Author: hudunipress

Author spotlight: how did gender expectations affect medieval England?

Author spotlight: how did gender expectations affect medieval England?

History student Katie McAdam has recently published an article about her research in our student research journal Fields. We caught up with her for a chat about her work and her experiences getting published.

Give us a quick overview of your research area

My area of research has focused on societal gender norms surrounding masculinity and kingship in medieval England. By examining the downfall, death and conspiratorial narratives surrounding Edward II, my article analyses the way in which his failure to meet contemporary gender expectations ultimately doomed his reign, and were to shape the memory of his life and reign. The two areas of masculinity and kingship have been consistently linked throughout the historiography, with Edward often being remembered as a homosexual monarch, even as a gay icon, and his leadership failures are continuously linked with his perceived failings as the ideal medieval male. After Edward II’s death, a letter was written by a notable cleric, Manuel Fieschi, claiming the king was still alive and living out his days secretly as a devout hermit in Italy. My article then goes on to analyse the prevalent trope of secret survival which is associated with many famous deaths throughout history, such as Elvis Presley and Princess Diana and examines why this phenomenon of believing the dead are living on in secret occurs so frequently in history.

How did you find the process of publication? Did it help you to develop as a researcher?

The experience of becoming a first time author has been both exciting and eye-opening for me and has most certainly developed me academically in a number of different ways. I feel my ongoing studies have vastly improved due to the new level of scrutiny I can impose on my own writing and content after working with the Fields team so closely to re-draft and improve my work throughout the past year. Attention to detail was never a strength of mine, but this experience demanded a high level of this skill and so I can now apply this both academically and professionally to my other projects. Overall I also have a much greater appreciation for the level of work that goes into having work published, and as a result feel I hold myself to a much higher standard than before I got involved with the process, which is certainly paying off in other areas such as my grades and feedback.

I have really enjoyed the experience and the process, especially the dedicated workshop day where I could discuss research areas with other writers and learn from each other, and my involvement has definitely made me keen to strive to do similar things in the future.

Read Katie’s article in Volume 3 of Fields

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Author spotlight: how do crystals protect our drinking water?

Author spotlight: how do crystals protect our drinking water?

Chemistry student Laura Lo has recently published an article about her research in our student research journal Fields. We caught up with her for a chat about her work and her experiences getting published.

If I was to explain my research to someone new to the subject, I would firstly ask them if they ever thought about the process of clean tap water. We wash, drink and cook with it, but this water has been recycled for 4.6 billion years. You would hope it’s clean! Now, my project is not just about water, it’s also about growing big shiny crystals. Now I know what you’re thinking, how do crystals have anything to do with water? Well, you see, water travels through pipes to reach our taps; however a time before lead poisoning was more understood, houses built before the 1970s used lead pipes that connected to the mains. At present most pipes have been replaced, although water companies will also use a water treatment called phosphate dosing which stops traces of lead leaching from any remaining lead pipes – there are still quite a few! This action results in the formation of a white precipitate which coats the inner pipe, therefore protecting the water. This white precipitate is the crystals! So in a nut shell my project was to develop a new method to grow pure large versions of these crystals in a controlled environment to enable future research in understanding their properties and how they act in the way they do to protect the water and inevitably, us.

I have to admit, the process for Fields was very quick in terms of getting published, before you know it 6 months have passed and you’re handed your final proof albeit lots of back and forth communication and changes that need to be made to your article. The whole experience was one of a kind, you spend your time writing a piece of work that was originally only meant as an essay or dissertation to be read by one or two people, but then it gets chosen to go forward to Fields, and your work suddenly gets critiqued and peer reviewed by experts who decide whether your paper is publishable. But it’s all worth it, seeing how far that piece of work has come, from final year dissertation with a few spelling mistakes here and there (I’m a scientist!) to published journal worthy; it’s a great motivational story to tell.

It’s a massive accomplishment for me, as it’s a rarity to get your paper published as an undergraduate and I am very grateful I have been given this opportunity to share my research and findings. I found this project fascinating and gratifying throughout, therefore I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Read Laura’s article in Volume 3 of Fields

Author spotlight: open access publishing and video art

Author spotlight: open access publishing and video art

James Fox is one of our authors from Volume 2 of Fields, and we caught up with him to chat about how his research is progressing and the importance of open access publishing in his field.

Tell us a bit about your area of specialism?

As a researcher at the University of Huddersfield I specialise in music composition and video art. I have been learning about how we perceive and experience sound and music through research that includes the composition of pieces which attempt to generate the sensations of sound through senses other than hearing. While science helps us to discover answers relating to the way things work, art can help us to understand how we feel about these things. Discovering more about the sensations which emerge as we perceive sound and music may expand our understanding of how we experience the world and reveal dynamic forms of expression and stimulating perceptual experiences.

