Category Archives: Research

Rape in Antiquity: twenty years ago

RapeKPDCToday I received an email from an old friend, Susan Deacy, reminding me that today was the 20th anniversary of the conference we organised together back when we were postgraduate students.  Violence and Power: An International Symposium on Rape in Antiquity brought together an international group of academics and postgraduates, and was held in the University of Wales College of Cardiff (now Cardiff University) on 19th November 1994.  I was researching an M. Phil on gender relations in Greek New Comedy, at Cardiff and Susan was working on her Ph.D. on Athena, at Lampeter.  I seem to recall that we had been instrumental in holding a series of postgraduate seminars bringing together researchers in Wales who were studying Classics, Ancient History, and even Egyptology, and out of this seminar series had emerged the idea for a one day conference.  We had some wonderful speakers, and were able to eventually publish most of the proceedings in a book which we co-edited: Rape in Antiquity: Sexual violence in the Greek and Roman worlds, published in hardback by the Classical Press of Wales in 1997, and in paperback with an updated introduction by Duckworth in 2002.  A quick look on Amazon has just revealed to me that it is now also available on Kindle (news to me!).

Susan briefly blogged about this anniversary, which has prompted me to do the same.  She noted that she has one of the conference posters up on her wall; and while I haven’t done this, I am pretty sure I have the programme and a copy of the poster somewhere at home. (Although I admit that I used to have a framed copy of a review of the book on the wall until the frame was broken).

One memory of the day; it was nerve-wracking and exciting organising a conference for the first time, and from the very start I felt as if I had stepped upon a roller coaster from which there was no getting off.  As well as organisers, we were both also speakers, and I also filled in for another speaker who was unable to reach us.  Their paper involved two slide projectors (none of your modern day powerpoints or prezis!), which made for some complicated timings.  All in all though, the day was a success.

It is hard to believe that twenty years have passed, and I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision in leaving academia and becoming a librarian instead.  As a postgraduate, both during my M.Phil and my Ph.D. there was an excitement and an energy behind my work, and I got to meet some fantastic people who were working on a whole range of research areas within Classics/Ancient History, many of whom are now Professors and Senior Lecturers at Universities across the country.

So, today I am feeling old, but have some great memories of a day of stimulating papers and discussions.  Thanks for the memories Susan!


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Filed under Conferences, Research

A brief think about Things 13 and 14

It’s amazing what a few days away from the real world can do to make you lose track!  After some bacchic worshipping at Greenman I return to find I am losing my grip on the 23 things and have some catching up to do.  But with a 17 page dense list of duplicate MFHDs to manually merge (don’t ask!), I haven’t quite got the time to really play around with Google docs, wikis, Dropbox, Zotero, Mendeley and CiteULike.  However, if I can at least write a few random thoughts on these subjects for now, I can pretend I am still keeping on top of things!

Thing 13 – Online collaborating and filesharing.  I have limited experience of this, but did use a wiki (PBWorks) last year when I was a member of a team organising the library side of the WHELF/HEWIT annual colloquium at Gregynog.  The higher education institutions in Wales take turns in organising it, and last year it was Cardiff University and UWIC who did the honours.  A wiki was set up to help us organise the programme and the entertainment (we had our own murder mystery!) and the sponsorship, and it did prove valuable in being able to sort things out between meetings.  I have to admit to not feeling too comfortable using it though, despite it being relatively easy to use, I kept feeling I was missing something and wasn’t using it properly.  We have a couple of in-house collaborating systems, and as I don’t use them that much, again, I feel like I am floundering around.  I guess most of these systems work best when you have a good reason to use them, and plenty of use out of them.

Thing 14 – Referencing systems.  Well, this made me laugh, I wrote a 100,000 word PhD and did all my references by hand!  I still have all my little card boxes; cards in alphabetical order by author.  And of course, well into the project I even started noting on the back where I had put the article/photocopy/ILL when I had the copy (ie which folder/boxfile etc), and if it was a library book, what the classmark was – which was all extremely useful, and something I really should have done from the start.  I still use some of these articles for other research, and am always really annoyed with myself when I haven’t written the location on the back!

So, would I have benefitted from one of these systems???  Well, I haven’t the time to check them out at the moment, but will do so at a later point and report back.  From my earlier comment, I think I would like to see the facility to note down where I was keeping my article/photocopy (as I did on the back of cards); although of course these days there would be a higher chance of the articles being online, so a link to full text would be handy too.  I guess the proof of the pudding would be in the eating, so next time I am writing an article, or doing some research, I should perhaps attempt to use one of these systems, and see how they compare.  But I do like my little cards…



Filed under CPD, Librarianship, Research

Thing3 Branding

Well, having just learned that it took one of the cpd23 co-ordinators three weeks to pick a domain, and then an hour to brand her blog I can see that I was justified in worrying about the way mine looks!  I shall also have to try and put some time aside to re-look at ‘themes’ and branding to make mine look better, or more ‘me’ – a ‘thing’ task for this week then.

Had a quick google of my name, and quite depressingly found that there are 25 professionals on LinkedIn with the same name (and I’m not one of them!)

I added my middle name and had another search, and finally found myself.  I know I’m out there in the big world wide web , and I know it is possible to find me.  I’m on which kindly lets me know everytime someone searches for me on google (surprisingly frequently – and I don’t know whether to be worried or pleased!).  I have a few publications to my name, and these are generally the things that people are searching for.  But the page that was first to appear was a ‘day-in-the-life’ that I wrote in 2008: alongside other library staff at Cardiff University –  these features were designed to give  a taste of , and a chronicle of , the range and depth of modern library work at the University.

Earlier this year I attended an internally run course on “The connected researcher” – the library staff running the workshop had designed it primarily for research staff, but had a practice session on library staff who were interested.  One of the things that stuck in my mind was the concept of having a hub, so that all your online presences could be connected – so, for example, if I said something interesting on Twitter, you could go to my hub and find out that I had published on a similar topic, and where you could download the article from, and also find that I had a freely available presentation accessible etc etc.  Rather than having lots of scattered instances of yourself all over the place, with different (nick)names, and branding, you should draw everything together.  Obvious really, but sometimes the obvious needs to be pointed out.

In my brief google search I didn’t find anything about me that I wouldn’t have been happy for a potential colleague/employer to find, which was good – but I could see the need for perhaps bringing various strands together,(and I was rather secretly dismayed at the amount of people with my name!)

So, time to consider how to brand this blog, and whether from now on, this will be my hub (or not?)



Filed under Branding, CPD, Research, Staff development