I am looking forward to speaking at the Researching our Futures, a student-led careers conference taking place at Newcastle University on 16th March 2017. The topic of my talk is “Digitising our futures: early career professionalization in the digital sphere“, and I’ll be talking about using online and social media as an early career researcher in relation to issues of professionalization, identity and career development.
In honour of Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary later this month (21st April), the Brussels Brontë group are running a series of blog posts throughout April. I have contributed a piece on “Finding Brontë in Brussels – reflections on literary tourism” in which I reflect on the trip I made two years ago as I started to research “Brontë’s Brussels” (full photo-essay here). This research will be published later this year in a collection Charlotte Brontė: Legacies and Afterlives (ed. by Amber Regis and Deborah Wynne, Manchester University Press 2016) and in the blog post I look at how the trip helped me to conceptualise some of the ideas in that piece.
I’m also presenting this work twice next month, first at Charlotte Brontë: A Bicentennial Celebration of her Life and Works (13-14 May 2016, Chawton House) and then at a symposium on Literary Yorkshires (more details to follow).
Following the publication of my monograph a few months ago, I recently spoke to Tee at Stylish Academic about the process of writing and getting published as an early career researcher. We talked about my journey from PhD thesis through to publication, and some of the things I learnt along the way, including approaching a publisher, rewriting the thesis into book form, and balancing the book with the rest of your career development.
Stylish Academic has some excellent features for early career academics, so do take a look at the rest of the blog if you’re not already following.
Following today’s Google+ hangout on Research Impact and Public Engagement for Career Success (which you can watch again here), I’ve pulled together a few links and tips on the questions I discussed.
Impact and Early Career Researchers – my PhD Life guide on Impact and ECRs in the context of REF (2014, but with some ongoing applicability as we head towards the next REF; confused about the REF? My ECR guide is here). This write-up of a talk at Warwick is also highly illustrative on some of the issues around PE/impact. More recently, I spoke about the changing responses of ECRs towards impact in my talk about the REF.
Impact in the humanities – I highlighted the Celebrating Dickens project as a good example of an impact project that is interdisciplinary, uses multiple digital channels, and drew on a range of expert advice. ECRs might find this case study of an ECR working in an impact role helpful. “Apps and maps” is also a subsection of some of my work on Dickens and the bicentenary, and in this post I pulled together a range of digital Dickens projects.
Getting started as an ECR – a post I wrote previously about tips for ECRs getting started on public engagement.
Digital media – an interview I did last year on the changing culture of digital academia, including some reflections on the relationship between public engagement and digital media.
I will also be blogging more about ECR interviews, public engagement in the humanities, and any other issues that come up via the twitter feed.
I’m on the panel for the next jobs.ac.uk Google+ hangout on “Research Impact and Public Engagement for Career Success” taking place on 22nd July at 1-2pm. I’ll be focusing on early career researcher issues and how you can develop an impact/PE profile from an early stage in your career. Full details about the event, its focus, and panellists are available on the link, where you can also sign up free to watch the event, and you can submit questions in advance and on the day.
I spoke to Tomi Oladepo, who runs the brilliant Digital Media Culture blog, about what digital media means to me as an academic. We talked particularly about the changing culture of academic digital media usage over the past few years, the context of public engagement, and where digital media seems to be going. It was a very thought-provoking discussion for me – thanks to Tomi for featuring me on the blog.
This week I’ve been finishing an essay on Dickens 2012 and ‘locating the Victorians in the bicentenary year’; although I’ve written and spoken about this work quite a few times now (including an essay in this forthcoming book), this piece has given me the opportunity to focus on more detailed analysis of content included in Dickens apps, maps, podcasts and films. It’s led me to discover some great resources on the theme of Dickens and London, so I thought I’d collect these together into a blog post with a brief review of each.
Apps and audio podcasts
- The Guardian audio walks; this five-part series of walks around Dickens’s London, Rochester and Portsmouth by The Guardian are excellent: informative, engaging, and lively discussion, interspersed with readings from the text. In 2012 I tried out two of the walks – The Heart of the City and David Copperfield – and wrote about them for JVC Online.
- Dickens in Southwark; I haven’t had the chance to do these walks myself, but I’ve been greatly impressed just using the app and listening to the audio of this walk. The core content is lively and informative, while there is extra audio on the map that was developed from a creative project involving Southwark residents. The app is easily navigable, has a well-functioning map, and with a total of 25 ‘stops’ there is lots of content to explore.
- Dickens Trail, Charles Dickens Museum; this app uses Dickens’s characters as a guide to his London locations, with four themed walks following Magwitch, Lady Dedlock, the Artful Dodger, and Samuel Pickwick. The real shame of this app is that there is no audio content, only text on a map, which makes for a much less engaging experience.
- Dickens Dark London; this was one of the first Dickens apps that I came across and reviewed, a little harshly perhaps. The idea of the content is nice, with illustrations accompanying a reading of extracts from Dickens’s works, themed around his night walks, but it’s a shame there is so little free content – only one serial installment is provided and the rest are priced at £1.49 each. The best thing about this app is its map feature, which combines an 1862 map with a map of contemporary London, and allows you to scroll between each or view a composite image of the two – great for easily viewing structural changes to the city.
- Celebrating Dickens; the University of Warwick’s Dickens offering includes a wealth of material from researchers and students at the University of Warwick on many aspects of Dickens’s life and writing, and the app features a navigable map of Dickens locations not just in London but also in East Anglia, Kent and the Midlands. Highly recommended, of course!
- “The Houseless Shadow“; directed by William Raban, this is a short version of the full film installation that was commissioned by the Museum of London for their Dickens and London exhibition. The piece uses a reading from Dickens’s essay “The Night Walks” with images of the contemporary city. Raban discusses the aims behind the piece in this conversation recorded at the BFI.
- The Uncommercial Traveller; this project by the British Council created a series of theatrical audio guides to Penang, Melbourne, Singapore and Karachi. The audio aims at creating a really evocative experience of each city and makes for interesting listening even if you aren’t in the relevant city.
- Sketches by Boz: Sketching the City; another British Council project that developed written and artistic creative responses to cities around the world through a Dickensian lens
- Dickens and London film; the British Council produced a collection of teaching resources on Dickens 2012 and I particularly enjoyed this short piece on Dickens and London