Rat Race: Getting Noticed

As a young academic, especially as I draw closer to the end of my PhD, I am increasingly realising the importance of getting noticed. As students enter their post-MA or post-PhD world, they inevitably need to stand out from the crowd in order to reach the next stage in their careers, whether that is a PhD scholarship, a post-doc, a museum post, or a teaching …

Rat Race: Publications, Publications, Publications

As a young academic, the importance of publications is regularly reiterated to me. The often-repeated mantra of ‘publish or perish‘ rings in the ears of many of my peers. While some PhD students plunge forward into the world of journal publishing, others flounder without guidance of what, when, and where they should publish. As the editor of a history journal directed at postgraduate students, these …

Rat Race: Preparing a Conference Presentation

It is fantastic to receive that email telling you that your abstract has been accepted for a conference. However, whether presenting with a panel of your peers or on your own, you will inevitably feel nervous about your presentation. In spite of having presented at conferences since the beginning of my MA nearly three years ago, I still worry about not only the content of …

Rat Race: Bibliographies

When I started my PhD, I was urged by my supervisor, fellow students, and peers on twitter and elsewhere, to start to record my bibliography early and thoroughly. My supervisors showed me the myriad of box files on his office bookcases, neatly categorised and ordered, and encouraged me to create a similar system, advocating the usefulness, and indeed necessity of this level of organisation. Amidst …

Rat Race: The Upgrade Process

Academia is full of daunting processes and challenges, and perhaps the most significant I have faced so far this year was the upgrade. In the UK, the majority of universities require their humanities PhD students to go through an upgrade process, either in their first or second year. The student is initially enrolled as an MPhil student, before being ‘upgraded’ to PhD status, having demonstrated …

Rat Race from the Archives: Time Saving Applications

This Rat Race post from 2011 was originally posted by Kat. Academic research can be daunting.  Libraries replace the comforts of home as we sit for hours, leafing through publications for the perfect source.  Stress becomes us as we scramble to rediscover notes taken, not to mention the constant uploading/downloading onto flash drives.  As if graduate school isn’t hard enough, we create extra work that …

Rat Race: How Useful is it to Write Book Reviews?

As PhD students and early career academics, we are repeatedly told about the importance of getting published. Traditionally, this would mean writing peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and indeed monographs. Increasingly, new avenues are opening up to promote our work, such as social media, web projects, and blogging. While these publication methods are not comparable to the traditional peer-review process, they do play an important role …

Rat Race from the Archives: Using Historic Garments for Fashion Illustration

Rat Race posts will, from now on, be bi-weekly! To start us off, let’s take a look back at this post from Michael Mamp from last January. Students in TC 278 Fashion Illustration at ISU examine and draw historic garments from the 1940′s. Students in my Fashion Illustration course at Iowa State University are getting a real treat this week as they learn concepts of technical drawing.  With the …

Rat Race: Writing your first conference paper

Later this week, my department at the University of Warwick is holding its annual postgraduate conference. Preparing for this event has inspired me to think back over my own experiences of giving conference papers as a young academic. The event at Warwick is primarily intended to give students at MA and first year PhD level an opportunity to present their research as a conference paper to an …

CFP: Pasold Conference 2013

Textiles attract through their sensory appeal – their texture and weight, smell, malleability, sound, retention of owners’ and makers’ bodily traces – factors only fully appreciable through physical engagement with them.  Yet many, especially modern, historians have relied – often of necessity – on documentary or visual sources to research textile history. The 2013 Pasold Conference, jointly organised by Goldsmiths Department of History and the …

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Available now: Punk Style by Worn Through founder, Monica Sklar, PhD. Find it at : Amazon.com, Powell's Books, or a bookseller near you.