We pick up our little trip around the world to our Turing Scheme partners where left off: Mexico City! As no two research projects are alike, every student benefits differently from their Turing Scheme placement.
I am a PhD student at the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the ILCS – SAS doing research on the Reintegration of Former Combatants after Colombia’s Peace Process. Thanks to the Turing-sponsored scheme, I was able to spend a two-month academic placement in Mexico City at the Centre for Research and Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in early 2022.
At CIESAS, I attended a specialised research seminar, which allowed me to make significant progress on the theoretical and methodological sections of my thesis. I had the opportunity to exchange ideas with a small cohort of students from various disciplinary backgrounds conducting ethnographic work in Latin America. Peers, scholars and my designated academic supervisor at CIESAS read and commented on two of my thesis’ chapters, offering generous and valuable insights . I also attended CIESAS students’ colloquia—a series of panel discussion of research projects followed by examiners’ feedback— which has been very useful in preparation for my VIVA.
I learned a great deal about doing research in contexts of violence and conflict and I developed greater sensitivity towards my own positionality, engagement with research populations, fieldwork ethics, diversity and inclusivity. On a personal level, being immersed in my research away from my daily routine and personal commitments in London allowed me to learn a lot about myself and my work-life balance.
Finally, Mexico City is a vibrant and fascinating place with unlimited academic, artistic and historical places and events for anyone conducting research on Latin American-related subjects. Speaking Spanish is a must- some tolerance to spicy foods not essential, but desirable –