On International Women’s Day, March 8th, BFWG Swansea Association held a lunch in honour of doctoral student, Emma West, who has been awarded the E.W. Vanstone scholarship prize for academic excellence in her field. Emma is a PhD student in Critical and Cultural Theory in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy at Cardiff University. At the lunch Dr. Elizabeth Poskitt, of the BFWG Scholarship Committee, presented Emma with a cheque for £4,000 and Emma then gave a talk to those present explaining her research.
Emma has written a blog for us:
“I am so delighted to have won the Ellen Wynne Vanstone scholarship. Mrs Vanstone was a Welsh speaker and a Celtic Studies scholar, so as someone living and working in Wales it is a real honour to receive this award. It is going to help me immeasurably with my academic career, enabling me to attend conferences in far-flung locations, to pursue national and international archival research, and to fund the use of images in academic publishing.
I have already begun to use my award to help fund research for my thesis, ‘The Highs and Lows of Modernism: A Cultural Deconstruction’. My work aims to develop new ways of classifying modern culture that allow us to consider ‘high-‘, ‘middle-‘ and ‘low-brow’ cultural objects together. This interest in the ‘low’ and ‘middlebrow’ means I spend a lot of time in archives uncovering previously overlooked texts. Shortly after I found out I had won the award, I spent several weeks in the British Library working on popular British story magazines. Thanks to my award, I was able to pay to create scans of the magazines, allowing me to continue to work with these texts for years to come.
This is just a small example of how this award has already enhanced my research. Although I have done most of the research for my thesis, I still have work to do for my final chapter on the influence of jazz on modern culture. There are many overseas jazz archives, including those at Harvard and the University of Chicago, which I can now visit, enriching my research and improving my chances of publication.
I would like to thank the British Federation of Women Graduates for this wonderful award, and for the kindness that the Swansea group showed me at my awards ceremony on Saturday. I couldn’t have thought of a better way to spend International Women’s Day”.