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Volume 6 Issue 3 | Trinity Term 2017


In this issue 2 A Note from the Editor 3 A Message from the Presidents 4-5 Tips for Freshers 6-9 ‘From Australia with Love’ 10-11 Noticeboard 12-13 Social Report 14 Thesis Pitch 15 ‘A Passion for Art’

A Note from the Editor It’s funny to think it’s a full year since I picked up this newsletter for the first time, just after arriving in Oxford to start my DPhil. Believe it or not, the beautiful architecture and parks and the constant opportunities for fancy dinners and drinks receptions do at some point become normal. Along with news of what scholars got up to in Trinity Term, this term’s edition of the Chronicle offers some tips to those of you coming to Oxford for the first time. We also hear from a part-time student who is completing her DPhil in Australia, with significantly better weather and beaches than Oxford can provide (though swimming in Port Meadow is a quintessential Oxford experience). This will be my last issue in charge, so if any of you are interested in becoming editor, please check out our noticeboard section! Yours, Eileen Coughlan Cover photo by Naomi (Nomi) Mishkin


THE CLARENDON CHRONICLE | Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

A Message from the Presidents Dear Scholars, It is with great pleasure that we welcome you back to another fantastic year at Oxford! First, allow us to congratulate our new scholars for obtaining the prestigious Clarendon award and extend our warmest welcome into the Clarendon community and Oxford. We encourage you to daringly explore the breadth of opportunities available to make your time in Oxford a truly unique experience. The Clarendon Council has been hard at work planning many exciting events in Freshers’ Week, including the Thames boat trip, punting through Christ Church Meadows and a tour of Oxford’s most haunted sights, to name but a few. We’re looking forward to meeting all of you! To our returning scholars, we hope you had both a relaxing and a productive summer! In Trinity term, we gave a good send-off to those of us who are embarking onto a new phase in life at our final black-tie formal dinner at Somerville College. We also shared many smiles and laughs over the wonderful dinners kindly prepared by Trinity and Balliol Colleges. We had a memorable night at the Oxford Philharmonic, afternoon tea at St. Cross College, and a lovely walking tour of the London street art scene! We are extremely grateful to all those who helped make these events happen. The Clarendon Council have planned another eventful Michaelmas Term for the community including our annual Clarendon lecture. We will also be celebrating our partnership with the Oxford University Press at their bookshop event which promises raffle draws and discount cards! Numerous other events are also in the works including dinners at colleges, movie nights, art events, LiveFridays and pub crawls. The annual fund reception will give us a chance to meet and thank our alumni, donors and supporters of the Clarendon Fund. As a community, we continue to show that relatively small investments, financial and otherwise, can have great impact when combined with the constantly renewed energy of motivated students! Finally, it is with sadness that we bid farewell to our Clarendon Fund administrator, Suzy Minett. She has been a vital part of the Clarendon community over the last year, as the first point of contact for Clarendon questions of any kind. In her place, we welcome Frankie Harris, who has joined the Clarendon community recently. We are very excited to have you on board and look forward to working with you! Warm wishes,

A. Kao (President) V. Ma (Vice-President) Volume 6 Issue 3 | Trinity Term 2017


Tips for Freshers We asked some current students what advice they wish they’d got when starting their postgraduate course.

The Radcliffe Camera on a sunny day. Photo by Alison Day and licenced under CC BY-ND 2.0.

‘Don’t be afraid to do fun stuff, working isn’t everything here. Oxford won’t let people fail (statistics back this statement up, just look online), you’ll know if you’re really falling behind!’ – Amy Kao ‘Take the time to build relationships with the people you meet at Oxford and don’t delay, the academic year passes surprisingly quickly.’ – Thomas Vogl ‘Get involved in a sport at your college! It’s a great way to meet people and an easy and fun way to stay active. As you get busier during the term you will be happy to have an excuse to take a break!’ – Theo4

