As a new PhD candidate in Latin American Studies, I am sure that there is no better department to be a part of than SPLAS (Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies) at King’s College, as clichéd as that sounds. What makes the department such an inspiring place to work is the enormous variety of subjects researched. Spanning from Madrid to Mexico to Mozambique, research in our department encompasses literature, theatre, art, music, journalism, politics, and history, from the Medieval to the Twenty-first Century. While PhD research is often said to be isolating, belonging to SPLAS and taking part in the regular events it hosts connects your small, individual research areas to a truly interdisciplinary and global field. As someone who has always found it incredibly hard to narrow my interests to one subject, I really appreciate the opportunity to keep learning about music in the Brazilian favelas or punk publishing in 1980s Spain through the work of the other PhD students.
Now as part of the Arts and Humanities Festival, we have kindly been given an opportunity to share this diverse departmental activity with the public, at our showcase on Monday 22nd October (K.2.29 Council Room, Strand Campus). Running from 3pm to 7pm, the event will feature a wide range of PhD candidates – from absolute beginners like me to those about to hand in their finished dissertations – each speaking for about seven minutes. These will not be traditional conference papers, so no prior subject knowledge is needed to follow the presentations. Instead, we will just be introducing our research, sharing our passions and hopefully encouraging the audience to find out more about what we do. The presentations will be arranged around themes, including ‘Voices from the periphery’, ‘Art, Music and Theatre in Latin America’ and, fitting with the overall theme of Metamorphoses, ‘Transitions’. After each panel there will be time for questions, and then a short break for more informal chats. Then from 6.15, we will hold a round-table between staff and students, discussing research issues including how to better communicate research in the digital age; issues which are by no means limited to the SPLAS department. Finally, the evening will end with a wine reception, in true Latin style, where we will be very happy to talk more about our research and the motivations behind it.
The full schedule can be found here – take a look and pop in for whatever appeals to you. We look forward to seeing you there!