I’d like to begin this post by first extending a huge thank you to Emily Spiers for all the hard work that she has put into the role of PG Representative over the past three years and also to the WiGS community for kindly electing me as her successor. Emily’s efforts during her time on the WiGS committee have really set the bar for future PG representatives and it is a challenge that I’m very much looking forward to!
As a second year PhD student of the history of gender and sexuality (see: Thesis of the Month), it was Emily’s ‘herstory’ project, showcased at the 25th Anniversary Conference in Sheffield, that initially drew me to the role of PG Rep. The history of Women in German Studies is something I believe is truly worth documenting and the online archive is a project that I would like to see develop over the next three years through regular updates and future exhibitions.
The WiGS ‘herstory’ project will be an important part of my agenda as the new PG Rep, however, it is the issues of online presence and visibility of PG research that I would primarily like to address in my new position.
Although both the WiGS blog and the ‘Thesis of the Month’ have provided fantastic platforms for the research of our PG members, I think that there are several ways we can increase the visibility of our PG researchers and their initiatives further. The blog has been a great monologue but it is my aim to see a conversation develop between PG members and the wider research community that encourages collaboration and increases interest in our projects.
My main proposal as PG Rep, therefore, is the launch of a complementary ‘vlog’ section on the WiGS wordpress site. During my time with the committee, I would like to work together with PG members to create short videos that explain our research projects in a bid to offer more dynamic ways of disseminating and presenting our ideas to the public. Additionally, I will be linking the blog more closely to networking sites such as academia.edu, LinkedIn and Google+ to make it easier for readers to access the research profiles of our contributors.
To continue to build on the concept of networking, I would also like to make use of ‘Google Hangouts’ to facilitate online meetings between PG members to discuss the potential for more regular PG workshops, and to use Twitter on a rotational basis to present a more diverse Twitter feed and to help promote the individual research of our members.
As a final note, I would like to welcome any suggestions from PG members about ideas for projects they would like to become involved with or for further improvements to the blog.
Thank you once again to all those who voted and I look forward to working with you over the next three years!