Overseas Institutional Visit (OIV): Sharda Rozena
Sharda’s research topic concerns ‘Facadism and gentrification in Kensington, London 1950-2022’. Her OIV to the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada presented the opportunity to meet and network with world leading urban scholars and researchers, who are internationally recognised academics on gentrification.
Sharda attended her host supervisor’s classes twice a week, learning new ways of analysing urban processes, and also gaining a cohesive overview of racism and police brutality in urban cities in the USA. She walked around Vancouver and its many suburbs and visited numerous museums, all with significant and diverse relevance to her research topics. She kept journal throughout, noting down ideas for future research papers, taking photos and thinking about comparative papers between Vancouver and London.
Numerous organised networking opportunities, including driving and walking tours of the city with urban specialists and fellow researchers, gave Sharda the chance to share papers, ideas and contacts with fellow researchers from British Columbia and beyond, all with different slants on the factors that lead to gentrification and its impact on all levels of urban society.
The Covid pandemic restricted Sharda’s ability to engage with the University culture as much as she would have liked. But through a combination of on-line interactions and face-to-face meetings with other international student at UBC where possible, she was still able to learn a lot about Vancouver and make detailed plans for future publications and research.
Sharda was also able to make the most of the many other opportunities arising from visiting the beautiful city of Vancouver, including skiing, hiking snowshoeing and enjoying the landscape and wildlife. Commenting on the benefits of her OIV, Sharda commented:
“The visit has certainly benefited my future career and research prospects
Sitting in on Elvin’s classes not only introduced me to North American cities and relevant academic literature, but it also gave me some ideas for teaching, particularly in hybrid settings (online and in-person). This includes chapter synopsis presentations so that readings are covered in interesting and interactive ways.
I have networked with many students and academics here that I know I will collaborate and research with for future comparative papers or publications in my research.
I have learnt so much about the city, its history and geography that I can use my notes and photos in future teacher planning, lectures, seminars, and papers. I generally have a much broader knowledge of gentrification in a different urban landscape on the other side of the world and this experience in general will help with future job prospects and research proposals.”
Since the visit, Sharda has won ESRC funding from an Impact Acceleration Grant to create an exhibition with one of the people she met (and lived with) in Vancouver. She is a Métis artist representing Indigenous communities and is travelling to London to start work on their arts-based gentrification exhibition, based on Sharda’s research. This is such a great example of the sort of opportunities an OIV can open up. We wish Sharda the very best with the project.
Please see the above link for the full events calendar. A selection of our upcoming events are listed below.