Getting here… #phdlife (28 December 2012)

In September 2012, I began the second year of my PhD. I am based in TRIARC, the Irish Art Research Centre in Trinity College Dublin, and my research looks at representations of Dublin, c.1875-1945. When I initially applied for a PhD, my proposal was very different to what I am actually working on now. However, a year of reading, pondering and expert feedback has eventually scaled down my ideas into a more coherent, focused and in-depth study of the topic.

During the initial stages, the last thing I wanted to do was to share my confused thoughts in any public forum. At any kind of social occasion, academic or otherwise, someone would inevitably ask what my topic was leading to much squirming on my part. Often, it can be hard enough explaining why you’re researching Irish art history, let alone why you have decided to spend three years researching some obscure part of it, and hardest of all, why someone is paying you to do so.

Now that I have found form, so to speak, and have a focused plan for the remainder of my study I do feel a lot more comfortable talking about my research and sharing it with a wider audience. I’m hoping to use this feed to share a little of what I’m researching, and to share the bumps and eureka moments along the way. It will also be a nice change to write more informally about my research, as my day work now will be focused on writing and on-going research.

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