Category Archives: PhD Diary

PhD update – February 2019

It’s been a strange few months. I don’t feel like I’ve actually ‘done’ all that much, but I do seem to be making some sort of progress. Yesterday I printed out a complete first draft of my thesis, and I’ve just submitted amendments for a publication that I hope will be forthcoming later this year. I’ve also launched a podcast, and had a feature article printed in SCAN.

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AHRC funding success

I’m pleased to announce that the sci-fi team here at Lancaster have won over £1,000 of funding to support our conference Embodying Fantastika, which is set to take place this coming summer (2019). Much work has been put into the project already and we look forward to some really exciting announcements once the keynote speakers have been confirmed and the CFP when it goes out.

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Stranger than fiction

Camp Concentration book coverIf there’s one thing I’ve learnt during my PhD it’s that truth is very often stranger than fiction.

I’ve just recently finished reading Thomas M. Disch’s Camp Concentration (1968), in which prisoners in the United States are injected with a form of syphilis in order to boost their intelligence. Strange as this may sound, it’s nothing compared with real life.

In 1972, whistle-blower Peter Buxtun revealed the that the US Public Health Service had been conducting secret studies on African-Americans, in the now infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment. The study started in 1932 and ran for over 40 years without the participants knowing they had the disease, and without them ever being treated with penicillin.

Of course, Disch couldn’t have known about the Tuskegee experiments when he was writing in the 1960s, but this revelation sure does make you think. Continue reading »

PhD Diary: August 2018

It’s been a busy few months here in Lancaster. Since my last PhD diary update I’ve spent a fair amount of my time working on various projects for publication including two book chapters and a paper for Foundation which should appear (I hope) in Spring 2019. I’ve also started on a project to self-publish a novel I wrote several years back, and am looking forward to teaching first year undergraduates in the English department starting in October. Continue reading »