MRes in Publishing Studies

Nuria Rodríguez, MRes in Publishing Studies 2015-2017 (part-time)

September 30th, 2016 by Nuria Rodriguez | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Nuria Rodríguez, MRes in Publishing Studies 2015-2017 (part-time)
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nuria_profileI had been thinking about joining a Postgraduate course for quite a while before I contacted the University of Stirling. My academic and professional background is a mixed one but from my early studies in English Literature to more recent ones in Design there has always been a constant: my interest in words, communication and storytelling; whatever form this may take, whether written or visual. Recently I had also had the opportunity to dip my toes in the waters of publishing and having designed and published four titles with very little knowledge of the industry I felt I had to learn things properly and from the experts. So, for me it felt like a natural progression to join the MRes in Publishing.

My main research interest lays in the overlaps between the written book and its visual form with a focus on the role of the designer within the publishing process. With so much recent talk in the press about the printed book undergoing a renaissance, the designer as interpreter of content and the process of book publishing as a co-operative task are at the forefront of the discussion.

Studying the Masters is helping me question and reflect on my own practice as designer and lecturer. It has also given me the opportunity to examine my aptitude for research, and once you start on a journey, who knows where it may take you? I’m open to suggestions.

You can follow my adventures @behindtheshelf

Alec Spencer, MRes 2014-16 (part-time)

September 25th, 2014 by Alec Spencer | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Alec Spencer, MRes 2014-16 (part-time)
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Alec SpencerWhen I told my daughter I was about to embark on the MRes course, I commented that perhaps I was getting a bit too old to take on further study. She replied, as she always has done, in a supportive way reminding me of the quotation by Mahatma Gandhi “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”.  So here I am – at the start of a 27 month programme.

For those who know me they might think it a little strange to choose Publishing Studies as an interest. A life-time’s involvement with Prisons, Criminal Justice and Criminology has set me on a different path and I continue to be involved in a number of criminal justice areas – The Scottish Consortium for Crime and Criminal Justice (SCCCJ) and its thriving new e-publication under the management of Mary Munro ‘Scottish Justice Matters’; my commitment as an Honorary Professor at the School of Applied Social Science here at Stirling, and my work as a trustee of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation. Incidentally, through my work as a Public Appointments Adviser for the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland, I have a fascinating insight into the demands and complexities of running Public Bodies in Scotland.

So where does my interest in publishing come from?  Apart from indexing a law book in my post-grad student days (first time round!), and authoring a book on sex offenders published by Jessica Kingsley, I have had little truck with the publishing industry … or so I supposed.

One hobby I did have, perhaps some would call it an obsession, was to collect Penguin books. I have done so since the late 1970’s and by the 1990’s had about 2,500 first editions (or Penguin first impressions) on shelves, but on moving house found their way into boxes. What to do with them? A conundrum. Keep or sell?  In the end, and somewhat reluctantly, I decided to sell. Selling on eBay involves photographing the books, and eventually I had swapped about half my books for a virtual collection – of images. It took a little imagination on my part, and some techy help from my son, to set up a web-site which now boasts over 6,200 entries and over 5,600 images. This ‘story’ can be found at the tab ‘About us’. Penguins have used wonderful designers to enhance their book covers – and the covers themselves are a separate area of interest and research.

Of course, ‘Penguin Books’, and Allen Lane its founder, is a marvellous exemplar of innovation and a revolution in publishing, which also was reflected in the process of social and educational change. These little paperback books are iconic and collectable. My interest has become a little less physical – I don’t need to own the books – and more reflective about why it is that individuals collect Penguin books, and not just specific genre or series – but sometimes the whole publishing house!  I started with this exploration in May 2014, when I visited Angus Mitchell, (interview) who donated his collection to Stirling University Library and I am looking forward to continuing on the journey of discovery about publishing and Penguin book collecting.

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Carolyn Khamete Mango, MRes Publishing Studies 2014-2015

May 14th, 2014 by Carolyn Khamete Mango | Posted in Student Profiles | Comments Off on Carolyn Khamete Mango, MRes Publishing Studies 2014-2015
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247009_10151418690816662_1156767516_nMy name is Carolyn Khamete Mango from Nairobi, Kenya, famed for cross country athletics and one of   the wonders of the world, The Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Over the years I have helped people write by virtue of my vast experience as an editor. However, I did not think I would get a challenge in writing about myself! Nevertheless, here I am.

I am at the University of Stirling undertaking a MRes in Publishing Studies, having won the esteemed and competitive Commonwealth Scholarship. This is my second scholarship. My first was awarded to me by the Government of Kenya to study a Bachelors Degree in Educational Studies at this same university.

I joined publishing from teaching because I wanted to be more involved in curriculum interpretation and preparation of quality teaching materials.

Back in Kenya I work as a Chief Editor in charge of humanities. I am also a gender officer, a post I was appointed in line with global and local legal frameworks in empowering women and promoting gender equality in all sectors of the economy. Multitasking in two departments (editorial and human resources) required that I  enhance my management skills. Therefore,  I studied a Higher Diploma in Human Resources Management.

Choosing the University of Stirling to study publishing was exciting because it was like going back home having studying for my undergraduate here. I also wanted to experience the vibrant Scottish and to a large extent the British publishing scene. I hope to fortify my experience and knowledge in book publishing and in management issues of book publishing firms. I am interested in joining the few female decision-makers in the publishing industry.

I am an accomplished Gospel artist having collaborated with other musicians back in Kenya to record music. Prior to coming to Scotland I had released my debut album called, My Healer. Recently I have felt this nudge to be a writer so I hope that by the end of my programme, I will have a clear direction on where to start. I might just write about my journey with breast cancer and how I came out of it victoriously.