One of the great strengths of studying a history degree is the opportunity to develop strong research skills. As part of the work of the EMC we have been keen to celebrate the work of students as researchers and to encourage departments to think about a range of different ways that they can help students to develop their own voice as historians. One part of this strategy has been to host regional undergraduate dissertation showcases. These events have given students an opportunity to share with their peers the findings of their independent research.
Across these events over thirty students have delivered papers on a wide range of topics. These have included the cultural meanings of milk, Korean history through its stamps, perceptions of maxillofacial injuries in the First World War, representations of womanhood in girl’s magazines in the twentieth century, and the reporting of poisonings in Victorian England. We have had students travelling from across the region, which has meant that the next generation of historians have had an opportunity to develop their academic networks. The events have also given students the chance to take part in an academic conference, which for those who wish to follow a route into postgraduate research is an important experience. For those members of academic staff who have attended to support their own students, the events have not only been a great experiences due to the high quality of the students papers, but they have also been important for a for sharing best practice in supporting our students’ research. While the global events of Spring 2020 meant that we were not able to host an event this year, we are very much looking forward to another showcase in 2021.