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New publication: Assessing the Role of Tourism in Sustaining Life Below Water

Last month saw the publication of a new paper in the Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals about 'Tourist Traps: Assessing the Role of Tourism in Sustaining Life Below Water', authored by Dr Jess Savage, Senior Teaching Fellow (GSD); Dr Godwin Yeboah, Senior Research Fellow (IGSD); and Dr Sarah Cook, Research Fellow (Warwick Water Group.

New study documents the behavioural impacts of phones and social support networks in rural Southeast Asia

A mobile phone user in Thailand

Image credit: Dr Marco J Haenssgen

A new paper demonstrates the facilitating yet potentially inequitable role of mobile phones in rural healthcare access.

GSD researcher Marco J Haenssgen, Giacomo Zanello (University of Reading), and Nutcha Charoenboon (University of Bristol) have released a new paper in the prestigious journal World Development. Analysing health behaviours in rural Thailand and Laos, the researchers highlight the complexities of technological change and caution against over-enthusiastic medical interventions that aim to promote health through mobile phones.

Dr Gioia Panzarella contributes to resources for developing critical digital pedagogies

Now more than ever, we’re thinking about the role of the digital in educational settings. How can digital technology help us ensure educational environments are platforms for engaging students as full agents of their own learning?

Launched last month, ‘Critical Digital Pedagogies in Modern Languages - a Tutorial Collection’, guest edited by Paul Spence and Renata Brandão, offers online tutorials which explore the theories and applications of digital methods and tools for engaging with modern languages and cultures. This publication is the result of a “tutorial writing sprint”, which took place in the summer of 2019. The purpose of the two-day event was to learn how to produce self-learning online tutorials.

Dr Gioia Panzarella’s self-learning tutorial in the collection guides learners of Italian in an exploration of online resources made available by associations fighting against organised crime. The tutorial focuses on the critical understanding of online resources, and in particular, on the need to encourage learners to engage critically with websites whilst learning a language (in this case, Italian).

Editors Spence and Brandão explain that, thanks to this tutorial, “In assessing the state of antimafia resources and the way in which they communicate their message, the learner will gain skills in evaluating digital resources while engaging with Italian culture through authentic content and developing intercultural competences.” (Critical Digital Pedagogies in Modern Languages - a Tutorial Collection)

You can access Gioia’s tutorial here.

The Special Collection is open access and is published by Modern Languages Open.

Article published for The Conversation on Cuban internationalism by Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla

Cuban flag flying in the wind

Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla, the Head of School for Cross-faculty Studies, has had her latest article on Cuban internationalism published by The Conversation UK. The article is titled 'By sending doctors to Italy, Cuba continues its long campaign of medical diplomacy'. You can read the article in full here.

"Cuba stresses its programme to send doctors abroad is based in solidarity. But there are diplomatic and economic reasons too."

You can also read Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla's recent article published by The Oral History Review on laughter in oral history interviews with Cuban internationalist healthcare professionals here.

Paper accepted for publication: Laughter in oral histories of displacement

Recently, the Head of School for Cross-faculty Studies Dr Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla’s paper on laughter in oral histories of displacement was accepted for publication by The Oral History Review. The Oral History Review aims to explore the nature and significance of oral history and advance understanding of the field among scholars, educators, practitioners, and the general public.

Title: Laughter in oral histories of displacement: 'one goes on a mission to solve their problems'


Although the use of humor and laughter in oral history has started to appear in oral history literature, it is still very much under-researched. Most of the studies analyze humor and laughter together, while Kate Moore focuses on laughter on its own. Humor and laughter, although linked, are two different concepts. While humor is a mental ability to perceive and/or express something funny, laughter on the other hand is a sound or a sequence of expirations, produced as the expression of an emotion, which can be set off by a humorous trigger, but not necessarily. It is therefore important to distinguish both. This paper will build on Moore’s study by exploring the use of unilateral laughter in eleven oral histories of exiled Cuban internationalist healthcare professionals. However, unlike Moore’s study, this research will not be limited to difficult memories. Our analysis will deepen our knowledge on the history of the Cuban global universal healthcare system by giving a voice to its participants, analyzing therefore, not solely the facts and statistics of the program but, as Portelli states, the meaning that its participants give to it when reflecting on their experience from the present. By exploring the occurrence of laughter, this paper intends to shed light on the relevance of focusing on unconscious reactions in oral history narratives, in order to better understand emotions linked to the narrated memories. The analysis will show that unilateral laughter is recurrent in the interviews when participants reflect on a change in their identity, the implications of working for a state program, and their need for respect of human dignity. It will highlight the impact the mission had on their personal and professional lives during and after their humanitarian experience. These stories of displacement will also show what Norrick has called the dual humorous perspective of the participants, but rather than solely referring to the time of the interview and age of the participants, we will also assert that another key factor to be taken into consideration is the situation of displacement as well as the degree of acculturation of the participants.

What does good research in global development look like?

Front cover of the book

Drawing on his ten years’ experience of interdisciplinary research work in Asia and Europe, Assistant Professor in Global Sustainable Development Dr Marco J Haenssgen’s new book is a practical introduction to qualitative research methods. Dr Haenssgen has designed this as a resource for students, researchers and research partners working on global development projects.

Published today, Interdisciplinary Qualitative Research in Global Development – a Concise Guide, contains a wealth of practical examples and resources to help students and practitioners think through what good research looks like. The guide highlights some of the practical and ethical challenges which can face teams drawn from different academic disciplines working on interdisciplinary issues.

New publication: What public engagement can learn from international development

Recently published in the interdisciplinary journal Global Health Action, Assistant Professor Dr Marco J Haenssgen in Global Sustainable Development discusses and exemplifies how common evaluation criteria used in international development aid can encourage more transparent and balanced assessments of public engagement with research.

New publications on fintech by GSD researcher

Digital map of earth
A recent special issue of Review of International Political Economy, co-edited by GSD Assistant Professor Nick Bernards, looks at the politics of emerging technologies in global finance.

New financial technologies ('fintech') have attracted growing media and policy attention in recent years, drawing both a good deal of hype about their potential benefits and concerns about the possibilities for abuse, surveillance, and instability created by new technologies. Despite this, there has remained little critical social science literature looking at the driving forces behind the promotion and adoption of fintech. This project aims to begin addressing that gap.

The issue includes eight articles touching on subjects including uses and abuses of Big Data in microcredit, digital technologies and remittances, platform lending, high-frequency trading and alternative credit data. Along with editing the collection, Dr. Bernards contributed a co-authored introductory article, and a sole-authored article on psychometric credit scoring and financial inclusion.

Free survey data set published by GSD Assistant Professor Marco J Haenssgen

A new social survey data set can be accessed free of charge for research and teaching to shine new light on antibiotic use, marginalisation, and rural treatment-seeking behaviour in Thailand and Laos. Published today on the UK Data Service platform, GSD Assistant Prof Marco J Haenssgen and his team have made available a crucial new resource for understanding the social context of drug resistance. As part of the project “Antibiotics and Activity Spaces”, the researchers completed 5,885 survey interviews that enable both provincial-level estimates and detailed village-level analyses of rural health behaviours.

GSD Assistant Professor Publishes Research on Mobile Phones in Developing Countries

Published in the latest issue of The Journal of Development Studies, Assistant Professor Marco J Haenssgen challenges the problematic myth of ubiquitous mobile phones in low- and middle-income countries.