Hi Joanna, congratulations on passing your viva! How does it feel?!

It’s a huge relief and very pleasing


What was your PhD title?

Performance of the self in the theatre of the elite. The King’s Theatre, 1760-1789: The opera house as a political and social nexus for women


Can you explain in a couple of sentences what your PhD was about?

The thesis took the audience and performers at the London Opera House in the late eighteenth century as a starting point, and examined the status of the women in the audience and the performers on the stage and their position in society. It was an analysis of their self-presentation through dress, discussing the psychological aspects of their decisions and how these were affected by social mores of the time.


Can you sum up your PhD experience in three words?

Fascinating and enjoyable, but LONG!


What was the viva like?

Gruelling, but then it should be, it’s a PhD!

Doing it on-line was strange, I hadn’t realised how much I was looking forward to meeting the examiners.


What are your top tips to someone preparing for their viva?

You know this subject better than anyone else, keep remembering that.

I also found a list of ‘top 10 viva questions’ and got a friend to help me answer them.

But then the questions they asked me were completely unexpected! I think just reading the thesis again several times was actually the best preparation.


Any advice you’d tell your earlier PhD self now you’ve made it to the other side?

Don’t beat yourself up when you have a slow week, you haven’t stopped and next week will be better.


What are you up to now and any exciting plans for the future?

Back to teaching, but also planning to launch a new MA with colleagues, which is exciting.

Planning journal papers based on the thesis.


Thanks so much for your time, we wish you all the best for the future!

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