Dr Iona Hine

School of English and the Digital Humanities Institute

Area of research:

Language - how the language we use to express key ideas has changed over time. I'm particularly tasked with finding ways to understand the contexts of our core dataset, English print from 1470 to 1700 (EEBO-TCP)

Iona HineWhy did you choose the University of Sheffield and what do you enjoy about Sheffield?

I came to Sheffield for my PhD, in the Department of Biblical Studies (now SIIBS). I decided to stay on after my PhD as I was attracted by the the interdisciplinary space provided by Sheffield Centre for Early Modern Studies. This experience has nurtured my identity and career as a researcher. I have also found a second home in the University’s Digital Humanities Institute.

I'm a northerner at heart (if not obviously in accent) and Sheffield feels like a bridge point between North and South. It has the cultural choices of a big city without the commuter culture and high living costs of London (where I lived and worked between degrees).

What are the challenges and opportunities of being a postdoctoral researcher?

One of the biggest shifts for me post-PhD was moving from solitary independent research to collaborative project-driven work. I enjoy the team atmosphere, and working collectively to achieve together - we can track and celebrate peers’ successes, whether it’s a lively conference session or a new publication. The shared project also enables us to offer work placements for postgraduates, providing them with insight into postdoctoral life.

Of course there are challenges - a postdoc has limited control over the agenda, which can be exciting, daunting and frustrating. In the past months, I've contributed to concept modelling with recent social sciences articles and comments on YouTube videos - neither of which I'd have imagined doing.

At Sheffield, I've been consistently grateful for some excellent project management training through Think Ahead, and I recently benefited from the University's researcher mentoring programme.

What are your ambitions for the future?

Right now I'm looking forward to some interdisciplinary teaching, as I convene the new MA module in Early Modern Studies starting 29 September.

There’s also 500 Reformations, a public engagement experiment linked to the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's theses that triggered “the Reformation”. And I am working on plans for an Early Modern Biblical Studies network, joining the dots between some different disciplinary approaches.

In the mid-term, I'm committed to working toward Linguistic DNA’s launch next summer. I’m particularly looking forward to showcasing our early modern concepts at the Society for Renaissance Studies conference here in Sheffield.

Longer term, I'd like to develop my research in the role of translation and imported texts in shaping British ideas. I’d also like to further my research into public awareness around key cultural and religious texts and contexts like the “Reformation” and biblical literacy, through the public knowledge research running alongside 500 Reformations.

Read more about Iona’s work or follow her on Twitter.