I cannot thank the James Pantyfedwen Foundation enough for their contribution to my tuition fees. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic interrupting face-to-face teaching, I have immensely enjoyed my year at Aberystwyth University as a Literary Studies postgraduate student. Not only have I been able to live in the scenic coastal town, but I have made lifelong friends and even formed a virtual book club!
But completing a Master’s degree has also finalised my wish to achieve a PhD, which I will begin in Autumn 2022. At Aberystwyth I have been able to further explore my interest in the relationship between literature and medicine in the nineteenth century, even writing a 15,000-word dissertation on the African American female body through the lens of the male medical professional. From this research, I have been inspired to advance my reading of the female patient and the male physician within my doctoral degree.
During the year before my PhD, I will complete my own research on the menopausal woman in the nineteenth century, comparing her depiction in medical treatises and literary novels to analyse how medical knowledge relied upon – and permeated into – social thinking through the female body.
Therefore, I can firmly say that the James Pantyfedwen Foundation has made a beneficial difference to my year as a postgraduate student. Not only do I wish to return to Aberystwyth as a doctoral student, but without the strain of financial worries, I have been able to solely focus on my degree. As a result, I have developed a love of research and a wish to pursue a career in academia.
I wish to stress again how grateful I am to the James Pantyfedwen Foundation for sponsoring me and guiding my future.