The Art of Losing is Hard to Master

Fondly but with a heavy heart I pay homage to my supervisor Dr Victor Ukaegbu who joined the Performance Studies division in The University of Northampton in 1997 and moved to the University of Bedfordshire in 2013. He was the founding General Secretary of the African Theatre Association (AfTA) and published widely on African, Black British and Diaspora theatres and on performance making. He left this world on July 2, 2019.

Formal tributes are hard to relate to because of their expression, dense narrative, and to a great extent exaggerated eulogizing, and sometimes for their factual style which verges on to apathy. For the same reason when I planned to write something in the loving memory of my supervisor, whom I have recently lost, I did not think about writing a conventional tribute. I thought about all his traits – commitment, hard work, and dedication – that he had surreptitiously influenced me with and which over the period of time became an important part of my personality. This is what I call the power of a successful supervisor, who leads us towards the journey to self-exploration, not only making us complete a project but also helping us achieve completion. A supervisor prepares us to take a journey from being a supervisee to becoming a supervisor. In between this ‘being’ and ‘becoming’ lies the energy that supervisors spend on their supervisees.

Thematic Analysis: A Helpful Method for Literary Research

This is a humble attempt to provide a brief, yet a concise, guideline to the researchers engaged in literacy research. Although there are several research methods borrowed from the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities which are utilized and applied in the study of literary texts and narratives, because of their scientific bearing and religious systematicity, they fail to satisfy the philosophical and comparatively stronger analytical and critical approach characteristic of a piece of literature. In this article, I aim to facilitate the students doing their research in literature, in particular literatures written in English, to get their way through the complexities and demands of research degrees requiring the submission of thesis or dissertation. For this particular piece, I have focused on thematic analysis because of its relevance to and viability for most of the literature-based researches.

#MYPHDSTORY: The extraordinary cocktail of pregnancy, postpartum depression, sleepless nights and studying for a PhD.

Editor’s noteA big part of a PhD candidate’s identity is often centred around the PhD. One of the first things (sometimes the only thing) we discuss with them is their research. It can sometimes be easy to forget that just like everyone, a PhD is only one aspect of any candidate’s identity. PhD candidates are people first.  Friends, partners, siblings, employees, business owners, spouses, parents etc. All stakeholders – PhD candidates, supervisors, institutions etc. need to have this at the centre when we engage, supervise and provide support. Our #MyPhDStory articles provide a platform for postgraduate researchers to share their authentic lived experiences with our readers. In this article, Frances shares her experience of having not one but two children during her PhD and other expected and unexpected events during her PhD journey.

I am writing this article few years after the successful completion of my doctorate studies in Microbiology.  I  currently work as a public health microbiologist in California, USA.  I got married in the first year of my two-year Master’s program in Massachusetts. At the time, my husband was living and working on another continent. That same year, I applied for doctorate studies in Alabama, and I was offered a place. A few months after getting married, I became pregnant. Being pregnant in itself wasn’t a problem as I felt fine, however I experienced some challenges. I experienced a spectrum of emotions; embarrassment, the appearance of being unserious, stigma and later on, the occasional forgetfulness, tiredness and of course, heaviness. At this point, living away from my husband became very challenging and towards the end of the pregnancy, depression struck! a cocktail of loneliness and hormonal changes.

Research Method & Methodology Revisited

Editor’s note – An important aspect of learning in Higher Education is undertaking research. Research methods and methodology are terms students often come across, many HE institutions run ‘Research Methods’ modules but what do these terms mean? In this article, Dr Nadia Anwar discusses both terms and tackles their use when preparing students for research. Enjoy – AA.

Most of the books on research prefer the titles ending or highlighting the words ‘method’ or ‘methodology’ such as, ‘Introduction to research methods’ or ‘Research methodology’, ‘A primer to research methods’, ‘A handbook of research methodology’, ‘An overview of research methods’, ‘Research methods in social sciences’, ‘Current methodologies in life sciences’, ‘A guide to methodology’ to name a few. Please note this is a general list of prevalent and popular book titles gleaned from hundreds of available books and in no way targets any specific writer or book. These are indeed very helpful resources, carefully designed to assist the readers initiate their research journey with a solid footing and base. Some even taking the responsibility to prepare the researchers in advanced level research.

#APHCareerChat – Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in the Workplace. How are you Performing?

Editor’s noteAn important aspect of our mission to ‘equip and empower successful professionals’ is raising awareness of different issues that arise in the world of work. Diversity and inclusivity are increasingly being discussed in different parts of the world across different career disciplines. Many agree that more work is needed to improve representation and ensure our workplaces look more like what we see in the world outside work. As an aspiring professional, awareness of these issues is crucial. In this article, Emmanuel describes the ‘nuts and bolts’ of inclusion and diversity and why more work is needed in this area. 

It is hard not to notice the topic of race and gender in the workplace taking centre stage due to recent political  decisions in Europe, the UK and of course the US.  The impact of  politics has and continues to affect the professional and work environment. For example, the uncertainty around #Brexit and job mobility between the EU and the UK, #Charlottesville and the after-effects  etc.

What might have gone unnoticed, was that last week was #NationalInclusionWeek in the UK. This is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the importance of inclusion in the workplace and the benefits of an inclusive and diverse workforce to business growth.

What is #Inclusivity and why is this important?

“Inclusion” in itself as a term is self-explanatory and is “about making sure that people feel valued, respected, listened to and able to challenge. It is about recognising and valuing the differences we each bring to the workplace and creating an environment where everyone has equal access to opportunities and resources and can contribute to the organisations success.”

%d bloggers like this: