After weeks of making slides and reading flashcards, the Textualities Conference took place last Friday, the 10th of March 2017. After the amazing first three panels (and lunch!), it was my turn to present, and I was beyond nervous! Although my thesis is going to look at the doubling of women in the gothic film more generally, my presentation focused on ‘The Double in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan‘. I decided that my thesis topic was just too big for me to cramp into 6 minutes and 40 seconds. Instead, my presentation looked at one film that I plan to use in my thesis to show how both narrative and cinematic techniques contribute to a doubling and separating of women into either virginal innocent or sexual deviant. The narrative techniques that I examined in the presentation were the mother/daughter relationship, and Black Swan’s inter-textuality with both Carrie and Swan Lake. In terms of cinematic technique, I looked at costume design, casting, and the use of mirrors. You can check out my presentation slides below: by emaze

I can’t lie, I was initially petrified about the notion of presenting in public – especially using PechaKucha. The format of PechaKucha is 20 slides at 20 seconds each. However, on the day, it was actually fine and the PechaKucha layout actually helped me be more concise when getting my points across.

How I will always feel about PechaKucha…

The Q&A followed directly after my presentation. This was the part I was dreading the most to be honest…I was plagued with doubts as to whether I’d be able to answer any question at all! I was, of course, wrong to be so apprehensive. The questions were really helpful to get me to think about my own research and to help understand my classmates topics more. I was also lucky to be in an ‘all-female power panel’ that included close friends, so that definitely helped calm the nerves!

How I thought we looked during the Q&A [Credit: Columbia Pictures]
How we actually looked during the Q&A [Credit: Textualities Facebook]
Aside from my own presentation, I also chaired the first panel and live blogged the second. You can check out my blog for Panel 2 HERE. We also had to live tweet during the event, which I actually really enjoyed. It was a cool way to give/receive feedback and encouragement to/from everyone and to spread word about our conference.

An example of some of my live tweets from the day

Despite my initial nerves the Textualities Mini-Conference was my highlight of the MA program (so far!). I felt that it really brought all the MA programs together and made us closer as a group. The topics were so diverse: everything from Joyce to Keane to John Huston to Grail Quests to Fascism was covered and there genuinely wasn’t a dull moment throughout the entire day! As well as this, it was a great opportunity to talk about a topic that I was passionate about while gaining some really useful advice and feedback. All in all, a great day was had. There’s still no love lost between me and Pecha Kucha though!