UNC-KCL graduate students strengthen ties
Cicek Beeby & Sarah Hilker
Graduate Classical Archaeology Students
Last September, our department hosted what we hope to be the first of many UNC-CH and King’s College London graduate student conferences. This inaugural meeting focused on graduate research in archaeology: four UNC students (Cicek Beeby, Sarah Hilker, Catharine Judson, Emma Buckingham) and four KCL students (Kaja Stemberger, Helena Meskanen, Claire Millington, Alessandra Eposito) delivered the papers; faculty from both institutions (John Pearce, Hugh Bowden, Irene Polinskaya from KCL; Jennifer Gates-Foster, Fred Naiden, Jodi Magness, and Mary Sturgeon from UNC) served as respondents. Hugh Bowden (KCL) gave the keynote address on “The Mysteries of Mithras: Networks, Ideas and Experiences.”
From Bronze Age Greece to Roman Britain, from burials to paintings, inscriptions, and pottery, the papers had something for everyone! For the speakers, this conference was a wonderful opportunity to present research in a friendly and supportive environment. The respondents kindly directed a fruitful discussion following each paper, offering new perspectives as well as encouragement through their comments.
Students and faculty from our department hosted the KCL visitors, which provided the opportunity for many of us to get to know each other quite well and to form lasting friendships with our colleagues across the ocean. Outside of the conference, we enjoyed showing our KCL guests around Chapel Hill and hosting a potluck dinner for the students who arrived early. Special thanks go to Prof. Luca Grillo who solicited the papers and organized the proceedings; to Bob Miles, associate dean for Study Abroad, and Steve Matson, dean of the Graduate School, who generously provided funds for the conference; and to our chair, Prof. James Rives, who made such a meeting possible. We all hope to keep in touch with our new friends and colleagues, and we certainly look forward to the next conference, which will be held at KCL.