C&C announcement, Careers

Sign up for Guest Lecture on ‘Discovering talents during times of crisis’

For those who enjoyed last week’s episode on ‘Turning Negatives into Positives’, Dr Kristin Stasiowski will be doing a follow-up guest lecture on Saturday, September 19th at 4pm BST on ‘Discovering our talents during times of crisis’. This live online 20 min lecture (followed by a 10 min Q&A) will be a great discussion for those who are transitioning into other careers either by choice (or force) as a result of COVID-19, who are trying to figure out where they can be better placed in industry/ outside of academia.

The lecture is only £3 to attend on Patreon and available now until midnight (BST) Friday, September 18th.

C&C announcement, education, Travel writing, Writing

Episode 20: COVID Series Part V: Turning Negatives into Positives

Our last episode in the COVID series is now available!

Dr Ann Wand Wand sits down with Dr Kristin Stasiowski of Kent State University, independent scholar, Dr Mounia Mnouer, and PhD Candidate of the University of Munich, Sohaib Riaz, to discuss how they have rediscovered their passions for family, hobbies, and nature during times of global crisis.

If you’re interested in listening to Dr Stasiowski’s talk (September 19th at 4pm BST) on discovering your talents during times of crisis, sign up to listen live on Patreon by September 18th.

The Show Notes:

Reading suggestions from Dr Mounia Mnouer:

Here is an article in the Atlantic about the power of diaries in the time of the pandemic, and how preserving these diaries as archives is important for future generations:

‘Dear Diary: This Is My Life in Quarantine’: https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/08/why-are-people-keeping-coronavirus-diaries/614977/

This is the poem I wrote about my grandmother entitled, ‘A letter to Nanna’ (Spillwords Press): https://spillwords.com/a-letter-to-nanna/

This is a piece that allowed me to reconnect with my Indigeneity after the chats with my family entitled, ‘The resilient Amazigh’: https://themetric.org/articles/the-resilient-amazigh

Reading suggestions from Sohaib Riaz:

Anthropological work on stamp collecting is scant, however this small essay can be a really good starter for anyone interested in anthropology and philately:

‘Reconsidering the Smallest of Artifacts: on the Origins of Philatelic Collecting’ by Paul van der Grijp: https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/MCR/article/view/17983/21979

Reading suggestions from Dr Kristin Stasiowski:

I would recommend ‘Walden’ by Thoreau; ‘A Walk in the Woods’ by Bill Bryson; and ‘American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation’ by Eric Rutkow. 

In terms of comparative material when reflecting on Mounia’s discussion of the French colonization of Morocco, I was reminded of Mazza Mengiste’s ‘The Shadow King’ about Italy’s war in Ethiopia: https://www.npr.org/2019/09/25/763907282/the-shadow-king-is-a-gorgeous-meditation-on-memory-war-and-violence 

Sohaib’s focus on stamp collecting reminded me of an article I read this year about Primo Levi and how stamps were used in a remembrance project with regard to the Holocaust called ‘Remembrance through Stamps — A Reminder and Our Promise’: https://stamps.org/news/c/news/cat/local/post/remembrance-through-stamps-a-reminder-and-our-promise


Lost in transition? COVID-19 changed face-to-face teaching and learning across all levels

COVID-19 changed face-to-face teaching and learning across all levels (primary, secondary, tertiary or higher education) as we know it.

Julius-Cezar MacQuarie

Research Affiliate, Central European University | STAR-UBB Fellow, Babeș-Bolyai University

In a similar fashion to the Coffee and Cocktails® (C&C) podcast custom, with speakers having their chosen drink as they participate in Dr Ann Wand’s show, I write this blog entry over a cup of green coffee (Yes, you read that right, a surreptitiously coffee flavoured tea-like drink). This blog entry complements episode 19 on ‘distance teaching and learning’ with testimonials from Sociology students who I taught last year in a Transylvanian university in Romania.

