Blog Post 2: My Cohort – Reaching In, Reaching Out – Alex Aleco

I was especially attracted to the Brackenridge fellowship because of its interdisciplinary ecosystem. I think it can be easy to stay in our respective research-interest bubbles, and mostly communicate our findings with scholars in similar fields. So, the way Brackenridge facilitates exchange across research fields for undergraduate researchers is something extremely important to explore. As someone who wants their work to also have practical application outside of academic circles, I consider Brackenridge’s built-in, multidisciplinary cohorts valuable to my development as a scholar.  

I’m excited about my project, but also am eager to learn of methodologies, opportunities, and paths that exist outside of what is considered within my field. I think there are significant links to be made between the work that is creative, intimate, and a bit experimental in methodology, and the work of my fellow cohort members who may be working with blood cells, garlic mustard, or the Large Hadron Collider—we are all experimenting, and trying to approach our questions from multiple angles.

A significant portion of my project contends with felt experiences, and perceptions dependent on those experiences. Part of my job this summer is to learn how to communicate these seemingly intangible things in a way that is accessible to people outside of the “Hye-Queer” (queer Armenian) diaspora experience, while honoring the lives I’m engaging with in my archives. To work with my materials, I rely on non-normative methodologies that pull from queer and feminist theory—this approach differs from some of my cohort’s, especially since I’m also developing creative work to engage in my research. Though these are differences, the desire to communicate our research to each other is uniting. I think that the necessity to speak across disciplines strengthens each of our projects and helps to make us more confident and capable researchers.

Photos below show a couple glimpses into my working environment. Seems solitary often, but at the same time, always full of collaboration. Both photos were taken after a virtual meeting with fellow Hye-diaspora creatives. I’m in the process of reflecting on these collaborations—looking forward to sharing more soon.

Sound drawings while listening to the digitized cassette with AC collaborator CP; accompanied by half-eaten plate of lebni, olives, cucumber, raddish, and pita. The parcel that holds the original cassette is on the right of the table.
Hye creative writing session with AC collaborators – embraced in the early stages of learning.

Leave a Reply