Creative Writing course leader to speak on representations of Venezuela at Royal Geographical Society

05 May 2022

Dr Sherezade García Rangel standing in front of a lake
Dr Sherezade García Rangel
Type: Text
Category: University news

Award-winning podcaster, writer, senior lecturer and researcher Dr Sherezade García Rangel, course leader on our BA Creative Writing (Online) degree and lecturer on BA English & Creative Writing on campus and MA Professional Writing, will be speaking at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) later this month about her research into historical representations of Venezuela in the Wiley Digital Archives.  

Since its creation in 1830, the RGS has become one of the most historic scientific societies in the UK, and has worked with numerous geographers and explorers, from Charles Darwin to Nicholas Crane.  

As part of the RGS Be Inspired series, in which researchers share insights from their work on the Society’s collections, Sherezade will deliver an online lecture which will consider how narratives of exploration and discovery helped shape the emergence of Venezuela as a nation, drawing on extensive explorations of the Society’s digitised collections through the  Wiley Digital Archive. 

Sherezade’s research follows three key strands: investigating and using the podcast as a literary form, death studies and dark economies, and examining the Venezuelan diaspora through the short story form. In early 2021, Sherezade was awarded one of just ten RGS global fellowships, and with access to the RGS archives, has been conducting research into her home nation’s history.  

It has been a pleasure to discover so many resources and to encounter documents that literally changed history.

She is now working on a new literary podcast about historical narratives of Venezuela, which will feature interviews with contemporary Venezuelan naturalists intertwined with her own creative responses to her research findings. This research will also be disseminated in an academic paper where she will share the findings of her residency and new podcast.

In her lecture, Sherezade will explore how historical perspectives of Venezuela are reflected in the archives, and on the connections between this historic material and contemporary Venezuela. As a creative writing expert, she will also delve into the illumination of Venezuela’s histories and people through archival research and different creative writing approaches. 

On her fellowship, Sherezade said: “I’m really excited to share my findings in the Royal Geographic Society’s Wiley Digital Archive. It has been a pleasure to discover so many resources and to encounter documents that literally changed history. Archival research has previously ignited my connection to Cornwall and my work on podcast On The Hill, and through this fellowship and the upcoming new podcast Unbound Beauty: Venezuela in the Wiley Digital Archives, I get to expand my research further through methods that are exciting and relevant for creative writing.” 

On the importance of multi-disciplinary research, Sherezade told us: “I believe our research stands alongside that by our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subject colleagues. I don’t think that our research is any less important, less rigorous or less academic.” 

She added: “It’s important for my students to see that creative writing can be malleable and different to what they might expect. Sure, you can write a novel, or a script – that’s creative writing. But you can also use it as a tool for research. I want to show our students that we can do anything we want.” 

Watch Sherezade’s lecture at the festival on Monday 16 May at 2.30pm. 

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