How has publishing in Fields helped you to develop?

Following a publication in the University of Huddersfield’s Fields Journal with the paper ‘It’s a-me, Mario!’ Exploring dynamic changes and similarities in the composition of early Nintendo video game music, I was given the chance to present my research at the British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) at Manchester Metropolitan University in March, 2016. Preparing and rehearsing for the verbal presentation (which I approached in a similar way to how I prepare for a live musical performance), combined with the experience of meeting the targets and deadlines for the publication itself while in the early stages of my research degree, boosted my confidence enormously. I can honestly say that these experiences, although rather challenging, provided me with the courage to fully pursue my current research and to seek out public exhibition of my work. The support provided throughout the publication and conference experiences further reinforced a positive student experience at the University. Being part of such a vibrant school and student community while studying as an undergraduate and now as a postgraduate researcher have been truly remarkable experiences, leaving a positive and lasting sense of empowerment.

Your work is available open access, is this important in your field?

The open access publishing movement is a large, vital and dynamic element of music and arts research. Open access not only allows fellow researchers, potential collaborators or interested and curious individuals from anywhere in the world to gain free access to essential information and insight but it also provides the researcher with a breadth of demonstrable tools, experiences and skills when seeking further employment, applying for funding or when building a portfolio of work. Allowing free access to research may actually be essential as the arts typically suffer from funding cuts, with some secondary schools recently appearing in the mainstream news for removing music and arts education from their curriculum altogether. Open access publishing not only provides students and researchers with viable methods to disseminate their work but it also expands the opportunity for anyone, anywhere, to gain access to essential inspirational and educational material.

Read James’s article in Volume 2 of Fields

Author spotlight: why is social entrepreneurship on the rise?

Author spotlight: why is social entrepreneurship on the rise?

Social Sciences student Gemma Humphris has recently published an article about her research in our student research journal Fields. We caught up with her for a chat about her work and her experiences getting published.

When I first discovered the term ‘social enterprise’ I had no idea what it was. I researched the term and discovered that a social enterprise is what it says on the tin, a business with a social purpose. Any profit made by the company would be reinvested into its social purposes. As a student wanting to start their own business I was fascinated by this idea and loved the fact that a business can be about more than just profiting the owners. So, when it came to writing my dissertation this seemed like a natural topic to research. Some of my friends didn’t understand the benefits of social enterprise, therefore I wanted to learn more about the people who set-up and run social enterprises and what makes them different to typical entrepreneurs. What I learnt was extremely interesting, making the process of writing the dissertation easier!

When I was asked if I was interested in publishing my dissertation I was surprised and honoured. I had to make plenty of changes to get it to a high enough quality and suitable for publishing. This included cutting down the words from 10,000 to 5,000 which seemed near impossible at the outset! It taught me to refine and perfect my writing, ensuring that I covered my points in as little words as possible.

Although going back to my dissertation multiple times was difficult, I learnt the art of perfection and persistence. Continuing to work on it and making sure that it was at a high standard, which I had not had to do with my other work. This gave me a fresh perspective on the effort that my lecturers and university researchers must put in, to get their work published. This understanding of how research is carried out and developed over time takes a lot longer than I would have ever guessed.

Read Gemma’s article in Volume 3 of Fields

Happy World Poetry Day – sneak preview

Happy World Poetry Day – sneak preview

As today is #WorldPoetryDay we thought it apt to do a preview of our newest book, I You He She It – Experiments in Viewpoint. This beautiful collection of prose and poetry is compiled by the School of Music, Humanities and Media at the University of Huddersfield and brings together established writers and emerging talent from all over the UK.

You can order the book in print or access the full open access version on our website.

Here is one of the poems from the book, by poet Gaia Holmes.

It

It made her want to drink the last of the Christmas sherry, climb over the park railings after midnight and cry at Adonis’s feet.

It made him want to phone in sick and spend the rest of the day in bed with her eating treacle sponge and custard, playing chess.

It made them want to go to the next alcoholics anonymous meeting.

It made him want to go to the woods with a week’s supply of cream crackers, tinned sardines and his dead grandmother’s fat three-stone bible.

It made him want to pull out his tubes, curse at the nurses and shuffle to the gardens to smoke a cigarette.

It made them want to adopt.

It made her want to touch his wife’s breasts to see if they were real.

It made them want to drive to the seaside on a rainy day, park up on the cliff top, eat egg mayonnaise sandwiches, drink tea from a thermos flask and watch the grey waves curling and rolling through the steamy windows.

It made him want to apologise.

It made her want to murder.

It made her want to wear Doc Martens and a chiffon dress the colour of ostrich steak.

It made him want to go to the library and borrow a book on goat husbandry.

It made her want to paint all the windows with bitumen, burn all his letters and cry for six weeks.

