I am an MSc candidate in Evidence-Based Social Intervention and Policy Evaluation. Although Scottish by birth and Eurasian by descent, I spent my formative years in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Cairo, Egypt. Having lived within the margins of unfamiliar cultures, I developed an interest in the plasticity of social norms and went on to explore these themes through an MA. in English Literature and History at the University of Edinburgh. My undergraduate dissertation concerned the literary historicisation of the 1962 Black Power rebellion in Trinidad and Tobago, with an emphasis on race relations within Trinidad's multi-ethnic population and the role of colonial epistemic violence as a barrier to Trinidad's postcolonial national identity. Alongside my undergraduate degree, I gained experience in the implementation of social programs through involvement with a number of Edinburgh-based interventions, addressing substance misuse among teens, barriers to employment among ethnic minorities, and quality of life among those living with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.
My research interests at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention centre around the use of narrative as a vehicle for social change, and in particular its application within the field of Entertainment Education (EE). I am concerned with the use of EE both as a discrete intervention, and as part of a multi-dimensional approach, which enables complex interventions to overcome the cultural barriers to their realisation on the ground. In future, I would like to work towards the deployment of EE across a range of areas, including the improvement of gender and race relations, the reinforcement of European selfhood and citizenship, the dissemination of positive health behaviours, and the reduction of stigma against mental illness, disability, and blood-borne viruses such as HIV/AIDS. I am excited to be a student at the department and grateful for the opportunity to move from literary theories of social change towards applied and evidence-based practice.