Never Take Yourself Too Seriously: Lesson Learned at the Doctoral Pre-Conference

“Let’s not take ourselves too seriously – everything will be alright!” This was an insight from one of the doctoral researchers who participated in the NordMedia23 Doctoral Pre-conference. Indeed, one of the objectives of the one-day seminar was to make the doctoral journey appear as more humane.

The NordMedia23 Doctoral Pre-conference was organized on 15 August in Bergen, Norway, with 22 participants from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The workshop was now organised for the fourth time. For the two past conferences, the pre-conference has been arranged by Nordicom.

The first half of the day was dedicated to discussing the PhD journeys. How is it, and how should it be, to make the journey, and how to make it as efficient and enjoyable as possible? From personal stories, we learned that every journey is different, and that is what they should be, to be authentic and true to the dispositions of the individual. Anything can happen – like conducting your doctoral defense in the hospital bed – and sometimes breaking norms can be more productive than following them.

The second half of the day was a regular paper session with presentations and discussions, divided into three parallel sessions led by senior scholars. Presentations were followed by senior discussants’ feedback and complemented with peer feedback and, finally, general discussions.

Senior discussants at this year’s pre-conference were Göran Bolin from Södertörn University, Johannes Bjerling from Nordicom, Ingrid Forsler from Södertörn University, Meri-Maaria Frig from the Hanken School of Economics in Finland, Magnus Fredriksson from the University of Gothenburg and Nordicom, Mathias Klang from Fordham University (currently a visiting scholar in Bergen), Marika Lüders from the University of Oslo, Margareta Melin from Malmö University and Nordicom’s scientific advisory board, Vilde Schanke Sundet from the University of Oslo (also the second keynote speaker of the NordMedia23 conference), Brita Ytre-Arne from the University of Bergen, Kjetil Vaage Øie from Volda University College, and Mark Ørsten from Roskilde University.

Read some more personal reflections on the pre-conference in my blog.