An immersion in AMU’s scientific life: organizing an international congress with the LERMA

During the second year of formation within the Master ECMA, [1] the Laboratoire d’Études et de Recherche sur le Monde Anglophone (LERMA) [2] offers a most interesting internship. Indeed, while it is not scientific by nature – in that it does not imply to contribute to the Research Unit’s academic life through scientific productions – it provides the interested student with a ringside seat to the inner workings of the LERMA. Thus, during this internship, I met with several scientific and administrative actors of the world of research; I had the privilege to help them organize and see through an international scientific event that took place at AMU on the 20th and 21st of February, 2020: Empires coloniaux et cultures matérielles : Showcasing Empire. [3]

To take part in such an enterprise is crucial, I believe, to come to a better understanding of the multiple realities of the world of research. Indeed, it reveals the significant organizational skills one needs to develop to be a researcher. I observed how the different cogs of the Maison de la Recherche – administrative, technical, manual, and scientific – came into action so that the heavy machinery under and around the event might run as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. As an intern, I had to contribute to the liaison between all those different actors, learning from each of them in the process.

Contributing to the communication around the event, welcoming the participants and helping them around the campus are concrete examples of the tasks I was assigned. Besides the relational experience I thus developed, I benefited from more informal and much appreciated discussions with some of the participants; these talks, added to the scientific interventions of the congress, increased my “sense of direction” within a national as well as international scientific landscape. Indeed, taking part, at any level, to such events allows the researcher in the making to build a network which may prove very useful to consider potential scientific collaborations.

Consequently, in addition to a comprehensive formation in anglophone cultural studies within ECMA, the LERMA, helps Master students to discover firsthand the plural stakes of the world of research, which is much more complex than its mere scientific dimension, and to facilitate their insertion in the scientific career path. Indeed, this specific internship enables students to situate themselves within their own Research Unit and to understand the importance of collaboration with institutions as well as individuals, all actors of today’s research.

[1] Études Culturelles du Monde Anglophone.

[2] The LERMA (EA 853) is the Research Unit with which the Master ECMA is associated.

[3] This congress was organized by the LERMA along with the Société Française d’Études Victoriennes et Édouardiennes (SFEVE).