Written by Verity Postlethwaite and Daniel Brookes
On the 8th of October, the Postgraduate Society held its first Postgraduate Research Seminar Series (PRSS) of the academic year, and the first since its rebranding from the ‘Work in Progress’ workshops. Four current students at different stages of their PhDs and from different institutes offered to present their research in this PRSS.
Lemun Yatu Nuhu started the seminar off with an overview of his research into developing the capacity for entrepreneurial education in Nigeria. With the economic challenges facing Nigeria, even as a powerhouse of Africa, particularly that of multinationals coming and going according to market demands, Lemun argued that a greater incorporation of entrepreneurial education would greatly benefit the development of Nigeria’s potential, whilst simultaneously diversifying the economy and retaining control of national interests.
George Bunting of the Institute of Science and the Environment spoke next, breaking down a potentially difficult-to-comprehend (for Humanities/Art types such as myself) topic into a series of concise fragments. His project encompasses a series of experiments introducing fine sediment to artificial river channels to suggest the impact on native invertebrates. This, I assumed, maps onto a wider pattern of man-made sediment build-up in habitats in rivers and a lack of general understanding of how this might impact on the ecosystem surrounding that.
Maxine Watkins presented third on the subject of the retention of quality teachers and the sustenance of a positive professional identity. Current work in the field has examined the beginning and end of the careers of teachers. Maxine is looking to investigate the largely unexamined middle phase of the teaching profession where employees move between phases and how they retain their commitment to the job. Given issues in the profession of poor retention, it feels like a worthy task to try and make clearer the issues faced by teachers whilst highlighting the positive aspects of pedagogy to potentially lessen the former and grow the latter.
Lastly was Érika Melek Delgado’s presentation on the experience of the children of liberated slaves in the early 19th century. Featuring extensive archival findings including the racial sub-classifications of these ‘Liberated Africans’ resettled in the then British colony of Sierra Leone, Érika’s project gave the impression of opening up great insight into the turbulent years of empire, giving voice to the lived experience of those currently only known through their existence on large, somewhat-anonymised registers of names.
Overall, the session consisted of four brilliant talks from a wide variety of disciplines and topics, with a large turnout of staff and students alike, making the first PRSS a worthwhile endeavour. Hopefully the success of the PRSS will be carried on throughout the year and beyond.
The next PRSS will be held on the 16th December at 4pm in JLG008. Click here for more information.