UCL Faculty of Arts & Humanities


Meet our LAHP Studentship Awardees: Nenna Orie Chuku

24 July 2020

Nenna Orie Chuku

1) Hi Nenna, congratulations on your successful application of the LAHP! Tell us a bit about yourself…

Thank you. So, I was born and raised in Stratford, which is in east London, UK. I still live in east London but further east now. I'm Sierra Leonean-Nigerian, so spent a lot of my time all over London at community events and gatherings. With the lockdown and social/ physical distancing, I have been pursuing solo interests like sketching, sewing, knitting and crocheting. Recently, I dusted off my clarinet so I have been stretching my dexterity with a couple of Jazz pieces.

2) How did you feel when you found out you had been successful in securing the LAHP?

My response to the news was quite delayed. As I was working during the day, I did not check my emails until the evening. When I checked my inbox, I noticed that I had received a couple of emails from my supervisors throughout the day, so I was like ‘What’s going on?’. When I finally read the email from LAHP, I was surprised but happy. 

3) Tell us a bit about your research.

My research explores return and circular migration to Sierra Leone within the UK-based Sierra Leonean community. I seek to understand whether the frameworks used for information gathering and sharing within the Sierra Leonean community aligns with Eurocentric approaches to monitor and understand human movement. To examine this guiding question, I plan to use a mixed methods research approach - visual, qualitative and quantitative methodologies. I’m in the early stages of my doctorate degree in the UCL Department of Information Studies (DIS). I started part-time this academic year (2019-20), so I am expecting many things to change within my project throughout my time on the doctoral programme. The latter now includes addressing the known, and being flexible due to the unknown, implications of Covid-19.

4) Why did you choose to study at UCL?

When I started to study part-time for my MSc in Digital Humanities at DIS, I came with the intention to see whether some of my ideas could form a PhD project. With this in mind, I started to talk to my then personal tutor and now primary supervisor, Dr Oliver Duke-Williams (UCL DIS), about my research ideas and began to develop them through different assignments. As my research interests include Digital Humanities and Spatial Humanities, I felt that my work would be supported in the department so decided to apply for the DIS doctoral programme. I also like the breadth of Information Studies research within the department. With secondary supervision from Professor Annemaree Lloyd (UCL DIS) and Dr Ben Page (UCL Geography) as an advisor, I feel that my supervisory team can support me in the different components of my research project.

5) What song would you like to contribute to the Joint Faculties lockdown playlist?

I am torn between Cleo Sol’s Why Don’t You from the album Rose in the Dark (2020), and Michael Olatuja’s Brighter Day featuring Laura Mvula from the album Lagos Pepper Soup (2020). They are different in sound and feel. If the playlist needs a chilled vibe go with Why Don’t You. If the playlist needs good vibes and an optimistic sound, stick with Brighter Day. Or let fate decide through a coin toss?

Read Nenna's profile

Find out more about London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP) Studentships