Author Archives: Claire Förster

About Claire Förster

It's always hard to put a life in a nut-shell - whilst this is fairly obvious in the literary sense, I find it holds true for the figurative meaning of the saying, too. Since you can always ask me for further elaborations on the many supremely interesting (...) aspects of myself, I shall focus on Academia: Having graduated with a BA in Social/Cultural Anthropology and Political Sciences from Freie Universität Berlin, Germany (2015), I did my masters in Aberdeen, Scotland. Its title? MSc. Sex, Gender and Violence: Critical Approaches. Now, having finished my PhD at the Human Geography department of Swansea University, Wales, I have moved to a place I never knew before in germany to engage in the leisure of job-hunting. If I am not studying...well, when I was not studying, I used to be a cretive writer a.k.a. poetry slammer in Berlin. Also, I volunteered with Amnesty International and in several self-organised women's projects, both in Germany and the UK. In Swansea, I also volunteered with asylum-seekers and rough sleepers, just to keep me sociabe (sort of) whilst PhD-ing for my life. Apart from that? Food. Baking and eating are probably the most common activities you will see me perform; sometimes while and sometimes for studying...

You Got Your PhD With THAT? (Part II)

Oh, hello, there! You look like I know you from Part I of this post? If not (a) your face is awfully familiar to someone else and (b) you might want to go there. It would make the experience of reading what follows here more…coherent? Enjoyable?

More like the author intended, anyway. For those of you whose reading skills have already been tested in part I, this is – unsurprisingly – the sequel to your adventure, called: Part II Continue reading

‘I know what I want to say, but I just can’t write it down!’ – Look like a familiar trope? Unless you are of the rare breed of (novice) researchers, who just happens to be an erudite word artist, you might find that ‘writing a thesis’ is much more than ‘just writing stuff down’. That is, I would argue, in large parts due to the idea of what a ‘thesis’ is supposed to look like, i.e. (implicit and explicit) conventions on how to format and formalise ‘outcomes’ of successful PhD research. Such premeditated norms, however, function arguably less as orientational guidelines and more like incredibly high bars to jump over, as part of a somersault through the proverbial burning loop of tight deadlines and inexperience. Even with growing experience, such norms influence research dissemination forms a.k.a. ‘outputs’ at later research stages with similarly stress-inducing consequences.

This blog post suggests (and hopefully incites) questioning the established Modus Operandi of ‘disseminating research findings’ or ‘sharing knowledge’. In such a ‘writing against writing norms’ spirit, I refer anecdotally to my PhD thesis that is a Live-Action Role-Play (LARP) to make several points about unconventional research methods and their possible usefulness. But just to take off the edge straight away: Yes, I did get my title with that. Continue reading