I have always wanted to teach students the craft of Screenwriting. And I was doing this for 7 years in Russian University of Culture and Arts. Following my dream to teach at British University, last year I have started a long way to PhD studies after doing my Masters in Screenwriting.
My journey began from a very lonely feeling as an academic screenwriter. Nobody from PhD researchers I know ever heard about Screenwriting PhD and nobody from screenwriters I know ever did a PhD course. Screenwriting is a very practical art and usually, people working in the film industry are not thinking of any academic research – they just do films. That is what I was doing before turning to an academic path. And hopefully, will do during and after.
I have started from choosing a topic which will interest me enough for working more than 3 years on it. As a Russian in the UK, as a fan of adaptations and as a great fan of Dostoevsky – I came up with the idea.
Global citizenship of Dostoevsky’s female characters in foreign screen adaptations of Russian novel “Crime and Punishment”.
It took me about a year to narrow the topic to this one, while I have started from something like “British film adaptations of Russian classical novels”.
I was lucky to get offers from 3 big British Universities which were interested in my topic and I would be proud to become a student of any of them as soon as financial part of the story will be sorted. I am not wasting my time while applying for scholarships and funding as I decided to start an independent research. Yes, I am already reading books, articles, dissertations, doing surveys and preparing for my first academic article in a journal.
The hardest thing for me was to establish which research methods I would like to use in my future research. That is why I am now doing 3 online courses ( the University of Southampton, University of Leicester, University of Edinburgh) regarding the design of a research project and research methods. This helped me to analyze my topic and research questions better and to decide that I am going to follow qualitative methods direction even with my love to surveys. I choose inductive research as the approach to this project with interviews and group discussions, working with both Russian and British audiences of the selected adaptations, as well as experts in film and Dostoevsky.
I will keep my readers updated about the development of my research and meanwhile I am leaving, as I need to watch 12 different adaptations of Crime and Punishment. Which means, that for 2 weeks my answer on the question “What are you watching?” will be very predictable. Wish me luck 😉
P.S. The picture I used as an illustration to this post is a result of a short survey I have conducted recently. The question was to non-Russian respondents: “Please name Russian writers you know”.