On 7th July I took part in the final of the Humanities Research Centre Doctoral Fellowship competition and came first place.
Having been selected by each of the departments which make up the HRC, we were each tasked with presenting about our research for just 10 minutes to a non-specialist audience. In her introduction, Jane Grenville described our task as akin to communicating our research to a room full of politicians. Every single paper in the session did this and I was hugely impressed both by everyone’s presentation skills and the way detailed and specific research was made engaging and relevant.
The first two papers by Bogdan Cornea and Helen Bradley brought out common themes to do with visual imagery. The ideas behind these were a fascinating insight into the study of visual art, yet provided food for thought for my own work. The visual theme was neatly reprised at the end by Emily Torricelli’s talk on Scottish film and Justin Sturgeon’s amazingly illustrated talk on 15th-century tournaments. Justin’s work really appealed to me and the judges commented ‘we can see the TV series already’ – something I certainly agreed with.
Elaine Lopez’s discussed three words: ‘a’, ‘an’ and ‘the’. This was way more than the sum of its parts (that would be ‘Anthea’, I guess…) as she highlighted some genuinely fascinating issues related to learning a second language. Again, this paper provided something I could latch on to with my own teaching experience. She also used an approach based on Pecha Kucha for her presentation (20 seconds per slide, with each slide moving on without clicking) – I’d like to try this at some point.
Imke van Heerden provided a real insight into contemporary South African literature which gave depth but also highlighted her entire PhD project. The use of specific case-study novels around which each chapter is based seemed a good approach – it’s what I’m doing for my PhD, so it was heartening to see someone else doing it too!
David Ellis’s paper created some interesting discussion as he explored the idea of community action, with particular reference to case studies of urban regeneration in Leeds. What was particularly good here was the use of imagery to highlight the changes being discussed.
It was great to be a part of the day, and I look forward to being a part of the HRC community as a Doctoral Fellow, and having seen the other seven Fellows present, I know I’m in good company. And here we all are…
Bogdan Cornea (History of Art)
‘Why tear me from myself?’ The depiction of flaying in the art of Jusepe de Ribera
Helen Bradley (Philosophy)
Pictorial representation and the significance of style
Elaine Lopez (Language and Linguistic Science)
The role of explicit instruction on article acquisition in L2 English
Martin Scheuregger (Music)
The conception of time and form: four ideas from composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries
Imke van Heerden (English)
Anatomy of Difference: The body in contemporary South African literature
David Ellis (History)
Pavement Politics: Community action in urban Britain, 1967-1987
Justin Sturgeon (Centre for Medieval Studies)
Text and image in Rene d’Anjou’s Livre de tournois, 1460: Imagining chivalry and court culture in the 15th century
Emily Torricelli (Theatre, Film and Television)
Projecting the Nation: Constructions of Scotland in film since 1979
Photos by Ian Martindale Photography.