Learning in London
Graduate Student in Latin
Department Senior Teaching Fellow
Travel is always a learning experience, and our annual UNC-KCL Graduate Colloquium, held this September in London, was no exception. I will share just a few of the things I learned in the course of this journey.
Before the colloquium even began, I learned very well that the British Museum cannot be seen in its entirety in one visit. Hans Hansen and I had high hopes during our first afternoon in the city, and after several hours of working chronologically had made it only to the Sutton Hoo artifacts. But I will always remember my astonishment, perhaps accentuated by jet-lag, at rounding a corner and being met with the Rosetta Stone right before my eyes.
I also learned that the students, staff, and faculty of King’s College London are extremely generous hosts, scholars, and colleagues. This was not only demonstrated by the generosity of the accommodations, the abundance of food and drink, and the special hospitality of Hugh Bowden, who hosted a lavish dinner at his own home. It was also shown during every moment of the presentations in the quality of the papers and the discussions that followed. The pairing of each graduate student presenter with a faculty respondent from the other institution guaranteed space for insightful commentary on every paper.
After the colloquium ended, I learned many more things about London in the remaining afternoon. Upon a return trip to the British Museum with Sasha Daly and Pablo Molina, I learned that not even two days are sufficient to see everything there, ending up once more only at Sutton Hoo. There were other things I knew before, but now learned more thoroughly: that London has incredible architectural landmarks; that it has a storied history; that the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral is very, very large. I learned that a return trip to this city is definitely in order.
In sum, papers were given and well received; ideas were shared, shaped, and inspired; guest-friendship with our counterparts at KCL continues to prosper. If next year’s UNC-KCL colloquium is as rewarding as this one was, the new participants can look forward to much friendly exchange and enriching discussion–the best kind of learning experience.