A varied mixture of factors from my academic background, work in industry, and creative hobbies, all converged on a cross-disciplinary research idea which rapidly morphed into a Ph.D study. The topic was a specific area of local and social history, but my approach to the research process was strongly influenced by my scientific background and my work as a lecturer in computer science. In this seminar, I will describe the research project itself, along with some of the advantages and pitfalls of working on a cross-disciplinary Ph.D study. I will also touch on the joys and frustrations of studying for a Ph.D part-time. Finally, I will describe plans for ongoing work in the field as part of the Centre for Digital Humanities here at Chester.
This seminar is likely to be of interest to current Ph.D students and those considering Ph.D study in the future, as well as Ph.D supervisors and administrators (especially those working with part-time students).
Helen Southall graduated with a B.Sc. in Physics and Music from the University of Keele, later followed by an M.Sc in Computation from the University of Manchester. She worked in the energy and insurance industries for 10 years before joining the University of Chester Computer Science department in 1998. Helen has recently been awarded a Ph.D for research on the live music industry in the Chester area. She is a founding member of the new Centre for Digital Humanities Research at the University of Chester.