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I'm writing this post from the comfort of my sofa, as it's been an alarmingly long and busy week, which culminated with a very soggy journey through London yesterday afternoon. I've been here, there and everywhere, and I'm exhausted, but for the next hour I shall be fuelled by a huge bar of chocolate and cup of tea as I attempt to produce some coherent words. So, what's been going on? Well, let me tell you! I began the week as usual at work, but from Wednesday onwards I was lucky enough to be invited to help out at the Literary London Conference 2015 at Senate House! Cool, huh? It was my first experience of an academic conference, and I really had no idea what to expect. Each of the three days was made up of a number of panels, during which academics from across the world - from the UK to Canada to Italy - would present their research. As you might have guessed from the title, the conference is focused on London. And this year's theme was 'London in Love' - ah, how romantic!

But we're not talking about the mushy stuff - absolutely not. In fact, my favourite panels were on addiction, prostitution, and (would you believe it) syphilis in Jacobean London. We sped through the centuries with only a handful of coffee breaks to catch our breath. Academic conferences are not for the faint-hearted. I don't think I've ever learnt so much in such a short space of time, both from the panels I attended and from the conversations I had. It's given me great insight into this new world of research, and I'm totally stuffed on food-for-thought. As expected, I stumbled upon inevitable conversations about the bleak outlook of the academic job market, an issue that has impacted on my PhD considerations more than I'd like to admit. But (and this is a load-lightening sunshine of a but) I also heard some refreshing perspectives on independent academia, and the potential to work 'freelance' for want of a better word. I'm feeling totally inspired now and am ready to get started on my journal articles with plenty of oomph! Huge thanks to the Literary London Society for such a great event, and to the Institute of English Studies for their facilitation.

(Note: I realise that the content of this blog has shifted slightly, but so has the content of my life, and I want to share that. I'll be scouting out more events and opportunities, and plan on documenting my academic journey here at JESMGIA.) 

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