Post Confirmation of Candidature – The Brown Paper Bag Plan

Brown Paper Bag Plan

Brown Paper Bag Plan

Although I still have to hear officially, my Confirmation of Candidature seminar was successful. The feedback I received was brilliant and I have nothing but grateful thanks for the support I have received.

As I now reflect on the process and make plans for the next steps I realise that the result hasn’t sunk in yet though the champagne has been drunk. I have been telling myself that I am now a proper authentic PhDer. I didn’t feel authentic before. Now some of that no doubt was down to the ‘imposter’ syndrome that many people face throughout their Candidature. But it didn’t take me long to realise that going through the process of Confirmation hooked into some childhood/teenage-self unhappy experiences and memories. No-one had said to me ‘you are not a real PhDer’ but of course I gravitated towards a sub-text. I told myself over and over again that until you are Confirmed, you are not authentic. But now that the process is over, I have to find a new message to sling around my brain and the photo of the Brown Paper Plan is that message.

Though you can’t read it properly, the Brown Paper Plan outlines the introduction to the Lit Review, something I have been working on since just before Christmas. I wanted to chart power structures, summarise the relevant works/studies/authors/research and evidence base for the papers I have included in the Review, and work out the overlaps and distinctions, and where my project fits into the Irish Studies research. So, I have made a start…oh I already have written up some of the literature but I felt like I was wading around the swamp and thought that a couple of summaries would assist with the rowing…

Let me know if you have come across something similar in your life:)

kind regards




After #DeleteAcademiaEdu

Dr Caroline Magennis

“I can’t code. And I think the drones are coming for our young.”

That was how I began a talk to a group of PhD students about social media on Monday: PGR Jan 16. Of course, this was for dramatic effect (but those drones do have some beady eyes on them). I use technology for my academic career when it suits me and when it makes things easier. But, I am not what you might call an Academic Tech Hipster (ATH): I do not always know the latest platforms or have a massive clue what goes on underneath the bonnet of a lot of sites to produce metadata.

At this event, I spoke about how I had managed to use different sites to get my work out there when I had lived in places that were not well connected, often with very limited or no funds to travel. If…

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