As well as being the feast day of St Calimerius – a 3rd-century bishop of Milan, persecuted and killed by being flung head first into a well, and invoked against drought; and that of several other saints, the 31st July also marks the end of the academic (financial) year. Consequently, amongst those leaving (retiring) from Christ Church are Professor Jackie Eales, co-director of the Centre, Professor Peter Vujakovic, from Geography and someone we at the Centre have worked with on several projects, and Dr Lesley Hardy, who as readers of the blog will know is one of the leaders of the ‘Finding Eanswythe’ project. We at the Centre wish them all the best for the future.
Before I get to the topic for this week – food and its uses in medieval Kent, I thought I would flag up an initiative by the Graduate College if you are thinking of studying for a postgraduate degree – Taught Masters, Masters and PhD by research, PGCE and many more, at CCCU next year. The College is running online weekly sessions throughout June on Thursday late afternoons between 4pm and 5.30pm. Professor Susan Millns, as Dean of the College, will provide information about postgraduate student finance as well as how to apply for a place and what it means to be a postgraduate student at Canterbury. You will also have plenty of opportunity to discuss how you can gain the postgraduate edge and take your studies to the next level. For further details and to book a place, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As we hopefully begin to get some idea of the government’s timetable and strategy regarding how to get out of lockdown, I thought this week I would use the idea of time – in the form of clocks, and bells – the latter because as a mark of the 8pm Thursday clapping for keyworkers, the bell at Canterbury Cathedral tolls for two minutes. Nevertheless, before I come to my topic, I want to report on the fortnightly meeting of the Kent History Postgraduate group.
Thanks firstly to Dr Diane Heath for last week’s blog, and today I thought I would start with Professor Louise Wilkinson’s virtual ‘Farewell’ last Friday where she was joined by most members from History, several members of the School of Humanities administration team and Dr Harriet Kersey from CCCU Research, who is a former doctoral student of Louise’s. As all agreed, it is a great pity that such a great scholar and lovely, caring person is leaving CCCU after about sixteen years, but as her parents will still be here in Canterbury for the time being, we haven’t ‘lost’ her completely. Consequently, there will be a ‘proper Farewell’ once the lockdown is over when she will be given a rather special gift to mark everyone’s appreciation of what she has done for History and the university more widely.
With all Centre and other events in Canterbury cancelled until the autumn at the earliest, and even September may be in doubt – more news when matters become clearer; and the Prime Minister remains in intensive care, the gravity of the situation at all levels is clear. Hence, developing ways to adjust to the present circumstances are paramount in order to fulfil government requirements to help those on this ‘war’s’ frontline.
Pre-historic barrows, castles and other medieval buildings – celebrating success and exploring interpretations
I thought I would start with some good news. As regular readers of the blog will remember, one of the frequent contributors to the Kent History Postgraduates Group until she submitted her doctoral thesis last September was Lily Hawker-Yates. Lily had her viva on yesterday (Wednesday) and has passed. So many congratulations Lily, and it will be fascinating to see what you do next with your research on the cultural understanding of prehistoric barrows in late medieval England.
I am hoping that there will be two blogs this week, I’m covering the Kent History Postgraduate Group’s first meeting of 2019/20 and the ‘Parish Histories’ conference, while my colleague Dr Diane Heath has reported on the Medieval Education Day where the Centre contributed a very successful workshop for students from Gad’s Hill School on Thursday.
Today we reached ‘Y’ in the Heritage A – Z so if you would like to find out about the difference between Irish and English yews, then check this out: https://medium.com/the-christ-church-heritage-a-to-z/y-is-for-yew-9f06b2fb5dca and you can see what I have written for our penultimate letter.
I thought I would begin where in a sense I left off, and now that the programme for Women’s International Day and Women’s History Month is now up on the CCCU website, I thought I would give you the link: https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/equality-and-diversity/edi-events/international-womens-day-and-womens-history-month.aspx so please feel free to check out what will be going on next month, including the two events involving the Centre.
Before I get down to the news this week, and even though I don’t yet have the final figures, I thought I would update you on what I think the Medieval Canterbury Weekend 2018 has raised for the Ian Coulson Memorial Postgraduate Award fund. As I reported in February, we at the Centre had intended to use the Michael Wood lecture in October 2018 to raise £2,000 for Canterbury Archaeological Trust after the disastrous break-ins to the Trust’s artefact stores. This lecture will now come under CCCU’s Open Lecture series, so instead we have decided to give £2,000 from the proceeds of the Weekend to the Trust, with the remainder of the surplus after costs going to the Ian Coulson Award fund. In round figures, I think this means about £8,000 to the Award fund, which I think is excellent and is due to you, our audiences, being prepared to come to Canterbury to listen to history talks and to be guided around many of the city’s wonderful medieval buildings. Furthermore, I said I would let you know when Matthew Crockatt had set up the ‘legacy’ site for the History Weekends, including the twitter feeds, well he has done a great job and everything is available: http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-and-humanities/research-kent-history-and-archaeology/history-weekends/history-weekends.aspx so please do check this out.