Saturday, March 25, 2017


I went to the beautiful, historic University of Neuchâtel this week to attend a conference called "Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Discrimination in the Context of Mobility and Migration". The paper I presented is to become a chapter in my dissertation, but still has a looooong way to go before I get there. I was hoping to get some insight into what I could do to translate my theoretical framework into empirical research. The comments that people made were helpful, and I'm hoping to make that transition fairly soon.

Other than attending the conference all day, some of the conference participants and I walked around the old part of the city, which was cute and quaint, much like Lugano. Also, like Lugano, Neuchâtel is located on a lake, with the University some 50 meters away from the shore. It was all very nice to take in after 48+ hours of stress and anxiety about my presentation. I have to say, the French part of Switzerland seems more relaxed than the Italian part. Now, I have a couple days to recover after the arduous, late-night journey back to Lugano. I think this experience marks the beginning of a turning point in my PhD journey.

Friday, March 17, 2017


Last weekend I went to Hamburg for a doctoral colloquium with the topic "Postcolonial perspectives on United Nations research". It was an interesting format; each paper was presented by a discussant who was not the original author, and then opened up the discussion with their own questions and comments. The paper that I co-wrote with a friend from grad school was about the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN and their role in the reproduction of racial and ethnic inequality. The whole thing was quite long, but very stimulating and productive.

On Friday, we had a keynote speech and then a post-colonial tour of Hamburg. The main thing that I found interesting was the information about Germany's role in colonizing various countries. Often, I think people aren't aware that most people in Western Europe had (and have) to do with the exploitation of countries that make up the Global South. 

The colloquium was held on the campus of the Universität der Bundeswehr Hamburg, which is a military university. It was kind of a strange place to hold a colloquium with many young scholars critical of the UN and national institutions in general, but it was nice nonetheless. I stayed in a very spartan single room on campus, with showers down the hall and lockable compartments in the community fridge. 

Representatives from the  DGVN (German Soceity of the United Nations) were part of the organizing team, so it had the official German feeling that one tends to have at these sorts of things. 

I found the quote chosen for this bag hilarious. "We're getting closer with climate change to the 'point of no return'". This is the kind of advertising that they want to do with their merch....ok.

I ended up returning to Lugano not very late, but for some reason I was still utterly destroyed on Monday. It was all I could do to come to work, go to class and take notes. Afterwards, I ended up heading home early and trying to recuperate for the week ahead. I'm really looking forward to this weekend, when I can do nothing for a couple of days. I have a conference next weekend as well, so I'll probably need the extra sleep!