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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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While browsing the EThOS Thesis collection today, I suddenly became curious as to the history, statistically speaking, of doctorates in my field of literature: studies on Thomas Pynchon.

It emerges that, on record since 1978, there have been 23 doctorates awarded in the UK on, or in part concerning, the fiction of Thomas Pynchon.

Institutionally, there is a clear centre for UK Pynchon studies established at the University of Sussex, which has awarded two more doctorates on this topic as any other to date, the nearest rival being Nottingham. This is currently shifting, with Samuel Thomas founding a complementary (I won't say "rival"!) school in Durham where there are several PhDs in progress on this topic. Here's the chart of institutional totals:

University of Sussex 6
University of Nottingham 4
King's College London 2
University of Cambridge 2
Queen's University 1
University of Birmingham 1
University of Durham 1
University of East Anglia 1
University of Keele 1
University of Leeds 1
University of Manchester 1
University of Stirling 1
University of Wales 1

This data, when presented as cumulative totals by year, looks like this:

Cumulative Chart of UK Pynchon Doctorates

If you are interested, you can also download the OpenOffice spreadsheet I used to make this: spreadsheet of UK Pynchon Doctorates.

To perform the search for yourself, you can visit EThOS.

Finally, this is just provided for curiosity value; it doesn't have merit as a decision for where to undertake a doctorate because people move from institution to institution. It could be that a supervisor at one university moved, and that subsequent doctorates where also his or her supervisee. Simply pick the place where you will get the best support and be able to do your work with the right people.