What I learnt in 2015 -and my 2016 resolution

It’s the last day of 2015, and like many of you, I’m thinking about how 2016 will look like.

But 2016 is a complete mystery. All I know is that, during the first months, I’ll still be in Leicester doing some teaching.  My contract ends in February, so I’m basically applying for everything. This means that I don’t know what I’m going to do, but also where I’m going to be. Will I  stay in the UK? Will I have to come back to Madrid? Will I go to a different country? Will I be able to find a job?

Uncertainty is not my favorite thing in the world, so I have decided to face 2016 having in mind a few things that I learnt during 2015.

  1. I work better after a night out dancing -or even a bit of dancing in my living room. Dancing stimulates my body but also my brain: following a Swing tune makes me feel the same kind of excitement that having a new idea or making a discovery in my sources. That puts me in the best mood to write.
  2. I can work on several projects at the same time. I know this may seem as a basic skill for a researcher, but up until this year I have always tried to work in packages: one after the other. In 2015 I have been writing different articles/projects on the same day and it was not the end of the world!
  3. Deadlines are important, but sometimes we miss them -and it’s ok. We are all overwhelmed and overworked, and sometimes we’re also late.
  4. ‘Merit’ is a very ambiguous term. Some months ago I reflected on the challenges of being a ECR, and I got an amazing response, particularly from women. That taught me not only that we all have the same insecurities, but also that sharing them in a community might have effects well beyond consoling each other -which is important too. Changing our daily practices can make a difference.
  5. Rejections are part of the job. Not getting a job still frustrates me, but my work has been accepted in many other places, so relax. We’re all rejected many times.
  6. Having a break is important. As I have reckoned before, I still struggle with my English. From time to time, my brain decides to stop, and I just can’t make a whole sentence right. Then, suddenly, it resets and I’m back to normal. I guess I have to listen more to these signs.
  7. [Bonus track] I love what I do: the joy, enthusiasm and excitement that makes me feel sometimes are just amazing.

Reading this list again, I guess my resolution for 2016 is to step back when I’m stressed, look at the big picture, beath and enjoy.

And dance.




‘From facial expressions to bodily gestures’: my article is now online!

2015 has been an amazing year, and has ended with great news: History of the Human Sciences has just published my article ‘From facial expressions to bodily gestures: passions, photography and movement in French 19thC- sciences’.


I’m particularly happy with this because it’s the first article that comes up from my Wellcome project, and thanks to the support of the Wellcome Trust, it’s been published on Open Access, which means that everyone can download it -no paywall!

Here is the abstract:

This article aims to determine to what extent photographic practices in psychology, psychiatry and physiology contributed to the definition of the external bodily signs of passions and emotions in the second half of the 19th century in France. Bridging the gap between recent research in the history of emotions and photographic history, the following analyses focus on the photographic production of scientists and photographers who made significant contributions to the study of expressions and gestures, namely Duchenne de Boulogne, Charles Darwin, Paul Richer and Albert Londe. This article argues that photography became a key technology in their works due to the adequateness of the exposure time of different cameras to the duration of the bodily manifestations to be recorded, and that these uses constituted facial expressions and bodily gestures as particular objects for the scientific study


Enjoy and happy 2016!