» Archive for: November, 2013


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Funded PhD Studentship: Producing the Geographies of Childhood in Colonial Africa: Children’s Lives in Twentieth-Century Nyasaland
University of Hull , U. K.

Orthodox histories of European imperialism in Africa often celebrate formal institutions, high politics and the roles of ‘Great White Men’ in the constitution of colonial territory and society. Key figures such as Rhodes and Livingstone were significant, but they are not the whole story and these approaches neglect other marginalised social groups who also constituted the European presence in Africa. Feminist critiques have retrieved some women’s experiences in Africa as explorers, travel writers, colonial officer’s wives, teachers, nurses and missionaries.

These accounts have enriched understandings of everyday life in the colonies and offer alternative perspectives on issues of race, gender and authority. However, European colonial children remain a group routinely, and almost entirely, overlooked. This doctoral studentship will uncover and retell the stories of European children in Nyasaland whose colonial childhoods were distinct and deserve academic attention.

Children were a highly significant and distinctive presence within European colonial society. Their lives were framed by the racial hierarchies that striated colonial society: being white meant they were instantly privileged, although gender and class also inflected their status and opportunities. Likewise, illness and stark levels of child mortality also marked their lives. Many died in the colonies which shaped how families understood their ‘colonial service’ abroad. Distance also shaped these lives – with many children leading dislocated lives: being born and raised abroad and always distant from ‘home’.

This study is informed by historical children’s geographies and will develop work on the geographies of European colonial children by retrieving and retelling the stories of European children in Nyasaland 1889-1964. The studentship will examine colonial children’s life worlds and uncover their voices through autobiographies and memoirs, diaries, letters and photographs. Through archival work (in Britain and Malawi – funds available) and interviews with former colonial children this study will address research questions such as: How were the historical geographies of European settlement in Africa experienced differently by generational groups (parents and children)? How did colonial hierarchies of age and generation intersect with gender, class and racial hierarchies? What do the micro-historical geographies of families from the period of Empire look like?

In order to qualify for this scholarship you will require at least a 2.1, but preferably a Masters degree, in a relevant subject.

Full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship will include fees at the‘home/EU’ student rate and maintenance (£13,726 in 2014/15) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress. Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress.
PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Closing date: – 3rd February 2014.

Application Form and details at http://www2.hull.ac.uk/student/graduateschool/phdscholarships/fosaengineering-10.aspx

Interested applicants are encouraged to direct informal enquiries to:

Dr Elsbeth Robson E.Robson@hull.ac.uk , Dr Rosemary Wall R.Wall@hull.ac.uk , Prof David Atkinson David.Atkinson@hull.ac.uk

 

 

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EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST IN PhD STUDIES IN GEOGRAPHY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO

Applications are invited from potential applicants with an interest in the topic:  ‘Families’ sense of place and place attachment’ commencing in 2014.

Supervisors: Dr Christina Ergler & Associate Professor Claire Freeman (Department of Geography, University of Otago, New Zealand)

We are seeking a student willing to embark on a PhD and interested in working on a mixed-methods project on ‘Place attachment and social connection in urbanising societies’. Whilst place attachment is an area that is of established interest to geographers the role of children in forging place attachment for families is less well understood (Weller & Bruegel, 2009, Gordon, 2012).  The project seeks to critically explore broad questions around factors contributing to and hindering place attachment. In particular, the project is interested in how family members from different New Zealand communities develop or negotiate the complexity of place attachment through their social and physical mobilities (see also Freeman, 2010). In doing so, the research contributes to debates in geography, environmental psychology and planning with reference to multiplicities of place attachment.

Students with first class Honours or Master degrees and backgrounds in human geography, planning, childhood studies or sociology are encouraged to contact us. Knowledge of or interest in developing skills in a geographic information system as well as excellent oral and written communication skills are a requirement for this project.

The project is contingent on the applicant applying for and securing a University of Otago PhD Scholarship (international or domestic), satisfying University of Otago Ph.D. entry requirements and meeting New Zealand study visa requirements, if appropriate.

If you would like to discuss the project further please contact Christina Ergler via e-mail Christina.ergler@geography.otago.ac.nz or Claire Freeman cf@geography.otago.ac.nz.  Please send a CV (including academic transcripts) and a one page covering letter outlining why you consider  that you are a suitable candidate (this should cover what skills/knowledge you bring to the project, what aspects you find particularly interesting and any ideas you may have on how the project could be developed).

Information on the Otago University Geography Department and the supervisors for this project is available on http://www.geography.otago.ac.nz/

sweetie

Terre des Hommes Stop Webcam Child Sex Tourism’ campaign forcefully calls attention to the exploitation of children in cybersex. The campaign raises many questions and, I argue, constitutes an example of doing development James Bond style.

Discussions on ICTs in relation to children present an awkward divide. In the literature pertaining to the western world there is increasing attention to problematic aspects, including cyber bullying, online grooming, etc. Such issues are hardly discussed in the development studies literature concerning children and ICTs. Here, ICTs remain predominantly seen in a bright positive light, exemplified by slogans as ICT4D, and the various ‘1 laptop per child’ initiatives.

The recently launched Terre des Hommes campaign ‘Stop Webcam Child Sex Tourism’ does much to problematize this state of affairs. As part of their efforts to stop child sexual exploitation, they have now zoomed into ‘Webcam Child Sex Tourism, which Terre des Hommes understands as: ‘when adults pay to direct and view live-streaming video footage of children in another country performing sexual acts in front of a webcam’.

Central to the campaign is ‘Sweetie’, a virtual 10 year old girl from the Philippines who was used by Terre des Hommes researchers as a ‘bait’ in cyberspace. In a nearly 8 minute youtube clip Sweetie tells her story. Over a period of two months the research team caught, by manipulating Sweetie, 1000 individuals from more than 65 countries red-handed. They tracked their details and recorded their practices. The file is handed over to the Dutch police.

The message Terre des Hommes sends into the world is seductively simple: ‘If our researchers and Sweetie can track more than 1,000 webcam child sex tourists in only 2 months’ time, the international police should be able to trace 100.000 a year.’ They have thus opened an online petition to ‘Justice ministers, police chiefs and child protection chiefs’. The petition text reads as follows:

‘As citizens concerned about children’s mental and physical welfare, we call on you to crack down on Webcam Child Sex Tourism. This will require announcing a plan for intercepting potential predators in public chat rooms, initiating prosecutions and challenging intermediaries who enable and profit from this vile trade. We expect you to act fast, decisively and accountably, to prevent more young lives being ruined.’ 

So far the campaign details. However, the significance of the campaign is only partly found in its details – there is more happening here.

Watching the youtube clip there were a few features that struck me. The clip starts as an investigative detective. No spoken words, no images of people. Just words appearing on screen in a firm capitalized font. Intense music is adding to the atmosphere that is built up. As with all detectives, we know that something will be uncovered. Something that we couldn’t imagine just a few seconds ago.

There are numbers. Presented in digital counters, suggesting great certainty about the smallest of details. From numerical and digital precision we move to global visions. We oversee it all. We see a globe rotating. We see maps. We see tiny lights appearing on the surface of the earth. That’s where the perpetrators are, we can see them! They are caught, and we have recorded every detail whoever and wherever they are.

This grand act of knowing is staged in a highly masculine manner. With the exception of one, all actual people appearing in the clip are male, the researchers, the Terre des Hommes director, and also the voice-over is a sure, never failing male voice. These are not random men. These are the good men! ‘Good’ in various ways as is evident from the sharp contrast with the blurred images of the male perpetrators with their overweight bodies caught in shameful acts. These are the bad men, without doubt. Masculinity is there too in the construction of Sweetie. It is men who have masterminded and control this virtual image, and it is their technology that is going to save us from the bad men out there.

How should we understand this all? This is more than a campaign and Terre des Hommes is a large international NGO (non-governmental organization). What we see here is far from insignificant. We have had Angelina Jolie, Marco Borsato, and various other international and national celebrities giving publicity to a range of (I)NGOs and their activities. There is none of them here. Or perhaps there is, but it is taken to another level.

We don’t get the celebrity actors and actresses. But even better, we get the big thriller that made them famous. Just like James Bond there is an intimate link with the state, and Terre des Hommes, not unlike James Bond, simultaneously acts in ways that (most) state-actors won’t get away with. Altogether, the campaign is a powerful (if subliminal) rebuttal to current critiques and cynicism about the potency of development work. This is perhaps best captured by the call for ‘proactive policing’ through the use of virtual baits to track and catch ‘predators’ even before any actual crime is committed involving actual human beings. Yet this resurrection of development practice is also a particular one. A development fantasy is constructed that seamlessly combines the MDG obsession with numbers and targets, with high-tech and virtual bodies. The practice of ‘proactive policing’ deeply complicates any state-nonstate distinction, and the entire project is framed in a highly masculine style. Is development, then, once again the terrain of good guys saving us from the bad ones, but this time in James Bond style?

