Ken had the opportunity to present and be part of a panel discussion in a fascinating inter-disciplinary workshop on research, knowledge exchange and the military sector held in the Byre theatre. The workshop was an initiative of the visualising war research group and aimed at exploring the practical challenges, opportunities and ethical dilemmas that arise in working in military and conflict contexts.
Ken presented some of the processes involved in the Iraq research project led by Andrew Marin through the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics at St Andrews. The project required many elements all working effectively: local university approval processes for ethics, risk management and insurance; a senior clergyman on the ground in Iraq working with the council of clergy in the area, and the local NGO staff preparing the villages for our visits, and supporting the on-site team with drivers and translators.
Beyond the practical elements of the visit, there were also important insights from the process of engagement with the experiences of those who were displaced from their homes and living in limbo. Many eye-opening experiences were shared by those we visited with, and there is an ongoing challenge in how to honour the raw nature of those experiences.The symposium itself was a terrific inter-disciplinary event and it was amazing to hear the stories of the other panelists: Dr Roddy Brett, Dr Laura Mills, and Prof. Ali Watson, all from International Relations; and the diverse audience from multiple schools and perspectives. Another very successful inter-disciplinary effort organised by Alice König from Classics!