Coffee Chat: Visiting Professor Maria Green on Research


We had a chat with Maria Green to discuss her role as a researcher: 

Maria, you are a researcher. What is your field of research?

Thank you for asking! Most of my work revolves around international human rights standards — interpreting them, coming up with ways to help with implementing them, or thinking about where they might go in the future. I’m also interested in law and literature, and in what might be called narrative legal education for the general public — using storytelling to bring wider access to how international legal standards are made and used and what impact they might have. It would be great for more people to have a sense of how the international agreements that shape our lives work, to make it easier to have a voice around them.

What kind of research do you do?

I do mostly desk-based research: it tends to include reading things, thinking, and talking to people. Often the conversations are cross-disciplinary, which is wonderful. The visual metaphor for the kind of research I do, I think, is a woman holding a book in one hand and a pen in the other. The book represents the knowledge and wisdom of others; the pen represents one’s own intellectual creativity and curiosity, analytic approaches, methods, judgement and, hopefully, insight. The goal is to bring it all together to create something new.

What do you enjoy about doing research?

I love the sense of making order out of chaos. One pulls together all the knowledge and ideas, and sees where the gaps are, or where there are inconsistencies, or if people are talking past each other without realizing it. I love the moment of figuring out how one can untangle and organize all of that and lay it out cleanly. It enables one to add new knowledge or thoughts as needed, and ideally makes it easier for others to continue the conversation from a common ground.

Read more about our research here