posted by Roy Huijsmans

guelph

Some interesting opportunities for working with an ISS alumni (Dr Sharada Srinivasan) who is now at Guelph:

1. FUNDED MA RESEARCH
Daughter elimination in the form of sex selective abortion, excessive female mortality and neglect continues to result in the loss of millions of girls in many East and South Asian countries. Applications are invited from outstanding students who wish to complete MA research on Gender Implications of Daughter Deficit in India starting September 2014. Up to four positions are available under this research program. Potential topics include (but not limited to):
–       Relative contributions of sons and daughters to their natal families
–       Daughter deficit and gender-based violence
–       Experiences of families with daughters in negotiating son preference and daughter deficit
–       Young Canadians of Punjabi descent and sex selection

Students will have the opportunity to undertake a two-year MA in the University of Guelph’s collaborative International Development Studies program in conjunction with one of the following graduate programs: Sociology, Public issues in Anthropology, Geography, Economics and Political Science (http://www.ids.uoguelph.ca/graduate-studies/graduate-studies). A competitive funding package (including a minimum guaranteed stipend, TAships, RAships and field research funding) is available for the right student. Fluency in Punjabi/ Hindi/ Tamil, prior field experience and familiarity with mixed methods including quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis are desirable.

Those interested should please email a CV, a 250 word research design, sample writing, three reference letters, and an unofficial transcript to: Dr.Sharada Srinivasan (sharada@uoguelph.ca) by 29 November 2013. Short-listed applicants will be interviewed by skype in early December 2013. Admission is subject to the approval of the relevant graduate admissions committees.

2. FUNDED PhD RESEARCH ON “DAUGHTER DEFICIT, MASCULINITIES AND GENDER TRANSFORMATION IN INDIA”
Daughter elimination in the form of sex selective abortion, excessive female mortality and neglect continues to contribute to the loss of millions of girls in many East and South Asian countries. Applications are invited from outstanding students who wish to undertake PhD research on “Daughter Deficit, Masculinities and Gender Transformation in India” starting September 2014. Students will have the opportunity to undertake a PhD in the University of Guelph’s collaborative International Development Studies program in conjunction with one of the following graduate programs: Sociology, Geography, Economics and Political Science (http://www.ids.uoguelph.ca/graduate-studies/graduate-studies). A competitive funding package (including a minimum guaranteed stipend, TAships, RAships and field research funding) is available for the right student. Fluency in Punjabi/ Hindi/ Tamil, prior field experience, familiarity with mixed methods including quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and evidence of publishing are desirable.

Those interested should please email a CV, a 250 word research design, sample writing, three reference letters, and an unofficial transcript to: Dr.Sharada Srinivasan (sharada@uoguelph.ca) by 29 November 2013. Short-listed applicants will be interviewed by skype in early December 2013. Admission is subject to the approval of the relevant graduate admissions committees.

3. FUNDED PhD RESEARCH ON “SON PREFERENCE AND SEX SELECTION AMONG CANADIANS OF CHINESE DESCENT”
Daughter elimination in the form of sex selective abortion, excessive female mortality and neglect continues to contribute to the loss of millions of girls in many East and South Asian countries. Applications are invited from outstanding students who wish to undertake PhD research on “Son Preference and Sex Selection among Canadians of Chinese Descent” starting September 2014. Students will have the opportunity to undertake a PhD in the University of Guelph’s collaborative International Development Studies program in conjunction with one of the following graduate programs: Sociology, Geography, Economics and Political Science (http://www.ids.uoguelph.ca/graduate-studies/graduate-studies). A competitive funding package (including a minimum guaranteed stipend, TAships, RAships and field research funding) is available for the right student. Fluency in Mandarin, prior field experience, familiarity with mixed methods including quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, and evidence of publishing are desirable.

Those interested should please email a CV, a 250 word research design, sample writing, three reference letters, and an unofficial transcript to: Dr.Sharada Srinivasan (sharada@uoguelph.ca) by 29 November 2013. Short-listed applicants will be interviewed by skype in early December 2013. Admission is subject to the approval of the relevant graduate admissions committees.


International Institute of Social Studies

ISS is an international graduate school of policy-oriented critical social science. It brings together students and teachers from the Global South and the North in a European environment.