Q: I’m an independent researcher/Masters student, but I have an idea for a paper and I really want to share it! Can I submit a proposal?

A: Absolutely! Our definition of ‘early career researcher’ is very broad. You don’t need to have completed any higher degree to have something worthwhile to contribute and you don’t need to be currently employed in academia either. We’d love to hear what you are researching! Or, if you just want to join in the conference without presenting, we’re happy to have you attend that way as well.

Q: I want to submit an abstract, but I don’t have a paper written yet. Can I submit an abstract, even if the ideas in it change before the conference?

A: You definitely can! One of academia’s best kept secrets is that hardly anyone writes a paper before submitting an abstract. As long as you have an idea of the text/film/video game/song/etc. that you will be studying, and what your argument will be, go ahead and submit an abstract.

The only time you will need to notify us of any changes between abstract to paper is if there are radical changes. This is essentially only relevant if you don’t end up mentioning your original text at all, and is so we can adjust the programme accordingly. If this ends up happening, no worries! Just send us an email (gothicrealities@stir.ac.uk) as soon as possible.

Q: How long should presentations be?

A: Please limit (or extend?) presentations to 20 minutes only.

Q: Should I create a PowerPoint?

A: PowerPoints can be useful tools to help you get your argument across to the audience, as well as keep them focused on main points. However, if you don’t like them you don’t need to use them. Additionally, if you have a more creative way you want to present your paper – playing the video game you’re talking about while presenting, adding lots of opportunities for audience participation, having a dialogue with a puppet – there is no reason you shouldn’t submit an abstract just because the form doesn’t align with standard academic expectations.

Q: My presentation includes audio/visual elements (photos, videos, gifs, songs). Is that okay?

A: Under Fair Use, it is absolutely fine to use any clips, photos, or soundbites from anything you are researching to explain your analysis. However, we do ask that if any of these elements contain disturbing content such as gore, excessive violence, sexual violence, etc, that you provide us with a content warning at the start of your presentation. We will remind you of this on the day, so don’t worry if you add something last-minute to your presentation!

Q: You’ve requested author bios. What should mine contain?

A: An author bio should be short – no more than 150 words. They should give a brief outline of where your studies are taking/have taken place, and what areas of interest are most relevant to your presentation at the conference. Even non-academic experiences – such as a job in publishing or working for a historic site – can be relevant.

In essence, ask yourself: what should people know about me and my areas of expertise and interest before they hear me give my presentation? Then answer that question a blurb of up to 150 words and in third person! 🙂

Q: Is there funding available?

A: With certain caveats, yes! The University of Stirling’s Gothic Centre is thrilled to announce the availability of a travel grant for attendees. The grant comes directly from the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH), not the University of Stirling, and is meant to cover travel costs to and from the event for successful applicants. To apply for consideration for the grant, you must be enrolled in a PhD programme at a university also affiliated with the SGSAH and must be attending our event in October, although you do not necessarily need to be presenting. If you are interested in applying for this SGSAH travel grant, please contact SGSAH via email: admin@sgsah.ac.uk

Q: How do I get to the conference space?

A: The conference is being held in the Cottrell Building at the University of Stirling. In order to get to the university, you can drive, walk from Bridge of Allan or Stirling City Centre, or catch a one of the regularly scheduled buses run by First Bus. The Uni Link (UL), and Bus #54 both have a bus hub right at the back of Cottrell and travel from Stirling City Centre through Causewayhead to Stirling Uni and Bridge of Allan to Stirling Uni respectively. For timetables, please visit the First Bus website at (https://www.firstgroup.com/).

If you’re driving, go through the main university gates and follow University Road W. (the road you will automatically be on once passing through) past the Sport Centre (which will be on your right) up the hill to the second roundabout. Take the first left on the second roundabout. You will be on the road with Cottrell on your left and the Stirling Court Hotel on your right. Following this road just a few hundred metres will get you to the car park. It costs £5 for a full day’s parking and spaces may be limited depending on demand. For more info see Stirling’s website (https://www.stir.ac.uk/about/getting-here/)

Once arriving at Cottrell, there will be signs to direct you to the registration table. Please also see the map of the space provided on our website. Cottrell can be a bit of a maze, but we’ll try our best to be transparent!

Q: Is your space handicap accessible?

A: Yes! Cottrell is at the top of a large hill, but if you are taking a bus from Stirling or Bridge of Allan, they will drop you at the top of it, saving you some pain. If you are walking from farther away, there are paths leading up to the building from two directions – one approaches from over the loch and has a more gradual slope than the other. There are ramps, accessible doors, and accessible toilets on every floor.

All First Bus buses to the space are equipped with a wheelchair accessible ramp that the driver will be able to raise and lower for you as needed.

If you are arriving to Stirling by train and need a ramp, you will need to contact ScotRail to notify them to have one ready for you to exit. You can follow this link (https://www.scotrail.co.uk/about-scotrail/contact-us) to go to their contact directory and from there, disabled assistance.

Please feel free to contact us with any further accessibility concerns.

Q: Where can I stay while attending your conference?

A: For those on a tight budget, the Willy Wallace Hostel and the Stirling Youth Hostel in Stirling City Centre are both just a few minutes’ walk away from bus connections to the university. Both are well reviewed on the Hostelworld website.

For those looking to stay in a hotel, the university has its very own directly across the street from Cottrell! The Stirling Court Hotel’s website further explains their amenities and how to book. You can find it here (https://www.stirlingcourthotel.co.uk/).

The Premier Inn is another hotel option. Located just a few minutes’ walk away via sky bridge from the Stirling train station and bus connections to the university, you can stay connected while away from the hubbub of the city and university.

Additionally, there are several Airbnb options available through their website.

Q: What kind of food will be served at the event?

A: Coffee, tea, and biscuits will be provided every morning and throughout the day. After the roundtable on Thursday 24th, there will be a wine social complete with cake! In addition, a lunch will be provided Friday 25 October consisting of sandwiches with vegetarian, vegan, and omnivore options. Fruit and crisps will also be provided. Dinner plans TBD.

If you’re ever feeling like you need a snack between panels, Cottrell connects to the student union – the Atrium – via a sky bridge. There are several grab-and-go food options within the main atrium as well as a grocery store. Within Cottrell, there is a also small coffee shop just a few corridors down from the conference space.

Q: I have restrictions on what I can eat/drink. How can I make sure I am provided for during the conference?

A: Shortly after the Eventbrite registration closes, we will send out a questionnaire regarding food needs to ensure all our attendees are provided for. Please contact us as soon as possible for any further concerns at gothicrealities@stir.ac.uk

Q: What other amenities are provided at the conference space?

A: Coffee, tea, water, and biscuits will be provided throughout the conference. Pronoun stickers and name tags will be available as you register on the day of the conference.

Handicapped toilets a short elevator ride away from the conference space and will be marked on your maps. Gendered toilets are also downstairs and will also be marked. We will check and get back to you all as soon as possible regarding gender neutral toilets (sincere apologies that we can’t be more sure of this right away).

Cottrell is connected to the student union hub – The Atrium – via a sky bridge. The Atrium contains many amenities open to the public, including extra grab-and-go style food options, a pharmacy, a book shop, a Santander with cash machines, and a small grocery store. Within Cottrell, there is a also small coffee shop just a few corridors down from the conference space.

Q: You haven’t answered my question, actually. How can I contact you?

A: Sorry about that! Please feel free to email us at gothicrealities@stir.ac.uk with any questions. We are happy to update the FAQ as we get more feedback.