This Academic Life: May 2015

I was in Martinique all of April, so haven’t updated “this academic life” entries for two months. Time to rectify that!

The past two months have been exceptionally rewarding. It is hard to believe that my fieldwork for the 2015 Zobel centenary is over, as I had been planning it for two years. That’s a lot of emails between the UK and Martinique!  Events ran really well and talking about my work on Zobel with people from his native region was a fantastic experience which has helped me to gain new perspectives about my research project. These kinds of events are increasingly important for researchers based in the UK, as new government guidelines are encouraging us to incorporate “impact” into our research projects – i.e. working with other people outside academia. It was all the more challenging to run these events in French, and in the Caribbean to boot, but I really enjoyed both the intellectual and linguistic activities. Speaking on French TV was a daunting first media experience, although it all went well. I think that I will try to attend one of the University’s media training courses in future, for more tips and advice.

In other news, the Universities of Birmingham and Nottingham are strategic partners, and I co-supervise a PhD student with a colleague at Nottingham through the Midlands Three Cities AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership. Strengthening the ties between our institutions, I gave a seminar paper at Nottingham in early May on my research on Zobel, and it was excellent to meet more colleagues over at Nottingham, and to gather feedback on my work to date.

I’m also working hard on my partnership activities with the British Library in London. I’ll be giving a talk on Zobel in July, and will post more about that nearer the time.