Thursday, October 15, 2015

Intrepid Explorers Talk today!

Written in third person, as I'm stealing from the King's Water Blog:

King's Water PhD Student Becca Farnum gave a lunchtime seminar for the Intrepid Explorers group today. Undergraduates, postgraduate students and researchers, and staff came out to hear about Becca's time scuba diving in Kuwait and working with hydro-diplomacy activists in Israel and Palestine.

Farnum Intrepid Explorers Flyer 

Becca asked "To Veil or Not To Veil... Is That Really the Question?" about researcher experiences and values in the Middle East. Over the last seven years of her time at various universities, Becca has spent a total of about six months trotting between countries like Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Kuwait, Jordan, and Turkey. Her visits have included cheers of “Obama! Obama! America! Obama!" in Cairo’s outdoor markets after the democracy speech of 2009, international pickup games of football on the streets of the West Bank, and scuba diving in the Gulf. They’ve also included evacuations to bomb shelters during the 2014 war in Gaza, three-hour security interviews at borders, and cultural restrictions on clothing and physical activity. The talk considered the challenges – and joys – of spending time in cultures generally misunderstood and overly stereotyped in Western media and research. Using stories from her time in the field, Becca reflected on ‘meta methodology’ issues, such as how to respectfully approach differing moralities, gender norms, or understandings of law and justice without losing one’s own identity or being untrue to personal values. Contemplating what it means to be intrepid, Becca de-mystified the Middle East even as she encouraged the re-mystification of the familiar.
Farnum IE Talk 15 October 2015 - 3 

1 comment: