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Social Media Skills for Students

Social Media Skills for Students is a new resource to help university students learn how to use social media to their advantage and in a professional manner.

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[Commentary] The Widow & the Law: A Brief History of Widows’ Pensions in Britain

At a time when we remember the First World War, its victims, and its survivors, it seems apt for me to share some of the research I’ve been doing on the literary and cultural history of the widow in Britain, and particularly on how the state’s support and the economic conditions of widowed women has changed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and reflects both Britain’s development in terms of gender equality as well as the emergence of the welfare state.

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The Blank Page: Some Writing Strategies

This post is dedicated to the intimidating blank space that is the first page of the yet untitled document which, at some point in time, is supposed to contain a well-argued, thoroughly researched, and original argument to stun your expecting reader. I’ve never been one of those people who is blessed with the ability to sit down, create a new document, and start typing the first draft of a research publication with the confident knowledge that once the words are on the page I can return to them as many times as I like to edit and refine. Instead, it takes...

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PhD Picnics: Food for Thought

PhD Picnics is an initiative which encourages exchange between postgraduate students and research staff to provide a supportive, stimulating postgraduate culture and adequate academic skills training and development.

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Wheels & Trainers: Sport & Academic Work-Life Balance

I think that, even in Britain, it’s now fair to say that it’s summer! And with the summer comes my usually busiest and best training and exercise period, not just because of the weather but also because I spend less time on commuting and being in the classroom. There are four main types of exercise that dominate my sporting life: road cycling, trail running, walking, and free-weights training at the gym. I’ve already talked about the general benefits of exercise to my mental health and to my work-life balance and productivity, but as my training volume increases and...

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Social Media Internships

Below you can find the advertisement for two paid social media internships. The interns will work with me on a project that seeks to create a social media skills resource for students. Please note these internships are open to LJMU students only. Please see the ad for specifics.  

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Neoliberalism, Mental Health, & Academia

One of the hardest things about hearing about a PhD student who was harassed by a lecturer, and who then committed suicide while the lecturer kept his job, was that I wasn’t surprised. It’s not that I didn’t think the story was horrendous – I did. It’s that like most graduate students I am reminded on a daily basis – in corridors and, increasingly, in the media – of the degree of suffering, neglect and abuse in academic life. It seemed natural to me, almost, that an abusive faculty member should exist and go unchallenged – and that...

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Upwards, Downwards, & Onwards: Being Bi-Polar in Academia

The current focus on mental health in academia is a topic that has always been close to my heart. I suffered from bouts of depression and mania for all of my teenage years and was officially diagnosed as bi-polar in my undergraduate degree. I look back on this period and thank my lucky stars that I never have to do it again. I often found myself in extreme situations in manic episodes and then feeling suicidal in the ‘down’ periods. As I went thought up though MA to PhD (at a different institution) I gained an understanding and...

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