Society of Dix-Neuviémistes
Old Members’ Trust Travel Grant Report – Rachel Skokowski
Thanks to the generous support of the Old Members’ Trust Travel Grant, I was able to travel to Newcastle University in April for the 16th Annual Conference of the Society of Dix-Neuviémistes (SDN). The SDN Conference is the largest nineteenth-century French studies conference in the UK, bringing together academics and postgraduate students from the UK, Europe, the United States and abroad. The conference is known for being particularly welcoming to postgraduates and creating a close-knit community of nineteenth-century French scholars, so it was a perfect opportunity for me to present my first paper in a conference outside of Oxford. This year’s theme was “Displacements/Déplacements,” and my paper focused on the displacement between text and image in a short story by Jules and Edmond de Goncourt and lithographs by the caricaturist Paul Gavarni, titled “From Lithography to the Lorette: The Goncourts’ La Lorette and Paul Gavarni’s Les Lorettes Vieillies.” I received very useful feedback after my presentation that I plan to use to turn the paper into a journal article, as well as incorporate into my DPhil thesis on the Goncourt brothers.
I really enjoyed attending the presentations and panels across all three days of the conference, which challenged me to think of my research in a broader context and have given me new ideas for expanding my own work. The conference also provided an invaluable opportunity to meet and connect with other postgraduate students and academics working in the same area and learn more about French research happening in the UK. Finally, I also attended a panel on preparing for academic careers, with presenters speaking about the UK, US and Australian job markets, which gave me some valuable career advice and contacts as I consider applying for academic jobs after my DPhil. I am very grateful for the support of the Old Members’ Trust grant in enabling me to have this rewarding experience.