Boom. Another PhD milestone on the road to… erm… I’ll be totally honest with you, I don’t exactly know yet. But I’m having fun, so it doesn’t matter? On Tuesday I was up at 4am and out the door before 6am to attend the North West Gender Conference at Lancaster University. Large, strong coffee was consumed. A lot.
NWGC was a great interdisciplinary conference focused around gender in research. There were some amazing papers and posters, and I met some equally amazing people. It’s nice to get outside of psychology once in a while! You never know when you’ll meet geographers and Russian/history scholars and end up getting a severe case of research envy.
Research envy. That feeling when you're at a conference and want to do everyone else's research! Great variety here at #nwgc14
— Jessica Drakett (@JessicaDrakett) April 22, 2014
I’m really grateful that I had the chance to present my first ever conference paper at NWGC, as it was such a warm and supportive environment. I focused on the aspects of gender that had come out in my meme analysis, and it went (surprisingly?) well. People seemed to be engaged, and I got some great comments and feedback. I also got a bunch of questions, which made for an interesting bit of discussion post-talk. This wasn’t as scary as I’d expected it to be (questions being pretty much the only thing that was making me nervous) and I think I handled them okay? Mostly people seemed to want to know about things that actually are in the data but weren’t specifically about gender, so I hadn’t discussed – e.g. the assumed age of people making memes, or assumptions about common/shared experiences such as porn viewing habits. I only wish the slot had been a bit longer than 15 minutes, because there was so much stuff I did end up excluding from the paper.
For purposes of stroking my own ego a bit in weeks and months to come (when all hope seems lost, and I am descending into pre-wedding madness or herding participants or analysing focus group data in a flurry of post-it notes and coffee) here are some lovely Tweets that make me happy.
Socially awkward penguin in a presentation – I'm sold already #nwgc14
— Gina Collins (@georginamay92) April 22, 2014
@_JessLowndes if you aren't a white male you're fair game in the meme 'world' #nwgc14
— NW Gender Conference (@NWGenderConf) April 22, 2014
— Siobhán Hearne (@siobhanhearne) April 22, 2014
@_JessLowndes belated, but very much enjoyed your talk! Very good taxonomy of memes and revelation of their cultural secrets!
— Mark C. NotCISSP (@LargeCardinal) April 22, 2014
So much love – it really was a great day, in spite of the massively early start. Also, the conference had pie. I love me a bit of pie. Check out the fun and games on Twitter using the hashtag #nwgc14.