The U.S. Studies Online 60 Seconds interview feature offers a short and informal introduction to a postgraduate, academic or non-academic specialist working in the American and Canadian Studies field or a related American and Canadian Studies association.
Our first interviews will be with the U.S. Studies Online Editorial team so you can get to know a little more about us.
Where are you right now?
At home, sitting at my desk in the study. I’m surrounded by paper, books and an empty mug (time for another cup of tea I think).
If you could time-travel to observe one moment in the history of America, where would you go?
Probably Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. I’d keep my eye on that grassy knoll…
Who would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?
That’s a tricky one. Princess Diana for definite. At the risk of sounding sentimental I’d invite my Great Grandparents on both sides as I never really knew them. I’d love to hear all of their stories. I’d also invite Catherine of Aragon, I have great respect for her (and she and Diana would get on well…) I guess I need to invite a few more men. Hmmm, Tom Hanks and John F. Kennedy. I reckon there’d be some very interesting – and controversial – conversations!
You’re stranded on a desert island, but luckily you pre-empted it. Which book do you take with you?
Margrave of the Marshes by John Peel and Sheila Ravenscroft. It’s one of the few books I’ve finished within a week (outside of PhD reading I’m ashamed to say that I’m not a prolific reader). Peel was such a great man and influential on so many levels. Having the book with me would be like having his company.
What has been your most memorable career moment so far?
As a part-time PhDer I’m still in the early stages of my ‘career’. The best part so far has to be giving my first three hour lecture on my own to a class of First years. That was beyond amazing. I’m going to borrow a cliché here and say that was when I knew where I wanted to go in life.
What advice would you give to early career academics?
Don’t worry about asking questions. Just ask! There’s no point getting caught up with a problem when you can discuss it and talk it out. You’re never alone when you’re doing research, although it’s hard to remember that sometimes!
What are you looking forward to most in the next six months?
Starting my next chapter (metaphorically and literally). I can’t wait to get on and see where the next part leads me.
How did you come to your current area of research?
My Undergraduate dissertation. It was about Emo as the last subculture, which led very nicely onto deeper understandings of punk, cultural contact, and the relationships between fine art and popular music.
What profession other than academia would you like to attempt?
Oooooh, now that is a good question! I’ve already written a mini-series of children books and I’d love to write more and get them ‘officially’ published (Lulu is great, but something more solid would be amazing).
What book is currently on your bedside table?
I have five! Haha! None of which I’ve finished…I get easily distracted(!) In my defence though a couple are reference books…From the top-down:
Just Kids by Patti Smith (2012),
The Armifield’s Animal-Book by Constance Smedley Armfield, with pictures by Maxwell Armfield (1922),
Hounds & Dogs: Their Care, Training & Working for Hunting, Shooting, Coursing, Hawking, Police Purposes, & C., & C. Edited by A. Croxton Smith (1932),
The French Lieutenant’s Woman, by John Fowles (1969),
The Personal History of Racehl DuPree by Ann Weisgarber (2012)
Be honest; how long has it been there?
Ha! I’m not naming names (I must keep some dignity intact) but most just over a year with a couple under three months or so…
What’s in your fridge right now?
Loads! I love love love cooking. That and working out are my main wind-downs (and luckily go hand-in-hand!) I’ve got mozzarella, blue cheese, cheddar, a selection of vegetables (including spinach which is my favourite), two breads, bacon, eggs (a bacon and egg pie is on the horizon), purées, milk (of course!), toad-in-the-hole leftovers, double cream, garlic, honey, mayo, lemon, cupcakes, tomato sauce…