Please tell us about your research project.
I am a PhD student in Geography at the Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier 3, under the supervision of Professor Valérie Lavaud-Letilleul and Dr Isabelle Berry-Chikhaoui. My doctoral research addresses the spatial dimension of gender relations at work. For that purpose, I chose the case of contemporary seaport areas as masculine workplaces. The gender categories reveal the structure of ports as places of power and negotiation: unequal access to employment despite attractive salary prospects, gender stereotypes, masculine practices that shape the docks but are now challenged by the management. I work on two European case-studies: Le Havre (France) and Felixstowe (United Kingdom).
Could you please tell us a bit more about your scholarship/exchange programme?
I was the "boursière du mois" in March 2020, at the very beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, I had to return to France in a hurry. I am now very pleased to be back for a month! I benefit from a Bodleian Libraries card and I am here to read major anglophone theoretical and empirical essays in the fields of labour geography, feminist, and gender geography. Some of them cannot be found in French libraries. It is a unique opportunity to broaden my knowledge of the bibliography available and build my own analytical framework.
First impressions of Oxford/the University?
As a geographer, I am very interested in the contrast between Oxford and the Suffolk industrial towns where I stayed while doing my fieldwork (Ipswich, Felixstowe). Because of the proportion of students within the general population, the importance of the colleges in the urban structure, and the prevailing middle-class standards, Oxford is absolutely different from any other city I know. This time, I will make sure I get to see everything: from the beautiful Oxonian colleges and museums to the meadows and their bathing spots.