REAL at UKFIET

Conference delegates trickled in at first but the venue was soon filled. The presentations began. I was excited but soon found myself feeling unexpectedly down and nervous. It was difficult to avoid envisioning some of the disadvantages discussed as being my own burden by extension: a strange sense of empathy and narcissism at once. The discussion of inclusive systems sounded like discussions about a distant extended family member, in another part of my Global home South. The presentations felt heavy, and I wondered where people gained the strength to shoulder them: Does the research subject not feel personal to them? Are they all incredibly strong? I felt weak and guilty: conscious of myself as a black person from the Global South, a lucky one, in a privileged space, reflecting on the stories of distant family who may never see those Oxford walls adorned with images of stolen ‘fantasy’.

Read More

My PhD Journey in 8 Pictures

I am Lina and I like pictures. If asked to introduce myself to a group of academics, I would say: “I am Lina and for my PhD thesis I explored how children engage with wordless picture books.” Given my love for visual stories and my PhD topic, I hereby succumb to a temptation I always had in mind: to summarise my entire PhD life in 8 pictures. A complete thesis for the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge is equivalent to approximately 80000 words. Based on the famous saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, for the sake of this blog post, let’s equip images with even more power and try to visualise a four-year PhD experience.

Read More