To mark the end of Lent term, Fitzwilliam held a Graduate Seminar on 17 March.
As always it was an opportunity to showcase some of the diverse, insightful, and ground-breaking work undertaken by the graduate-student body at Fitzwilliam. Indeed, there are probably few other occasions where one can enjoy the juxtaposition of quantum physics and the politics of negotiation for a female writer in sixteenth-century Italy.
The first of the afternoon’s speakers Amelia Papworth (pictured bottom left), a PhD candidate in Modern and Medieval Languages (Italian 2015), presented on her research into the sixteenth century Italian author Laura Terracina. In a time when few women got published at all, she proved a prolific writer and became a best-selling author. Through her talk Amelia introduced the audience to Terracina and her network of contacts, delving into her sometimes volatile relationships with intellectuals of the day, and discussing how she was adept at managing her reputation.
From literature to law, LLM candidate (2017) Devika Agarwal (pictured top left) presented on the recent and highly publicised “Delhi University Copyright Case”. The many twists and turns in this case resulted in the Indian High Court ruling that Delhi University was not breaching the publisher’s copyright by photocopying sections of books for student course packs, as it was being used for educational purposes. Devika highlighted the importance of this outcome and questioned the applicability of such thinking in the wider context of intellectual property rights for other important products such as medicine and software.
Jessica Breakey (pictured bottom right), an MPhil candidate in Sociology (2017), provided her unique first-hand perspective on the fire-centred politics of South African student movements over 2015/16. Jessica’s talk took the audience on a journey through the events of the #RhodesMustFall [OR ‘Rhodes Must Fall’] and subsequent #FeesMustFall [OR ‘Fees Must Fall’] student movements and delved into the timeless role of fire as a tool for protest both during apartheid and in the present day, whilst engaging the audience in discussion on the emotional nature of resistance and movements for change.
Last but not least, PhD Chemistry candidate Tom Sayer (2016, pictured top right) provided what for many was an introduction to the weird and wonderful world of Quantum Physics, and some of the many challenges in developing computer simulations of the interactions between atoms and their constituent parts. Armed with animations and humour he exemplified some of the limitations of current approaches and what could be possible with the availability of ever greater computational power.
This guest post was written by André Neto-Bradley (PhD Engineering 2017).
Photo credits: Dr John Cleaver