Since early 2020, when the pandemic began spreading, tackling the challenges of moving to an online learning system was no easy task. During the pandemic, students experienced distance learning and teaching as a novelty or a challenge. This disruption impacted their usual routine, education, and social life, since transitioning from face-to-face classes to online education. Therefore, in the post-COVID near future, designing online learning will be even more important as we continue to rely on technology.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, governments around the world enforced social distancing restrictions, which meant that teaching face-to-face, as we knew it, moved online. Now, teaching happens synchronously (with students and teachers interacting in real time), and asynchronously (recorded lectures shared via platforms, preferably used and recommended by the institution). The most challenging and time-consuming for teachers is the blended synchronous type, when some students are present for a face-to-face class, while others join online via a video-conferencing tool (Misic and Rymarenko 2020).

A 3rd year sociology student, whom I call Diana, shares her experience of distance learning during the lockdown. She recollects that ‘by learning from home, I discovered that I was both relaxed and stressed, at the same time. On the one hand, I was not physically present and that meant that I was free to do what I wanted during the online class. On the other hand, I had difficulties studying on so many platforms the teachers at my university were using because I lost time having to learn the software and it became problematic for both teachers and myself to find our ways around this reappearing issue. Every week there was another software to learn from Zoom, MicrosoftTeams, and Skype, to Facebook Messenger, and even Webex, the latter of which I never used since I finished the term.’ Overall, during the winter term, Diana was less engaged because she was not required to have the camera on and because the teachers were still grappling with the new technologies while teaching.

In episode 19 of the C&C podcast, Dr Ana Carolina Balthasar offers some practical considerations that she introduced when teaching in a private college in Brazil. She believes this advice could improve the teacher-student experience of online learning. She advised her students to make an effort to dress up for the class just as if they were attending a face-to-face class, and to set clear boundaries by not allowing family to disrupt them during online sessions.  Moreover, she encouraged both teachers and students to prepare their minds to enter this new, online mode of teaching and learning.

The infrastructural aspects of online sessions need to be addressed as well. The ‘support needed by students in higher education needs to come from the top, at the institutional level’ (Guarnieri 2020, on the C&C podcast lecture). This year, I taught in Romania, a country at the periphery of globalisation, and I found it difficult due to the lack of infrastructural support, and thus I saw many students dropping their online classes. In Diana’s opinion: ‘My country is not prepared to embrace online teaching. We still have teachers who do not know how to use the internet or who do not have a pc desktop at home. A mobile phone is not always practical, and some cannot even run some of the platforms on their phones. Laptops or even a tablet would be more useful. But I think we can’t talk about transitioning to online learning in schools and higher education until everybody has a device or internet in their home.’

Another student, Alex, found online learning problematic because her social relationships and study time in cafés have been drastically disrupted by COVID-19. On reflection, she asks: ‘Has COVID-19 just slowed down our way of living? working? Studying?’

I asked my students how they experienced distance learning during the lockdown. One answer best summarises their lived experiences: ‘Lockdown has made me realise that I can’t focus, I can’t motivate myself to pay attention to the class, or the teachers, and I feel that my grades will be much lower than when we had face-to-face classes. It messed me up in the long run. Too many assignments, and I can’t even keep up this rhythm. It has not been easy at all to focus during these classes without putting in much more effort than I was during face-to-face classes.’

The three student testimonials seem to point out the importance of teachers allowing for student ‘downtime’ to maximise learning so as to not overload students with various platforms and expect students to participate for a two-hour class (as was initially expected in the original syllabus). Instead, teachers should support students through the technical challenges of learning online and offer them alternative methods.

As Misic and Rumarenko (2020) would have it, teachers offering classes online should design their lessons for learning in order to elicit meaningful interactions to engage students via interactive lectures, whole class discussions, small group work, student presentations, and assessments. The authors argue that this method would be of interest to social scientists, teachers, educators, and coaches in higher education because it maximises learning and reduces the challenges for teachers. In addition, without institutional support students will find online learning disruptive and counter-productive to learning.

