punk phd / feminism / motherhood

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

PhD Musings

6-7 months since I last updated this blog and once again vowing to try and be more diligent (ah, the rarely sustained motivation caused by a new year...) I've not been doing a very good job at writing blog posts to act as a PhD diary, well, to be fair I've not done a very good job at writing blog posts full stop. So, some reflections on this academic year so far. 1) Interviews: I have begun collecting data for my PhD through qualitative semi-structured interviewing. To date I've completed three interviews with two more lined up over the next 4-6 weeks. The interviews so far have been a mix of Skype and face-to-face depending on geographical locations of the participants. The Skype ones were not without issues. Technical issues unsuprisingly which resulted in some poor quality recordings and some very tricky (not to mention time consuming) transcribing. The interview itself didn't seem to be greatly impacted by these technical issues however and I felt pretty good about them. I'm going to also be doing some telephone interviews where travel is unfeasible and am reading some secondary literature at the moment regarding modes of interviewing. It would appear there is an absence of literature on telephone interviewing and at times a tendency for it to be presented as inferior to face-to-face. It's interesting because so far my experiences of interviewing over Skype, for example, (which effectively became a telephone interview because of the technical issues) have not seemed secondary to the interview(s) face-to-face. So further reflectioon on this later down the line might be beneficial. 2) Postgraduate Event: As part of the Punk Scholar's Network, I organised with a fellow member a one-day symposium for postgrads in punk. Further details can be seen here. It was quite a full-on day but really enjoyable and good to hear from such a variety of speakers. From this, we've submitted a book proposal to Cambridge Scholars. The collection will be based on papers presented at the event and highlight the bredth and importance of postgraduate work on punk. 3) Publication: The publication for which I wrote a chapter was published so that was really exciting to see. In addition to that I had some poems/collages featured in the independently published Tales from the Punkside - quite different to my usual academic writing! I've submitted a paper to a journal which talks about my ongoing battle with digital ethnography and hopefuly will hear news regarding that soon. I'm determined to make my publication history as strong as possible for life after the PhD(!) 4) Teaching: last semester at uni I got to do some seminar teaching for a sociological theory module. Despite my years of teaching, this was my first HE teaching experience and something I'd been wanting to do for a while as I'm increasingly aware that experience will be needed for HE positions after my PhD. Enjoyed it, though a bit daunting, and eager to get some more experience. It's going to be interesting over the next year or so with my PhD. In the last 6 months we found out we were going to be parents and so with a due date in May I'm aware that there might be time out needed from studies. So, interesting times ahead indeed and possible blog updates of PhD parenting!

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