“Online Engagement in the Humanities,” and “North Korea 2065” : Two Presentations at Durham University

Durham is a lovely medieval town in northeast England, and home to one of the UK’s top universities. On 19 June I was fortunate to have been invited to serve as a speaker at two events.

Screen shot 2013-07-05 at 4.44.30 PMThe first, a humanities engagement workshop organized by PhD students in the School of History at Durham, was an opportunity to share some thoughts about ways that online platforms like Sino-NK can help graduate students get a foothold into various professions and enhance the “impact” of their own research.

This was followed up with some very helpful conversation with Alastair Brown, a scholar of cybernetics and literature and editor of the Research in English At Durham (READ) blog, and Will Viney of the Centre for Medical Humanities at Durham and an editor at Pod Academy. Alastair Brown has done some very interesting work on how scholars can use Twitter to measure public engagement with their work, and Will Viney’s scholarship delves into myths surrounding twins, and his podcasting work is exemplary and stimulating: this podcast on “Forgotten Fiction”,  with references to bookstores and work by angry inter-war male writers in England, is a wonderful example.

A PowerPoint outline of my presentation is included below.

The second presentation was to a North Korea-related group, about which more can be read more here.  The group’s head, Byul Ryan-Im, has a great approach to study of DPRK that includes bringing in a truly excellent Korean language teacher to meet with the group for more than one intensive hour after the guest speaker concludes. Naturally I really enjoyed the language lesson as well as the comments during my talk and the Q and A afterwards. It was a very productive and intensive experience, and this group obviously has great things in store.


(2013). “Online Engagement and Researchers’ Careers,” paper at Public Engagement for Postgraduates in the Arts and Humanities, conference at Durham University, 19 June.

Additional Files: (ppt.) 


    1. Thanks, KT. I have been meaning to jump over to Just Recently and get in on the discussion about the “desertification” of China blogs; as you can imagine that’s quite an impetus for me _not_ to let this particular site atrophy!

  1. Aha, I see what you mean, now, King, with the new design. I will try to monkey around and see if I can’t get the comments to appear above the links/archive etc. Hopefully this does not take three weeks (as I was telling Dr. Will Viney, sometimes I imagine I would be faster if I posted international letters as reminders to myself!).

  2. Thanks for the mention, Adam. Sino-NK is a great example of how to develop a collaborative blog, and I’ll certainly be trying to take some of your ideas into READ. As you say, dissemination is vital to gain a “foothold” in the profession.

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