Newsletter #2 (September 2011)

Another month has whizzed past – I shouldn’t be surprised because, for me, Septembers tend to be a blur as we rush around getting the new academic year up and running. So, it’s time to take stock via another newsletter as I sit in a conference venue in Vrsac in Serbia, not far from Romania. I’m here for the first time in Serbia, and for the first time at an ENIEDA event, and I am presenting once more with Leah Davcheva (on issues of intercultural identity arising from our narrative study of elderly Sephardic Jews in Bulgaria regarding ther memories and thinking about Ladino).

So, the passage of September is more-or-less complete, and so too is Julian’s  movement from full-time staff member to part-time postgraduate student. As Edgeblog #19 (see recently posted link to this) makes clear, we have been successful in persuading him to continue writing his blog and through it to provide a Julianesque take on the world. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing his reflections on the student experience from the other side of the fence 🙂

Complete, too, are the discussions about revised supervisory arrangements, and the adminstrative process enacting these changes is now underway. As I have been organising this aspect of our doctoral community, I have had to take stock on the size and character of this community. Noteworthy aspects include:

  • the community is 22 strong in terms of researchers being supervised by the LTE team;
  • Miriam Firth (new full-time PhD, working with Richard), and Norainna Besar (2nd year full-time PhD working with Diane) are new members we welcome this month;
  • six researchers are pushing towards submission this academic session (you know who you are!);
  • the community involves researchers on four different doctoral programmes although the PhD programme remains dominant; and
  • Charlotte Woods (who used to be a member of the forerunner to LTE), John Morley (who fairly recently gained his PhD with LTE), and Susan Brown (who needs no introduction) have now enriched the supervisory team.

September has also been a busy month in terms of LTE researchers getting ‘out and about’ presenting at conferences (see both the ‘Accumulating LTE papers’ and ‘Archived LTE paper’ discussion threads). Well done to all concerned. I especially value the reflections posted after each event – these really help to contextualise the ppt slides as well as personalise the wheol business of coference participation. Thus, we are beginning to build a broad sense of what conference participation feels like and what it might mean to you. Please keep these discusison threads updated as your paper proposals are acepted in coming months. And also, keep us updated about publishing news (e.g. I hear a rumour but have no hard details of Lou’s success in getting a proposal book chapter accepted recently – can someone give her a nudge?). Similarly, are there any upcoming events you want to share?

Last academic year, we had our ‘From here to there and back again’ paper-sharing event, and the year before we had a narrativity-reflexivity day – do we want to be working towards an event later this year? Maybe a pre-Paris run for Narrative papers? Any other suggestions?

Whilst I am still in online mode, can you all see the Doctoral Research methods materials in Bb9?

Moving on-site, the attentive of you will have noticed that the C2 corridor in Ellen Wilkinson continues to become more of an advert to our research strengths with highlights including: the new Doing Research Multilingually poster designed by Mariam and her colleague Marwa in Egypt; and the accumulating display (being attractively managed by Juup) of opening pages of articles and chapters by LTE staff and doctoral researchers. If you have a work that should be added here (e.g. the book chapter  by Paul B, Achilleas and Magdalena DS), can you send the deatils to Juup please. It would be great to make this noticeboard as fully inclusive of your work as possible.

Soon, I will be pushing once more on the individual papers and collective thinking (about subscribe storylines) for Narrative Matters 2012 in Paris at the end fo May. On this narrative theme, I note that, come February next year, Tanya and Eljee will shape and deliver a narrative research day with the new cohort of D.Counselling Pyschology doctoral students. Bravo both 🙂 Finally, bringing together narrativists from both the PhD and D.Coun Psych cohorts we will shortly hold our first Narrative Symposium here in Manchester, a low-key affairr in which we’ll begin chatting about narrative research over a glass of something.

So, this is the news in my mind these days. Anything to add?



One comment

  • Mariam Attia

    Thank you, Richard, for taking the time to write the newsletter from Serbia. I hope you are having a good time at the conference and that your presentation goes well.