Regular Features

This blog runs four regular (almost) monthly features, but there are a range of major themes that our blog posts address.

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REGULAR MONTHLY FEATURES

Under the Spotlight… Each month we unveil the secrets of one French historian. From intellectual inspirations to favourite foods, find out what French historians are thinking, reading, and inviting to their fantasy dinner parties.

Voices of ECRs Whilst Under the Spotlight interviews postdocs and established scholars, this interview series looks exclusively at postgrads and their lives in – and a little bit beyond – academia. It is so refreshing to hear about the struggles and successes of those starting out in their careers.

French History @IHR The Modern French History seminar series has been running for many years at the IHR. Once or twice a month, during term time, the co-convenors invite a historian of France to discuss their research in a convivial and stimulating setting between 17h30 and 19h, followed by drinks at the Birkbeck Bar and dinner in Bloomsbury. For those living out of London who cannot make it to the seminar, this regular feature summarises the latest seminar invitations and discussions.

Feature Archive Each month (almost!) a researcher discusses an archive which they have used: from national archives to departmental archives, from archives in France to archives in America, from oral history to conducting your own interviews, be inspired by new ideas and archives you had not thought of using before….

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MAJOR THEMES

New Directions in Research and Methods In September 2015, a group of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers came together to discuss the methodological hurdles of their own research, and reflected on the future of French historical research with Will Pooley. We have since expanded this discussion. Here, we follow the conversation in different workshop settings and with new participants. 

Present Concerns From Brexit to terror to Calais to Macron, French historians have brilliantly contributed to this blog by reflecting on some of the most controversial debates and questions of our time. This collection of posts, aside from giving us new insights into current affairs, reminds us of the impact historians can have on current debates and affairs.

Thinking about Research Our research leads to publications (well, that is generally the aim). Publications in peer-review journals and books and edited volumes. But our research also generates many other questions and thoughts, sometimes about the field more broadly, and sometimes about the doodles in the margins of archival documents. 

Historians, Social Media and the Internet The internet is upon us. There is no escaping it. Is this a good thing? What about when you throw social media in the mix? Can social media be used by historians to reinforce transnational intellectual networks? What else is it used for, and how does the broader use of the internet and technology affect our research? 

Applying for Jobs Whether you are still doing a PhD or are already an Early Career Researcher on a temporary contract, you probably know that launching your career in academia can be as exciting and fulfilling as it can be terrifying and heartbreaking. We give insights into applications, interview techniques, publications and real postdoc experiences.

Writing and Publishing  The process of writing, for a minority, is seamless, quick and inspiring. For a large majority, it is full of hurdles, from procrastination to writer’s block to rigorous scheduling and middle-of-the-night panic attacks. It’d be nice to share some of these experiences and tips, wouldn’t it? And some tips on publishing, too, whilst we’re at it.

Teaching How do young researchers think about their teaching duties and administrative workloads? How do you teach French history to people who cannot speak French? What sources do we use, and what methods do we have to generate enthusiasm?  Follow these posts where French historians share their thoughts, trials and tribulations.

ASMCF/SSFH Postgrad Study Day Every year, the ASMCF and the SSFH postgraduate researchers get together to discuss their research. This annual event is key in highlighting the new work of young scholars, but also of creating networks and contacts which can help postgraduates develop their research, publication and career plans.

Conference, Workshops and Events is a space where you can find CFPs, reports on conferences and workshops, announcements for journal issues, seminars and a range of other events in Britain but also in France.

PhDs Outside Academia Is the end goal of the PhD … academia? Maybe not. This fantastic series discusses how doctoral researchers have left academia and ventured into a range of other projects, finding intellectual and personal fulfilment beyond the space of the university campus. A breath of fresh air.

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