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Transatlantic Historical Workshop Connects Graduate Students in Chapel Hill and London

September 28, 2018
UNC Global

Group of students standing together and posing

Graduate students from the history departments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and King’s College London (KCL) met in Chapel Hill on September 10 and 11 for the ninth annual Workshop on Transatlantic Historical Methods. The workshop, which is supported by UNC-Chapel Hill’s institutional partnership with KCL, brings together students from both universities twice yearly. In the spring, the first part of the workshop is held in London. In the fall, it comes to Chapel Hill.

The theme of this year’s workshop was “Protest, Revolt and Revolution.” Participants presented their research on topics including nineteenth-century nationalism in Germany and Great Britain, minority identities during the World Wars, and frontiers and homeland. They also participated in a roundtable on the transatlantic job market led by Chad Bryant, associate professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Arthur Burns, professor of modern British history at KCL.

The participants in the workshop were Larissa Stiglich, Robin Buller and Aubrey Lauersdorf from UNC-Chapel Hill and Oriol Ambrogio, Rosemary Rich and Thomas Kelsey from KCL.

The goal of the workshop is to foster long-term relationships between graduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill and KCL and maintain a conversation about how historians approach their scholarship on both sides of the Atlantic. This year’s organizer, Erika Huckestein, a Ph.D. candidate in the history department at UNC-Chapel Hill, said that the workshop “allows graduate students to collaborate with peers across the Atlantic who they would not ordinarily have the opportunity to meet at this stage in their careers.” The workshop is also unusual, Huckestein notes, in that it meets in both the U.S. and the U.K. every year. “Because only a few graduate students participate each year, they have the chance to really get to know one another and receive extensive feedback on their scholarship,” she said.

Bryant, who serves as the history department’s liaison with KCL, agrees that the workshop has been successful in bringing the two universities together. “Our department’s relationship with KCL thrives in large part because of the annual graduate workshop,” he explained. “It brings together graduate students and faculty from both sides of the Atlantic, forging relationships that have led to all sorts of collaborative projects, including a number of books.”

The workshop is fully organized by graduate students, so that it provides them an opportunity to develop organizational experience as well as to share research. Huckestein, who organized the workshop this year, was a participant in the workshop in 2017, as was her co-organizer, Theo Williams, who is a Ph.D. candidate at KCL. Two of this year’s participants will assume responsibility for the organization of the 2019 workshop.

The UNC-KCL Workshop on Transatlantic Historical Approaches is funded by the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities King’s College Fund, with additional support from UNC Global.


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