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Volume 5 Issue 2 | Hilary Term 2016


Photo by Cosima Gillhammer

A Message from the President(s)

IN THIS ISSUE 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

A Note from the Editor A Message from the President(s) Meet the New Council Writing Cashiered Noticeboard Thesis Pitch Challenge Social Report

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR Dear Scholars, Welcome to the Chronicle. For the first 2016 issue, we bring you a diverse editorial with brand-new features. In this issue, you will discover not only your new Clarendon Council for the year ahead but also the Clarendon community’s social highlights of the past few weeks. We’ve also included our new initiative, the Thesis Pitch Challenge, where current Scholars explain what their thesis is all about in terms that everyone can understand. We are also featuring a play by Hannah Greenstreet and a noticeboard to share interesting news of our current scholars and alumni. Thank you to Christine, Donna and all writers for their remarkable contributions to this issue. We hope you’ll enjoy reading the Chronicle. Sofiane Croisier Editor-in-Chief

Sofiane Croisier Editor-in-Chief


Dear Scholars, Welcome to 2016! Your new council is excited to bring you an awesome year of lectures, formals and events. Hilary Term is unique at Oxford. By the time it starts, new students have settled in and we do not yet have to say goodbye to those who will graduate this year. It is a term to embrace our time as Oxford students. This year the Scholars’ Association rang in Hilary Term with the New Year’s reception at the lovely St. John’s College. We have followed this with formal halls at Worcester, New, and Mansfield College. Throughout this term, we have been trying our best to promote activities that will appeal to as many scholars as possible. To this end we held a trip to see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, held sketching sessions at the Pitt Rivers Museum, and pitted scholars against one another at a pub quiz. It was a really great term and we would like to thank all of you who made it that great by coming out to join us at the colleges, pubs, and museums! One of the elements we wanted to emphasize this year was our diversity. Clarendon Scholars come from all over the world, and study subjects that take us even further afield whether in time, space or even outer space. We are a quintessentially diverse group, and the Council wanted to focus on this as a theme for 2016. As such we created a new position and elected a Diversity Secretary to help us embrace our diversity. We held our first few diversity event of the year: a potluck at University College, a Chinese New Year dinner at Christ Church, and an African dance night at Balliol College. Perhaps, the best is yet to come. Trinity Term is ramping up to be one of our best terms ever (considering we only have one term under our belts, this shouldn’t be hard to achieve). We will be starting the term with our Easter tea party with all that is good (tea, sandwiches, and champagne) at Corpus Christi College. We will take in an orchestra performance at the Sheldonian, attend a jousting day at Blenheim Palace, and will return with some of our favourites from Hilary term, including pub quizzes and the Clarendon Dining Club. We will also be taking our first Clarendon formal at Wolfson College. We hope that 2016 will be the best year the Council has seen yet, please join us to make this a reality! Best wishes,

Christine Gallagher Editor

Donna Henderson Designer

THE CLARENDON CHRONICLE | Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

Christine Moore (pictured right) 2016 President of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association Alice Schwarze (pictured left) 2016 Vice President of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

Volume 5 Issue 2 | Hilary Term 2016


Meet the New Council for the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

Since the last issue of the Chronicle, we have a new Clarendon Scholars’ Council. Meet your elected representatives who are here to facilitate Clarendon network engagement and an intellectually and socially interactive community.

Christine Moore (President) Christine is a 2nd year DPhil student in the School of Geography and the Environment. Originally from Canada, she moved to South Africa to complete her MSc in Conservation Biology where she then worked as a project manager travelling through all of South Africa’s national parks. Much of Christine’s free time is taken up playing Ultimate Frisbee. She is one of the University team captains and a Women’s national champion and two-time Varsity winner.

Alice Schwarze (Vice President) Alice is a 2nd-year student at the doctoral training centre for systems approaches to biomedical sciences. Prior to coming to Oxford, she studied physics at the Berlin Institute of Technology. She loves science, dinner with the Clarendons, and her ukulele.

Wilfride P. Kamdoum (Diversity Secretary) Wilfride is a DPhil student in Oncology. Her research focuses on improving effectiveness of radio- and chemo-therapy in certain types of cancers. Originally from Cameroon in Central Africa, she is passionate about exploring different cultures. When not thinking about misbehaving experiments, she delights in playing badminton, writing poems, and making progress on the two books she hopes to publish one day.

Sven Jaeschke (Social Secretary) Sven is a first year student reading Biomedical Imaging at the Doctoral Training Centre. Before coming to Oxford, he worked for a healthcare company for cardiovascular devices after graduating with degrees in Biomedical Engineering in Hamburg, Germany. He’s a passionate traveller and in his free time in Oxford you’ll find him rowing for Keble College and at Clarendon social events.

Aayush Srivastava (External Relations Officer & Secretary) Aayush is a DPhil student in the Oxford University Centre for the Environment. His research involves investigating the climate changes that shaped the Thar Desert in India in the last hundred thousand years. That means there is a lot of travelling (and camping!) involved. Born and raised in Lucknow (North India), Aayush has a profound interest in nature, global politics and religions.

Mehroz Ehsan (General Secretary) Mehroz is a DPhil student in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. He grew up in Pakistan before immigrating to Canada where he completed a masters degree in Medical Science and a BSc. in Physiology at the University of Toronto. Mehroz enjoys playing cricket and follows Arsenal religiously.

Eileen L. Tipoe (Treasurer) Eileen is a first-year DPhil Economics student from Hong Kong, specialising in applied microeconometrics and revealed preference (how to test whether people are behaving the way that economists think they are). She has previously obtained an MPhil from Oxford and a B.A in Economics from UC Berkeley. Her free time is mainly spent doing crafts, dance, or large jigsaw puzzles.

Sofiane Croisier (Editor-in-Chief, Clarendon Chronicle) Sofiane is an M.P.P student at St Hilda’s College. An avid skier (20+ years), he attended law school and then worked for the French Government and the European Union. In his spare time Sofiane enjoys playing piano and doing winter survival trips in Canada.

Casper Beentjes (Administrative & IT Officer) Casper is a first-year DPhil student in Mathematics at New College. At the Wolfson Centre for Mathematical Biology he spends a fair amount of time juggling with numbers and playing around with computer code but outside of the mathematical realm he enjoys college football, squash and cycling in the countryside although he’d much rather trade all this for the good old Dutch version of ice skating.


Hannah W. Kinney (Cultural Secretary) Prior to starting her DPhil in History of Art (Sculpture in Early Modern Italy), Hannah worked for seven years with the Academic Programs division of the Education Department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. When she is not reading books about art, Hannah is usually looking at it in museums. She also loves cooking and planning elaborate dinner parties based on historically-inspired recipes.

THE CLARENDON CHRONICLE | Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

Christine Gallagher (Academic Secretary) Christine is studying IR in the Department of Politics and International Relations. Before coming to Oxford she was a senior news-talk radio producer in Sydney. For fun she enjoys crate-digging for vinyl records which is not as hipster as it sounds once you see her dorky collection.

Volume 5 Issue 2 | Hilary Term 2016


Writing Cashiered Clarendon Scholar Hannah Greenstreet is an accomplished playwright whose play Cashiered had a successful run in Oxford in Hilary Term. Hannah tells us the true story of Albert Cashier, an American Civil War veteran and transgender man, and shares with us the process of writing a historical play.


n 1914 scandal enveloped the Soldiers’ and Sailor’s Home in Quincy, Illinois. One of its residents, Albert Cashier, a veteran of the 95th Illinois Infantry, was revealed to have been born a woman, Jennie Hodgers. The story was picked up by the press and the Pensions Bureau came to investigate Albert. Albert’s former comrades rallied round, publishing photographs of Albert in the war and Albert in the home to raise the profile of his case. Although the Pensions Bureau eventually ruled that his pension would continue, Albert’s mental and physical health deteriorated. He was declared insane and committed to the Watertown State Hostel, where he was forced to wear women’s clothes. Unused to wearing skirts, he tripped and broke his hip. He caught an infection and never recovered. He died on 10th October 1915. He was buried with full military honours by his former comrades. This is one version of Albert’s story. Most other accounts of Albert’s life use female pronouns, including DeAnne Blanton and Lauren Cook’s They Fought Like Demons: Women Soldiers in the American Civil War, in which I first came across Albert Cashier. Given that Albert lived as a man for his adult life, to call Albert a ‘woman soldier’ seems wrong. The misgendering of Albert at the end of his life has been repeated in how he is remembered by history, if at all. I wrote my play, Cashiered, “I felt a responsibility to tell it as in order to rectify this in a small way; the play sensitively as possible.” treats Albert as a (transgender) man and gives him a voice back. I had never written an historical play before, so one of the challenges was remaining faithful to events, without getting bogged down in too much detail. In some ways, writing Cashiered felt more like writing an adaptation than an original play. Firstly, I had the trajectory of the play set out from the start; I knew it had to end with Albert being forced into skirts, a violent act of injustice that had shocked and saddened me. Secondly, as the play tells someone else’s story rather than my own (and because I do not have the lived experience of being transgender), I felt a responsibility to tell it as sensitively as possible. However, there are many gaps in what we know about Albert, who understandably resented the intrusion of the press and the Pensions Bureau on his privacy. He gave various accounts of why and how he became Albert to different people: his father dressed him up as a boy to earn an extra wage; he joined up because he ‘wanted excitement’. As well as this, Albert was illiterate and left no written account of his life, so his point of view easily gets lost in official discourse and speculation. I filled in some of these gaps from my imagination to give more of a sense of Albert as a whole person. I decided to balance the sadness of the end of Albert’s life in the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home 1914 with


THE CLARENDON CHRONICLE | Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

flashbacks to his days in the civil war, in which the 95th Illinois Infantry fought in all the famous battles. Plays are built on relationships, so I fleshed out two mentioned in passing: Albert’s friend, Robert Horan from the 95th, and Albert’s relationship with a woman during the war, whom I called Sally. Contemplating character motivations made me think that Robert might have had feelings for Albert during the war, which complicates their dynamic when they meet again, fifty years later, when Robert is called to testify that Albert served with him. I wanted the scenes with Sally to be joyful but also to register the emotional strain of Albert’s secret, whether or not Albert was able to confide in Sally. Playwriting is a unique medium in that it depends upon other people to be fully realised. The wonderful director, Anna Hagen (Harvard graduate and Marshall Scholar), helped streamline the script, encouraging me to adapt it from radio play (as it was originally conceived) to the stage, so that Albert would have not just a voice but a physical presence. Anna made inventive use of the small space of the Burton Taylor Studio: a hospital curtain and Albert’s bed were the only items of set; the first and last scenes were played in silhouette, imparting a sense of menace. It was important to us to cast a transgender/nonbinary identified actor in the role of Albert; Thea Keller’s performance emphasised the tenderness of Albert’s relationships with Sally and Robert. Anna remarked to me that there are two ways to read Cashiered. The erosion of Albert’s chosen identity by the state is a tragedy. Yet Albert, who starts the play alone, also rekindles old friendships and relives old memories. This cannot, of course, compensate for what happened to Albert but it does, I hope, complicate the narrative of his life. Although Cashiered has now finished its run, my play Canon Warriors, about the breakdown of a relationship between two feminist puppeteers (winner of best production at Oxford University Drama Society New Writing Festival 2016), is going to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer. See you in Edinburgh! Hannah Greenstreet

Photos by Daniel Kim

Volume 5 Issue 2 | Hilary Term 2016


NOTICEBOARD The Noticeboard is a place to share some of the activities and achievements of Clarendon Scholars in their fields and with other projects. Congratulations to all of them!

Hannah Greenstreet Playwright going to Edinburgh Festival Fringe Hannah (Mst English: 1830-1914) is going to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer with her play Canon Warriors which also won best production at the Oxford University Drama Society New Writing Festival. Another of her plays, Cashiered, had a soldout run in Oxford in Hilary term. Hannah is featured in this issue of the Chronicle sharing the true story of Albert Cashier, an American Civil War veteran and transgender man, and her process for writing an historical play.

Jonathan Lee Publication in American Journal of Medicine Jonathan (MSc in Radiation Biology) was recently published in the American Journal of Medicine. His paper reviews data related to the food-drug interaction between grapefruit juice and statins and suggests a new way to think about the interaction as an effect enhancer with implications for cutting costs in therapy rather than as a detrimental interaction with adverse health effects.


If you have news to share with the Clarendon community we’d love to hear from you. Send us your Noticeboard item to clarendonchronicle@

Cosima Gillhammer Photographer Cosima (DPhil in Medieval English) contributed our beautiful cover photo this issue. You can see more of Cosima’s photographs of Oxford and her wider portfolio at her Iridescent Photography website.

Arran Davis Publication in PLOS ONE Arran (DPhil in Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology) has been published in the journal PLOS ONE and his article, “Social Bonds and Exercise: Evidence for a Reciprocal Relationship”, was featured on the University of Oxford homepage.

Willem Burung Field study in West Papua Willem (DPhil in Linguistics and Philology) is going back to the field this April. He is writing a grammar of Wano, an ethnic language in West Papua. Willem will be writing up (describing) this language’s sounds system (phoneticphonology), how the language builds up its words (morphology), phrases and sentences (syntax), and the philosophy behind its speakers’ thinking (semantics/ pragmatics-discourse).

Ben Verboom Visiting Scholar at Johns Hopkins Ben (DPhil in Social Intervention) is mid-way through a one-year post as a Visiting Scholar at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore. Ben is working with Professor Sara Bennett to examine the impact of research evidence on global health policymaking in the UK and US.

THE CLARENDON CHRONICLE | Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

Thesis Pitch Challenge The Thesis Pitch Challenge is a way for Clarendons to share with each other what they are working on as simply as possible. Our feature pitch for this issue is from Clarendon Scholar Corina Smith.

Corina Smith (DPhil Oriental Studies)


hinese culture and civilisation apparently began in a series of events that happened three to four thousand years ago. These events include, for example, the waging of battles, transfers of power, and the creation of laws by the first rulers. The Shangshu 尚書 (The Venerated Documents) is a text claiming to have witnessed these events. It’s our main source of information about them. However, the Shangshu that has survived until today isn’t four thousand years old, in whole or part. This Shangshu and the means to understand it are drawn from a body of critical editions, commentaries, translations, and studies of the Shangshu – all of which were created during the past 2500 years. As such, the Shangshu – as we know and understand it – is a creation of the past 2500 years of work by editors, commentators, translators, and other scholars. In my research project, I try to map out this 2500 year-long process. The Shangshu is a big, complicated text and there have been thousands of contributors during that time. So, I just take a few scenes from the Shangshu and examine how two or three commentaries or studies gave meaning to these. These commentaries and studies represent different time periods and communities, and you can see how their particular concerns and motivations lead them to create differing meanings for the Shangshu scenes. To take part in the Thesis Pitch Challenge, explain your thesis or research in less than 250 words as though you were talking to a teenager and send your submission to clarendonchronicle@

Volume 5 Issue 2 | Hilary Term 2016


Hilary Term Social and Cultural Highlights


he beginning of Hilary Term marked the start of the new Council’s first term, which we kicked off with a New Year’s Reception to welcome returning scholars. Throughout the term we organised numerous events, ranging from ice skating and a pub quiz to formal halls at Worcester, New College, and Mansfield. In recognition of the ethnic and cultural diversity of Clarendon scholars, the new Council created the new positions of Diversity Secretary (Wilfride) and Cultural Secretary (Hannah). The unique events organised by these Council members, which included drawing sessions and an art dialogue at the Ashmolean, have greatly added to the variety of events the Council can offer. The first official diversity event of the year was a huge success, featuring African dancing and drumming, accompanied by games and food. Other events this term also included the theme of diversity and culture. The Diversity Potluck and games night involved scholars preparing and sharing food from their home country. A wide range of cuisines from around the world were represented, including Cameroon, South Africa, Canada, Hong Kong, and Romania. Scholars exchanged cooking techniques over dinner, and finished off the night with a heated game of Taboo. Another memorable event was the Chinese New Year Dinner, in which scholars were treated to traditional Chinese festive dishes such as spring rolls and dumplings, all handmade by council members Alice and Eileen. The weekend prior to the event that we both spent slicing, stir-frying, rolling, and wrapping paid off: all of our homemade dishes were so popular that the copious amounts we prepared were completely gone by the end of the night. The event had a great turnout, with many scholars coming early to help with the cooking and bringing plusones. A group of enthusiastic kitchen helpers learnt how to make tong yuen (glutinous rice balls), which were also a big hit. For Chinese scholars spending the New Year in a foreign country away from family (including the author of this article), this event provided a way to celebrate the New Year together. For other scholars, besides learning more about Chinese cuisine (and tasting it too!), the horoscope-reading activity following the dinner was a fun way to experience Chinese New Year celebrations. We hope to have similar events in the future and look forward to celebrating festivals from different cultures. Eileen Tipoe

Credits: thanks to Hannah Kinney, Sven Jaeschke and Aayush 10 Srivastava THE for CLARENDON CHRONICLE | Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association providing photos

Volume 5 Issue 2 | Hilary Term 2016


Clarendon Scholars’ Association 2016 Volume 4 Issue 1 – Michaelmas Term 2014 12

Clarendon Chronicle - Hilary Term 2016  

Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars' Association, University of Oxford

Clarendon Chronicle - Hilary Term 2016  

Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars' Association, University of Oxford