Meet the Postgraduates: Siobhan Hearne, University of Nottingham (and BASEES Postgraduate Rep)

Siobhan Hearne

What was your academic background before beginning your PhD?

I did my undergraduate at Swansea University, where I received a joint honours degree in English Literature and History. The friendly feel of the History Dept at Swansea, and the close links between undergraduates and postgraduates, made me decide to do a PhD. For my first MA, I returned to my hometown and studied Twentieth-Century History at the University of Liverpool. Before starting my PhD, I did another MA in Russian and East European Studies at the University of Nottingham.

What is your PhD topic?

My PhD (at the University of Nottingham) is a study of the regulation of female prostitution in urban Russia between 1900 and 1917. My project explores the ways in which prostitutes, their clients and the wider urban community experienced, and resisted, the legislation and policing characteristic of regulation. I am supervised by Dr Sarah Badcock and Dr Nick Baron.

How are you organizing fieldwork for your research?

I am in the second year of my PhD, and almost finished my archival fieldwork. I was lucky enough to receive a generous overseas fieldwork grant from the ESRC, which allowed me to work in various archives in Moscow, St Petersburg, Arkhangel’sk and Tartu over seven months. I recently took on the role of postgraduate representative for BASEES, and I am looking forward to presenting some of my findings at the annual conference in April, as well as sharing some of my fieldwork experiences at the Women’s Forum roundtable.

What’s next?

During the remainder of my PhD, I plan to visit several archives in Latvia in the cities of Riga and Liepaja. When I finish, I hope to apply for postdoctoral projects.