Monday, July 30, 2012


I'm at the pointy end of my degree which means thesis-guilt is working overtime and restraining me from writing many blogposts. However, in the interests of self-promotion, and also in the interests of sharing the process with other students, I am going to write about my publications. After all, it is an exciting thing and my policy is to celebrate everything at this stage in the PhD!

My first two publications were published in the conference proceedings of ISFC (International Systemic Functional Congress) a couple of weeks ago. I've uploaded my papers individually to my page and you can check both them and the slideshow I used for the Star Wars-themed paper here:

Paper: "The Jazz is strong in this one: presentation and positioning of knowers in performance student texts"

Paper: "Instantiation, realisation and multimodal musical semantic waves"

It was great to finally change two of the five "(forthcoming)" publications on my CV to "(2012)". Ironically they're my most recent work and my two forthcoming articles of earlier work will be published after them. But that's the way it works.

As conference proceedings they aren't the most valued form of publication. They were, however, double-refereed (i.e. two separate people had to sign off that they were decent enough for publication) so that adds some legitimacy and helps my self-belief in moments of doubt. They also provide handy bite-sized chunks of my thesis which already I've found useful for my own reference as well as getting my work out there while the thesis is still 'in preparation'.

In case you're wondering at yoda's presence, the conference theme was "to boldly go" and so the proceedings papers are titled "to boldly proceed". As the Star Trek slogan, this obviously is, in fact, at odds with my Star Wars-references and for that I must apologise, but when it came down to it Star Wars was just too useful an analogy for what I was describing. In between the proceedings paper and the slideshow you can almost imagine you were at my presentation - the only things you miss out on are the lightsaber sound effects and the jazz cover of Imperial March. (Check out the Imperial March - it's funky and I had it in my head for days!)

I did consider that perhaps writing these papers was a waste of time that would be better spent working on my thesis. However I found that working in a really constrained text - they are each only about 3000 words long (undergrads - HOW DO YOU DO IT?!) - really helped me get a better grasp on what I was working on in the immense monstrosity that is the thesis. Having abundant room to write about a topic sometimes makes the big picture perspective really hard to attain, so the exercise in conciseness really helped.

Excitingly I should have my first journal article published soon too. I received the proofs a couple of weeks ago and totally geeked out over the design and formatting. It really is aesthetically pretty. When that comes out I'm sure I'll announce here too. Another article may be published online in the next six months, or may take 12-18 months. Ironically that one details my earliest work. Oh well.

At this point I was going to write about my experience of writing publications, but I think that's best saved for a separate post as it's likely to drag on. In the meantime, check out my publications if you've been thinking, "Sure she can make pretty slideshows, but how good is her research?!"

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