helpful P.A., Iecha!) which originally was slotted at 3 p.m. but was adjourned to 3.30 p.m. because Prof Muati had a sudden meeting with TNC. Anyway from the discussion (mainly dwell on my Chapter 1 draft), these are the feedback which I need to take note to improve my research. First, from Dr. Hamisah :-
- Title must not comprise any indication of the methodology. Sure, I am doing Rhetorical Analysis but I do not have to state it in my research’s title; Instead I can try insert the 3 Classical Canons of Rhetoric into the title;
- No need to mention UNHCR in the title; I can mention it in the limitation scope;
- My references should be based on Ph.D holders’ writings and journals so that the dynamic of scholar-ness can be maintained;
- I may want to see from the angle of Jolie as a Non-Moslem visiting the majority Moslem refugees at Moslem countries – to be incorporated in my Background section;
- To really understand the philosophy behind my research – is it Positivism? Post-Positivism? I can refer to Miller’s!
- It is not up to the supervisors to suggest the theories I want to use to support the Neo-Aristotelian. It is my own justification – based on my Literature Review. So I should see whether the 3 proposed theories are suitable or not (John Dewey’s 5 Steps Patterns of Reflective Thinking), Monroe’s Motivated Sequence or The Stasis Theory).
From Prof. Dr. Abdul Muati :-
- I can enroll myself in Advanced Qualitative class next semester under Dr. Krauss so that I can see the difference between Qualitative methods (Content Analysis, etc) and Rhetoric. The school will contact some Rhetoric scholars to give talk and exposure to us;
- Why Neo-Aristotelian is chosen? Why I choose it over Burkean? I need to keep abreast with the current revolution with rhetorical communication researches;
- As for RQs, I may want to focus on what trigger Jolie (exigence) to make that speech and who are the targeted audience. Sure, I’ve written that in my Background but now, I could incorporate that into my RQs – and not simply focusing on Jolie herself but also the exigence and her messages recipients;
- I should try to branch out interactions with other rhetoricians abroad and try exchanging ideas with them – I was told that a senior of mine did contact Sonja Foss and she was the external examiner for that senior’s thesis! I saw Foss’ book in Kinokuniya and I want to emulate that as well!;
From Dr. Moniza :-
- I do not have to have 6 redundant RQs; I can simply merge the 3 Classical Canons of Rhetoric angles of which I will be studying in Jolie’s speeches INTO one simple but saturated statement!
Since this session is the 1st one, so I understand that my supervisors were quite lenient. But now I understand the procedures, I know that Committee Members Meeting is very important. It is the platform where I should be able to share what I’ve read or synthesize with my supervisors so that they could respond to them and perhaps contribute some added values to my opinions – and subsequently into my writings. I truly feel connected when my supervisors told me about the scenario of Communication academia scenes (certain academicians have their own thoughts and “followers” – very much like Socrates-Plato-Aristotle) and how I should be able to master the epistemology as well as the philosophy of my research. After all, this is Ph.D! At this stage, it is no more replicating or quoting someone’s writings – it is all about synthesizing your own ideas based on legit Literature Reviews and be able to contribute to the body of knowledge by filling the gap – with novelty and originality as the essence.
OK, I snapped this at the end of the session. Haha! Just for my own memory; when I read back this entry after 3-4 years (hopefully by that time, I’ve already graduated! Haha!). My Chairman Prof. Dr. Abdul Muati; Dr. Moniza & Dr. Hamisah. Thanks for all the constructive comments. Rhetoric is an old communication discipline but interesting. I need to invest time on it. Amin!
Honestly as a Ph.D candidate, I should grab this opportunity because my team comprises the 3 top Human Communication honchos – they have ideas and knowledge to be shared and as a student with an empty cup, I must be in full enthusiasm to quench this thirst of knowledge. Thanks to my supervisors and I am excited to continue this journey – which of course is no bed of roses but like what Dr. Hamisah said – “You must enjoy the Ph.D. journey. It’s not easy but you have to.” Looking forward for another fruitful meetings and hopefully by the second meeting, I would be in another phase of my research! Amin!