Researcher Reflections: Doctoral researchers discuss their work

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Researcher Reflections: image of spotlight on dark stage

A new set of online films will showcase the work of Sussex doctoral researchers.

The Doctoral School has launched its ‘Researcher Reflections’ series of films with a 45-minute presentation of her research by Dr Rosalind Barber, who completed her doctorate in May 2011.

Ros discusses what is known as “the Shakespeare authorship question”, i.e. the argument over whether someone other than William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon wrote the works attributed to him.

Ros did a shorter, 20-minute version of the presentation in 2010 at The Globe theatre in London, but this one was especially written for the Researcher Reflections initiative, and is intended for a general audience.

She says: “What I’m chiefly arguing for is a return to the first principles of historical research, a critical re-examination of evidence, and an appreciation of the extent to which our existing beliefs filter our perceptions of what is ‘true’. The presentation emphasises the importance of encouraging students to ask questions, rather than supplying them with answers.”

Helen Hampson, who works on researcher development in the Teaching & Learning Development Unit (TLDU), initiated the Researcher Reflections project. She says:

“We work with the Doctoral School to provide professional development opportunities for research students. This project grew out of our media skills training, and is offered to those researchers who have attended the training and are interested in doing further media work.

The aim is to give PhD students an opportunity to develop a short professional video presentation showcasing their research, and to help raise their profile. It will also highlight the range of doctoral research being undertaken at Sussex. Further videos will follow from three or four other research students in the new year.”

The films are produced by Dr Phil Watten and his team in the Media Technology Lab in Informatics.

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