by Dr Julia Lindenlaub (PhD, University of Edinburgh)
One of the biggest struggles of lockdown has been missing time spent with friends and colleagues, so all of the remarkable effort that has gone into maintaining academic community online has been deeply appreciated.
These efforts have also created unexpected opportunities to connect more with geographically distant colleagues. I still long for the day when we can all share a post-paper pint again, but in the meantime, even the simple things—like keeping in touch via a great Twitter network—make all the difference!
Something that’s been tremendously helpful for me during lockdown is getting lost in fiction. I’ve always been a great fan of epic fantasy and atmospheric ghost stories, so the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and M. R. James have provided freedom of imagination despite feeling stuck at home.
While I usually try to spend valuable reading time on academic work, the disruption in routine is actually proving a welcome (if forced!) excuse to allow myself to read other things. This reminder of how crucial both community and imagination can be for the academic lifestyle is added motivation to invest further in these values moving ahead amidst, and eventually beyond, this challenging situation!