The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0647  Thursday, 7 April 2005

From:           Ilona Goldmane <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 7 Apr 2005 07:11:56 -0700 (PDT)
Subject:        PhD/Help

Dear Colleagues,

Till the year of 2005 everything in my academic career seemed to be
stable and quite promising. I got a BA degree in English Philology in
1993 and an MA degree in the same field in 1997, then in 1998 I started
to work on my doctoral thesis, and, though in October 2002, due to my
mother's illness, I formally interrupted my PhD studies, I went on
making my research Synergetic Interplay of Communicative Channels in
'Hamlet' Film Versions with a strong determination to submit it to the
promotion commission this June. Since 1996 I worked at the Department of
English Studies at the Faculty of Modern Languages, University of
Latvia, in other words, at the affiliation which I had graduated from,
at first as an assistant teacher but since 1999 as a lecturer.
Simultaneously for 8 years I have been teaching a three-year course on
British Literature designed by me and accredited by the Ministry of
Education of the Latvian Republic at one of the secondary level
educational institutions. Being encouraged by the Head of the English
Studies Department, I was planning to defend my thesis in my home
institute and later on to get the position of an Assistant Professor,

Firstly, it turned out that the paper, which is ready at 80-85 per cent
in English, shall be presented not in English but in Latvian, the
official language of the state (according to the demands of the faculty,
I wrote and defended both BA and MA papers in English).  Though I know
Latvian well enough in order to communicate, my own language level and
the lack of relevant terminology in Latvian might become a serious
barrier for preparing and defending the dissertation.  I am advised to
apply for the services of a professional translator, but it is not only
an expensive (1000-1500 EUR, depending on the translator's skills and
ambitions; the average salary of a university lecturer is 250 EUR a
month) but also a risky enterprise as even a professional translation
can be no guarantee against a certain degree of prejudice. For instance,
some months ago I submitted for publication a 6-page article in Latvian.
Knowing that I am Russian in origin, one of the reviewer's
recommendations was to use a GOOD Latvian translation of Shakespeare's
Hamlet. However, I had already USED one of the authentic translations
made by a reputable Latvian translator. Thus, I have an impression that
the above-mentioned comment of the reviewer is more political rather
than academic.

Secondly, though the staff seem to have an immense workload (for
instance, I had 8 contact entrances, 90 minutes each, per week, plus 2
BA and 6 course papers to supervise), this year the university
administration started to promote the policy of staff reduction. On 31
March I had re-elections for lectureship (4 candidates for 2 vacancies)
and was NOT re-elected what results not only in the loss of my job but
also in the complications with my PhD studies: I still have the right to
finalise and submit the thesis, but since I do not belong to the staff
any more, the overall procedure will cost me  800-1000 EUR (for the
staff members it is free of charge).

Thirdly, though some years ago my theme was accepted by the doctoral
commission, I have all reasons to conclude that currently the university
administration has no slightest interest in my theme.

This week I am going to the unemployment agency to get the status of an
unemployed. I lost my job in the middle of an academic year, I have to
pay both for the translation and for the defence, I do not feel that my
EX-university has any interest in my research, and I NEED your advice:
what shall I do in the existing situation if I cannot accept the fact
that 4-5 years devoted to the research do not count in somebody's eyes???

Perhaps, one of the higher educational institutions will get interested
in my research entitled Synergetic Interplay of Communicative Channels
in 'Hamlet' Film Versions, and I will be able to defend it in Europe in
the English language. On request I am ready to provide you with my CV
and the introductory part of my dissertation.

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you in advance for your reply!

Sincerely yours,
Ilona Goldmane
MA in English Philology

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