Conferences: why, when and how to apply.

One of the first things that struck me when I started my PhD was how many times I heard my colleagues talking about this and/or that conference. I thought there was some kind of aura around these academics presenting their work around the world, and who are actually paid to travel around and discuss their research interests. Now, that I write it down: what a great job we will all have one day (hopefully)! Continue reading

New Year, New You? Re-solving practice Down Under


Rainbow Lorikeet Sydney by Tom Ottway

These are the kind of headlines magazines love to guilt us into reading this time of year, so apologies if I just hooked you the same way. I don’t know about you but doing a PhD has made me take milestones like New Year to reassess where I’m going and kick-start any stagnant processes. PhDs are a mysterious leviathan, lurking somewhere beneath our consciousness (and often slightly out of reach, generally, of others’ understandings). I thought I’d share my experiences of practical field research (my PhD is in the fields of Sound Studies, Geography and Urban Studies) on a field trip to and from Australia, via Sri Lanka and Hong Kong in December 2016 and early January 2017, and how they have helped reinvigorate my belief in my research.

Why Australia, you may ask? How lucky. Well, yes and no. Fortunate to have gone, but as a self-funded PhD candidate, I was paying my own way. The initial reason for the trip was business, as well as being way of visiting distant relatives in Melbourne with our children. However, I also had wanted to go back to Sydney for some time as part of my auto-ethnographic ‘jigsaw’ methodology of revisiting and documenting my response to places in which I have lived in, have called ‘home’, and which have therefore formed who I am and how I view space, place and identity (essentially the topic of my doctorate).

Continue reading


Bridges Not Walls!

15873079_1258920290833952_657884426453051600_n.jpgThe motto of this initiative is “We will build bridges, not walls, to a peaceful and just world rid of oppression and hatred”. In wondering whether to write a  post about this I had to think: although it is a political topic, who can be offended by it? Who wouldn’t agree with the fact that a world without hatred and oppression will be a better world? Whatever the ways we have of fighting for our ideals, I believe most of them should at least feel this initiative to be tangentially relevant. So I decided to blog about.

Historically, walls have been built and destroyed across the world almost constantly. Their main purpose being either to keep people in, to keep people out or (and most commonly) both. But have they achieved this goal? Did people actually stay in or out? Did it keep migrants from getting to their destinations, for example? In some cases it did (sometimes tragically), in some cases it didn’t. But the most important thing is that although they indeed constitute a physical and philosophical barrier, walls are not the way to manage the political and economical challenges we are facing. As clear as that, they are just wrong.

Bridges Not Walls is happening across the country and on the 20th of January (next Friday) banners are going to be dropped from bridges all over the UK to raise voices against all types of hatred spreading in our societies. The Brighton banner drop is being organised with students at our University, which makes me very proud 🙂

These are the dates to keep in mind:

Monday 16th January and Tuesday 17th January: banner making at Sussex University Student Union between  6pm and 9:30pm.

Friday 20th January: The drop itself will be next Friday morning at 7.30am at Brighton Greenway, just up from Preston Circus. Two banners will cover both directions of traffic on New England Road.

If you want to participate please come to help make the banners at the Student Union on Monday and/or Tuesday evening. Also spread the word, you know how these things work: “the more the merrier!”

So come along and spread the word!

By: Marianela Barrios


Happy 2017!

Hi everybody!! We are back from holidays and loaded with energy and ideas for this year 2017. Some of them may just be part of optimistic new year’s resolutions, but we will do our best for them not to stay at that.

Today I will only tell you about the Academic Book Week. We are taking it very seriously this year. It got into our heads that we want to do a book sprint, as we have mentioned before in this blog. Well, during the Academic Book Week we will get ready and set to be able to do one properly.

On Wednesday, 25th January at lunch time we will conduct a workshop with Prof. David Berry (an eminence in book sprints) and brainstorm with participants about our own book sprint that will take place later in the year.

So save the date and remember to sign up, because most likely you will only be able to take part in the book sprint if you were present at this workshop.

We have the plans and ideas for this year, but for now, just think of The Academic Book Week and saving some time to join us at our workshop.

We wish you all a great start of 2017!




By: Marianela Barrios