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Reading the Runes ... Anndee's PhD blog

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    Hi everybody,

    So I've been asked to write a study blog about my PhD. Not sure how to start, but anyways, if you've got any questions, feel free to ask.
    The topic is somewhat off the trodden path, it's runes, and also my location. I'm in Orkney (if you ask me, the closest it gets to paradise on earth).

    I've only just started this week, so for now I'm mainly sorting the computer, looking at first books and papers to draft the structure of my literature review and preparing a few conference presentations.
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    What is your PhD in?
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    It's in Nordic Studies, and my chosen topic looks at a specific aspect of runic writing and how it relates to perceptions and expressions of identities.
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    (Original post by Anndee)
    It's in Nordic Studies, and my chosen topic looks at a specific aspect of runic writing and how it relates to perceptions and expressions of identities.
    Sounds like a fascinating project - I look forward to hearing more and following your blog! :excited:

    Also, you must hear this all the time, but when I saw the word runes, I thought of Hermione Granger and her time-turner in Harry Potter 3 (I think her Ancient Runes class clashed with something, hence the time turner)

    :getmecoat:
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Sounds like a fascinating project - I look forward to hearing more and following your blog! :excited:

    Also, you must hear this all the time, but when I saw the word runes, I thought of Hermione Granger and her time-turner in Harry Potter 3 (I think her Ancient Runes class clashed with something, hence the time turner)

    :getmecoat:
    Thank you! In fact, you are the first to ever mention Harry Potter but now that you said it, yes, it's pretty cool that they did a kind of "Runology" there Most people I know first think of the Dwarven Runes in Lord of the Rings - and they are in fact "proper" Anglo-Saxon runes, Tolkien really did a good job there.

    Anyways, my first week is done. There was of course some bureaucracy to sort out, for example getting ethica approval for my research, which was a mere box-ticking exercise since every individual who carved the runes I am studying has been dead for centuries. It took a while to get te PC at uni sorted because I needed the IT guys to approve every single programme I had to install. (There are some specific ruin fonts and a runic database, which come in very handy, but for obvious reasons weren't pre-installed at any uni PC.)
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    A lot of people must go shadowhunter surely?
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    (Original post by Ethereal)
    A lot of people must go shadowhunter surely?
    Haha, sorry, I had to google that first. Seems not to be "a thing" in my homecountry, and apparently not here on my little rock in the North Sea, either. But there is in fact a very reputable academic in Runology who, as her pet project, studies the use of runes in computer games, TV series and generally popular culture.
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    So today I'm heading off south to the mainland for an official induction into the PhD programme. I guess it will be a stressful two days, taking the early flight today and returning on the late flight tomorrow, but that's island life. Before the end of November, I have already three more trips scheduled, two to the mainland again and one to Ireland.
    I've started making friends with Endnote Basic, and what can I say? I should have started using it during the MLitt already, it's such a fantastic tool. The university also has licenses for the proper programme, so I'll try and get one.
    So far, my "thesis" consists of about 5 pages of notes and a few whole paragraphs for the literature review but I doubt any of it will survive until submission.
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    I haven't updated this for a while due to catching food poisoning down South, but that doesn't mean nothing has happened. I've started compiling data and also doing more background reading, an am developping some ideas of where I'm going with it.
    Today I'm again heading South on a tiny little propeller plane, this time to Glasgow, for an event with the organisation that funds my research. I'll be back here Saturday night and then setting off south again on the boat on Monday, for the university-wide research conference and showcase in Inverness. I've prepared a poster and presentation about the project. The printed poster arrived yesterday, and it looks better than I had expected. I can only recommend everybody to familiarise themselves with Publisher or a similar programme, the results are so much better than with for example PowerPoint.
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    (Original post by Anndee)
    I haven't updated this for a while due to catching food poisoning down South, but that doesn't mean nothing has happened. I've started compiling data and also doing more background reading, an am developping some ideas of where I'm going with it.
    Today I'm again heading South on a tiny little propeller plane, this time to Glasgow, for an event with the organisation that funds my research. I'll be back here Saturday night and then setting off south again on the boat on Monday, for the university-wide research conference and showcase in Inverness. I've prepared a poster and presentation about the project. The printed poster arrived yesterday, and it looks better than I had expected. I can only recommend everybody to familiarise themselves with Publisher or a similar programme, the results are so much better than with for example PowerPoint.
    Good luck. Am impressed at how productive you've managed to be, despite being unwell :yep:

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    Thanks, TLG.

    I've been mega busy over the last two weeks. First I went to Glasgow, then to Inverness, and at both meetings/conferences I got very positive feedback and had fun. Now it's all about reading for the literature review, taking notes, writing the first bits and pieces. I'm also collecting my data in a big database, and it presents a few challenges but I'm confident I can overcome them somehow.
    Next week I'm off to Cork to present the write-up of some earlier research on Vikings and Identity at a conference, and I'll meet some people from my undergrad uni there, which I haven't seen for years, so I'm sure this will be fun, and a lot of stuff to chat about.
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    Following hoping to do an MA next year with my research being based around Old Norse/Old Icelandic/Old English so we have some shared interests
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    Thanks, snailsareslimy Where are you hoping to apply to? If you have any specific questions, I'll try to answer them but I'm not strictly a linguist.

