PhD candidate Sofia Aatkar wins Midlands3Cities cultural engagement award

The AHRC-funded Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership recognised her achievements at the M3C Research Festival

 

English Literature PhD candidate Sofia Aatkar received a Midlands3Cities Cultural Engagement award at the recent M3C Research Festival. The award was in recognition of her project ‘Caribbean Journeys’ and work placement with Peepal Tree Press.

Sofia worked in collaboration with the National Caribbean Heritage Museum and Kelsi Delany, fellow PhD student at University of Leicester, to create a series of travel writing workshops for Nottingham’s Caribbean community. The purpose of the workshops was to encourage people of Caribbean descent to write about their journeys and migration, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Windrush. The writing was edited into an anthology called ‘Caribbean Journeys’ and is now available in several university libraries, including Nottingham Trent University. Sofia is hoping to have the anthology available as an eBook in the near future, in order to make it easily accessible to all.

Sofia has also engaged with the Caribbean writing community in Leeds through her work placement with Peepal Tree Press, an independent publishing company who specialise in Caribbean literature. Whilst on placement she completed interviews with authors and published blog posts for the company’s website.

Sofia’s PhD thesis, funded by Midlands3Cities, focuses on post-1948 anglophone Caribbean-British travel narratives, exploring how travel writers relate to the imperial nature of the genre. The Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership brings together a dynamic mix of leading universities in the Midlands in order to enable meaningful collaboration across the region. The Doctoral Training Partnership support innovative projects, both theoretical and practice led.

On being recognised with the award, Sofia told us: “I was both surprised and pleased to have been given the M3C Cultural Engagement Award. It’s great that the Doctoral Training Partnership recognises and values work their students undertake outside of academia. I’d really like to initiate more work of this nature over the next academic year.”

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