About “Crossing the Void”

Submitting to “Crossing the Void”

If you are an early career researcher/scholar or a postgraduate student nearing the end of your PhD studies, we would love to read your reflections on the post-submission period and your professional choices with regard to an academic career. Our aim is to formulate a network of narratives from across the globe that present different takes on what happens after the PhD so as to create a sense of solidarity and connection among the IABA SNS members and to present, at the same time, the current state of things in academia. Should you wish to contribute to “Crossing the Void,” please send your piece of no more than 800 words, a short biographical note of no more than 100 words, and a photograph to iabasnsnetwork@gmail.com. Please kindly note that the 8th edition MLA citation system should be used and copyright permissions should be included where necessary.

Essays in the Series

Olga Michael, “Crossing the Void: Life After the PhD”
Introducing her series, Olga Michael addresses the challenges facing scholars upon completion of their graduate degrees. The series invites emerging and established scholars to share their experiences and advice, joining us in a conversation that devises strategies to cross the void.

Kate Browne, “Crossing the Void: Work Worth Doing, or How I Learned to Love the Void”
Kate Browne tells how her PhD work on autobiographical dieting practices, weight loss success stories, and food journaling have influenced her online teaching and her own Facebook “autobiography-in-action.” Introducing her project, Taking Up Space, she explains how she sees her activism as a form of teaching outside academia. 

Ozlem Ezer, “Crossing the Void: Importance of Community and Perseverance While Riding on the PhD Boat”
Ozlem Ezer writes of her experiences of both the PhD process and the post-submission period in Canada, the US, Cyprus, and Sweden, stressing the usefulness of supportive communities. Describing her journey through the PhD and “across the void,” she explains that it is okay to stop, to take breaks, to experiment, and to realize in the process what works best for you. 

Sarah Lightman, “Crossing the Void: The Constructive Wilderness that is Post-Submission”
Sarah Lightman presents the experience of the void from the perspective of a woman who also happens to be a successful cartoonist and a mother. Having just submitted her PhD thesis, Sarah explains how she balances the needs of her son, her artistic creativity, and her scholarly output. 

Ana Belén Martínez García, “Crossing the Void: Uncertainty and Self-Doubt vs Finding Joy in Research”
Ana Belén Martínez García talks about the difficulties of a self-funded PhD, marriage, and the road to tenure. She refers to the importance of mentorship and her turn from medieval literature to the study of human rights life narratives of young refugee women. In a beautifully reflective tone, Ana shows why this kind of life writing matters to her, both in relation to her role as an academic and beyond it.

Lara Bardsley, “Crossing the Void: Grieving and Transformation”
Lara Bardsley reflects on the value of collecting ‘familial stories of loss, trauma, separation, suicide, and genocide’ for her research. Beautifully capturing her feelings of loss upon her PhD submission, she notes the ‘transformative power of witnessing our stories’ she has gained during the PhD, which she carries with her in her professional career.