English and Related Literature
Jack is in the fourth year of his PhD and hoping to submit in August. His thesis explores the early short films of Charlie Chaplin in the context of emerging mass-amusement culture in America between 1880 and 1920. Jack works part-time job for the University’s Writing Centre, a drop-in service for undergraduate students – of all subjects – who want extra help with their essay writing.
Monday starts with a meeting with my supervisor to discuss a chapter draft. This turn out to be a good meeting: on to the next chapter! I have my own desk in the Berrick Saul Building (BSB), and I’m working here when I receive a long-awaited email. It’s from Film History Journal. They are interested in publishing the essay I have submitted, but not in its current form. They’ve suggested a number of revisions. This will have to wait - I need to finish my thesis!
In the morning I’m at the Writing Centre again for a couple of hours. Later I board a train to Sheffield to attend the Charlie Chaplin centenary held by the University of Sheffield. Tonight it’s Chaplin biographer David Robinson giving a talk. I have his book on my desk and refer to it all the time! My thesis makes some criticisms of his arguments, but he seems like a nice guy! I remind myself to handle my criticisms politely!
A straight-forward day of writing up at the Berrick Saul Building.
I’m back at the BSB in the morning. After lunch I go to to my part-time job for the University’s Writing Centre, a drop-in service for undergraduate students – of all subjects – who want extra help with their essay writing.
Having stayed with a friend, I’m still in Sheffield. I work at his house and in the evening we set out for another Chaplin event. It’s a screening of some of Chaplin’s early films, one’s I’ve watched dozens of times on my laptop. But this is in an auditorium, with a live pianist. I notice things on the big screen I’d missed, and the vocal audience response adds another layer of interest. I’m reminded just how bizarre these early films are, and of why wanted to study them in the first place.
Going to visit my girlfriend in London this weekend, just two hours on the train. Fortunately I managed to get a bargain tickets, £23 there and back!