New Hive Scholars For a New Year!

As a new academic year begins, the SAGE Sussex Research Hive is proud to introduce three new Hive Scholars for 2012-13. Outgoing scholars Sindi Gordon, Liz Thackray and Lefteris Zenerian had a highly successful year working with library staff and the Doctoral School to develop the Hive and facilitate a range of researcher support activities both inside and outside the Hive space; now, new scholars Charlotte Morris, Frank Verano and Rachel Wood look to the future with an exciting year of programming all their own!
Without further ado . . .

Charlotte Morris

I am in my sixth year as a part-time Gender Studies DPhil in Sociology so I have been at the University of Sussex for a long time now! My research is a narrative study of the intimate lives of single mothers, relating them to contemporary sociological theories of intimacy. It has been a real privilege to hear the stories of so many interesting and courageous women as well as being party to fascinating insights into intimacy in contemporary life. I am currently writing the thesis and hope that there will not be too many more drafts as I hope to complete this academic year. The experience has been exciting and challenging and I have learned a lot about myself as well as my topic so I would value the opportunity to share my journey and learn from the experiences of others.

In my working life as an Educational researcher, I have developed research interests in student and researcher wellbeing and doctoral learning and so being a research hive scholar provides an opportunity to share and put into practice some of the insights I have gained. The key to having a good experience for many doctoral researchers is the opportunity to be part of a stimulating research community and that is what the research hive is all about. We are planning to run some interesting and supportive researcher events this year and to include social opportunities. It would be great to meet you and hear your thoughts on the Research Hive and what we offer so please do come and introduce yourself. I always enjoy meeting other researchers and hearing about their topics.

Frank Verano

I am a second-year Film Studies doctoral researcher. My research investigates representations of spaces of Late Capitalism in direct cinema, an observational documentary movement of the 1960s through a study of the relationship between the camera, social actors, and the spaces which they inhabit to reveal the movement’s fascination with the epoch’s transformation of space and place. It will entail an analysis of direct cinema’s canonical works, as well as lesser-studied films in need of wider critical evaluation, such as Eat the Document (1972) and One P.M. (1972). I’m discussing the movement in terms of public and private spaces, activated spaces, or spaces of “happenings,” and “renovations” to the movement made by late-period direct cinema films.

Rachel, Charlotte and I have an exciting year of activities planned that we hope will foster a tighter research community across all disciplines. We’re fully committed to making the Hive not only a place for quiet scholarship, but a space that encourages and facilitates researcher intersections. We want to hear your experiences, your stories, as well as enhance your skills and well-being. You can find me in the Hive each Wednesday from 2.00-4.00; do say hello and let me know what I can do to improve your Hive experience!

Rachel Wood

I am a part time fourth year Gender Studies PhD student in the department of Media, Film and Music. My thesis is a qualitative study of women’s engagement with sex shops and the products they sell. Sex shop spaces are fascinating sites for performing gender and sexuality; and the products, namely lingerie and sex toys, are marketed and sold in ways that produce particular bodily pleasures and gendered, classed sexual identities. My analysis focuses on how women participate in, negotiate and resist discourses of sexual consumerism through their engagement with sex shop culture. This year I am undertaking my fieldwork, interviewing and going on accompanied shopping trips with my participants.

During my time at Sussex I have been an active member of the research community, organising events such as NGender, a weekly gender studies seminar series, and two major conferences with Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies. I have found getting researchers together to discuss their ideas to be really enjoyable and rewarding. Having been a regular Hive user during my time here I also appreciate having a quiet, scholarly place to work. In the main I think the Hive should stay a quite space as that is how it is valued by its users. But it should also provide a peer community, with regular events taking place, mainly outside of the Hive space itself. I am really excited about our ideas for events this year, where we want to give researchers the opportunity to hear from interesting people about their research experiences, as well as providing a forum for discussion. I am keen to hear researcher’s views on the Hive and on their experience at Sussex in general, so do feel free to come and have a chat when I’m in the Hive, or drop me an email.


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