The difference a year makes: 2017 round-up

It's well been over a year since my last proper post on here, and I figured it was about time for an update on what I've been doing. I passed my viva with minor corrections in July 2016 and graduated in June 2017. The reason for the long delay between those two dates - over... Continue Reading →

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The Old Gods and the New: Religion in Westeros and Beyond

The Spectatorial

the-old-gods Illustrated by Mia Carnevale

Just as George R. R. Martin draws inspiration from real-world history and politics to add depth to his world in A Song of Ice and Fire (or, as HBO would prefer, Game of Thrones), so too does he look to real-world religions.

Religion, a central aspect of medieval culture, is also an important theme throughoutA Song of Ice and Fire: it pushes the story along, develops characters, and fleshes out an immensely complex world. Many different faiths are depicted and are all shown to have their own power, whether it be politically, in the strength of their followers, or magically.

Drawing from the books and the show, here are three of the major religions in the series, the roles they play within the story, and their real-life historical and contemporary counterparts.

1. The Drowned God 

We Do Not Sow

The Drowned God is…

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Fabricating Histories: Steampunk, Neo-Victorianism, and the Fantastic — Interesting Literature

By Claire Nally A new exhibition on Steampunk and Neo-Victorian culture opens in November – entitled Fabricating Histories, it explores the ways in which we can think about, and challenge, the legacy of history. Dr Claire Nally, co-curator of the exhibition at the Discovery Museum (Tyne & Wears Archives and Museums) in Newcastle, explains what […]... Continue Reading →

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Radical Fairy Tales and Little Monsters

I hope you've all been enjoying the succession of CFPs that have severed as substitutes for my updates of late. I'm currently in academic limbo between submission and viva. I've also increased my hours at work, and so have been rather lax on updating here. Submitting was equal parts stressful and underwhelming. Because I now... Continue Reading →

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Nine Worlds: Religion Track Talk and Schedule

I'll be speaking at Nine Worlds Geekfest this weekend on the Religion track. I'm a late addition to replace on of the talks, so I'm not showing on the schedule. I'm now on the track schedule, and will be speaking in the 5pm panel on Saturday in room 32. I'm replacing 'Religious Origins of Modern... Continue Reading →

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Review of Other Worlds

An edited version of this review appeared on ShortbreadStories.com on 8th June 2015. In May I visited the British Academy in London for two of the events in their Literature Week programme. This was the British Academy’s fourth biennial Literature Week and a range of public events around the theme of ‘Other Worlds’: exploring the... Continue Reading →

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Imposter Syndrome – the cat amongst the pengiuns

Imposter syndrome – we all have it. I’ve yet to meet anyone, academic or otherwise, who hasn’t felt like they were playing at being a grown up. This post from BloggerByResearch sums it up nicely. And I have the same insecurities about being petite and female. I’m not sure if that confirms these insecurities, or just points out that it’s merely physical.

There was a particularly poignant moment a few years ago when Husband had submitted his PhD, but hadn’t yet had his viva and was not getting anywhere with finding a job. I could only reassure him as his wife that he was a smart and capable individual, but not as a fellow academic because we are is very different fields. The best thing I could come up with was to make him watch a graduation commencement speech from the New England Institute of Arts, given by Amanda Palmer on the Fraud Police.

As I’m now pretty close to embarking on exactly the same process, I think it’s time to revisit it for myself. For some reason, knowing that someone who has a pretty successful career as a musician still fears the fraud police is comforting and motivating at the same time. You can watch it here.

As for Husband, the day he passed his viva with minor corrections was also the day he was offered the Post-doctoral Research position he’s in at the moment. I know the chance of lightning striking twice for us is slim, but at least it gives me hope.

bloggerbyresearch

This week I admitted that I worry that I am not good enough to do a PhD. I often think that I don’t have the intelligence or research skills to get anywhere with it. I feel nervous when going for supervision meetings as I don’t think I have done enough work or work of any worth. Coming out of those meetings I feel reassured and quite good about it all and this lasts for about a week until it kicks back in again.

I told a friend about this and she told me about Impostor Syndrome.

Impostor syndrome[1] is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of…

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CFP Company of Wolves: only ten days left to submit and actually walk with wolves!!

A timely reminder if, like me, you’re planning on submitting an abstract for the ‘Company of Wolves’ conference at the University of Hertfordshire and haven’t yet.

I’m going with shapeshifting, hybridity and social change. How about you?

Open Graves, Open Minds

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Following my post yesterday where I lamented the last wolf and talked about Maggie Stiefvater’s ‘Wolves of Mercy Falls’  Shiver books, Radio 4 today featured a discussion of this very topic – in a moment of surprising serendipity. Again, this burst of awareness is extremely timely for our Company of Wolves Conference.

In The Last Wolf Tom Holland meets up with one of Britain’s leading conservation writers Jim Crumley at Stirling castle to discuss the myth of the last wolf.
The symbol of Stirling is a wolf and this refers to a story where the howl of a wolf alerted local people to a Viking raid is the 9th or 10th century. But, after this there are few stories of wolves doing humans a good turn. Invariably, the wolf is ‘bad’ a danger to livestock and children. So much so that Edward 1st paid a bounty to have the wold…

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