Monthly round-up: November 2017

We regularly share news, articles and opportunities for Arts & Humanities PhD students on the SGSAH Blog Twitter account. A wonderful place to connect with other researchers across Scotland: follow us to join the conversation!

This month on the SGSAH Blog

We had some wonderful guest posts this November! We began with this illuminating article by Rebecca Mason about her internship with the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service. Offering an opportunity to use her PhD skills outside of academia, Rebecca reflected on her experience of an internship mid-PhD, concluding that it presented her with opportunities to network, use her research knowledge and gain a new perspective on her PhD.

Next up was Gemma Elliot who took us behind the scenes of SGSAH’s Scottish Universities Research Collections Associate Scheme. Gemma was inspired to start the Suffragette Cities blog to showcase some of the incredible collections of material related to the campaign for women’s suffrage, which is ‘languishing undiscovered in archives that are fairly inaccessible to those outside of academia and barely promoted even within universities’. A fascinating and accessible read which will certainly have you wanting to know more about the history of this important political movement in Scotland.


In November Shelly Coyne took us behind the scenes with choirs and community singing groups set up for singers who have experienced homelessness

We turned to languages later in the month, with not one but two articles about German! First up was Alasdair Grant who described his experience so far as a Visiting Doctoral Researcher (VDR) at Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz. Seeking ‘the challenge of a new culture and language’, Alasdair has embraced the opportunities offered by the VDR scheme and recommends it highly. Moving across the country to Berlin, Alexandra Chiriac offered readers a whistle-stop tour of the city’s museums, complete with pictures. Alexandra used SGSAH’s Student Development Fund to spend a month in Berlin for an intensive language course, and concludes that ‘Berlin’s many charms made verb conjugations and adjective declinations suddenly turn into opportunities rather than challenges’.

Earlier this week we heard from Shelly Coyne whose research focuses on choirs and community singing groups set up for singers who have experienced homelessness. Making the most of SGSAH’s Student Development Fund, Shelly is currently on placement with With One Voice conducting a national review of arts and homelessness across Scotland. Her blog post outlines both the challenges and opportunities of undertaking the placement, and reaches the same conclusions as Rebecca’s article: internships and placements allow you to step back from your PhD project and gain new perspectives on your research.


Current blogger Jo Rodgers spoke to new PhD students at the SGSAH Welcome Event in November

Current SGSAH Blogger Jo Rodgers wrote about her experience in the role, describing the opportunities she’s had to connect with other researchers and write regularly for a diverse audience. She concluded by reflecting on blogging as a tool of the research ‘process’. Later in the month, Jo took inspiration from the media coverage of political change in Zimbabwe and shared some of her personal stories of working in the country in 2015. A 3 month working visit to Zimbabwe was intended to be a break from academia after completing a Masters degree, but in this article Jo reflects on the many ways the experience prepared her for PhD study.

Calls for papers/submissions

  • The Association of Critical Heritage Studies Conference 2018 has extended its call for papers until 31st December 2017. The conference includes a session co-chaired by resident SGSAH Blogger Jo Rodgers (Find this call for papers under ‘Session 055: Bounded and Loose: Encountering and Transgressing the Conceptual Borders between Planned and Unplanned Spaces of Heritage’)
  • These opportunities are promoted by SGSAH and open to all doctoral researchers within Arts & Humanities
  • SGSAH are looking for guest blog articles: find guidelines for submission and contact details here
  • The History Girls Scotland blog is also looking for guest blog articles! If you’d like to submit a post to this wonderful blog, you can find details here
  • The Postmodern Occult at the University of Edinburgh invites proposals for their Witchcraft Symposium, to be held during the Festival of Creative Learning 2018 (19-23 February 2018): details here
  • The Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (MoDA) has a Call for Papers: MoDA Material Culture Research Forum 2018 – CFP deadline 11th December 2017. Any period, any discipline! More details here
  • EHS Conference 2018-19: The Church and the Law, 24-26 July 2018, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Deadline 31st March: details here
  • Pictures of War: The Still Image in Conflict since 1945 – Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester UK, 24th & 25th May 2018. Deadline 12th January 2018: details here
  • Transitions: Bridging the Victorian-Modernist Divide, the University of Birmingham, 9th-10th April 2018. Deadline 18th December 2017: details here
Riley snow.jpg

It wouldn’t be a monthly round-up without a picture of Riley the current SGSAH PhD Dog! It’s been a snowy week in the Highlands!


My top pick for this month is a post on the incredible Women are Boring blog. After the tragic death of the blog’s co-founder Grace McDermott earlier this year, the blog has been on hiatus. It’s wonderful to see the return of this blog with this piece on selfie culture

Karen & Rachael at History Girls Scotland posted a wonderful collection of articles during November. Particularly interesting was this write-up of their workshop in Paisley ‘Celebrating Scottish Women’. It sounds like an inspiring event and they were even featured on Good Morning Scotland! Another fascinating insight into the past was provided in this article and video on Dr Elsie Inglis. After being told by the British War Office to ‘go home and sit still’ Dr Inglis set up seventeen Scottish Women’s Hospitals across France, Corsica, Greece, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia to treat soldiers during the First World War. An astonishing achievement which deserves to be celebrated during the centenary of her death.

The Pubs & Publications team offered a great range of posts as ever this month. This post on living with an invisible illness whilst doing a PhD is a significant contribution to a topic which is arguably under-represented in public discussions about academia. Lisa Pearl McIntosh writes about her personal methods of coping with invisible illnesses, and encourages others to seek support from their institutions who in her experience have been deeply supportive. This article on Brexit Stress by Andreea Ros offers a valuable insight into what it’s like to be a European citizen studying in the UK during the Brexit process. It’s an engaging article which brings to the fore the human experience behind the headlines, and an important read.

There were plenty of useful posts on the FindaPhD blog this month. This article about the first month of a PhD sheds some light on what the PhD experience can be like during the first months – great for anyone planning on applying for a PhD or looking for tips on how to manage their time in the early stages,.

That’s it for the monthly round-up! Don’t forget we are always seeking new guest bloggers – if you have an idea for a blog post or would like to informally discuss writing for the SGSAH blog please get in touch with Joanna via email at, or find SGSAH Blog on Twitter.

For regular news, updates and opportunities follow SGSAH on both Twitter and Facebook.

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