In the latest of our encounters with Modern Languages & Cultures graduates who have gone on to academic careers, we meet Dr Tori Holmes, now a lecturer in Brazilian Studies at Queen’s University, Belfast. Dr Holmes came to Liverpool in January 2008, to undertake doctoral study supervised by Professor Claire Taylor and Dr Marieke Riethof, having been awarded a University of Liverpool Research Development Fund Studentship in Latin American Cyberculture. She had previously completed a BA (Hons) in Modern Languages (Spanish and French) at the University of Cambridge, followed by an MA in in Area Studies (Latin America) at the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London. She then worked for a number of years in London and Rio de Janeiro, before deciding to return to academic study.
Dr Holmes’ PhD studies at Liverpool, focusing on blogging by Brazilian favela residents, involved her in fieldwork in Rio de Janeiro, during which she carried out observations on the internet, interviewed bloggers, attended events and undertook textual and visual analysis of digital material. In Liverpool, Tori enjoyed the contact with fellow PhD students, and the regular research seminars with visiting external speakers. Now in her fourth year in Northern Ireland, Dr Holmes emphasises how useful the well-rounded experience gained at Liverpool, and the networks she developed there, have been to her.
The support and flexibility of my supervisors were crucial to the success of this project, enabling me to produce research that was interdisciplinary in practice as well as in theory.
Dr Holmes’ core research interests continue to be digital culture in Brazil and the texts and practices of urban representation. Her current work focuses on web-documentaries about urban change in Rio de Janeiro, but she also continues to develop her interests in methodological and ethical issues associated with interdisciplinary research on digital culture. At QUB, she teaches Brazilian cultural studies (including Brazilian digital culture) and Portuguese language.