The Fields journal recently published its fifth volume of Huddersfield undergraduate student research in March. One student included in the issue, Theresa Lingg, wrote to us to tell us about her experience of writing and being published in an academic journal. Read what she had to say below:
When I was approached and asked whether I wanted to convert my final year dissertation into a published article for the Fields journal, I felt excited and honoured but I was also aware that I had never done anything similar before. While my university course ‘Costume with Textiles’ included lessons on undertaking research, analysing literature and academic writing, it has more of a practical focus.
The academic support available at the university introduced me to the various processes that go into publishing a journal article; including possible structural approaches and writing techniques. Due to the support of the Fields team and the fantastic help I received from them, I managed to reshape my dissertation to the now-published article, ‘Perfume’.
The inspiration for the article was my final year costume project, ‘Perfume’, which the design and creation process for it, were elaborated on in my dissertation. Inspired by the novel, ‘Perfume – Story of a Murderer’ by Patrick Süskind, I created a garment that would disintegrate on stage by breathing.
Within the novel, a person’s existence is irrevocably linked with the sensual phenomenon of scent. Every person carries their identity in their inherent aroma – and this odour becomes the motive for murder in Süskind’s novel. I was motivated by this fascinating connection – that breath is clearly essential in order to survive but at the same time, the unavoidable olfactory reception, leads to the loss of life. Therefore, I decided to develop a costume that evoked the loss of identity through breathing.
The construction of such a garment required a long research process, including talking to many experts and gathering document research – but especially required a lot of trial and error. All of this research was documented in detail in my dissertation, as well as the project’s textile and construction journey. Working on this article encouraged me to re-examine the research and writing that was incorporated into my dissertation, to create a more concise version that was more accessible to a wider audience.
At the outset, it felt almost painful cutting, rewriting and editing so much of my original text. But in reality, it was a valuable process of clarifying and condensing my work. The whole process encouraged me to consider my final year project from a new perspective and re-examine what the project had really been about. As a result, writing the article for Fields enabled me understand my own project on a deeper level, which was an unexpected and beautiful experience.
You can access the latest edition of the Fields journal here