‘Finding my way in research’: reflections from an early stage researcher

Marlene Gomez shares her first reflections on doing a PhD.

Well, it turns out that it has been a year since we started this wonderful, but at the same time challenging journey of the Ph.D. I find it wonderful because it has allowed me as a person to enter into debates that seemed completely different to my reality and to which I did not pay much attention for my negligence to have a dialogue with European theories. My mentor, Gülay, has been key in this trip. Taking part in her seminars on post-development theory allowed me to realize the infinite similarities between the critical political and social theory of Europe and that of Latin America. Undoubtedly, with different realities and different situational problems, in both geopolitical latitudes, people get organized and fight for a common good and a good life/buen vivir. I find this trip challenging because it is not easy to understand the European reality with other lenses and other theories that have been unfamiliar to my academic path. However, I loved it. Sometimes I feel a bit like “the bridge” referred in the writings of the chicana Gloria Anzaldúa, or the chixi /mestiza proposed by the anti-colonial feminist Silvia Rivera-Cusicanqui to foster a dialogue of imaginaries, to walk interweaving different knowledges. After a year, I finally feel that I am finding my way in my research, and today more than ever I feel the passion for writing and discussing in-depth concepts relevant to my topic, such as urban food commons, food sovereignty, food regime, etc… and hopefully, by the end, I will be filling a gap in the FPE theory.

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