What am I doing here?

So how and why does an Italian researcher come to the University of Birmingham to work on Caribbean literature?

The Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship for career development is a major European Research and Training Fellowship for experienced researchers. This prestigious two-year fellowship will be an excellent opportunity for me to carry on the research I started during my PhD and research years in Bologna, Strasbourg and Paris.

This is the University clock tower, aka “The Old Joe”

I chose to apply to work at the University of Birmingham because of the innovative research being undertaken here. I am working under the supervision of my “Scientist in Charge”, Dr Louise Hardwick, who is a specialist on Francophone Caribbean literature and culture based at the University of Birmingham. Louise and other colleagues at Birmingham conduct research into Francophone areas across the world, as explained on the homepage of the University of Birmingham FRANCOPOCO Network.

I am sure that the academic environment and the facilities that this exciting university can offer will provide me with the best environment to develop my research, and that the prestigious Marie Curie fellowship will help me to develop a network of scientific exchanges and improve my skills.

… and this is the Main Library

This blog will also be about my daily life. Most people think that research, mainly in the humanities field, is something completely separated from normal life. It is not. To participate in this project, I decided to revolutionise my life and that of my family, too! We have moved from our town, Bologna (Italy), to Birmingham (England) and I assure you that this is a radical change: from a medieval city to the second largest city in the UK, where new buildings seem to spring up every week!

I will work in three different languages (French, English and Italian) and this blog will reflect this multilingual and intercultural environment that, as you can well imagine, can modify your life very deeply. It is a challenging transition, but I am firmly convinced that this kind of challenge can really improve your work and your life. Research must not be something separated and closed inside the academies and the libraries, but it must change your life and others’ lives, too.

The arcades of Bologna, also called “the red town”

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