NOTE. Dr Giulia Guarnieri’s live lecture on ‘Tips and tricks for online teaching’ is available to C&C Patron Supporters on the Coffee & Cocktails® podcast Patreon page. An experienced lecturer in hybrid teaching at City University of New York (CUNY), she addresses the pros and cons of distant teaching and learning:  What exactly is teaching online? How different is it from face-to-face classrooms and what does it actually mean to do distance learning with online tools (over an internet/wi-fi connection via zoom, and other connectivity paraphernalia)?

Bio. Julius-Cezar MacQuarie is a *CEU* trained anthropologist concerned with the lack of visibility of migrant nightshift workers in public debates and political agendas. MacQuarie writes on nightwork, precariousness, and decent work agendas, and is a Migrant Voice Ambassador. With @nightworksop MacQuarie produces short ethnographic films and the NightWorkPod (CEU Podcasts) series. *Central European University*

Resources and Bibliography

In episode 19 of the Coffee & Cocktails® Podcast on distance teaching and learning, Dr Ann Wand brings together, Bea Addis, a prospective PhD student at Washington University, Dr Ana Carolina Balthasar (postdoctoral researcher at PUC-Rio, Brazil), and Dr Giulia Guarnieri (CUNY) to discuss how distance teaching and learning has taken place on the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. More online at: https://bit.ly/2YPNkB3

Research on All About Teaching in Higher Education. Online at: https://bit.ly/3jZQNoL

The Centre for Teaching and Learning contributes to CEU’s longstanding commitment to excellence in teaching and a community engaged in inquiry, debate, and discovery. Online at: https://ctl.ceu.edu/about

All social research, whether it is directly focusing on the pandemic or not, is now inevitably changed. We are now dealing with a COVID world and a post-COVID world lies in our future. More online at: https://bit.ly/3lwNUNT

In writing this editorial in the middle of this significant rupture in time, the authors note how COVID-19 has brought to the fore existing inequities in how time is experienced everyday by people living on the margins. More online at: https://bit.ly/33b7eb3  

C&C announcement, education

Dr Kristin Stasiowski on ‘Turning Negatives into Positives’

Our final guest speaker for Saturday’s episode on ‘Turning Negatives into Positives’ features Dr Kristin Stasiowski of Kent State University who will be discovering her rediscovered love of nature during these times of crisis.

Dr Kristin Stasiowski, Kent State University

Having worked in study abroad/study away at Kent State University, I have done some major work during COVID to shift Kent State towards a more sustainable and academically rigorous organization of international programs–work that could not have happened had COVID not occurred and forced a change to normal working circumstances. However, despite my professional life, I would like to discuss health and wellness during COVID and my newfound (rediscovered) love of National Parks, mountain biking, and half-marathoning. All this with the idea that COVID has allowed me to rediscover nature and thus also my OWN “nature” by adopting a new outlook on my place in the world.

C&C announcement, education, Health, history, language, Parenting, Travel, Travel writing, Writing

Dr Mounia Mnouer on ‘Turning Negatives into Positives’


Our next guest speaker for episode 20 on ‘Turning Negatives into Postives’ features independent scholar, Dr Mounia Mnouer, who will be talking about rediscovering her family’s history during the colonization of Morocco.
I am an Indigenous, Muslim North African, specifically from Morocco. I reside in Arizona, in a beautiful mountain town north of the state. I was a faculty member teaching Arabic and cross-cultural understanding content, but was recently laid off due to Covid-19 budget cuts. Living away from my family, especially during a pandemic can be very taxing. So, I decided to call my parents more often, and ask them to share stories growing up in colonial Morocco, and stories about their parents. Writing down these memories of my parents gave me a sense of resilience, and strength. I also found writing poetry and essays about my heritage as an Indigenous (Amazigh) woman very empowering. I decided to take time to relax, and practice gratitude through journaling. I am also taking part in reading/conversation groups about decoloniality, and am rethinking higher education in order to take action for social justice, inclusion, and commitment to diversity in higher education spaces. All of these activities have been helping me get through Covid-19 times.

