If All Else Fails... SURVIVAL: Protect and Survive and the End of the World in Thatcherite Britain

Date of Dissertation Defence: July 2, 2020

It seems we all must adapt to the unique nature of 2020, and my PhD defence was no exception.

For years I had been mentally preparing for my defence, picturing a conference room with my supervisors and readers assembled to challenge my findings. Instead, we gathered online to discuss my dissertation, and though it lacked the traditional handshakes at the end, it was a tremendously rewarding experience to elaborate on my years of research with peers and experts. Though the celebration is delayed until the global situation stabilizes, it was kind of nice to be able to turn off my webcam, flop onto my comfy couch and think "you've finally done it". Plus, there was champagne and cinnamon buns in the fridge ready to go!

A huge thanks goes out to my mentor and supervisor Dr. Dan Gorman who guided my research, prepared me for defence, and always made time to help me along the way. Another thanks must go out to Dr. Matthew Grant of the University of Essex for serving as external reader and for his advice. Dr. Grant's work was the foundation of my own research and it meant a great deal to me to have his approval. Hopefully I may thank him in person one day.

Last, but not least, I must thank the other great professors of the University of Waterloo who served on my defence committee. My insightful and supportive co-supervisors, Dr. Andrew Hunt and Dr. John Sbardellati, and my internal reader, Dr. Veronica Kitchen. I thank you.

What an amazing journey it has been. From exploring forbidding bunkers in remote fields, collecting over 30,000 photos of archive documents, making new friends and visiting new places, to holding a copy of my dissertation in my hands. For all those who made it possible, you have my eternal thanks and promise that I am just getting started. Now I have to actually publish the thing...

- Joseph Andrew Buscemi, PhD (I can finally add that now!)