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BAFTSS PGR Workshop 2022 - Wednesday 20th April, 9:15am

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

Welcome to the information page for this year’s postgraduate workshop as part of the BAFTSS 10th Annual Conference. We’re glad to have you here!

This year, we are approaching our round table discussion a little differently. We envisage our PGR workshop as an open, organic discussion between colleagues and students in all areas of film, television, and screen studies — from research to creative practice, and everything in-between — centred around the theme of ‘Decolonising the Field: Curriculum, Research Culture, and the Student Experience’.

This idea came about following a discussion of how different institutions approach attempts at decolonising their courses, perhaps through de-centring reading lists away from hegemonic Western experiences and philosophies, by organising outreach activities, or by offering additional training resources to staff and students alike. “Decolonising the curriculum” is a broad and fluid term, and by its very nature invites and encourages intersectionality, increased intercultural understanding, and questions to be asked pertaining to increased accessibility and participation in the field, throughout the structures of higher education institutions. This left us asking: are there any particularly good examples of how departments across the country and beyond are actively decolonising the field? What does a decolonised research culture look like? And, how can we learn from each others’ experiences with HEIs’ approaches to decolonising (be they successful, or not so successful) to foster a truly decolonised field? We ask these questions as PGRs ourselves, eager to learn more about how experience speaks to fostering a decolonised research environment in which we can proactively learn how to broaden and empower our approach, through a genuine engagement with non-hegemonic, actively decolonised curricula, research cultures, and student experiences.

This PGR workshop serves two main functions: firstly, to provide an hour-long session to share ideas, ask questions, and learn from experiences relating to decolonising the field to make it a continuous, year-round engagement; and, secondly, to provide a space to share these experiences through an open, collective blog-style submission on our dedicated webpage to discuss good practice moving forward. This, to help ensure that the topics discussed and questions raised in our session have a lasting impact for PGRs in the field, sharing and learning from testimonies from throughout the levels of study in HEIs.

We look forward to seeing you at our session on Wednesday 20th April at 9:15am! Some questions you may wish to reflect on as we facilitate this discussion include:

  • How will decolonising help us to challenge inequities on various scales more effectively?

  • How will decolonising support the emancipation of underdeveloped regions?

  • What does decolonisation mean in the context of research, and specifically postgraduate research? How will it help to transform the field and practice?

  • What does a decolonised research culture look like?

  • What needs to be decolonised? Is it data, research, or researchers themselves who need to be ‘decolonised’?

  • Is there a ‘hidden curriculum’ which upholds an archetype of the ideal learner or researcher?

  • Does the solo nature of the PhD deter researchers from engagement with colleagues?

  • Does the supervisor-student relationship reinforce power relations and hierarchies?

  • Who are PhD students expected to be, and what are they expected to produce?

  • Does the research process of seeking to know the “Other” need to be adjusted so that the object of the research becomes the subject?

  • What criticisms exist in current decolonisation efforts in HEIs? Is there a risk of more cosmetic, rather than structural change taking place?

  • Is research simply a way of producing knowledge?

Stay tuned for further information, sign-up and registration details throughout March and April.

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