Research Update: LA

In August and September of 2018, I’m making the pilgrimage to Los Angeles to complete the data collection for my PhD research on women writers for SVoD original scripted series. These small updates will tell you about my progress.

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The Getty Center, Los Angeles

It’s Day 3 in Los Angeles, and I can see why people fall in love with this place. Apart from the outstanding weather, fantastic food and gorgeous scenery, everyone is so friendly. Not a single neighbour at our Air BnB has failed to smile and say hello, and everyone we pass in the street has a smile for us. It’s so refreshing. Yesterday we went to the Getty Center and I can honestly say that, although the exhibits themselves were wonderful, the sheer beauty in the design of the center itself was the most breathtaking thing I’ve seen in a while. And what a view! Driving on the right hand side of the road has been interesting, too – but I think I’m getting into the swing of it.

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This is the face of someone enjoying the most spectacular LA view.

Research-wise, I’ve got a couple of interviews with really special writers lined up and I can’t wait to meet them in person after exchanging emails (one of them for over 2 years!). I’m still working on cracking the code of contact; Twitter has been great for me, and I’m messaging on Instagram, but, to be fair, these are very busy people, and probably have overflowing inboxes.gettyimage2

 

I’m so thankful for the kind writers who have donated their time already to my research. I feel passionately about the work I’m doing (well, one would hope so, I suppose) and I want to do everything in my power to make it inclusive and representative of the diversity that is a) present already but b) not present enough in this industry. My work is about women writers, but that means all types of women. It means women of colour, it means trans women, and it means women from different backgrounds.

 

I have three weeks to make this time in LA count, and I’m crossing all my fingers that it will be as fruitful as I’ve hoped.

 

If you’re reading this and you think you can help make some connections for me, please do direct your friends, colleagues, connections and family to this link.

 

Off to enjoy some writing in the sunshine!

 

K.

Research Update: Assessment

Hello, all three of you who read my blog (hi, Dad). I’ve been really quiet of late, and that’s because I am working my butt off. I know, I know – PhDs are hard to get. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year. I’ve had to learn how to speak Academicese, learn (the hard way) how important note-taking is at this level, and how to manage the work/work balance that is the life of a postgraduate researcher.

It’s not all doom and gloom, though – I’m more excited than ever about my research. My last update was a little bit about the history of women screenwriters, and I’ve been keeping watchful eye on the credits of all the many television shows to which I am fatally addicted to see how many women writers are listed.

In fact, the more I talk about my research (a lot – a friend and I were recently discussing how PGRs are with their PhDs as new parents are with their babies – i.e., everyone else is bored of hearing about it), the more I realise that, actually, quite a lot of other people are interested in it, too. Women in and out of the industry are ready for a change, and that is so uplifting to hear when you feel like you might lose your head if you read one more book that’s not about a lady on the moors.

I’ve lined up my first locked in participant, who is a writer on an action/YA show you may have heard of (hint: it’s on Netflix). She’s a young writer who writes YA fiction on top of being a really successful TV screenwriter. I am so honoured that she’s agreed to be interviewed for my research.

So I’m coming up to the culmination of my first year as a PGR, and it’s been tough. I’m in the last month-long stretch before I hand in my measly little 4,000 word paper (in all honesty, it was 9,500 words last week, and it’s been a nightmare to cut it down…again, hi, Dad), and then I have to stand up and defend my research to a panel of actual academics to prove that I have the moxy to continue down this treacherous but rewarding road.

I’m not going to go into detail about academic works I’ve been reading because, quite frankly, I’m academic-ed out. Instead, I’m going to share with you a little list of the podcasts I’ve been listening to, because times when you’re driving a car is time when you can’t (definitely shouldn’t) be reading journal articles.

So this month’s post (I promise I’ll try to do better) is dedicated to:

Sophia Amoruso – #Girlboss Radio

I love to listen to successful women, especially women who admit that it’s not easy to be successful. Something I really like about this podcast is the personal level to which guests dig to impart knowledge not only about work, but also about family, love, and adulting.

Emma Gannon – Ctrl, Alt, Delete

Same goes here, but British-er. What’s what with the web, for women, with women. As with #Girlboss, this podcast also focuses on successful women who do good things for the world, which is something we all need to hear more about from time to time.

James Morton, Alice Levine, James Cooper – My Dad Wrote a Porno

Because not everything can be feminist studies. And because even PhD students need to laugh until they cry tears of despair and disbelief. #DriverWarning, though – the M60 and I nearly had a problem around about Season 2, Chapter 2.

 

*You can find me on the Twitter here: @KirstenStoddart

**You can find my Dad, who is much more experienced at Academicing, on the Twitter here: @BrianStoddart