You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2014.

In the olden days, when I was a scout leader, we used this thing called the ‘buddy system’ to make sure all our little charges got back to base after a ‘wide game’ running around the local creek in the dark. It’s kind of self-explanatory: everyone had a buddy, and buddies had responsibility to make sure each other made it back safely. Hold that thought.

There’s been a bit of chatter of late both on the interwebs and in the actual physical corridors about receiving academic feedback. What do you do with it? How do you cope emotionally? How do you view it intellectually? If you haven’t already done so, I recommend going over to The Thesis Whisperer and looking at what one kind supervisor told their student. But this isn’t just about students. It’s not as if academics take a magic ‘grown up pill’ as soon as they get their PhD and suddenly intuitively know how to manage this ‘feedback’ with a sanguine air. If nobody trains you in dealing with this as a student, you’re basically going to be left to figure out a strategy for yourself as a post doctoral scholar. Maybe that will work, or maybe not so much. You might be one of the lucky ones who has a great mentoring structure around you in your career, but equally, you might be (or at least feel) essentially on your own.

I’m chipping in with my two cents here because I’ve noticed some real differences in the course of my career change from the laboratory sciences over to the humanities, and there are some things that we (the humanities) can really take from the science model in this regard. I’ve shared this with various individuals, but it’s obviously ‘a thing’ so maybe sharing here will be worth it. Read the rest of this entry »

These seem to come around faster and faster – or maybe I’m just getting older… But it’s time for the sixth annual Revealing Records conference at King’s College London. This is a great forum in which to hear new graduate work based on original records. I recommend it if you’re in London later this month.

Here’s the blurb, courtesy of Kenneth Duggan’s academia page, where you can find a full program for the day:

Revealing Records VI

Now in its sixth year, the Revealing Records postgraduate research conference series brings together postgraduate researchers working with a wide range of sources from across the medieval world to share challenges and approaches through the presentation of their research. Featuring keynote papers from Dr Alice Rio (King’s College London) and Professor Paul Brand (All Souls College, Oxford) and a closing address delivered by Daniel Hadas (King’s College London)

Location: The Weston Room in the Maughan Library, King’s College London

When: 9.00-6.00, Friday 23rd May, 2014


To register, please email the conference organisers at the above address. Registration is free.

Find me elsewhere

I teach and research at the Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies in the School of Philosophical, Historial and International Studies, Monash University (Australia). Views expressed here are my own and not representative of the CMRS, SOPHIS or Monash.

You can also find my academic profile on

Twitter: @KB_Neal

Read the Printed Word!