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We are delighted to announce that Ailsa Peate, one of our post-graduate students in Modern Languages, won the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences award. Here, she shares her process and experience.

“My research focuses on Mexican and Cuban detective fiction, and when I began to think of how to express this on a poster – without infringing on copyright! – I found myself stuck. As my research deals primarily with close literary analysis, I don’t often have the chance to consult images or diagrams, and as I analyse fictional texts rather than data, I wasn’t able create charts to illustrate my conclusions so far.

Poster -APeate

In the end, I decided that as my research deals with subversive and often unpleasant concepts linked to crime fiction such as physical and sexual violence, I would try to communicate this through a colour scheme of black and red to highlight the genre’s background in darkness, crime and blood. By using some of the more iconic covers of the novels I use in my research as well as artwork by an artist with similar interests to my own, I was also able to physically express my research interests. I tried to keep text to a minimum in order for the poster to look more accessible, so other than the compulsory abstract I included some bullet points of research questions I’m dealing with currently and my conclusions so far.

I was initially sceptical about Poster Day, as I had always assumed informative research posters were reserved for those in the Sciences. However, after arriving and setting up, wandering around and having a look at the other posters on display was a great way to get to see what’s going on more widely in HSS and across the other faculties. I found other postgraduates with similar research interests, and we were able to talk and make suggestions on each other’s work. As a result, the day went much faster than I’d assumed it would, as from the outset it looked like a lot of standing around. The judging process began before the break for lunch and lasted about ten minutes. I was asked questions about my research, for example on the biggest differences between Mexican and Cuban detective fiction and the genre’s history in each country.

I was surprised to hear my name called for the prize, as I’d seen so many great posters detailing fascinating projects throughout the day within Humanities and Social Sciences. Though I had been uncertain about poster day previously, I do think it acts as an important opportunity to get to see the wide range of fantastic research being done across Liverpool University.”

A big congratulations to Ailsa on her achievement!