Catherine Lefèvre reports on the 2nd UPIER Workshop in Geneva

Tuesday 3rd – Wednesday 4th October 2017

A few weeks ago I attended the second UPIER workshop in Geneva, hosted by our team from the University of Geneva. The workshop began on the 3rd of October with a communal lunch where UPIER project members could catch up since the last workshop in Madrid. We also met our new post-doc from Madrid, Elisa Garrido; Piet Clement from the advisory board; associated partner Carmen Hofmann (eabh); and Tiffany Shumaker (Oxford University).

After lunch, Catherine Schenk and Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol welcomed all the attendees before the start of the work in progress presentation of the 1st work package by our Geneva team. Sebastian Alvarez was the first to present on his field research findings from Brazilian commercial banks. Mary O’Sullivan followed suit and talked about constructing and overcoming the past with a focus on the US. Juan Flores finished the first session with a talk on public-private default management.

After the first workshop session, the post-doctoral researchers and I had the opportunity to attend a session on promoting non-academic impact from research led by Juan Flores, Sebastian Alvarez, Piet Clement and Carmen Hofmann. We talked about ways to engage policy, archives and banking communities with our research and on ways to promote our work and increase the project’s visibility. In the meantime, a management meeting was held by senior UPIER members.

In the evening, the UPIER team met for dinner at a local restaurant and held lively discussions on a variety of topics. I feel that I have learned a great deal since our first workshop as I was able to participate more in the conversation on various topics.

On the next day, we had an early start with the presentations of work package 2. I was the first to present my PhD research progress and my PhD arguments based on the information I obtained from the National Archives in London. I received great feedback and suggestions on how to improve my work. Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol presented next on the French government in the Polish debt crisis followed by Catherine Schenk who presented on Deutsche Bank, reputation and past perceptions.

Stefano Battilossi of work package 4 was next to present his work on public opinion, sentiment and culture in Europe, followed by Elisa Garrido who introduced her work using digital humanities to conduct textual analysis and to identify corpus linguistics. The last to present was Åsa Malmström‐Rognes of work package 3. Åsa presented a paper she has been working on, focused on South-East Asia.

After the presentations, we concluded the workshop by reflecting on the progress that was achieved during the first year of the UPIER project and discussed our activities and goals for the next 6 months. I am already looking forward to the next workshop in Sweden next year and being able to present further findings and work.

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