Lynette Goddard is Professor of Black Theatre and Performance at Royal Holloway, University of London. Their research and teaching is focused in the area of the politics of contemporary Black British theatre and performance, including work on new writing by Black playwrights and contemporary Black productions of canonical plays.

In this episode of the podcast Lynette reflects on the experience of undertaking a PhD whilst also working and how the pattern of writing that was developed during that period has proved productive throughout the progression of their career.

We then talk about the Phenomenal Women project which Lynette was part of.  This was commissioned by Dr Nicola Rollock and grew out of her research work into the experience of black female academics.  You can find out more here: https://nicolarollock.com/black-female-profs.  The exhibition is documented here: https://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whats-on/art-exhibitions/phenomenal-women

We talk about finding mentors within the academy and Lynette references authors that have been inspirational.  These include:

bell hooks

Audre Lourde

Patricia Hill Collins

Andrea Davis

Lynette encourages PhD students not to be afraid to look outside their discipline – and even outside the academy – to find a community that will support their work..  

Lynette also emphasizes the importance of finding your “why” and using your sense of the legacy you will leave as a motivational force within the PhD process.

A ‘top tip’ book from Lynette is to work ‘bird by bird’ as outlined in the book Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont. Set time aside to write and trust that the creativity will be there and your work will develop.  Lynette also advises not to judge your work but just to commit to the writing.

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