Speaker: Dr Penny Miles, Teaching Fellow in Latin American Politics and Society, Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies
External speaker: Dr Ximena Alcarcon – University of the Arts London and Sound Artist
Date: 1 March 2016
I used skype in a second year class on migration, identity and memory. In one class, we were examining the work of an academic and sound artist who works on migration and identity, and she focuses particularly on space and the senses and how they relate to migration. She also uses telecommunications in her art, and so having a skype session with her was very apt. She herself is a Colombian migrant living in the UK, and so I wanted to give the students a chance to ask her questions about her work, and also the extent to which her work is a reflection of her experience as a migrant. It was also a means of getting students engaged with the research process and outcomes. Prior to the skype session students were able to read Ximena's journal articles and explore the interactive websites that she had created around her research and art.
Before the skype session, we discussed her work and the themes in her work collectively (this is a small class of 7/8 students), and the students then decided on what questions to ask her, again collectively. I had asked Ximena to give a 10 minute introduction to her work beforehand, and how that related to our core themes of identity and memory and to allow time for the students to ask questions. The students passed the microphone to each other to ask questions in turn. Some students thought of questions on the spot related to other issues that Ximena had raised in the discussion, and others used the pre-prepared questions.
- Dr Penny Miles