10 June 2010


SPARC [the Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference] was interesting.

Due to previously being rather prolific via email, I finally got the opportunity to put some faces to names/addresses including one of the people that has been intrinsic to getting all the elements together for my AHRC funding application. Then I met my PhD personal tutor too. In fact the latter was in the audience when I did my 60 second "pitch" and caught up with me afterwards - having not noticed my name - as he was interested in what I'd outlined. Which is handy. Especially as he's one of the organisers of the Bigger Than Words, Wider Than Pictures conference. And what I was outlining was what I'll be revising for that.

Additionally I spoke to the coordinator of the Graduate Trainee Assistantships who will be in touch ahead of my post in October. And she was really nice too. Also amazing was the further contact who expressed genuine interest in the development of the ideas within Sshhh and mentioned another proposed conference that they will be organising. And also asked if I would be interested in speaking at that.

I did feel a bit out of my depth at times. As mentioned, most of the research work displayed was hard science rather than the kind of visceral work that I have a habit of developing. In fact, work from the school of Art & Design appears to be under-represented within programmes like SPARC [I was the only one - although there was a contributor from the school of Music, Media & Performance]. And some of the panels were very much outside of my comfort zone. Plus a woman asked if my work was for my Masters. When I said yes, she pointed out that SPARC is a post-graduate research conference. I replied that I was a postgraduate student presenting a research project and she insisted that it was for PhD research. I disagreed [because, like, I was there and had therefore met the criteria to contribute to the conference] and she commented that I was the only Masters student there. I've just had another glance at the section clarifying eligibility and it doesn't mention MAs. Just that it includes MRes, MPhils and MSCs by research [in addition to all PhDs] so she might have had a point. But then I wasn't completely wrong either.

Meantime my new blog - which will be used for my dissertation project (given that this one is still ongoing) - is now live at http://musicecology.blogspot.com.

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