C&C announcement, education

Sohaib Bodla on ‘Turning Negatives into Positives’


Our next podcast episode on ‘Turning Negatives into Positives’ features three very interesting academics who life stories during this pandemic are worth sharing with everyone. Our first speaker is Sohaib Riaz (Author name: Sohaib Bodla), PhD candidate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Munich, Germany, who will be talking to us about his love of philately (stamp collecting) and how the lock down has reconnected him with his childhood memories.
I started my field work in early January this year in Pakistan but had to stop in mid-March because like many, I wanted to be together with my family. I was lucky enough to board one of the last flights to reach Germany before the lockdown started. I spent the recommended quarantine time alone at home, while my wife and child stayed with my father-in-law. Along with transcribing my interviews and watching recommended movies, I decided to look deeper into my stamp collection, and decided to join a couple of Twitter platforms to showcase my collection and make new friends by sending and receiving postcards, writing letters, and exchanging stamps around the globe. This ‘Social Philately’ connected me to the memories of my early teen years when I had a pen friend. Since my current research is about part of Kashmir administered by Pakistan, I started looking into the stamps about Kashmir issued by Pakistan.
This led me to better see how stamps often become objects of contention, politics, fake pictures, and propaganda. Stamps are also objects which have historical, artistic, political, social, monetary, and aesthetic appeal. They are objects frozen in time revealing the past in a certain context. These characteristics were fascinating for my research and helped me to see the role objects play in our everyday lives. Rediscovering my hobby also helped me to see my own research from a different perspective by seeing the way Pakistan has presented Kashmir in the form of stamps.
C&C announcement, education, media, Teaching resources, Useful Research Tools

Online Guest lecture: Tips and tricks for online teaching (now available)

Giulia PPT

Dr Ann Wand had the pleasure of talking with Dr Giulia Guarnieri regarding her tips and tricks for online teaching. You can check out her lecture on our Patreon page.

If you’d like to attend our next guest lecture with Dr Kristin Stasiowski from Kent State University on 19 September, just send Dr Wand a message on Patreon. Dr Stasiowski will be talking about the importance of ‘Discovering your gifts’ during periods of personal uncertainty.


C&C announcement, education

Podcast speakers wanted for ‘Inspiring Women’ series

Starting this October, I will be starting a new series on ‘Inspiring Women’. If you have a personal story and/or job venture that you think will inspire others, feel free to contact the me directly at: annwand.com/media

The current line-up includes:

Mary McIntyre: amateur astronomer and astrophotographer

Dr Claudia Consolati: Founder of the ‘Women Speak Up’ project

Kate J. Armstrong: Founder of the women’s educational history podcast, ‘The Exploress’

Dr Anna Sward: Founder of Protein Pow Ltd

Abigail Seldin: CEO of Seldin/ Haring-Smith Foundation, and Forbes 30 under 30


You can follow us on Patreon, where you can sign up to listen live with our guest speakers and participate in personal Q&As:


I look forward to seeing you!


C&C announcement, education

Episode 19: COVID Series Part IV: Distance teaching and learning

Dr Ann Wand sits down with Bea Addis, Dr Ana Carolina Balthazar, and Dr Giulia Guarnieri to discuss their experiences with distance teaching and learning while providing advice for students, teachers, and parents on how to make the most of online teaching as we manage our way through this new type of education.

Show notes:

Being human online in a time of crisis (2020): https://www.donnalanclos.com/being-human-online-in-a-time-of-crisis

Podcasting during the era of COVID19 (2020)L https://podcasting.commons.gc.cuny.edu/




*Like the topics we’re discussing? Consider becoming a Patreon member for as little as £1 per month to help finance our team to explore new topics.