Careena Fenton-Cullen – PhD Drama and Theatre Studies Practice-Based
PhD Drama and Theatre Studies Practice Based student Careena Fenton-Cullen is researching the intersection of witchcraft and spiritualism and its impact upon performance magic. We found out about her experience as a researcher at the University of Birmingham.
Why did you choose to undertake research at the University of Birmingham?
It seemed a natural progression of my work as a magician and performer. I have always been interested in the historical aspects and what has influenced or not influenced, the development of women in magic. I was also impressed by the superb theatrical facilities at Birmingham, and the access from Birmingham to research centres across the country.
What are the best things about your course?
The support from my supervisors has been phenomenal, particularly during Covid when access to live supervision was restricted. I felt I had real encouragement and support online and didn’t feel too isolated during the process.
What is life like as a researcher at the University of Birmingham?
It’s good! There are lots of time to just get your head down and work, but also lots of occasions where work and ideas can be shared and opportunities to participate in the postgrad community too.
What support have you received during your PhD?
Lots! Not just from my supervisors but fellow researchers and other members of staff. The team at the library have been particularly helpful in showing how to use the databases, find special articles and courses on how to manage your work and writing techniques.
Outside of your research, what experience have you gained and how will it help you in the future?
I have been presenting some of my research at Magic Conventions and this is going to be really useful experience for when I finish my PhD and go forth into the world!