Maja Brandt Andreasen
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m originally from Denmark and I moved to Glasgow two and a half years ago to start my PhD. Before that I lived in Amsterdam for five years where I worked as a web editor for an online travel company.
Why did you choose Strathclyde for your postgraduate research study?
I started my PhD at the University of Stirling but transferred to Strathclyde after a year and a half because my supervisor was moving to Strathclyde. My supervisor, Karen Boyle, is essential to my project and it made most sense for me to be at the same institution as her. I was also drawn to the Feminist Research Network at Strathclyde.
Tell us about the nature of your research?
My research focuses on Internet humour about #MeToo. I’ve collected Internet memes about #MeToo and some of the high-profile men accused of sexual assault in 2016. My research investigates how rape culture is reproduced within a humorous discourse on three meme-sharing web sites.
What do you like about your research area?
My research area lies within the intersection of gender studies and media studies – often referred to as feminist media studies. I find that feminist theory allows me to think critically about structural inequalities and power hierarchies.
What’s the Strathclyde research community like?
I have benefited tremendously from the Feminist Research Network which hosts interesting research seminars with speakers from all sorts of research fields with a feminist focus. The network also organises work-in-progress lunches where we get to share our research and receive really useful feedback from fellow feminist researchers. Also, I am co-organising the Feminist Reading Group where we meet every other month to discuss feminist texts which is a great chance to meet feminist PGRs and staff.
What are the Strathclyde facilities like?
I work from home so when I come in for meetings and seminars, I usually work the day in the Graduate School where I can always find a spot to set up my laptop. I use the library a lot where the staff are so helpful – both in terms of finding books and ordering books that the library might not have in the collection.
Tell us about the support from your supervisor and the wider Strathclyde team?
I find my supervisor extremely supportive – both in terms of giving me useful feedback on my PhD thesis but also in terms of functioning as a mentor when I try to navigate the possibilities of an academic career. I’ve been a frequent visitor at the graduate school office with numerous questions – especially after my transfer to Strathclyde – and they’ve always been extremely helpful.
What's the best thing about Strathclyde?
Definitely the Feminist Research Network and the many inspiring feminist researchers across many different fields.
What would you like to do after your PhD?
I am hoping to pursue a career within academia. The dream would be a lectureship in Gender Studies. But realistically that might take a while before I achieve that. Until then, I am hoping for a fellowship and some teaching opportunities.
What are the main differences between studying in Denmark and in the UK?
People are really young when they start uni here so I felt very old when I stepped into the class room to teach for the first time. In Denmark people are probably around 19-20 when they start uni so that was a bit of a culture shock.
What was it like moving to Scotland?
It was a very easy move and it didn’t take long before I felt at home. I struggled a bit with the accent to begin with – especially with the taxi drivers! I once had to endure a complete drive to the airport without understanding a single word the driver said – who talked non-stop. All I could do was nod and hope to laugh at the appropriate times.
What is it like being a student in Glasgow?
Being a PhD student in my mid-thirties I’m not sure I make the most of what Glasgow has to offer to students. I do take advantage of the student discount in the cinemas and theatres though!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my very limited spare time I mostly meet friends for a meal, a film or a play. I would say that food is probably my one big passion next to my PhD and I’m doing my best to work my way through Glasgow’s excellent food scene.
What do you like most about the city?
The people! Definitely the people. As a cold and reserved Scandinavian it was a bit of a culture shock when strangers would strike up a conversation with me. Now it’s my favourite thing about Glaswegians.
What’s your favourite Scottish word/phrase, and why?
So many good ones! I quite like peely-wally. Because it’s one of those words that sounds like what it is. And then numpty. I find it quite endearing – maybe because it reminds me of Humpty Dumpty.