Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Encouragement ...

Going up for these big grants is undoubtedly daunting. So I was very cheered the other day when a senior colleague buttonholed me and asked if I had thought about putting in for this big fellowship/grant I am thinking about. She has had loads of experience winning grants and mentoring other people, and has also sat on the committee that awards them. I said I was indeed thinking about it; and without even mentioning my project, talked about some of the structural and strategic stuff that was already in place, or that I was working on. So far it seems I'm on the right track; and she has also agreed to mentor me through the process. (I will also have a mentor through my own school who is encouraging me to send her a few pages when I am ready to get things started.) It made me realise anew how rare and wonderful it is in the university when someone above you tells you you are doing a good job, or suggests you might aim higher, and go to the next stage with a project.

I have also started thinking about the research team, and about ways of both expanding my project (the face, the body, body language, representation, graphic novels, medieval manuscripts, digital archives of fiction and poetry, other languages, newspapers, reported speech -- more on this later), and also keeping it precise and deep.

I have also had a preliminary chat with someone in linguistics, who's already giving me some useful secondary references and an introduction to some neat terminology, and a sense of how that field manages the "as if to say..." trope.

So in between deadlines, teaching and other writing tasks, the project is rumbling along (I'm sorry to say, I first typed "bumbling"!). I'm pleased I've already started; and every time I come here to blog an update it makes me think again about the possibilities and how to shape and direct my inquiries. Only five and a half months before I submit the application!  

1 comment:

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

"It made me realise anew how rare and wonderful it is in the university when someone above you tells you you are doing a good job"

This is so true it nearly made me fall of my chair. I wonder why it is.