A world of 10bn extension – heading to a SURE summer research programme

One of the key functions of academic research is to address issues in the future. After participating in an eye-opening academic programme, the 10bn course, blended with my second-year degree, I gained an insight of how an interdisciplinary research works.

Global population will peak in the next hundred years at around 10 billion, and many global issues can only be solved by the collaboration of different disciplines.
Food, energy, human mobilisation, and justice – how will the future look like or what should the future look like?

Throughout the 3-week course, I gained an interest in the issue of migration. When migration can be simply interpreted at a person moving from one place to another place, the establishment of borders in modern society makes it a complex issue. We associate migration with illegal immigrants or refugees and we see the media represent migrants with images of a cluster of people squeezed in a rubber boat or people attempted to cross a fence.

The discourse around the threat posed by migrants and refugees to security, national identity and order have topped the list of political discussion. But why do people migrate? What does migration mean to an ordinary citizen, to a society and to a government?

To continue my exploration to this issue, I am very grateful to become one of the research students in a group project about how images of migrants and refugees shape public understanding and opinions of migration this summer under the SURE scheme.

The Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Scheme offers undergraduate students at the University of Sheffield to get involved in research activity and experience working with academic staff or collaboratively in a research group.

For my research project, I will work with five other second year students from different faculties to combine our knowledge of media and journalism, image analysis, semiotic research, geopolitical and historical research, and qualitative data analysis to co-construct a deeper understanding of representing migrants.

The project will start next week on 12 June, and it will last for six weeks. We will be working with a focus group ranging from students, artists to the general public to draw out their responses to news photographs and selected artworks on migrants.

If you would like to be part of the focus group, please feel free to comment below or send me an email at yleung3@sheffield.ac.uk for more details.

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