This week, I attended a lunchtime ‘Gender and Space’ roundtable held by my department. It was well-attended and there were lots of questions and discussion, which was great - we didn’t actually think it would fill the two-hour slot the room was booked for, but it did! There were three main speakers, including a visitor to the department I hadn’t met before, and myself and my fellow PhD student Nicolle Watkins (who chaired) also said a few words.
On Wednesday, I went on a course about psychoanalytic methodologies at my university, broadly aimed at people in the humanities and social sciences who might want to use such methodologies, but don’t know a huge amount about them. I decided to go in case I could pick up anything that would add ‘sparkle’ to my thesis - obviously as I’m in third year, it’s a bit late to give them a huge place in it. Plus, if I stay in academia (and that’s currently a very big IF), I might be able to use them in future projects.
Firstly, the hopeful news (I hesistate to say ‘good’ when I’ve still got so far to go): with the exception of the conclusion, which I plan to write right at the very end, all the chapters of my thesis (and a couple more besides) are drafted! I’ve written everything I want to say - now I need to slim it down, totally rewrite some chapters and edit/rearrange som others. I just did my first ever word count of the whole lot, and I have 110,446 words - so that’s a whopping 30,446 to lose. So, what’s my plan from here on in?
Last weekend, a friend and I visited the abovementioned exhibition, which showcases for the first time a curated collection of items from the Metropolitan Police Museum, also known as the Black Museum. Until now, these have only been available to view to a limited number of people, and the popularity of the exhibition demonstrates how many people have been intrigued and fascinated by this hidden collection.
Seeing as it’s my birthday, I thought I’d do a blog post with the theme of only children’s birthday parties. What I’m hoping to show is that only children did have friends, and that there was a big variation in how they celebrated their birthdays, and the reasons for this variation were not that they were only children.
I took a week off from blogging (and pretty much everything else) last week because my partner and I took a holiday in York. I definitely needed some work-free time between the busy-ness of the conference and the onslaught of a new term (not that I’m complaining about the latter, mind…). We did all the tourist-y things, including visiting a few museums - well, you can’t _not _visit museums on a visit to York! As ever, it was the human stories that interested me most in the museums.
So, we survived the conference. Apparently we made it look quite easy, but inside we were like STRESS STRESS STRESS STRESS STRESS. Anyway, now it’s blog day again, and it’s time for me to write my report. I’ve decided that rather than adopt a panel-by-panel approach, I’m going to draw out the key themes that really grabbed me during the conference.
Today and tomorrow mark the culmination of nine months of hard work by me and my PhD buddy Nicolle. No,we’re not having a baby - we’re having a conference, which I’m pretty sure is just as joyful and stressful. It’s called ‘Myth and Popular Memory’ (#mythpop if you’re on Twitter), and hopefully it will be wonderful (if I post about some other subject next week, you’ll know I’m too traumatised to talk about it). There have been some things I’ve liked about organising a conference, and some things I’ve not enjoyed so much.