September 11th, July 7th: Echoes of terrorism on the big screen, by Kirsty Hemsworth

Burning skyscrapers, survivors pouring onto the streets of Manhattan, bystanders slack-jawed, pointing up at some unseen threat amidst the smoke and ash. This could well be a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster, an action-packed, special-effects thriller released in time for the school holidays. Yet it could equally describe the scenes that unfolded on television screens across the globe on September 11th 2001.
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‘Facing Challenges’ – An account of the SLC Postgraduate Colloquium, by Josh Bengough

This year’s School of Languages and Cultures Postgraduate Colloquium finally came round on 20 May 2015. Every year, a group of taught Masters and PhD students are given the responsibility of putting together a small-scale conference for themselves and their fellow postgraduate students as a forum for presenting their research. I was not part of this team, but I will present to you my experience of this event.

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Salta, Argentina, In My Words: Salta’s Indigenous Students Speak Out, by Katy Stewart

In the last days of June 2011, after a 50-hour journey from Chile (but that’s another story), I arrived in Salta, Argentina. It’s a beautiful city in Argentina’s northwest, close to the Chilean and Bolivian borders. The Andes provide a mystical backdrop, and the trace of the Spanish conquistadores is everywhere: in the old colonial churches and cathedrals, with their magnificent pillars and ornate decoration, in the regimented layout of the city centre – and in the inequalities still evident in modern-day society.


Salta. Image: Katy Stewart

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On the changing significance of the Palais de la Porte Dorée, a legacy of the Exposition colonial internationale 1931, by Tom Jackson

A couple of years ago a trip to Paris to visit my Bibliothèque Nationale-burrowing partner gave me the chance to visit the site of the famous Exposition coloniale internationale of 1931. I was introduced to this fascinating episode in French colonial history by my current PhD supervisor Dr Sophie Watt.

By Mbzt (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Mbzt (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

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Becoming the Ampersand, by Nina Schmidt

Since August last year, I have supported the poet Ruth Chalkley in her contributions to the blog Storying Sheffield. Our joint efforts to reflect on living with serious illness, and the many effects this has on the self, bear the title ‘A Dialogic Exploration of Gluten Ataxia: Lived Experience, the Medical Condition, its History’.

Ruth lives with this rare, progressive condition on top of having coeliac disease. Her doctors describe what’s happening to her as an autoimmune double strike to gluten. Effectively, this means that in her case, gluten does not only cause an autoimmune reaction that harms the intestines, but that the protein found in our most common grains (such as wheat, rye, barley) also affects her nervous system in manifold ways. Even following a strict gluten-free diet, the effects of ataxia (including physical disability, epileptic episodes) cannot be reversed. At the most, so it is hoped, the diet can help slow down the deterioration of Ruth’s health.

Photo credit: Christine Rondeau. (

Photo credit: Christine Rondeau. (

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