THE CLARENDON CHRONICLE | Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

dora Bruun ‘Port Meadow and the Gloucester Green market are two of the best things about Oxford. Acquaint yourself with both!’ – Richard Salame ‘When in doubt, ask someone who’s been here a while.’ – Thomas Vogl ‘A one year masters is an incredibly short amount of time, although you might not realize just how short it really is until Trinity Term. You probably will feel like you missed out on things: it’s inevitable, and healthy, that you did. ’ – Richard Salame ‘I’m Canadian, and even I found that the winters were colder that I had expected! I would suggest packing layers, and definitely bringing a coat for when winter rolls around.’ – Deborah Ramkhelawan ‘Remember that the Oxford spring makes up for the Oxford winter.’ – Richard Salame ‘Pick a maximum of 1 or 2 extracurricular things per term and commit to them; In Freshers’ Week you will be overwhelmed with all the options Oxford has to offer, but you will soon realize you don’t have time to do half the things you signed up for!’ – Amy Kao ‘Oxford has so many different colleges and they all offer something different! Take advantage of exchange dinners, formal events, and college crawls to explore new places!’ – Theodora Bruun

Port Meadow. Photo by Jordan and Marisa Magnuson and licenced under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Volume 6 Issue 3 | Trinity Term 2017


‘From Australia with love’

Emma Buxton, a Clarendon scholar at the Department of Continuing Education, tells us about her experiences as a part-time DPhil student located 10,000 miles from the Rad Cam.


THE CLARENDON CHRONICLE | Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

You might have seen me pop up in some of your training sessions at IT Services, at a Clarendon event here and there, or you might have seen me frantically skirting along Oxford parks to and from the Social Science Library carrying one of those Bodleian-sanctioned KeepCups (am I the only person who regularly travels on multiple international flights with a KeepCup JUST so they can drink coffee in the library?). Odds are, though, that you probably haven’t seen me, because most of my experience of Oxford has not in fact been at Oxford, but 10,000 miles away in Sydney, Australia. As a part-time DPhil student at the Department of Continuing Education, I spend a month each year in Oxford, but the rest of the time I am at home enjoying the Sydney beaches, basking in the Australian sunshine… or, more likely, buried under books in my study, like that ‘snow day’ episode of the Simpsons. I commenced my DPhil at the Department of Continuing Education in early 2016. The decision to apply to Oxford for my DPhil was an easy one. I had completed a part-time MSt in International Human Rights Law a few years earlier at Oxford and I’d done a Masters of Criminology at the University of New South Wales. Along the way, I’d developed a passion for the intersection of criminology and human rights (and an idea for a project that I thought would fit at the University of Oxford). After an arduous admissions process, I was accepted to study part-time with fantastic supervision and support from within the department and a great second supervisor from the Centre for Criminology. Studying parttime was important to me, as it allowed me to continue to progress the work I do at home as a researcher and criminologist studying domestic and family violence-related homicides and suicides and making policy recommendations to government. I am lucky that my research at Oxford and my work are closely linked and mutually reinforcing, and that I get to dedicate my life to ending violence against women. I’m now well over a year into my research and I have travelled to Oxford for multiple residential periods, learnt some new technologies and met some great new friends. I have also sat through many a midnight conference call and training session, and found myself sitting in various Australian libraries tracking down articles and books for my research after hours and on weekends. Studying part-time, and studying away from others, Volume 6 Issue 3 | Trinity Term 2017


