Research Highlights

Hello, I would like to tell a little story about the photograph below.

While writing the first stages Filesof the literature review for my exegesis, I quickly found the so called ‘go to’ documents, those papers, books, journal articles that many of the major researchers in this field reference. In Irish Studies, one of the main documents is the Commission on Emigration and Other Population Problems Reports, available through the National Archives in Ireland. So, you can imagine my concern when I visited the National Archives in Dublin and was told that many of the documents in the Commission on Emigration file are missing. Anyway, I thought, well ‘okay’ let’s have a look at what is on file. Concern turned to dismay when I was told that the file itself was missing. On my return to Australia and not willing to accept ‘no’ for an answer, I spent days and days searching online for the Reports. So many people had quoted or referenced them that there had to be something somewhere. Well miracles do happen and persistence pays off. I found a copy at the Houses of Oireachtas (Online) Library website. I was so happy that I took a photo. So, here they are, the reports, all 450 pages. ‘What a relief!!

Have you had a similar experience? I would love to hear your story!



Kookaburra on the search

As I start my two week holiday period I find myself at a loose end…I don’t know how not to work. I have finished all my chores in the house and the rain now prevents me from working in the garden. I will be shopping for the last minute Christmas food items tomorrow, but today, how do I manage myself today? “I know” I thought, “I will finally read those links I have always wanted to spend time reading.” So I am and in the process I am looking at Sidonie Smith’s Manifesto for for the Humanities: Transforming Doctoral Education in Good Enough Times. Series: digitalculturebooks. Michigan: Michigan Publishing, that I recently filed away. I have read a few pages and it is an interesting text which I am now referencing in my exegeis. Yes, I am back working on the exegesis. I know… but the wonderful part is that I am able to add up-to-date information in a timely fashion…is that a sign of good practice?

One thought that knocks on my head about this text though is it’s title. I am not familiar with ‘manifestos’ as such, apart from the work I did on “The Jerilderie Letter”, Ned Kelly’s (and others?) masterpiece. Is this a case of a ‘rose by any other name’?

So, how does this little experiment with ‘holiday mode’ work to improve my own creative and research practices? Interestingly enough, the answer is….drum roll…drum roll again…gotta build that tension…that by allowing myself to actually spend time (a little time at least) checking out those links that might not seem at first to be connected to the project, in a relaxed space, it actually allows the magic to happen…and that is the wonderful and exciting point of working on a project such as mine. There are always ‘things out there’ (I know…and Scully and Co will be back next year I’m told) waiting to be discovered. Oops that’s another philosophical discussion waiting to be had.

Have a great day,

Annotated Bibliography


This week has been very busy and with Christmas come down the line at the speed of the Flying Scotsman, the days ahead are going to be filled with all sorts of delights. Christmas is my favourite time of the year and one where strangers smile at you as we pace  the aisles looking for the delectable goodies for the Christmas functions that are locked into the diary.

Ok, enough procrastination…I, as you may know, have been working on a few papers for next year’s seminar presentation. Now in between-times I am also working on the Exegesis…the literature review section.

At some stage I have done an annotated bibliography…now not all the books I have read are in the bibliography…but those that are really relevant and the biblio …has become a wonderful resource.  I was able to read the sections that I had written and immediately remember a lot about the books or journal papers. Those that didn’t come so easily to mind were fished out of the cupboard in my study or accessed online. So, I now have a ‘plan’ as I work through the lit review and this means that I am making connections with all of the information I have gathered over the course of my research to date. It is very easy to amass lots of data…but finding a way  of sorting it and making notes that you can connect with is certainly something that I have found to be very advantageous done earlier rather than later.

So, I learnt a couple of lessons here…one, that the summary para works for me better than the note taking method I have been using, and two, I really feel more comfortable when I can set up some sort of structure around what I am working on.

So, have a wonderful  Christmas and all the best for 2016😄

5 December, 2015

This has been a very busy week and much has been achieved, including lots of Christmas shopping.  Now what has shopping, Christmas or otherwise, to do with reflexive and creative practices.  I have to say, that for me, the answer is lots and the reasoning goes like this.

Occasionally it might seem that you are not making much progress and so taking a short break is something that I have been doing recently. I noticed one morning when I decided that the lawn needed mowing and got myself organised that I was feeling good. We don’t have a lot of grass so I soon finished the work and it felt really terrific to have finished something that needed to be done.

That feeling of achievement flowed into the study with me as I walked in and sat down at my desk, cup of tea in hand and sat down. I opened up the work files and just got straight to work…and I now have the essay, updated research proposal and presentation almost ready to go…just in the final drafting stages now.

Just having a way to finish small jobs or take a break is good practice…it allows that time needed to think about what I am working on, how I can do it better next time, or indeed, whether I need to be researching something new.

have a good week😄