Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Can Has Fellowship!

I'm definitely going to have more time to blog next year thanks to the recent news that I have been awarded an Australian Research Council postdoctoral fellowship. This means that I have a paying job for three years and all I have to do is research.

The project is a collaborative one with Professor Clare Bradford at Deakin University and Dr Kristine Moruzi, who is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, Canada. It is snappily entitled, "From colonial to modern: transnational girlhood in Australian, New Zealand, and Canadian print cultures (1840-1940)". Translated into non-academese, this means that we'll be raiding the archives of girls' book and magazines for these three countries to uncover lots of things girls were reading that no one has yet looked at. Because there will be so much primary material, we're each responsible for trawling through one nation's libraries in the first instance. I'll be charged with the Australian books and magazines, Clare with New Zealand and Kristine with Canada (which is handy, seeing she is living there).

I'm hoping there will be lots of exciting finds in libraries across Australia to report on here. I've got conference trips planned to Adelaide in February and Brisbane in July, so I will no doubt build in some book unearthing time to these.

And, in another exciting news, I've been asked by the lovely Angie Hesson to give a lecture on childhood from 1750-1850 at the Johnston Collection of decorative arts in March next year. It will be the first lecture in a series to accompany a special exhibition called "Oh, Do Grow Up: Growing up in England 1750-1850". Time to brush up on Romantic and Regency childhood. And perhaps the person giving the talk should have grown up themselves, as I just bought a stuffed toy replica of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (from the classic stop-motion animation movie). What can I say, his nose actually does light up, and he speaks too. This is all integral to the research process.


Unknown said...

Woohoo!!! Most excellent news, isn't it?! I can't wait to see how the project turns out.

Adelaide Dupont said...

So what was Regency childhood like?

We only get a few pictures, for example, from Jane Austen.

And I took note of the words "transnational cultures" and "print culture".

Michelle Smith said...

A belated response, Adelaide. The answer is, I can tell you more in March when I've done all of the research! In a preliminary sense, it's generally understood that this is the period when "childhood" as a distinct category is created. Previously children were sometimes thought of as miniature adults, not necessarily as "innocent". The Romantic idea of childhood as a period of innocence still persists obviously.

I'll post as I discover more.