Hawke EU Centre Student FellowshipDecember 11 2015
Notes from Sera's experience
Firstly I would like to say a huge thank you to the Hawke EU Centre for the scholarship to attend the Mnemonics: Memory and Materialism workshop at King’s College and University of Westminster in London. It was an invaluable experience and I am so grateful. The scholarship supported all aspects of this venture, from flights, accommodation, living costs and registration, and was very generous in supporting my time in London.
The format of the three day workshop was particularly beneficial and student-driven. It included a range of presentations from PhD students from Europe and America, and each session was chaired by leading academics in Memory studies who gave feedback, and these were followed up by private tutorial sessions with the chair for further discussion and questions. As well the keynote speakers, sessions addressing practical issues such as how to get published, dinner/book launches and networking opportunities were valuable for extending my knowledge, having insight into future directions for my writing and academic career, as well as connecting with like-minded scholars that I would otherwise not have the opportunity to meet. No amount of emailing can replace the meaningful connections that are made when you have the chance to talk face to face with people who share a similar research focus to yourself and are at similar stages of their lives and study.
Overall I was surprised at the breadth of topics covered by the student presentations and key note speakers, which I have attributed to the interdisciplinary tendencies of memory studies, as well as to the organisers who encouraged this meeting of ideas. While initially I thought I may be slightly left of field coming from a visual arts background, I was not alone with other students bringing art historical, dance, film and other art perspectives.
From this experience I am much more aware of future opportunities to develop myself professionally, particularly from a European perspective, and I have left with a number of contacts who have already suggested new research avenues and networked connections to follow up on. I feel invigorated from this experience (being in London as well as the workshop) and aware of many more potential opportunities for growth in my field. A very nice way to feel at this stage of my PhD candidature.
Thanks so much,