Postcards from a PhD
One of the things I’ve been most impressed with since I transferred my PhD study to Leeds has been the range of training available for postgrads. Last month I attended the first course the postgrad training department had run on podcasting for disseminating research. It was a very hands-on session and probably the most fun I’ve had on a training course ever. By the end of the session, I’d realised that my research area was probably a bit niche to get a regular podcast out of, but I left very enthused about the general potential of podcasting and encouraged that it was something I could do.
I don’t do self-reflection much on this blog, but in the spirit of honesty and sharing I have to say talking about my research is probably the aspect of studying for a PhD that I am the least comfortable with. I’ve always been confident expressing myself in writing, but when it comes to actually saying things out loud I never feel I’ve articulated myself as well as I could have done. I tie myself in knots in supervision meetings, would never dream of asking a question at an event and have so far avoided things like reading groups for fear of trying to make a point and it coming out all wrong. I know this is something I need to fix.
I was excited to realise podcasting might be something that could help with this, a way of practising talking about things I am interested in, confidently stating opinions and just getting used to the sound of my own voice. So with a friend, I’ve started a podcast on writing about music. It seemed an obvious topic choice given I spend so much time reading music writing. Named after a bad pun on the notorious Led Zeppelin biography, the first episode of Yammer of the Gods is now live. No doubt I’ll be discussing my PhD reading from time to time, John Corbett’s excellent new book on vinyl features in the first podcast for example, but there’ll also be a lot of very unacademic stuff too – we also cover a book about country music ghosts in the first episode …
Anyway, Yammer of the Gods should be available on iTunes imminently. In the meantime check it out on SoundCloud here: https://soundcloud.com/yammerofthegods