It’s not just art historians who look at pictures

I feel very lucky to have completed my doctorate in History of Art because if I get bogged down with writing I can always look at pictures! In this post I would like to encourage scholars working in other disciplines to also consider the visual as a valuable historical source. But how do you start when looking at paintings? Here I offer a few suggestions from my practice…

Letting Go

The common jokes about academia tend to think of graduate experience as a choice away from life, or something that locks us in libraries and labs, but besides that it is a very rich, complex and intense life. In this week’s PhD Life post, read Aya Nassar’s insights on ‘letting go’…

Notes to my younger self

As PhD students, we tend to live day-to-day while keeping in mind the potential of a future in academia. We leave little room to think about how we might frame today’s experiences when they become our past. Dr. David Whillock, who finished his doctoral research in 1986, reflects on the lessons he has learned after…

Should you join a dissertation support group?

In the seemingly endless struggles with your dissertation, you may think about joining a dissertation support group. Experts in dissertation shepherding often advocate a group. It be excellent for “solace, support and motivation” (Axelrod & Windell, 2012, p. 101) and sharing of information and writing techniques (Grant & Tomal, 2013; Joyner, Rouse, & Glatthorn, 2012;…

When plans fall through…

It is a well-known fact that your finished PhD thesis often shares little resemblance with your original PhD proposal. Despite this, it is easy to feel worried every time your research does not go quite to plan. Joelin shares some of the things she learned about the unpredictability of the research process…. 1. It will take much…