I was recently asked for a biography for the Brill volume I wrote a chapter for. This is what I submitted…
David G. Robertson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Religious Studies department of the University of Edinburgh. His thesis concerns the de-mythologisation of religious symbolism in descriptions of extra-terrestrial contact in post-Cold War conspiracist communities. More broadly, his work concerns contemporary alternative spiritualities, and in particularly the grey area between the “religious” and the “secular” fields. His M.Sc. thesis on contemporary gnostic groups can be read at http://edinburgh.academia.edu/Davidgrobertson or his writing blog, davidgrobertson.wordpress.com. When his children let him, he also writes “weird fiction”; most recently, “Under the Rainbow” was published in New British Comics, #2.
Nothing wrong with that. Except it’s all things I might do, rather than things I have done. And there might be one person in the entire world likely to connect this with my NBC piece.
Then, the other day, I came across this piece on Study Hacks about Rhodes Scholars. By way of example, they published the official biography of a recent Rhodes Scholar, which I repost here by way of comparison;
Nicholas A. DiBerardino, [Ed’s note; misuse of comma] is a senior at Princeton where he majors in music (composition). A campus leader in student government and a junior member of Phi Beta Kappa, Nick is an accomplished composer with many awards for his compositions. He has been a composer in residence at the Brevard Music Center and the European American Musical Alliance in Paris. He founded the Undergraduate Composer Collective at Princeton. While in high school, Nick founded a program to collect, refurbish and distribute used instruments and to provide instruction to needy students in Bridgeport. He plans to do the M.Phil. in music at Oxford.
That’s better than mine, I thought. So decided to rip it off. Just for an exercise. Steal the rhythm, the style, but use my own information. Here’s my version;
David G. Robertson is a PhD candidate in Religious Studies at Edinburgh. A published fiction writer, popular satirical blogger and with more than 50 songs in copyright, David is an accomplished and experienced writer. While concentrating on journalism, David was sub-editor for a trice-weekly Edinburgh International Festival review paper. Latterly, he has concentrated on academic writing, including a chapter for an edited volume for Brill, reviews for several journals and editorial work on a volume for Equinox. He plans to concentrate on teaching for the foreseeable future. davidgrobertson.wordpress.com
Admittedly, I changed a fair bit around, and stuck my blog address at the end. I don’t know what Phi Beta Kappa is, but they certainly don’t have it in Scotland, and if they did, a 35 year-old wouldn’t get to be a member, I’m sure. Still, sounds good, doesn’t it? Hopefully, someone reading this post might be able to use these examples to help them build their biographies.
Incidentally, Study Hacks once carried a piece about my study techniques, back when I was a mere third year, not long after the birth of my eldest son, and shortly before my best set of results. It got a lot of hits, and generated a lot of controversy, and you can read it here.