Exciting News!

This week has been an important one!

Firstly, it was Back To School time for my hooligans cherubs. My eldest is going in to year 3, and has been waiting for this day since the end of July. She loves school; the structure, the learning, the friends. My youngest is heading into year 1, and was a little more reluctant this morning. However, as soon as he laid eyes on his teachers waiting at the gate, he shot in to give them a hug. So now that school has begun, my thesis can come out of the shadows…

But first, some other new roles that compliment (rather than hinder, I hope) my PhD work. I presented my research on trade unionism and the armed forces in WW1 at the SHS Lincoln conference this year, and was really impressed by the work of the Society. I applied to be the editor of their Research Exchange blog, as I felt that this method of engaging people with research outside of the Academic Journal bubble was a really worthwhile one. Luckily, I was accepted to join a team of editors, which will be a great way to ensure that the workload is spread out between us. It’s always difficult to strike a balance between taking on extra unpaid work alongside research that will support job applications in the long run, and having enough time to actually do any research in the first place, so being part of a team of 3 is giving me the best of both worlds.

The Research Exchange will now be edited my myself and two other academics, and divided into three categories: pre-modern, modern and new books. Lena Liapi works on early modern criminals, and will be the New Books Specialist. She will be looking for new books being published in a variety of fields that fall under the umbrella of social and cultural history, and inviting these authors to write about their forthcoming publications. Nailya Shamgunova, who works on the history of sexuality in the Ottoman Empire, will be the Pre-Modern Specialist; she will be looking for new articles that have a pre-1900 focus. That leaves me: I’m to be the Modern Specialist, looking for new articles on…you guessed it, modern history (post 1900).

I’m really excited about this, as it is going to be an opportunity to read about research happening across the wide open social history plain. We are not just looking for articles published in CaSH either, so if you’re reading this and thinking about submitting a short (c1,000, but it’s flexible) blog post about your research, PLEASE DO! Particularly if you are a postgraduate or independent researcher, because I’d love to be able to broaden the content and the outreach that the SHS has in terms of new research. We are just getting a feel for things at the moment, with a lot of help setting up from Henry Irving, but I’m sure we will be like a well-oiled machine by Christmas!

Did I mention that it’s tricky balancing different roles alongside PhD research? Which brings me to my next piece of news…

I’ll be joining the teaching team at the University of Wolverhampton this coming semester as a Visiting Lecturer. This is one of the parts of doctoral research I have been most looking forward to, as once upon a time I taught English as a foreign language, and always loved the job. All the timetabling logistics still need to be sorted out (there’s a bit of New Timetabling System Drama happening), but it’s looking likely that I will be leading some seminars that are focused on academic skills and research skills. One of the best bits is that I will be working with my former Personal Tutor and Department Wonder Woman Dr Karin Dannehl.

2019 is shaping up to be a busy but productive year! No rest for the wicked, eh?

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