Wendy Lennon – PhD Shakespeare Studies

PhD Shakespeare Studies student, Wendy Lennon organised the Shakespeare, Race & Pedagogy event alongside her studies. She tells us more about what it’s like as a researcher at the Shakespeare Institute.

wendy-lennonWhy did you choose to study a PhD in Shakespeare Studies? 

I selected the Shakespeare Institute for its excellence, specialised knowledge, and the ability to pursue my specific research interests.

Why did you choose to undertake research at the University of Birmingham?

Birmingham is an exciting and diverse city, therefore, being part of the university has allowed me to develop further connections with this vibrant place. I appreciate the university’s partnerships and inclusion of specialist departments and schools, such as the Shakespeare Institute.

What are the best things about your course? 

My favourite aspect of the PhD programme is the opportunity to research in a field that I am passionate about and interested in. Furthermore, I appreciate the international position of the Shakespeare Institute and its long history. It’s exciting to be in dialogue with, to challenge, and continue the research legacy of the Institute.

What is life like as a researcher at the University of Birmingham? 

It’s exciting and interesting but there have been challenges. In the pursuit of postgraduate study, I have had to take into consideration the financial realities of supporting myself, my research and navigating the field as a scholar of colour and being the first in my family to attend university.

What support have you received during your PhD?

I am incredibly grateful for my supervisors. They are specialists in their field, they have encouraged me, challenged me, and have shared the vision I have for my research and my career.

Outside of your research, what experience have you gained and how will it help you in the future?

During my PhD programme, I single-handedly organised, ran and hosted a week-long online event. My Shakespeare, Race & Pedagogy event gathered over 620 academics, students, teachers and members of the public from all over the world. I have built an international #ShakeRacePedagogy community of over 2,000 people. This event developed my research, the field, and many skills such as: public speaking, the technical aspects of running an online conference, and the practical elements of coordinating an event across different time zones. Furthermore, I have since contributed to lectures and seminars in America and the UK which has given me the opportunity to share my research more widely.

In the 2021/22 academic year, I am joining the University of Oxford’s English Faculty as a Research Associate for an ERC Funded project.

Find out more about studying for a Shakespeare Studies PhD over on our course pages.