Travel and conferences
Research students in the School of English attend a range of national and international conferences to give papers and posters as well as making short visits to other institutions to use or consult essential resources for their research. In order to support research students with these activities, the Graduate School provides funding in the form of a prestigious Graduate School Travel Prize and some funds are also available to research students in the School of English.
Some examples of recent visits by students in the School:
PhD English: A Poet's Country: Landscape and Nationhood in T. S. Eliot's Post-conversion Poetry and Politics
Modernism and Modernities East, West and South: Comparing Literary and Cultural Experiences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China, 19-22 July 2017.
I was supported by the Graduate School Travel Prize for the ‘Modernism and Modernities East, West and South’ conference, taking place in Fudan University in Shanghai this July. The international conference figures the fruition of the collaborative effort between Fudan, Hamburg and Macquarie universities, with the papers given constellating highly diverse and vigorous academic endeavours in incorporating China and far east into the ongoing discussions on transnational modernism. My paper investigating T. S. Eliot’s engagement with and representation of chinoiserie was well received, and speaks well with the other papers in my panel. The travel prize provides me with the opportunity to communicate my research to a larger audience, make and renew some professional connections, and explore Chinese academia as well as the city of Shanghai. For all these and not least for the very pleasant conference experience I was lucky enough to have enjoyed, I was grateful for the generous support I received from the Graduate School.’
Aya Van Renterghem
PhD English: Runica Manuscripta: The Medieval Tradition
Special Collections visit in Vienna, Salzburg, and Brussels
Thanks to the generous award by the School of English Research Committee and the Graduate School Travel Prize, I was able to visit Special Collections Libraries in two different countries to examine a number of manuscripts I needed to include in my thesis. In early August I visited the National Library in Vienna, the St Peter’s monastery library in Salzburg, and the Belgian Royal Library in Brussels. As these manuscripts were not available online or in facsimile form, the funding made it possible for me to travel there to see them in person, and to spend a few days in each place to analyse the runic material present in these works and to photograph the pages required for my catalogue. This was a useful opportunity because it allowed me to discover new material, and collect the final information necessary to finish my thesis. I had a pleasant and educational trip, during which I learned about the workings of these three libraries, and had an occasion to practice my languages.
PhD English: Gendered Lands: Literary Representations of Seventeenth-Century English Landscapes, Spaces and Places at Home and Abroad
Research visit to American archives
Thanks to SDF and RTSG funding from Midlands 3 Cities I was able to undertake a month long research trip to America this summer. This trip was essential to my PhD, which looks at the influence of North American colonial discourse on representations of space and place in seventeenth-century English literature. I spent time in various archives including the Massachusetts Historical Society, Harvard, and the Library of Virginia, as well as visiting various living history sites across New England and Virginia. One of the most exciting parts of my trip was visiting the Jamestown archaeological site, where I was lucky enough to spend the day exploring the site and collections with some of the curators and archaeologists. My research trip has undoubtedly strengthened both the archival and interdisciplinary facets of my project, as well being a truly amazing experience for me personally.
Beatriz González Fernández
PhD English: A theory of vocabulary acquisition: how do second language learners acquire the different types of word knowledge?
EuroSLA (European Second Language Association 26), Finland August 2016
Being awarded the Graduate School Travel Prize enabled me to attend and present at the most prestigious international conference in Europe in the field of Second Language Acquisition (EuroSLA), which was held this year in Jyväskylä, Finland. Presenting my research at this important event was a wonderful and enjoyable experience. My paper was well-received, and I was given very valuable feedback and comments which helped improve my PhD thesis. Moreover, this opportunity allowed me to develop my presentation skills and confidence in communicating my research to a specialised audience. It also provided me with the chance to meet prominent researchers from all over the world. Finally, it was the perfect platform to introduce the cutting-edge research that is being conducted at the University of Nottingham.
PhD English: Interactions of thought and action in Anglo-Saxon Poetry.
