The Times Higher Education (THE) recently republished a post first published on my blog, Research Degree Insiders.
In the post, I say:
If you are finding the PhD hard, that’s okay. If you are being bullied or are getting sick because of the PhD, that’s not okay. Find a way to make the PhD hard like climbing a mountain, not hard like being hit with a stick.
Nearly 7,000 people have read the original post, and I’ve received many comments from students who found it helpful. I hope the THE version reaches, and helps, even more people!
On 6 April, I will be giving a talk to the St James’ Insititute, Sydney, on ‘Captivity and Freedom in the Writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’ before the Choir of St James’ King Street, directed by Warren Trevelyan-Jones gives a performance of Philip Moore’s ‘Three Prayers of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’.
Tickets to the talk are still available.
Here’s what I’ll be talking about:
‘Restless, yearning, sick, like a bird in a cage… hungry for colours, for life, for birdsong’.
From ‘Who Am I?‘
Dietrich Bonhoeffer is a theologian for our times: an intellectual who worked across barriers of race, denomination and language. For his role in heading an underground seminary, and his work with the resistance against the Nazi regime, he was imprisoned, interned in concentration camps and executed. Bonhoeffer’s writings invite us to ask about what captivity really means, and what it is to have freedom.
And here is a recording of Morning Prayer to whet the appetite:
Academic Writing Trouble: Why it happens and how to fix it, Inger Mewburn, Katherine Firth and Sean Lehmann (London: Open University Press, 2019) is now published.
Read more about it here, including links to purchase the book.
If you subscribe to The Australian newspaper, you can read the interview with Inger Mewburn by Erica Cervini ‘Collaborative Guide to Clarity of Expression‘
A new recording of my lyrics for ‘In Advent Heat’ by the Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne, is published by Acis Records on Beneath the Incense Tree: Music for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, including works by living composers including many commissions for the choir.
‘In Advent Heat’ is a shimmering setting by Melbourne-based composer and musicologist Peter Campbell, for a work that can be sung through the whole Christmas season from Advent to Epiphany.
The words have become regular additions to Carol services in Melbourne as a poem, as well.
The words describe the journey of the Wise Men through an Australian desert (so different from the Middle Eastern landscapes they would have encountered. or the freezing cold so familiar from northern hemisphere carols).
Listen to the carol here:
A new carol-motet, commissioned by the Christ Church Music Foundation, with music by Melbourne-based composer Daniel Riley was first performed at Christ Church, South Yarra, on 16 December 2018 as part of their Carol Service.
The commissions was for a carol which spoke to the Australian setting, and I have therefore included references to lyrebirds and the gold rush, a loose translation from Dante’s Purgatorio in which he imagines the southern hemisphere ocean, and allusions to terra nullius and climate change. Nonetheless, Riley’s bejewelled setting and dynamic rhythms deliver the work as a glittering modern addition to the repertoire.
The newly written words for the commission can also be sung to Mathias’ setting of ‘A babe is born’ for congregational use.
Here is the citation for the Student Success Staff Award for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation, which I was presented in December 2018.
Since joining the team, Katherine has demonstrated an innovative and inclusive approach to everything she has done. With very short time-frames Katherine negotiated spaces for each Learning Hub and for the Maths Hub at Bundoora while drawing together separate teams into one cohesive unit.
Katherine also successfully streamlined the processes of the team and is currently working on evaluation. One example of Katherine’s innovation involved identifying and negotiating an alternate space for the Hub due to the original’s unsuitability. Katherine was able to work with stakeholders to shift and set up operations within the space of a week.
It was an incredible honour to have the work in the Learning Hub recognised, alongside award for the Peer Learning Leaders for ‘Going the Extra Mile’ and Dr Pam Delly, Student Learning, for ‘Collaboration’.
The Brisbane Baroque Chamber Choir, conducted by Graeme Morton, will perform the Shultz/Firth Southern Cantata at the Brisbane Contemporary Church Music Festival, at 2pm on 19 August 2018, in St John’s Cathedral.
“Baroque instruments meet contemporary voices in new Advent cantatas by Australian composers Andrew Schultz and Dan Walker”.
Tickets will be available soon.
ABC Music has released a recording of ‘Anthem for the Feast of Any Healer’, composed by Michael Leighton Jones, and words by Katherine Firth.
The work was commissioned by Dr Jack Best, to commemorate the life of Norman Heatley, the only member of the team who isolated penicillin for medicinal use not honoured with a Nobel Prize. Dr Best saw in Heatley an exemplar of all medical researchers whose work has made such a difference to many lives, but who are themselves un-celebrated. The name, ‘Anthem for the Feast of Any Healer’ highlights this aspect of the Commission.
The work was first performed by the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, February 2011, and later by the Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne, on multiple occasions, including the opening of the Melbourne Brain Centre (see a video of the event here).
The new recording, with spoken word performance by the librettist, conducted by the composer, and sung by the Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne, is now available for download via the ABC Music website.
An article on how Ezra Pound uses ideas and practices of musical modernism to shape his Pisan Cantos. In particular, the chapter debunks the idea that a ‘fugue’ controls the formal aspects of the poem, demonstrating rather the freedom and looseness of the fugue form, and instead demonstrating Pound’s use of small musical moments of coherence through close examination of primary recordings of Pound reciting his poetry, through examination of letters and commentary, and through a deep understanding of early and modern musicology.
The book can be purchased from Routledge, or consulted (in part) on Google Books.
‘Sunlight Touches the Roses (Horsfall)’, my newly written lyrics in four movements for an anthem composed by Dr Peter Campbell, especially commissioned for the Centenary of Trinity College the University of Melbourne’s Horsfall Chapel, is now out on CD.
Holy & Indivisible is available from the Trinity College shop.