I've just received my official acceptance letter for a PhD in Folklore from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I've been waiting to blog about this news until it was official, though I've known for about a month that the Folklore department was offering me a place in the program. And while it isn't done to publicly disclose the financial details of one's award package, I'm pleased to write that I've been offered a fellowship, for which I'm most grateful.
I'll be researching intersections and divergences between Western European 'Celtic' Paganism and traditional Celtic and Gaelic cultures. As a longtime Pagan and Gaelic learner, I've long felt tension between these two branches of the same cultural tree, and I want to look at them more closely. My supervisor has already done this sort of work in the Ukraine; her name is Dr. Mariya Lesiv, and she's written an excellent book entitled The Return of Ancestral Gods: Modern Ukrainian Paganism as an Alternative Vision for a Nation. I'm excited to be working with someone who has done similar research.
What does this mean for our lives? On the home front, we're not pulling up our Cape Breton roots. We love our house and our proximity to the Gaelic College (though bless their hearts, the Gaels up there haven't seen much of us lately). Rather, we'll be looking at furnished condos in St. John's for the first couple of years, after which we'll likely return home while I finish writing my dissertation.
On the writing front, I'm committed to Rhonda Parrish's Alphabet Anthologies series, and I'll be working on my novel as time permits. Meanwhile, there is a short story collection in the works, which I'll have more information about in due course. After I've earned my PhD, my hope is to teach intermittently, perhaps as an adjunct, while I continue writing both fiction and non-fiction in my field.
This is a thing long hoped-for, and I had almost given up on it altogether. To have it offered so fully, so generously, and so precisely in my wheelhouse is nothing short of a blessing. It's also a gift; from my beloved husband, whose heart and hands are always open to me, from Dr. David Wilson, who has been a steadfast friend to my career, from Norma MacLean, who has been a steadfast friend period, and from all of the people who've supported me with kindness and good will along the way. Thank you.