Our interns

Tajda Ferko is a Visiting researcher/ MA student February-May 2017. She has arrived in Belfast as a Postgraduate student (Master's) in Cultural Studies, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia to conduct fieldwork for my MA project. My research interest is at the intersection of cultural studies and sociology, with a particular focus on feminist theory and gender related activism in the UK. She has written a BA thesis on student feminist societies in the UK. As a researcher at QUB, her work examines perceptions associated with the LGBT identity in a divided society. "Beyond feminist theory and LGBT studies, my research engages with different strands of cultural and social studies, including post-structuralism, intersectionality, minority politics and environmental cultural studies. Having the opportunity to carry out part of my MA research at QUB gives me an invaluable perspective on ethnic, cultural and political factors influencing LGBT people in Northern Ireland." Tajda is working on the following papers at the moment: Student Feminist Societies in the UK in Relation to Intersectionality and Third-Wave Feminism" and "Being LGBT in a Divided Society: Case Study of Northern Ireland".

Anja Pećnik has interned at the Centre between February and June 2017. She arrived at the end of her MA studies in in Psychology at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia. Her interest in social psychology, specifically ethnic relations and minority rights has been the main reason to pick Queen's as a destination. While in Belfast, she was researching the role civil society groups play in the protection of minority rights in the Western Europe and in the Western Balkans. She has been assisting in organising several research conferences, particularly, the IPSA Colloquium "Democratization and Constitutional Design in Divided Societies" held on Cyprus in June 2017. "The time spent in Belfast was very useful for a better understanding of the political background to managing ethnic relations and minority issues in divided societies."

Ilse Staal has been an intern at the Centre between April and June 2017, while writing her MA thesis. She holds a Bachelor in Human Geography at the University of Utrecht and studied for a master degree at the Radboud University Nijmegen on Conflict, Territories and Identities. She went to Belfast for three months to undertake field work research for her master thesis on the impact of the Brexit on the peace-building process in Northern Ireland. "The internship has been very useful to get a better understanding of a post-conflict situation and its influence on the daily live. For me it was interesting to see how the conflict is still very visible in Belfast."

Elisa Tognon was an intern between February 2017- April 2017, arriving as a student intern from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy. She came to Queens University Belfast during her last year of undergraduate studies in Language, Culture and Languages Science, with a particular focus on International Relations. During her stay, she had the opportunity to experience teaching and learning at Queens and enrich her knowledge on minorities’ rights and ethnic conflict. In particular I was researching on Russia and features of its politics for her master's dissertation. "Spending my internship in Belfast allowed me to learn more about Northern Ireland itself, its history and its cultural background. I have enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and the international environment of Queens University, my encounters with motivated students and lecturers from all over the world have made this a unique experience."

Vanessa Tautter interned at the Centre between September and December 2015. Vanessa studied History and English at the University of Graz, Austria, at Maynooth University, Ireland and at West Virginia University, United States and completed the diploma programme at the University of Graz with a thesis on “The Rising, the Somme and the Agreement: Political Memories in Northern Irish History Education”. The internship contributed greatly to the quality of her research project, as she could draw from QUB’s extensive resources in the field, participate in workshops, attend conferences and conduct fieldwork in addition to gaining direct insight into everyday life in contemporary Northern Ireland while living in Belfast.

“Conducting research in Belfast allowed me to see the underlying complexities behind the influence competing narratives about the past continue to have on formal history education in Northern Ireland.” More recently, Vanessa has been interested in the transcultural aspects of processes of memory contestation and transformation facilitated by societal factors. She is currently in the early stage of conducting research for her PhD project with the working title “Contestation and Transformation of Memory Cultures: The Impact of Social Divisions on Memory Building”.

Antonella Acinapura has been a research intern at QUB since April 2016. Her main academic interest is in contentious politics approach to study political violence in the Middle East. Specifically, she is interested in analyzing the short term components that influence violent strategies pursued by groups operating in deeply divide societies. This interest has been developing during the preparation of her MA thesis, in which she has carried out a comparative analysis of the two radical movements, the Israeli Kach and the Palestinian Hamas. She has analysed the factors affecting these groups’ formation during the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process.

After graduating with an MA in Middle East Politics and Economics from Ca’ Foscari University Venice, she came to Belfast to take part in an internship programme at the Centre for the Study of Ethnic Conflict. “The connection between the Northern Ireland political situation and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict made this experience extremely useful: here, I had the opportunity to understand deeper -  in a broader sense - the core of my interest, including political violence, nationalism and ethnic conflicts in deeply divided societies”. At QUB, her main duties have been supporting  with the literature research, assisting in the organization of conferences and academic events, and reviewing and copyediting papers submitted for the publication in journal Nationalism and Ethnic Politics.

Martine Szetela has returned as in intern to the Centre between April-May 2015 after spending her Erasmus year from Sciences Po Lyon in Belfast in 2012-2013. She chose to do an internship in Belfast because her final year's academic subject was dealing with the Europeanisation of the French minority language policies and the role members of parliament played in the process. "The internship allowed me to see Centre's publishing activity from the inside and exchange in discussions with Timofey on the matter of my dissertation because my French supervisors could not offer advise in the suject area. Helping in the editing process of Centre's publications helped me to attain better knowldge of the latest resources on minority issues across Europe." Martine is now a teacher of economics and social sciences in high school in France after passing the national public exam in 2016. "My internship helped me remember my times during the Erasmus year and to widen my understanding of my thesis' subject: helped me reading closely both in English and in French which was useful when studying for later exams. This has also equipped me with a broad base of cases that I can use when teacing political regulations and contemporary politics in my classes."

Marta Galiazzo was an MA student in English Literature and Cultural Studies at the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice when visiting as an intern at the Centre, October - December 2014. Her main interests were in historical development of British culture, focusing particularly on how society and culture impact on literature and art. She was also interested in linguistics and translation, as well as in drama from the Elizabethan and Jacobean era. While in Belfast, she was helping the editor-in-chief of the Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Prof emer. Adrian Guelke and, in her free time, translated an anthology of English traveller writings on the Venice Ghetto (16-19th centuries).

At the time of her internship October - December 2013, Adriana Paradiso was MA student in International Relations at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy. Her main interest at the time was in contemporary Brazilian politics. In particular, she was interested in the impact of Olympic Games in Rio 2016 on the urban context in Brazil: both the gentrified executive centre and the favelas. She is also interested in the immigrant situation at the Mexican-American border. Besides, having a background in foreign languages and cultures, she is interested in how interethnic contacts impact language development and are reflected in sociolinguistic phenomena.  She was working at her dissertation titled  “Rio 2016: gains and damages of Olympic Games in Brazil".