Having been wound up by everyone I spoke to in advance of travelling to Brazil regarding personal safety, I descended from the plane in São Paulo just waiting for the first attack. Major warnings included never to take my mobile phone out in public, never to look lost, and never to look like a gringo. By the end of week one I had managed to do all of the above, and survive. In fact, despite its reputation (deserved) for criminality, I had a wonderful time in São Paulo, staying just off Av. Paulista, behind MASP, the modern art gallery (with an amazing ‘hanging’ space for its permanent collection). I came not knowing a word of Portuguese and left in pretty much the same state. This meant some hectic moments, such as buying a ticket on the bus – crazed hand gestures and general panic worked well – resolved each time by the incredibly tolerant Brazilians, who pretended that it was no problem to help the lost gringo (gringa?) waving her mobile phone and looking lost. Luckily, I was joined by two Trinity colleagues, Daniel Faas (who might easily consider a second career as tour organizer), and Stephen O’Neill who submitted his PhD almost immediately on arrival. Academically, I benefited hugely from participating in the SPECTRESS conference organized by Laura Izarra and colleagues in August 2017, giving a keynote titled, ‘Ireland and Irishness as a post-traumatic discursive space: the case of cinema’. I was also lucky to be invited to give a keynote at UFSC (in Florianopolis) at their Irish Studies conference in November where I was made such a welcome guest. Thanks Laura, the SPECTRESS network, and the great friends I made in Brazil for a brilliant semester.
- Report on the Secondment of Prof Archana Upadhyay of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
- Ida Balwierz: JU SPECTRESS Fellow in São Paulo
- Saugata Bhaduri: JNU Spectress Fellow at JU, Kraków, Poland
- Aleksandra Szczepan: JU SPECTRESS Fellow at São Paulo
- Tomasz Bilczewski: JU SPECTRESS Fellow at Yale University, New Haven