is challenging and at times hard going. While doctoral research is a much more isolating experience than an undergraduate or master’s degree anyway, the time difference associated with studying abroad makes it tricky to catch up with colleagues or organise supervision meetings. Thankfully my supervisors are extremely generous with their time, and because I work, I am already used to being organised, planning in advance and setting and working to my own deadlines. Life gets in the way of study all the time. Shoehorning study into the vicissitudes of life is tricky, and it gets trickier as time goes on. Thankfully I am well-supported at home as well as by the university – I could not do my project without the support and buy-in of all the fantastic people in my life. Another challenge inherent in a part-time project is making sure that your research remains relevant throughout the duration of your program. A normal DPhil is ordinarily 3-4 years, so a part-time DPhil is anticipated to be around 6-8 years in duration, which sounds a bit terrifying. While in some fields a part-time project would be too slow, I would argue it is actually preferable in my area of research. My research looks at domestic and family violence against Aboriginal women from the perspective of human rights, particularly focusing on the adequacy of the service system response in light of Indigenous self-determination and participatory rights. I have worked closely with my stakeholders in designing the research, and I have worked diligently and carefully to develop a research methodology that privileges the voices and respects the knowledge and experience of my research participants. Work in this depth takes time and care, and the part-time program has afforded me the opportunity to take my time during these early stages.

Photos courtesy of Emma Buxton.


THE CLARENDON CHRONICLE | Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

While part-time study is not for everyone, it is the perfect fit for my lifestyle and for this research. I get to experience the best of both worlds – I can work and live in Sydney with my friends and family most of the year, and then I get to travel every few months to Oxford where I can focus on my project, meet with inspiring colleagues and immerse myself in the community of scholars. So if you see me hanging out around Brew, or in University Parks, say hello and let’s grab a coffee – you know I’ll at least have my KeepCup!

Volume 6 Issue 3 | Trinity Term 2017


Noticeboard Chris Hyungseop Han Award of Excellence from the International Magnesium Association Chris (DPhil Musculoskeletal Sciences) received an award of excellence from the Inter-

Photo courtesy of Chris Hyungseop Han

national Magnesium Association (IMA) at the 2017 World Magnesium Conference in Singapore in May. Chris has been researching the development of biodegradable magnesium alloy for orthopaedic applications for eight years. Established in 1962, IMA’s Awards of Excellence program is an annual program open to all research institutions and companies demonstrating outstanding examples of magnesium’s use.

Naomi Mishkin This issue’s cover photo was contributed by Naomi (Nomi) Mishkin (Master of Fine Art). It is entitled ‘When I was little I swore I slept with my eyes open’ and was taken at sunrise in Duke Humfrey’s Library. Along with Naomi, the picture shows Colin Harris, who has worked as a superintendent in the Bodleian Library for 50 years and was recently awarded a Master of Arts degree in recognition of his dedication to the library.


THE CLARENDON CHRONICLE | Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

Helena Guzik Conference presentation and grant for archival research Helena (DPhil Art History) presented a paper, entitled “Measuring and Making the World: Utopia, Cosmology, and Universal Sovereignty in Filarete’s Libro architettonico”, at “Landscapes of Power” interdisciplinary symposium at the University of Nottingham on June 19th. She was also awarded the Isaiah Berlin Fund Bursary and the Christina Drake Fund Travel Grant for archival research in Mantua and Modena during March and April of 2017.

Photo courtesy of Helena Guzik

The next editor of the Chronicle could be you! I’m stepping down from my position as editor this term as I’ll be away from Oxford for fieldwork. I’ve really enjoyed my time as editor and have learned a lot. If you’re interested in this role, do get in touch on clarendonchronicle@ It’s very rewarding, not too time-consuming, and does not require a million years of journalism experience!

Volume 6 Issue 3 | Trinity Term 2017


Social report Trinity Term in Oxford is the highlight of the year, with more barbecues, punting and parties on offer than any one person could possibly attend. For some there is the spectre of exams to cast a pall over things, but that’s nothing a good trashing won’t fix. For those of you reading this who are new to Oxford, know that Trinity Term more than makes up for the damp grey of winter in Oxford. This term was no exception, with events ranging from pub crawls to pistol shooting sessions (scheduled worryingly close to each other, some might say) and ending with the Clarendon lecture, given by Professor Ros Rickaby, who discussed the pressing issue of climate change. Clarendon formal dinners are always among the most popular events we organise, and this term was no exception, with dinners at Trinity, Balliol and Somerville colleges. Trinity and Balliol are ancient rivals, being located side-by-side on Broad Street, so there was great debate as to which was best, although of course the council remains strictly impartial on this issue. The high point of the term was certainly the farewell dinner at Somerville College. Highlights included the fire alarm during starters and an emotional farewell speech by our very own Dominic to all those who graduated at the end of the academic year. For some of them, this sadly marked the last Clarendon event, and we wish them all the best for their future. Our dining secretary, Andi, has


