149-Page Dissertation Has No Punctuation

That was on purpose, and it was successfully defended
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2015 4:43 PM CDT
149-Page Dissertation Has No Punctuation

Architect Patrick Stewart's doctoral dissertation has 149 pages, 52,438 words, and, except for a few question marks, no punctuation. As Canada's National Post reports, it also isn't much concerned with things like capitalization, paragraphs, or formatting of any kind, really. But maybe the most remarkable thing about his thesis, called Indigenous Architecture through Indigenous Knowledge, is that despite all that, examiners at the University of British Columbia passed it unanimously. So make that Dr. Patrick Stewart. “I like to say that it’s one long, run-on sentence, from cover to cover,” the 61-year-old tells the newspaper. "There’s nothing in the (UBC dissertation) rules about formats or punctuation."

Stewart belongs to indigenous Nisga'a First Nation, and he says his dissertation was a protest of the “the blind acceptance of English language conventions in academia.” A sample:

  • “in my defense my style of writing is not laziness or lack of knowledge of proper usage of the english language it is a form of grammatical resistance as a deconstructionist"
The dissertation caught the attention of Inside Higher Ed, while a Gawker post likens Stewart's style to that of a 19-year-old "who has only recently discovered ee cummings." (More punctuation stories.)

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