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.
Dafina Paca is a PhD student at Cardiff University School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. Her research explores the discursive construction of identity/s by Kosovo Albanians in the UK. Dafina Paca was Acting Head of School at the Kosova Institute for Journalism and Communication (February 2011-Ocgtober 2011) and a consultant at the American University in Kosovo (AUK) helping to establish a new MA program in Media and Communication. Previously, Dafina was a Lecturer and Academic Officer at the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communication (January 2007 – October 2011).
After KIJAC, Dafina worked closely with the Rockefeller Brother Fund and their Western Balkans division to promote journalism education, gender quality good governance, and renewable energy in the region. Currently, she is focusing on her PhD research and works closely with JOMEC, teaching (TA) on the BA program. Dafina also assisted on the Community Journalism Conference which was held at JOMEC in January 2013.
Dafina read English at Queen Mary University of London and graduated in 2004. After completing her BA, Dafina taught English at the American University in Kosova. Subsequently, Dafina completed her Masters in Research (2006) at the Queen Mary Centre for Editing Lives and Letters. Upon completion of her MRes, she returned to Kosova and joined the Kosovo Institute of Journalism and Communication (KIJAC) in 2007, where she convened and taught the Media History, Research Methods and English Proficiency and Academic Writing modules. In addition, Dafina Paca was academic supervisor to over 60 students at KIJAC and the KIJAC Academic Officer.
Dafina left KIJAC to pursue her PhD research, to subsequently return to take over the institution after it encountered problems. Dafina was involved in helping KIJAC and the Kosova Accreditation Agency Validate the KIJAC degrees for the KIJAC MA students. Currently, she is continuing work on her PhD (expected completion September 2014).
Dafina has spoken at many conferences in the Balkans. She was an invited speaker at the recently held conference in Sarajevo Bosnia, where she gave a paper on identity politics in a globalizing world. She was also an invited speaker in Cardiff at the conference on Mainstream Media and Black and Ethnic Minority Audiences.
Dafina Paca is regularly published in Kosova’s daily newspapers. She wrote a popular weekly column for the daily national newspapers Zeri. She currently contributes to the Kosova 2.0 Magazine as well as writing occasionally for other Kosovo newspapers.
Dafina’s research interests are interdisciplinary ranging from cultural exchanges between the Ottoman Empire and Early Modern Europe, representations of ethnic minorities and asylum seekers, gender issues, identity and cultural politics.