Sunday, October 23, 2016

"Cous Cous the Elephant": An Intrepid Explorers Talk

I gave a rather irreverent (fun, joke-filled, completely informal) talk at King's College London last week about research methods and experiences for the Intrepid Explorers Seminar Series. Title and abstract are below.

"Cous Cous the Elephant: Espionage, Diplomacy, and Cultural (Mis)Understanding in the Middle East"
Becca is a doctoral researcher at King’s College London investigating environmental peacebuilding in the Middle East and North Africa. She partners with local activists in the region to explore how nature can be used to bring conflicting communities together. Over the course of her research, she has spent a year in countries like Morocco, Lebanon, and Kuwait engaging with fog-harvesting, conservation scuba diving, and war journalism. This talk will reflect on how the presence of a researcher creates moments of cultural learning, miscommunication, and change for everyone involved in a project. Come along for stories of mistaken identities, farcical shop vendors, and lifelong friendships.

A number of folks asked if the talk might be recorded - so here's a quick, entirely home-shot/unedited version!

A disclaimer: I talk about my wonderful research partners in this presentation. I do so openly and informally - and very much as a reflection of my time and experiences with them, not as an authoritative statement from the organisations. It’s an uncensored look at my thinking and research logic - please take it in the spirit intended!

The photos don't come through all that well in the recording. The presentation can be downloaded from:

Enjoy if you like James Bond-puns and my rambling. ;) 

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