Research Radar – Nancy Ávila-Ledesma

Nancy Ávila-Ledesma is a PhD Candidate in English Linguistics at Universidad de Extremadura in Spain. She is working on a research project that examines the letters of Irish migrants.

Who is your favourite academic?

Well, that’s a really difficult question! There are so many people that have inspired me in one way or another… but there are two, in particular, who awakened my passion for research. So I would say my PhD supervisors, Carolina Amador-Moreno and Jesús Romero-Trillo. 

What are you reading for work and/or for leisure these days?

For work: Migrant letters: Emotional Language, Mobile Identities and Writing Practices in Historical Perspective by Marcelo J. Borges and Sonia Cancian.

Unfortunately, I do not have much time for leisure reading these days but, at the moment, I’m switching between Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and two books in Spanish Imperiofobia y Leyenda Negra: Roma, Rusia, Estados Unidos y el Imperio Español by María Elvira Roca Barea and Ni Aquí ni en Ninguna Parte by Gianrico Carofiglio.  

What podcast do you recommend?

Two of my favourite podcasts in Spanish are Nadie sabe nada and The Wild Project. If you are into science, I would also recommend you listen to StarTalk Radio by astrophysicist and Hayden Planetarium director Neil de Grasse Tyson. The podcast covers astronomy, physics, and everything else about life in the universe. 

What is your favourite archive or library?

The National Library of Spain. It’s located in the very heart of Madrid and within a 10-minute walk from El Padro and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Museums. After the library, you can either go and visit the museums (with free access from Monday to Saturday from 18 to 20h for El Prado, for example) or enjoy a fantastic walk around the Royal Botanical Gardens. How cool is that?!

What book or movie changed your life?

Corazón (Heart), a children’s novel by the Italian writer Edmondo De Amicis. My granddad gave it to me when I turned 9. A real treasure I still keep to this day. 

Do you play music while you work?  If so, what?

It really depends on the situation. If I’m writing a paper, for sure! I have got a very eclectic taste in music though. So, it could easily go from Jazz and Bossa Nova to Coldplay or Buena Vista Social Club.  

What do you know now that you wish you had known at the beginning of your career/degree?

Organise your work and workspace. More specifically, make sure to use meaningful labels consistently, so you know what and where things are. Organising early will increase your productivity and save you time later on.

What is your favourite way to de-stress?

Taking my dog out to play with his park besties!

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