Post-Submission Thoughts

Here are five thoughts about the things I wish I knew three or four years ago, when I started this blog and was just beginning to research my topic:

What a New Doctoral Candidate (in Britain) Might Want to Know


End of Year 3

Here it is — the end of year 3. The usual mayhem of May Week is over, and all undergraduates have gone home. Chatty tourists, excited summer-schoolers and stressed graduate students now inhabit Cambridge. As for me, it seems I’ll be staying at least another term. Submission goal: winter of 2013/14.

(S)kill of the Abstract

Writing an abstract (otherwise known as brutally chopping dozens of monumental pages, into which you’ve put all your mental energy for weeks, into several blank concise sentences that are supposed to sound attractive) is a skill everyone in academia has to survive learn upon their very first peer review submission.

Memory and Theory Conference

July’s first week was thoroughly conference-themed. It all started on Monday with a two-day conference entitled Memory and Theory in Eastern Europe, taking place at King’s College, Cambridge. This specialized event attracted some serious heavy-weights of memory theory, as well as a whole set of experts who work in memory studies.

May Week 2011

May Week is drawing to an end, and I don’t quite know how to start comprehending the fact that my first year at Cambridge is already over. Wikipedia – a grad student’s best friend – says: “May Week is the name used within the University of Cambridge to refer to a period of time at the end of the academic year. It takes place in June. The end of exams is a cause for heavy celebration amongst the students of the University.

For the love of King’s

The Oxbridge system relies rather heavily on the collegiate system of governance and organization. In face of a demanding and highly structured Oxford / Cambridge approach to education, one invariably takes comfort in one’s chosen college – which becomes, in many ways, one’s social and intellectual home.


If you stop on that bridge and let the last echoes of someone’s midnight stilettos fade away into the winter air, you begin to slip imperceptibly into a nameless, solitary, still space between the pages of time, filled with voices from the past and faces from the future.

Punts, Pints, and Kasianov

I enjoyed getting to know historian Georgiy Kasianov of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (and his lovely wife Oksana) when he came to Cambridge in early December this year to give a lecture on the Great Famine of 1932-33 at one of our regular CRASSH events. On the following day, the three of us went…

In Lieu of an Introduction

Do you know that feeling when something has been on your mind for so long that you don’t quite know how to start sharing it? This is what I’m feeling now, as I stare at the blank page which is to become my blog. It’s the final week of my very first term as a PhD candidate in Slavonic Studies at Cambridge University.