Middelburg, The Netherlands
Old Members Trust Travel Grant Report – Mitchell Robertson
I had a wonderfully engaging and productive three days at the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies’ international PhD Seminar in Middelburg, The Netherlands, in May 2017. The Seminar was participated in by a dozen students from all over the world, including Harvard, Aarhus University (Denmark), Heidelberg University, and University of California, Berkeley. The topics discussed ranged from the women’s peace movement in the 1960s to Grundvigianiasm (a Danish religious sect that flourished in the United States) to the evolution of the treatment of children in US immigration policy.
The seminar allowed me to present an overview of my DPhil dissertation and receive over thirty minutes of detailed and helpful feedback from both fellow graduate students and also several senior scholars based at the Institute. This was very timely as I had just passed Transfer of Status and was thinking about the overall direction of my project at this time. In the months that have followed the Seminar I have often looked back at the notes from this session and thought about how I can incorporate them into my work. The sessions of the other graduate students also helped me reflect on the approaches, methodologies, and source material of my own project.
The experience of discussing the different experiences of the life of History DPhil/PhD students was also very rewarding. Discussing the different approaches allowed me to reflect on how I can incorporate some of their tips and tricks into my own academic life, and I hope that I was also able to share some of the benefits that I have gained from Oxford.
I am very grateful for the support of the Old Members’ Trust to have enabled me to have this rewarding experience and one that I know will prove greatly beneficial for the future direction of my DPhil project.