Inside Working Lives

More to Enjoy

Eylem Atakav shares her enthusiasm for the supportive environment of UEA and the sheer enjoyment of living in Norwich.

Eylem Atakav

Lecturer in Film and Television Studies

Joined UEA in 2009 Originally from Turkey

Norwich is a city, but it's not too big. It's quiet, but it's lively too. It keeps surprising me every day – every time I walk around, I discover something new about its history. And it feels completely safe.

What do you do at UEA?

I teach and research in the school of Film and Television Studies focussing on film history, contemporary world cinema and women in film. I'm also International Student Director within the school, overseeing exchange programmes, helping international students and arranging events.

How did you get here?

Originally from Turkey I came to the UK in 2003, did my MA and PhD in Southampton then taught at the University of Winchester. Soon after my PhD this job came up and I joined the staff in 2009.

Why UEA?

UEA has a really good reputation for film and television studies. Colleagues at Winchester were amazed I was coming here and at my interview the panel was full of people whose work I'd been citing for years. I'm still so grateful to be working with them. Recently, colleagues in the Press Office suggested I publish a press release about my module on Women, Islam and Media which was covered by the Guardian and the BBC.

How's life outside work?

I've seen a few cities in the UK and Norwich is the best place to be. I rent a very reasonably priced one-bedroomed flat in the city centre and can easily reach the campus by bike or bus. Norwich is a city but not too big. It's quiet, but it's lively too. It keeps surprising me every day – every time I walk around I discover something new about its history. And it feels completely safe. I love shopping and Norwich has little alleys full of independent shops as well as big shopping centres and there are plenty of great restaurants, theatres and cinemas. I play tennis over the summer so the UEA Sportspark is brilliant and very quiet when the students aren't around.

What about the future?

I couldn't be happier and I really don't want to leave UEA. The culture in FTV is so supportive – we all share our plans for research, teaching and applying for promotion and we get great academic and financial support. We're almost like a family and being part of it makes me feel really strong.

What would you say to someone thinking about coming here?

Come to UEA! It's a friendly, fun, safe place to live and there's a lot of support for teaching and research. I absolutely love it!

Norwich boasts a huge range of cafés, restaurants, pubs, bars and clubs, offering everything from a quiet morning coffee to a full-on night out. You can listen to live music at Norwich Arts Centre or the Waterfront, enjoy live theatre at Theatre Royal or the Maddermarket Theatre or take in a movie at the Odeon, Vue or Cinema City.

The city is also a major shopping destination, with a busy weekly market and hundreds of independent shops alongside major leisure developments such as the Riverside and Chapelfield. Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery holds outstanding collections of fine art, archaeology and natural history, and also hosts visiting exhibitions.

Every May, the Norfolk & Norwich Festival brings together leading companies, performers and visual artists from around the world to create one of the UK's most exciting multi-artform festivals.