MANCASS Conference April 2015
"The annual conference given by the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies is a prestigious event and so I was very proud and not a little excited to be invited to give my paper on The Battle of Maldon. The experience was wonderful. Although it was daunting to give a paper before such a specialised audience it also gave me confidence in my ability and in the validity of my work. It was wonderful to meet and discuss topics on the early middle ages with specialists from a broad range of interests including history, archaeology, osteo-archaeology and even architecture! The high-spot was finding that Donald Scragg - who wrote the book on Maldon - came to chair my session. The paper was well-received and sparked some lively debate. I was sad to leave Manchester having met so many warm and wonderful people and I look forward to meeting them again in the future. I am very grateful to the department for the generous financial support and feel that the experience was one of the best since I started my PhD."
PhD English: A Poet's Country: Landscape and Nationhood in T.S. Eliot's Post-conversion Poetry and Politics.
BAMS postgraduate conference. 6 Dec 2014
This BAMS postgraduate conference is my first conference presentation in UK. I am greatly encouraged by the fact that my paper gets accepted for this competitive conference, and really enjoyed the supportive environment there. In the conference I had the chance to engage with many other researchers who work on different aspects of modernism, and to test out some ideas and receive feedback from them. These comments and suggestions are invaluable to the development of my thesis chapter, which will be largely based on some of the ideas I presented in the conference.
Julia (Chenjing) You
PhD English: The Validation of the L2 Motivational Self System among Chinese L2 Learners
Matters of the Mind Conference, Austria, May 2014
"The visit to the PLL conference enabled me to learn about the up-to-date developments in my research field and obtain latest research ideas for the study that I have been conducting. The whole conferencing experience, especially my presentation, has undoubtedly served as stimulation for me, building my confidence as an established researcher on language learning motivation."
PhD English: Acquisition of idioms in L2 speakers
Research Visit: Lund University, Sweden, May 2014
"I spent a month as a visiting scholar at Lund University. I collaborated with Dr Henrik Gyllstad on an eye-tracking study looking at how Swedish-English bilinguals process idioms and we collected some very interesting data. Aside from the study, I also had the opportunity to present at seminars on language learning and English linguistics and talk to a number of scholars about my work. It was great to get a different perspective on things. The visit was both productive and very enjoyable, and was certainly a really valuable addition to my PhD research."
PhD English: The Lily of Medicine: The Middle English Translation of Bernard of Gordon’s Lilium Medicinae
Library Visit: Radcliffe Science Library in Oxford
"I have been able to travel to the Radcliffe Science Library in Oxford several times to consult MS Ashmole 1505, which contains the only Middle English translation of Bernard of Gordon's important medical treatise, the Lilium Medicinae. Examining the physical manuscript has been essential for my PhD project. I have also been able to photograph the manuscript for poster presentations and connect with other colleagues and specialists."
PhD English: JG Ballard's reinvention of the 'roman fleuve' and his place as a Naturalist writer
Sorbonne Summer School and the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), July 2013
"It was a pleasure to spend a week pursuing my wider academic interests away from the context of my PhD and the challenge of conducting research and attending seminars not only in a different culture but also in a different language was incredibly fulfilling. I also found plenty of items at the BnF that were really useful to me and which, crucially, I can't access anywhere else."
PhD English: Architecture and Architexture: Space, Modernist Form, and the Novel
Literary London Society Conference, London, July 2013
"Attending the conference was an invaluable and enriching experience. It provided me with a platform to enter the latest academic debate on the representation of London and meet cutting-edge researchers in the field. Being such a welcoming and relaxed event, it was a wonderful environment in which to improve my presentation and communication skills. The positive feedback I received for my paper strengthened my confidence and confirmed the relevance and value of my current research on literary representations of urban and architectural space."
PhD English: 20th and 21st Century Difficult Poetry: A stylistic and empirical study
Poetics and Linguistics Conference (PALA), Heidelberg Germany, July-August 2013
"The PALA conference has been a really enjoyable event, featuring a guided tour, a boat trip along the Neckar river, and a closing dinner in the enchanting setting of the Heidelberg Castle. All in all, my high expectations were certainly met, and now I look forward to applying for next year’s edition of PALA."