Happy New Year! And catching up – essay in “Ethnomusicology Review”

Well, happy new year! It has been some time since I posted an update to my blog and so my resolution for the new year is to improve on that! It has been a very exciting time since I last wrote about my PhD journey – including research visits to South Australia and the USA which have kept me very busy, a scholarship, and passing my first exam in Cornish. All of which I’m going to be writing about on here soon.

This is a kind of cheat, since in this update I’m posting up a link to a piece I was invited to write for Ethnomusicology Review‘s ‘Sounding Board’ blog back in mid-2015 but I didn’t share on here! Ethnomusicology Review is the graduate student publication of the prestigious Department of Ethnomusicology at UCLA. PhD student and Associate Editor of the ‘Sounding Board’ column Kristina Nielsen made contact with me earlier in 2015, and since I was about to go away on a research visit we decided that I would submit the post in September. You can read it here –  “Colonial Celts and Christmas Carols: Cornish Music and Identity in South Australia”.

I was delighted to be asked to write this piece – it was a fantastic opportunity to have my work published with such an important journal in the field. It also allowed me to consolidate some of my research and thoughts from the first year of my PhD. However, perhaps what was most eye-opening was the editing process. Kristina’s questions, comments and suggestions regarding the draft version gave me a real insight into how my writing could improve – not just in terms of style or structure, but also in terms of content for appropriate audiences, even within the field. Perhaps this will resonate with others – sometimes it’s easy to forget what seems self-explanatory when you’ve been studying something for years. For example, I found at a student conference that I definitely needed to over-explain where Cornwall is; one of the international students attending thought it was near Bath, and because I didn’t include a map of the UK in my presentation I couldn’t show them!

I would love to hear any feedback on the article – and stay tuned for more news!

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