[NEWS] Remembering Lord Asa Briggs 1921-2016

On a sunny day in June 2004, I was sat chewing my fingers in the grounds of what was then University College Winchester, awaiting the arrival of Lord Asa Briggs, the external examiner for my PhD thesis entitled ‘The Planning, Design and Reception of British Home Front Propaganda Posters of the Second World War’ (available on Ethos). He’d got stuck in traffic around Thruxton, but on arriving an hour late, indicated we should get on with Continue Reading →

Checking out @PhD2Published for #KeepCalmandGetPublished

As I’ve been working on my book proposal (16 pages so far), 10 years after my PhD was written (and probably of even more relevance now than when I wrote it, though that’s taken quite a lot of time to research), thanks to Suzie for spotting this article: I deliberately gave myself a year from my PhD defense to decide whether or not I wanted to turn my dissertation into a book. During that year Continue Reading →

Value in a PhD?

An interesting piece on the ‘value’ and employability of a PhD Who would do a PhD? Who would willingly submit to spending endless hours, over three or four years, in the laboratory or library, racked by self-doubt and money worries, in preparation for a career for which vacancies were never more oversubscribed? … But do doctoral students really feel prepared for life beyond the ivory tower? And how ready are they to embrace it? Here, Continue Reading →

The value of PhD supervision…

Interesting piece on PhD supervision: When a PhD supervision session constitutes just another blocked-out hour in a besieged diary, it can be all too easy to forget that it could make an impression that stays with the student for the rest of their research career. We asked five academics for their recollections of the PhD supervision they received, and the way it had informed their own approach to tutoring. Three had enjoyed excellent supervision that Continue Reading →

PhD: Has the quality dropped? If so, who’s “to blame”?

This is rather concerning (but not particularly surprising, as we’ve heard all those complaints about GCSE, A-Level, degree level standards dropping, etc.) re PhD doctorates. Really, by the time you sit the viva, you should know that your work is ready to pass, and that your job in the viva is to demonstrate that you actually wrote it (although others will still see it as a test) … and as I hope to take on Continue Reading →

[VIDEO] Digital Humanities in 2 Minutes

I was involved in the early days of history and the digital – this video (H/T @pmphillips), is a useful summary: Second World War Posters Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest. https://twitter.com/ww2poster Like it? Share it…

10 Truths for Prospective PhDs

Important reading if you’re planning on doing a PhD: As a prospective PhD student, you are precious. Institutions want you – they gain funding, credibility and profile through your presence. Do not let them treat you like an inconvenient, incompetent fool. Do your research. Ask questions. Use these 10 truths to assist your decision. The 10 are as follows: The key predictor of a supervisor’s ability to guide a postgraduate to completion is a good record Continue Reading →

Colindale Disappears? @drbexl interviewed on @bbcradio4

I was interviewed earlier in the year about Colindale, where I spent many hours researching my PhD. As someone with a foot in the historians camp, and a foot in the digital world (and no, they’re not exclusive!) our conversation was wire-ranging. I’ll be interested to see which bits appear: Read more about the programme, and listen in tomorrow 11am, or afterwards on iPlayer (as I will be doing). Digital Fingerprint Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Continue Reading →