In and Out of the Comfort Zone

Meet the team through their musings on what ‘out of the comfort zone’ means to them.
Henrietta Lebeter, PhD French, Royal Holloway

Using found in France, or plotting my next trip there. 

IMG_3231As a French PhD student, I think about language a lot. Learning it, Speaking it, attempting to communicate. Language is our ability to share, to express through words and gestures. It transcends borders, rules and regulation. It offers new insights, perspectives and challenges.

Taking a chance, stepping out, absorbing, transforming, moulding and shaping. Learning languages at once takes us out of our comfort zone, and then all of a sudden, we feel completely at ease in another culture.


Katy TECHNE conf picKaty Mortimer, PhD History, Royal Holloway

Medievalist PhDing at Royal Holloway, University of London. Research interests range from the Levantine Crusades to intercultural diplomacy to the thought-worlds of medieval monks. 

When you Google image search ‘academic’, you are confronted with hundreds of images, mostly of piles and piles of dusty books, all stacked somewhat haphazardly on a library desk. This is the traditional image of a research degree and this is also my comfort zone. For the most part, I spend my time researching alone and speaking only to other medievalists. What I love about TECHNE, and what I’ve loved about helping to organise this congress, is that I am constantly pushed to step outside of the library, away from the strict confines of my PhD, and to challenge my own thoughts and ideas, to learn from others and to speak to people with completely different perspectives to me.

RA 2018

Harriet Salisbury, PhD Creative Writing, Roehampton

If it’s Victorian, I’m there! 

I get lost in places I have known all my life; I struggle to make plans, absorb spoken instructions or touch my nose with my eyes closed. In childhood, the classroom was as far as it is possible to be from my comfort zone, but here I am in academia. Still struggling, often lost, but loving the journey and finding my voice with the support from supervisors, colleagues and friends.

IMG_1213.jpgJoana Neves, PhD Art Theory, Kingston School of Art

I enjoy being outside of the comfort zone almost to my detriment.
I have lived abroad for many years; my country is now also foreign and no longer a home.
There is no home; there is no; there is: there.
When I speak, I am always in danger of saying the wrong word, even in my mother tongue.
I am always between ridicule and relief – blissful torture.
It keeps me on my toes.