Almost There: Final ’23 Things’ Blogpost

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Photo Credit: jay8085: CC BY 2.0

Well here we are at the the final ‘Thing’ of the ’23 Things’ course. First of all, I would like to thank the Research Development team for putting this course together and for all the useful information that they have provided.

The main thing that I will take away from this experience is this blog. I am going to continue to blog and keep this site updated with posts related to academia and my research interests (queer theory, medieval women, fairies, monsters, time, space etc.). As I mentioned in my last post, I have been jotting down ideas for future posts (female authorship, parallels with now, queer identities in medieval romance and many more) and I hope to start this once I have submitted my PhD. I also want to develop this blog so that it becomes a the key source of information about my academic career thus far and my future research projects.

I also vow to get better acquainted with reference management software and will ensure that I utilise them in future projects.

Finally, I am looking forward to incorporating more digital technologies into my teaching and have been particularly inspired by Slideshare and the other tools that we looked at in Weeks 6 and 7.

It may have been difficult to blog each week, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I am looking forward to the direction that this site will take and being able to share more of my research with you all.

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A Whole Bunch of ‘Things’

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British Library MS Burney 275 f. 293.  

Apologies for the delay in posting; as my submission date looms ever closer I have found less and less time to devote to this blog and have instead contented myself by jotting down ideas for future posts.

The next group of ‘Things’ (17, 18, 19, and 20) are particularly intriguing as they focus on ways to collaborate and digitally share materials.

It is so easy to isolate yourself when you are in the midst of researching or writing. Being able to spend more time engaging with other people about your research or collaborating is therefore something that I find attractive.

I was unaware that the University of Surrey subscribed to adobeconnect. It would have been an especially useful tool on the few occasions where I have had to miss research seminars or PGR workshops. I can also see that it would be a useful tool when collaborating on a project; I am quite adept at using Google Drive, Dropbox, and Doodle polls but the ability to easily brainstorm or share materials in this way would be a great addition to my digital arsenal.

Interestingly I tend to use Google Drive primarily in teaching but am mainly collaborating on projects via Dropbox. I am not sure why I have made this distinction but it could potentially be an assumption (perhaps incorrect) that students easily navigate google already.

Moving forward I hope to further explore the ‘Things’ this course has introduced me to and incorporate more digital tools into both my teaching and research projects. As part of this development, I also want to continue to build this blog and make it a key feature of my professional profile. I hope to include more information about myself such as my CV and research projects.

As I come towards the end of my PhD, I am excited about my future in academia and hope that this blog will continue to grow as I embark on that journey.

Open Access and Impact

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British Library Additional 10293 f.261r: Detailing a novice having her hair cut by the abbess of the White Nuns.

This weeks ‘Things’ cover research impact and open access and I have chosen to focus particularly on open access in this blog post as, although I still consider myself to be a novice when it comes to academic publishing, I strongly feel that open access is an extremely important development in the world of research. Indeed, my first article ‘Fairies, Monsters and the Queer Otherworld: Otherness in Sir Orfeo’, part of MEMSA’s first conference journal, has been made freely available via academia.edu. My experience writing the article, and working with the editors Natalie Goodison and Alexander J. Wilson, was a great first foray into publishing and I am pleased that anyone interested in queer theory, otherness, or Sir Orfeo can easily access this piece of work.

In my field of medieval studies, open access has been a widely discussed issue for some time and there have been many pioneering developments in recent years:

Punctum Books – co-founded by Professor Eileen Joy and Professor Nicola Masciandaro in 2011, punctum books is an open-access and print-on-demand independent publisher that encourages innovative projects that do not necessarily conform to scholarly conventions.

The Open Access Companion to the Canterbury Tales – an exciting ongoing project edited by Professor Candace Barrington, Professor Brantley Bryant, Dr Richard H. Godden, Professor Daniel T. Kline, and Professor Myra Seaman that encourages interaction and participation from the readers. It also provides essays from an international team of scholars on the content and context of the Tales. 

Hortulus – An open access online graduate journal of medieval studies. As it is a multidisciplinary journal, it covers a vast array of interesting research from around the world.

Although I have listed just a few of many examples, they highlight the ways in which open access has become increasingly utilised in medieval studies in innovative and exciting ways. I hope that in my future endeavours I can take a more active role in these changing attitudes to publishing academic research alongside more traditional avenues of scholarly discourse and dissemination.