It made him want to eat fried rice with a pair of tweezers.

It made them want to slow-roast the placenta in a casserole dish with Bisto, onions and leeks.

It made him want to pour treacle into the toecaps of all his trainers.

It made him want to teach his Jack Russell how to iron.

It made her want to set fire to her Barbie doll’s hair.

It made her want to move to Russia, gorge on roast turnips and black bread and become comfortably fat.

It made him want to stroke her clavicles.

It made her want to wear a fake moustache at the wedding reception.

It made him want to curl up in a fist at the bottom of her bed.

It made him want to steal a wedge of Brie from Sainsbury’s deli counter.

It made her want to sell her soul on eBay.

It made her want to try it when her parents were out.

It made him want to think about it for a long time in the bath.

It made them want to forget about it and get on with their lives.

 

 

Author spotlight: how important are nuptial agreements?

Author spotlight: how important are nuptial agreements?

Paralegal Helen Newman has recently published an article about her research in our student research journal Fields. We caught up with her for a chat about her work and her experiences getting published.

I am not a writer, not really. I am a case loaded paralegal working for a specialist criminal practice. I may write the occasional blog post for work based upon cases I have managed but for the most part my writing is restricted to Briefs to counsel, Statements and Letters with the occasional Application to court. I returned to University as a mature student to do the Graduate Diploma in Law – urged to do so by my employer and family – so getting my head around writing from an academic perspective was a challenge in itself. The article on prenuptial agreements is based upon my dissertation on the same subject. I have to admit that my choice of dissertation subject was guided by my desire to structure my study – this felt like a topic I could remain focused on – unlike something like medical negligence where I feared I could end up going off on a tangent. Working in a criminal practice I had no involvement in family law to be aware of the increasing desire of parties to protect their assets ahead of marriage and very much thought of ‘pre-nups’ as something for the rich and famous, for celebrities, but as I researched the subject I was fascinated to discover the popularity of them across Europe and found I really got into the topic. It did seem nonsensical that business partners can sign a contract but life partners couldn’t, or rather that the court would consider them differently.

My research involved me becoming familiar with a new area of law, and a new style of writing. In Criminal practice I may read a few articles but the focus is more on court judgements, so I had to get used to reading family law journals and books on the subject – often with quite political undertones. It was interesting to have the opportunity to consider different viewpoints on the same case – though in many ways it appeared that the judgement itself was welcomed, more that the authors differed on the difference it would actually make going forward. I had also never had to read government white papers before – this in itself was an experience – as there seemed to be several all saying the same thing for much of the papers. Nor was I used to things being so open at the end of a matter – in the criminal law a higher court gives its ruling and that stands until challenged – this was about investigating the possibility of a required change to the law – with the final outcome seeming to be that there was no actual outcome and that further consultation may be needed in the future.

The opportunity to develop my dissertation into an article for publication was an exciting, if not daunting, one. Not only did it require a different style of writing, free of legal jargon, but it also needed me to expand upon some areas whilst removing others as I still had a word count limit! It was a brilliant experience, especially having the copywriter’s feedback to highlight where I needed to make things clearer. I would certainly urge anyone who is given this opportunity to go for it!

Read Helen’s article in Volume 3 of Fields

London Book Fair 2017 – academic publishing

London Book Fair 2017 – academic publishing

For many publishers and authors this week the big event is London Book Fair. Running from the 14th-16th March in Olympia in London, this year there will be over 25000 visitors from 124 different countries.

Although we won’t be there this year I thought it might be handy to do a quick roundup of the research/academic activities going on during the fair.

Follow the LBF Blog

First of all, keep up to date by checking out the London Book Fair Blog – there are some great posts on there from Alastair Horne who gives a monthly summary of academic publishing news

Research and Scholarly Publishing Forum

If you are attending #LBF2017 be sure to register for the Research and Scholarly Publishing Forum on the 15th March:

Research and scholarly publishing faces unprecedented change. Digitisation has turned the concept of territoriality and the supply chain upside down. Different international approaches to funding in higher education and research mandates are not only affecting institutions, but also publishers.

What are these trends and what do they mean for scholarly publishing?

Join industry leaders as they share their global perspectives and strategic insight into the latest policy, publishing models and technologies.

Insights Seminar Programme

As part of the Insights Seminar Programme there is also a Scholarly Stream with 13 sessions running Tuesday -Thursday covering subjects including authentication, copyright, journal sales, technology in book publishing and open access publishing.

Grab a discount

We are offering our readers 50% off our print books during #LBF17 – just select the student option at the checkout to get a bargain!

 

Stay connected

Finally, download the LBF app to make your visit a socially connected one. The app helps you find your way around and schedule your days, but also lets you connect with other visitors to the fair and follow social media streams to keep up to date.