Simone Eringfeld is the winner of the 2021 BERA Master’s Dissertation Award for her dissertation “Reimagining the Post-Coronial University through Podcasting: Hopes and Fears for the Future of Higher Education after Covid-19”
You can read her abstract here:
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused large-scale disruptions to the Higher Education sector. The resulting crisis has given rise to existential questions around the future of the university after Covid-19. This thesis asks how we might reimagine the future of HE and the post-coronial University. I use Hannah Arendt’s ideas about education in crisis, Jacques Derrida’s theories on the unforeseeable future-to-come and Paul Ricoeur’s notion of ‘narrative imagination’ to reflect on utopian and dystopian imaginaries which have emerged from the pandemic. This thesis is a storied collection of hopes, fears and expectations for the future, as held and felt by students and academics at the Faculty of Education, Cambridge University. My podcast Cambridge Quaranchats forms part of the methodology of this project: used as an affective, collaborative and open access ‘archive’, podcasting serves to publicly document the crisis of the ‘here and now’ for future remembrance. Podcast conversations were used in private research interviews to sonically elicit further reflections on reimagining horizons of the possible for the post-coronial University. The resulting data was used to create a series of data poems to let the data ‘speak’ – and reimagine – itself. This thesis is narrated as a multivocal, multimedia work which continually shifts between spoken and written word and which incorporates podcast fragments, voice memos and data poetry. I present podcasting through a phenomenological lens as a re-embodying research method, which taps into temporalities to evoke and channel the creative power of the sonic imagination. In the shift to online learning, the most prominent fears connect to the loss of education as an embodied, humanizing and communal experience. In the post-coronial University, we must therefore find new ways to retain corporeality and community. Podcasting provides a novel way of strengthening the onto-epistemological connections between embodied Knowing and Being in HE.