With the support of the James Pantyfedwen Grant, I was able to undertake an MA degree at the University of York in Global Literature and Culture. Now completed, I’m hoping it will provide a solid basis for PhD funding, as I’ve achieved a strong distinction grade. I was able to produce work on a variety of topics, including the historical origins of South African Apartheid, as well as world-systems economics. I have been encouraged by my supervisor to get the work I completed on the former published in a post-colonial literature journal, and I am currently exploring that possibility.
For the closing half of the year, I then worked on a dissertation entitled ‘Sporting Mega-Events and Neoliberal Dispossession: Land, Class and the Aesthetics of Resistance’. It explored the geopolitics of hosting events such as the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games, and the movements that oppose them. I’m yet to receive feedback, but I am proud of it – especially considering it was written largely during a global pandemic. With any luck, I hope to explore this area further in my PhD proposal, which will revolve around the process of sportswashing and the deepening interrelation between politics and sport in the twenty first century.
The education provided has not only allowed me to specialise into specific sporting and political theory, but has given me the grounding and confidence to really pursue a career in teaching, higher education or otherwise. I have loved my time in York, and as I have a remote job as a proof-reader/copywriter, I have decided to stay here for a year whilst I apply for PhD funding at both the University of York and University College Dublin. The grant has had a massive impact on my life and I’m extremely grateful to the foundation, my progress simply wouldn’t have been possible without it.