    So, some news from the front: I'm preparing my paper for a conference in Ireland next week, and getting more nervous every minute because my undergrad teachers will be there, too, and I definitely wasn't the best undergrad student ever. So I really want to present a good paper and not make a fool of myself in front of lots of leading academics in my field. No pressure then ...
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    (Original post by Anndee)
    Thanks, snailsareslimy Where are you hoping to apply to? If you have any specific questions, I'll try to answer them but I'm not strictly a linguist.

    So, some news from the front: I'm preparing my paper for a conference in Ireland next week, and getting more nervous every minute because my undergrad teachers will be there, too, and I definitely wasn't the best undergrad student ever. So I really want to present a good paper and not make a fool of myself in front of lots of leading academics in my field. No pressure then ...
    Thanks :awesome:
    I'm hopefully applying to the M.Phil Medieval Language, Literature and Culture at Trinity College Dublin, MA Medieval Studies at University College Dublin and an MRes with a medieval focus at Queen's University Belfast Where are you presenting your paper in Ireland? You might be close to me :awesome: (originally from outside Belfast but now living outside Dublin).
    You'll be fine just use this as an opportunity to show how far you've came :awesome:. You'll be really proud of yourself once it's over (but I totally get you, it must be a nerve-wrecking experience, but plenty of others will feel similarly to you so don't feel like you're the only one :hugs:)
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    Hi Anndee! I've added your blog to the list of blogs in this forum (it's a stuck thread).
    Runology sounds amazing! So does Orkney. My Aunt and Uncle used to live there (they work in conservation) but I've never had a chance to visit. I will if I can.
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    Another four weeks into my PhD, and I'm currently in my hometown for a short Christmas break. The weeks leading up to it have been hectic because there is a lot of work with the museum and in the field that I can only do locally, so I had to finish it before flying here. I guess that's one major disadvantage of working with carved stones, they're not exactly portable. On the plus side, I did get to do field work inside some Neolithic tombs in a stunning landscape, an amazing experience.
    The conference in Ireland, my final one for 2016, went very well, I had interesting chats and made lots of new connections. One of my supervisors also managed to get me an invitation to a networking meeting in Sweden early next year, which I am looking forward to very much - currently practising my slightly rusty Swedish so I won't look like a total idiot doing my presentation in Swedish.
    Somehow, even though I planned to take this week off, not check emails and just relax, my brain can't switch off and my thoughts return to runology all the time, I obviously check emails and reply, and take notes of new ideas. I wonder, seeing as my PhD is in a field I am so passionate about, if I will ever be able to fully switch into relaxation mode until I submit it in a few years' time.
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    Oops, haven't posted here in a long time. I've been crazy busy over the last two months, working on my literature review, starting more fieldwork, sending in abstracts for conferences, preparing for a workshop in Sweden where I'll read a paper (in Swedish, oh the horror), and digging deeper and deeper in the local archives. I feel like I'm getting a grip of where I want this to go and what exactly I need to do to arrive there in 2.5 years but it is a long and rocky road ...
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    Sounds incredibly busy - good luck with getting everything done!
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    Right, finally a more substantial update on what I've been up to.
    My literature review is growing, and I've decided to sort it thematically. Thus, I'm evaluating the research done in the region I'm looking at via different fields as not much interdisciplinary work has been done yet. So far, this is working quite well, and it clearly shows the "gap" in knowledge I'm trying to fill. I've also written a first draft of my theoretical framework and methodology chapter, but I'm not sure if it's any good.
    I've been invited to two conferences in summer and am still waiting for replies for another one, the workshop in Sweden was a full success, apparently my Swedish turned out to be intelligible enough.
    On the fun side of things, I'm still digging deeper in the archives and finding fantastic things, and we recently did some public engagement, reenacting the martyrdom of St Magnus here in Orkney.
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    (Original post by Anndee)
    Right, finally a more substantial update on what I've been up to.
    My literature review is growing, and I've decided to sort it thematically. Thus, I'm evaluating the research done in the region I'm looking at via different fields as not much interdisciplinary work has been done yet. So far, this is working quite well, and it clearly shows the "gap" in knowledge I'm trying to fill. I've also written a first draft of my theoretical framework and methodology chapter, but I'm not sure if it's any good.
    I've been invited to two conferences in summer and am still waiting for replies for another one, the workshop in Sweden was a full success, apparently my Swedish turned out to be intelligible enough.
    On the fun side of things, I'm still digging deeper in the archives and finding fantastic things, and we recently did some public engagement, reenacting the martyrdom of St Magnus here in Orkney.
    Sounding good and like you've got tons of work done! Glad you are finding fantastic things. Public engagement is fun, isn't it?
 
 
 
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