THE CLARENDON CHRONICLE | Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

assured me there is lots more to come in Michaelmas term for those of you who are sticking around or have just arrived. While it’s tempting to loll around for most of Trinity term, punting and sunbathing, Helena, our culture secretary, managed to introduce some culture into the lives of scholars with two very different events. First, to beat the fifth week blues, she organised a street art walking tour in east London. While some of the art we saw was obviously spectacular (Banksy’s plastic-encased car comes to mind), other, smaller works were hidden in plain sight, showing the importance of looking at your surroundings and avoiding the temptation to put your head down and plough through the city centre crowds. She also organised a visit to the Holywell Music Room to hear Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, performed as part of the Oxford Philharmonic Chamber Series. Other cultural events held this term focused on film, as Deborah, our diversity secretary, continued her world cinema series, with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Born Free.

Photos courtesy of Helena Guzik and Andreas Hänsele.

Volume 6 Issue 3 | Trinity Term 2017


Thesis Pitch Challenge The Thesis Pitch Challenge is a way for Clarendon scholars to share with each other what they are working on, explaining their research to people in completely different fields. We’re always looking for more submissions to

Richard Salame, M.Sc. in Migration Studies Recently, there’s been a lot less talk about ‘classes’ and a lot more talk about other kinds of collective categories that can act politically, like ‘cultures,’ ‘ethnicities,’ and ‘sects.’ But those groupings leave a lot to be desired both for scholarship and politics. In anthropology, some scholars have been turning their attention to the political role of migrants in various contexts, and have been especially interested in trying to detect emerging self-awareness of common political interests among migrants. Call it a new type of ‘class consciousness.’ My research – begun in my Masters but continuing in the future – looks at protest actions among port workers in the Middle East at the turn of the 20th century to ask whether it matters if they found group spirit. The port workers of the late-19th and early-20th century Middle East are among the major subjects of the historiography of class formation in the region. They are supposed to have been an embryonic working class. Against this hypothesis has been a reaction stressing the sectarian, religious, and linguistic differences that fragmented this workforce. I suggest that the port infrastructure allowed them a way to side-step some of these issues in their own lives and that scholarship might pay more attention to those dynamics.

Photo by Tropenmuseum, and licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0


THE CLARENDON CHRONICLE | Newsletter of the Clarendon Scholars’ Association

A Passion for Art Peter Ho (DPhil Population Health) writes about an art exhibition at Green Templeton College where his work was exhibited. Green Templeton College Art Exhibition celebrated its second anniversary this June and again, a few of my spontaneous artworks were included. My passion for art started when I was little. I started to draw and paint during my early years in primary school. I especially liked painting animals and insects in nature as I liked their expressions. An amazing art teacher in school showed me different ways of mixing water colour and how to use different paint materials. I was fascinated by it. While the rest of my classmates got their work back after the art lesson, mine were occasionally kept by teachers, although sometimes I really wanted to take them home with me and show them to my parents. Over the years, art has helped me to concentrate and relax. Claude Monet once said “Colour is my daylong obsession, joy and torment.� For me, painting is a great way to spend a quiet afternoon at my own pace, with joy.

Photo courtesy of Peter Ho

Volume 6 Issue 3 | Trinity Term 2017


Clarendon Council 2017

Profile for The Clarendon Chronicle

Clarendon chronicle tt17 web version  

This term's edition of the Chronicle offers tips to those of you starting out on your Clarendon journey, as well as an insight into what lif...

Clarendon chronicle tt17 web version  

This term's edition of the Chronicle offers tips to those of you starting out on your Clarendon journey, as well as an insight into what lif...