01/09 – 08/09 Jon Greenaway

Some of you may already be familiar with next week’s curator, Jon Greenaway, better known as @TheLitCritGuy, a prodigious tweeter on literary theory, who I never would have pegged as an early career researcher. Looking forward to hearing about the beer too.

Firstly, hello! My name is Jon Greenaway though I usually go by @TheLitCritGuy. After following the account for a while, it’s a little nerve wracking to be stepping in for a week as in terms of academic career I am very much an early career researcher. I finished my BA and MLit at the University of Stirling and will be starting my PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University in a little over 3 weeks. My thesis is an examination of the relationship between theological and cultural discourses around evil and monstrosity throughout the Gothic 1800s – the idea of sticking to just one field was one I just couldn’t bring myself to expect, so look forward to monsters, the Victorians, theology and discussions of things that go bump in the night to crop up over the next week.

As my Twitter handle probably gives away, I have another humanities-related passion too. After starting an account, I was a little at a loss with what to use it for until after I finished my Master’s thesis, (an analysis of late 20thC Gothic writing with heavy doses of Slavoj Zizek and Foucault)when I decided to concentrate on talking about literary and critical theory online.

It may seem initially counter intuitive to try and summarize and communicate some of the most abstract (and occasionally verbose) writers in academia in 140-character bursts, but the account has been a great success. I assumed that it might attract only a couple of dozen word nerds but it gained followers much more quickly than I could have anticipated. It seems that there is a wider audience for critical theory outside a narrow slice of the academic world and given the fascinating conversation that’s been developing over on @WeTheHumanities about public engagement and communication it would be great to talk about how it is possible to leverage social media for purposes other than academic networking. So expect Foucault, Derrida, Zizek, Lacan, Butler, Marx and a few others to show up at various stages throughout the week…

Finally there’s one more angle that is bound to make an appearance. As someone who is just making their first steps into academia the next week represents a great opportunity for me to ask some questions of a wider audience: what do you wish you had known when starting in academia? What things should ECR’s focus on? What’s the best thing that ECR’s can offer to any department?  It would be great to hear some of your thoughts on these questions and any other advice you think I might need!

In order to pay for all this academia I’m a manager at an independent craft beer bar too so at the very least I’ll finish this week by leaving you all a little more savvy about whatever you use to take the edge of after a long day.

So. Let’s get tweeting shall we?

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