Elke Papp: mag.a phil. Writer, performance artist, copywriter, linguistic teacher, passionate cook (chef?). Mother of two little sons. Initiated the project “follow the fellow” in 2010.

Second born in Linz, Upper Austria, known for producing steel and being (?) Hitler’s favorite city. Escaped to Vienna after (the) final school examen. Studied quite a while quite a lot (of subjects..) comparative literature and more of the so called „orchidee… subjects). Made lots of friends, met lots of men.

Performances focusing on body and language, female life as a solo artist or together with other artists. Member of the female art collective „grauenfruppe“, organised artistic saloons, published prose, obtained prized and fellowships, earned my austrian wholemeal breds with lots of other „bredless“ jobs.

Met the man I followed to Leipzig, former East Germany, in 2006. Started my career as a post.doc partner, got my first son Béla, became a fool-time-mother and a particle-time-artist. Accepted following (to follow) my fellow to Cambridge under one condition „two years and not a single day longer (more)“ in 2008, being pregnant with my second son Tibor. Still here. Marie Curie made it happen. At least until May 2012 we’ll be Cb’s.

Making lots of friends (followers and their fellows and families), making art in my mind all day long not to get lost in the mother’s (and mothers’) world

Finally, launched the project „follow the fellow“.

Genevieve Guetemme: research fellow and lecturer in visual art.

Like many, I came to live in Cambridge as a follower when my husband was offered a research position at the University. I had a newborn daughter and left my position  at the University of Orleans.

When I arrived in Cambridge to “follow my fellow”, I discovered a completely new environment. Before I had a job, professional responsibilities and financial autonomy. Out of a sudden I was a mother at home who had to manage all the daily contacts with the foreign culture: do the shopping, arrange the medical care etc. All this in a
language I did not master, without the support of family or friends, with no child care and no preparation.

I met Elke Papp just by chance and there came the idea to make something out of the daily experience as a follower. I started documenting my life through photography focusing on details and seemingly banal things expressing my thoughts and sense of place.

Then, on the back of the Newcomers and Visiting Scholars (NVS – I started to run a group aimed at tackling all the practical issues that confront newcomers in Cambridge in connecting with the local community and careers. This work came to the attention of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPdA – and was offered to focus on the Postdoc community.

The OPdA became a research ground to analyse the impact of mobility on career progression and family dynamics. This research is focusing on the experience of the spouses and partners who follow to maintain family cohesion – especially when there are young children. I regularly present  at international conferences and have been part of various exhibitions.

My daughter is now 8 years old and I have managed to go back to Academia. But I am continuing my work with the OPdA and very determined to continue my exploration of followers’ lives.

Selection of recent presentations

  • “Career and cultural chocks: which need and planning?” international conference: Research and transmission of foreign cultures : which use for today’s university? 11 au 13 juin 2015, university of  Orléans – to be published at PUR, 2017.
  • “When identity comes out of the system”,  12th annual ADEFFI conference, 16-17 Oct. 2015, University of Limerick
  • “Home truths – exploring transnational work mobility in the oil community” – University of Aberdeen – Sir Duncan Rice Library – 25 May to 29 June 2015,
  • “Moving mothers”, Motherhood in post-1968 European Women’s Writing: Cross-Cultural and Interdisciplinary Dialogues, Thursday-Saturday 24-26 October 2013, Senate House, University of London
  • ‘Exhibition: Follow the fellow’, Murray Edwards College , Newhall Art Collection, 05    April / 04 May 2014, Cambridge
  • « Highly Skilled Mobility and Gender Mechanisms » – 29 April 2014 – Postdoc Centre, University of Cambridge: « acknowledging the impact of gendered mechanisms on career progression in the academic and research community » – doc de travail en ligne:
  • ‘Follow the fellow’, Symposium on academic mobility, University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, 13-14 dec. 2012.

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