triskellian: (reading)
[personal profile] triskellian
This evening, I've been to the first event of my life as a doctoral student: the school of Arts and Humanities' first session of "research training". It was kind of strange and unstructured, consisting mostly of the professor who was leading it giving us random pieces of advice as they struck her. There was wine, and nibbles, but no chance to mingle or chat with the seven other students, although each of us got to talk to one other, in a "give the five-minute version of your research" exercise. The one I got allocated seems nice, but I've no idea if any of these people might end up being my friends. And I've been thinking wistfully of first meeting my Women's Studies cohort, a year ago, and of the friends they have become since. I know that, being doctoral students in varying different fields (no others in mine, publishing), our cohort experience will be different, and this makes me a bit sad. I miss my classmates from my masters, all but one of whom have now departed to search for jobs and homes and lives elsewhere, although today I've been talking to the one who remains, and am seeing hir later in the week.

Incidentally, I still don't officially have an offer of a place, although I've been assured today that the relevant letter is just awaiting signature before they send it to me. But at some point in the next week or two, I'll have to work out how I'm going to start doing this.

What I'll actually be doing is looking at twentieth-century girls' magazines as a site of struggle over the nature of girlhood, and the way that both readers and producers of the magazines are constantly negotiating what it means to be a girl, and what it will mean for those girls to become women.

It's a direct continuation of what I did for my masters dissertation (which was the same stuff for the end of the nineteenth century), and which I really enjoyed and wanted more time on. Unfortunately, access to twentieth-century materials is much harder than nineteenth, because most of it's still in copyright and hasn't been digitised yet, which has lead to me describing the whole project as "spending the next five years* sitting in the Bod reading Just Seventeen" :-)

*Five years because I'm doing it part time, sticking with the day job two days a week. This will be the first time in my life as a mature student that both the things I'm doing are part time, and I'm very excited about it. In theory, this means I will be able to maintain an actual life as well as the job and the research. Yes, I know this is ridiculously optimistic, but please don't disillusion me yet.
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