Two staff members from the School of Arts, Drs Philip Awezaye (French/Academic Learning in English) and Alexandra Stewart (French) participated in a post-doctoral workshop at the University of Réunion (Le Tampon campus).
This workshop brought together invited young researchers from universities within the Indian Ocean region to develop their skills in research, postgraduate supervision and teaching at university level.
The week-long training session was funded by the Erasmus+ International Mobility Programme and the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF). It covered a range of topics which aimed to equip young researchers with the skills required in an academic milieu. These included the implementation of research projects (a publication of collected works or a conference), pedagogy for university level, establishing and reinforcing one’s research profile, supervision of postgraduate theses and dissertations, and approaches to data analysis.
Said Steward: ‘This was a very helpful workshop as it provided personalised mentorship and enabled us to acquire concrete skills that we will be able to mobilise in our careers as academics. Collaboration is vital because it allows us to create ties with other scholars in the Indian Ocean region, reinforcing the notion of la francophonie, the idea that the French language exists across many cultures and nations and is a way of connecting people.’
The workshop resulted in an exciting collaborative research project involving the publication of collected works on the subject of feminine resilience in Francophone literature with the University of Antsiranana in Madagascar, and has led to further staff development in the School of Arts.
UKZN’s Professor Bernard De Meyer (French) was one of the facilitators of this workshop, alongside professors from Réunion Island, Madagascar and Kenya. He was also involved in a doctoral workshop that was part of the same programme.