Dafina Paca - BA, MRes (Queen Mary University of London)
Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 75688
Location: Room 1.24, Bute Building
Neither Here Nor There: Exploring ‘identity’ amongst Kosovo Albanians in the UK
My PhD research explores the discursive construction of identity/s by Kosovo Albanians living in the UK. I investigate whether Kosovo Albanians in the UK consider themselves belonging to the British and/or Kosovan cultures and why. I also ask if Kosovo Albanians in the UK (London) consider themselves transcultural and/or in-between cultures.
In-depth interviews with Kosovo Albanians living in London, allow me to explore and identify - by using the analytical methods and theories of critical discourse analysis - the language used to perform identity and any particular alignment or identification with one, both or multiple identities. Through examination of language, I aim to identify any mainstream British or Kosovan social discourses that appear to have influenced any identification with and/or estrangement from British and/or Kosovan identity and/or culture respectively.
At least since the 1950’s the British capital - London – has hosted a diverse population, with current figures stating that one in four Londoners was born outside the UK, and many more with parents and other relatives from other countries, either still living in their native countries or originally from elsewhere, as well as numerous native British inhabitants, all living within this cultural mix (Nava: 2007:14). In fact, London frequently boasts this diversity, and this was most prominently displayed by the unity shown by the residents of London after the 7/7 bombings in 2005. However as Nava (2007) has noted this also marked ‘a new and dangerous phase of Islamic separatism and Islamophobia’ (Nava 2007:163). Therefore, the dynamic between UK national discourse and the discursive construction of identity by Kosova Albanians in the UK, and how this is amalgamated, understood and performed (through language) is of particular interest.
Background and Teaching
At the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communication (KIJAC) Dafina has convened and taught the Media History, Research Methods and English Proficiency and Academic Writing modules. In addition, she was the KIJAC Academic Officer.
Dafina is the MA Coordinator and second supervisor to over 60 students working on their MA theses in KIJAC.
Currently, she is also working on numerous publications and conference papers. She was an invited speaker at the recently held conference in Cardiff on Mainstream Media and Black and Ethnic Minority Audiences.
Dafina has also published pieces in Kosova’s daily newspapers namely in the newspapers Express and Prishtina Insight, as well as regularly contributing opinions on history and media education at the INC Network of local radio stations in Kosova.
Her research interests are interdisciplinary ranging from cultural exchanges between the Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe, representations of ethnic minorities and asylum seekers, identity and cultural politics.