The dawn of the cat.

Hi, I’m Brittnee, and welcome to my channel!

Sorry to disappoint but no, the SGSAH blog is not suddenly turning into a vlog. However, I hope that over the next six months we can expand the type of media on this platform to include more photos, videos, and even podcasts. I have met a number of PhD candidates over the past year who produce and disseminate their research in many different mediums besides the written word, so I hope this blog can be a reflection of that during my time as the resident blogger.

This blog has been something I came back to each week over the first year of my PhD: first when Jo ran it and then when David took over. Each blogger has left their imprint on the blog and I’ve enjoyed getting to see its evolution. Stepping into their shoes is a daunting task, but I cannot wait to get things up and running and get to know more about you all in the PhD community.

I moved to Scotland from the United States in 2015 for my MLitt in Celtic Studies at the University of Glasgow. Prior to that I lived in New Zealand on a working holiday visa, after having finished up my BSc in Anthropology at the College of Charleston. While doing my MLitt I discovered my love of Onomastics, or name studies, and in particular place-name studies. My fascination with the ties I saw between Scotland and New Zealand during my time in both countries led to my current PhD on Pākehā, or European-origin, place-names in the Otago region of New Zealand.

I am now in the second year of my PhD after quite an eventful start. My rock of a human proposed to me right before the start of my PhD, so this year has been filled with balancing wedding/life/work/PhD duties, all of which I will discuss in the blog later on. I am now three weeks away from walking down the aisle with my future husband and I cannot wait to be able to set down the wedding planner and enjoy married life.

To address the title and debatably something even more important than me getting engaged and planning a wedding happened this year… I got a cat. Say hello to the newest (CAT!!) SGSAH blog pet- Raglan! You will be hearing a lot more on him in the coming months.

My first year has held its share of challenges as well, having undergone two surgeries these past six months alone- the most recent having been this past week. My physical, and mental health, have definitely been put to the test over this year, but the blogs and twitter feeds in support of others in the PhD community going through these challenges have been crucial in keeping me moving forward. This blog is a place to showcase and celebrate the research being undertaken by the PhD community, however, it is also a place to reflect on and overcome the challenges we face during the build up to thesis submission. Be it challenges with health-related setbacks, writers block, or impostor syndrome, there is someone out there who could benefit from your voice, so feel free to send us a guest blog submission.

While I may run the blog over the next six months, this blog is for everyone. If you have some research you are working on you are excited to share, please let us know! If you have some tips and tricks you’ve picked up you could pass along, please do! If you have a topic you are thinking of writing a blog on but are having trouble knowing where to start, please do not be afraid to reach out. My inbox is always open!

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 Brittnee via email at or connect with the blog on Twitter

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