Name: Rae-Anne Cohen
University: King’s College London
Status: PhD student
Area of Research: Affect and Higher Education
This post is the fifth of a series of posts showcasing some of the amazing research projects from our community of Lateral pioneers.
What are you researching currently?
I am currently researching the racialised emotions that are experienced amongst Black students whilst studying at an elite British university. This research will explore the variety of emotions in relation to Blackness in addition to the power dynamics at play and drawing on literature regarding the theory of affect. It will be an ethnographic study where I will explore Black students’ social interactions with university staff, peers, student organisations as well as physical spaces such as the library or common social places.
This research was developed due to the increasing number of reports being released about racism on university campuses. There are also harrowing statistics around the barriers facing Black students entering and surviving elite higher education spaces.
What is your #1 research tip?
Keep a journal! I have found it extremely useful to keep a journal next to me when I write so that I can jot down quick notes, quotes and thoughts that may or may not be relevant to my research. I have found that if I don’t write things down, I will forget things that happen/thoughts that I have and whether they were relevant or not. I also enjoy looking at the development of my research over the months and eventually years. I have found that some things in my journal I had disregarded, believing that they were irrelevant but then after going back that they were in fact useful in aiding the study.
#1b tip: reference your quotes! One of the worst things is when you have an amazing quote and cannot find the source!
How does Lateral help you with your research?
I use lateral to help identify cross-over themes and ideas amongst articles that are relevant to my study. Having many different digital and manual files, it can feel like a never-ending swamp to find links between different authors’ points of views. However, Lateral presents a visual table which not only allows me to quickly identify themes but also relevant quotes and phrases (with references!) that could have easily been overlooked without. The super search option is a feature that I highly appreciate because it speeds up the process of looking for, identifying, and noting down ideas that may fit into more than one theme.