Jun. 11th, 2017

ossamenta: Medieval manuscript showing a man trimming the thickness of a hide with a knife (Pergamenter)
Last week I went to the National Graduate School of History's PhD student conference. It's an international conference that changes location every year, rotating between the three participating universities: Lund (Sweden), York (UK) and Bielefeld (Germany). It would admittedly be my fifth conference/meeting this year, but since it was in Lund (no travel!) and since I have less stress now than I anticipate for next year, I figured I might as well sign up for the conference and get some networking done as well.

The conference had a huge range of topics, even if they all were history-related in one way or another: from 20th century philosophers to border stones in Ancient Rome, from provisioning of 18th century shipping to 19th and 20th century railway commemorations, from 17th century brotherhood to human rights in 20th century Thailand, etc etc. I was not the only PhD student with a medieval topic, which was nice. Swedish history departments seem to be mainly focussed on 19th-20th century research, with some early Modern stuff thrown in as well. There were at least three people whose theses I very much look forward to read, and I've already done some following on Academia.edu to keep up with what they publish.

There were also two faculty round tables: on writing entangled histories*, and on making an academic career. I took many notes on the latter. I have no idea where this PhD will take me, if I intend to stay in academia, go back to zooarchaeology, or into something completely different. An academic career is tough, but someone will make it, and if you never try, you can rest assured that it will not be you.

*: From the Bielefeld webpage: "Taking a trans-cultural perspective as the main point of departure EH centers on the interconnectedness of societies. The basic assumption is that neither nations, nor empires, nor civilizations can be the exclusive and exhaustive units and categories of historiography." So, in other words: ignoring national borders when writing history, and considering that no nation is an island (in a figuratively way, that is).

Tomorrow it's back to work after a restful weekend. I did about half the things I said I should do, so it's not too bad (especially since one of the things I said I should do was sit on the sofa and watch tv-series and not think about archaeology). However, I must remember to sort out the bills before I turn the computer off! That part must not be postponed! But it's the last week before my summer holiday, and I can't be too "oh crap it's Monday tomorrow". I just hope I can get hold of the interlibrary loans before the library closes for summer (due to cuts, they have limited services, and most of the books I need are not on the open shelves).


ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)

January 2019

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