On Friday, June 3, 2016 Barbara Ratzenböck, doctoral candidate at the Center for Inter-
American Studies of the University of Graz, gave a guest lecture at Trent University co-
hosted by the Intersections Feminist Seminar Series & the Trent Centre for Aging and
Society. The talk examined the potential and challenges of walking interviews in small
domestic spaces as a method to explore the information and communication technology
(ICT) experiences of older women 1 . Particularly, the talk addressed the question of how
interaction with the media objects of the home shapes these research conversations.
Drawing from examples from the walking interview material, the talk discussed how this
method and the interaction with media objects on-site encourage different ways of
expressing experiences – for example showing instead of telling – and thus help to create
multifaceted accounts of the complex entanglements with media and ICTs of older women.
The guest lecture was followed by a discussion with faculty and students attending.
The following day, Barbara Ratzenböck shared “Shifting Perspectives,” a short documentary
created by film maker Pavel Mezihorak, Aging Studies and Inter-American Studies scholar
Roberta Maierhofer, and herself with the Trent community. “Shifting Perspectives” takes a
look behind the scenes of Graz International Summer School, an intensive interdisciplinary
summer program taking place every July in Southern Styria, Austria. The film addresses
questions of diversity by inviting summer school participants to reflect on their personal
experiences regarding change, time, and identities in their life course. Thereby, conceptions
of individual and collective identities are being contrasted and put into dialogue, and shifting
perspectives is not only being talked about in abstract terms, but becomes very personal.
After the screening, Barbara Ratzenböck and summer school alumna Melissa Baldwin who
also contributed to the film in terms of a musical performance engaged in a lively question
and answer session about the film and the summer program with the audience.
1 This research belongs to the “Cultural Narratives of Age and Aging” project supported by
funds from Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Anniversary
Fund, project number: 15849)