Summary: Chris talks about his contribution to the research culture in Classics and his passion for his area of study.
I studied Ancient History at the University of Birmingham and graduated in 2009. I then began my MA at Leeds and continued here for my PhD studies. Doing a PhD was suggested to me by my undergraduate dissertation tutor at Birmingham during my final year. Leeds appealed to me due to the proximity of my family home, which I stayed in through my Masters year. I stayed in Leeds for the PhD because of the scholarship offered by Classics and my supervisor was based here too. The facilities at the University and in Classics are excellent, it is especially useful having a postgraduate room in Classics.
I am passionate for my area of study because it allows me the freedom to think. Ancient philosophy is so intricate and nuanced that interpretations are constantly evolving. Comparing Eastern and Western philosophy is challenging. They are two huge disciplines in themselves. But I enjoy learning how two disciplines can speak to each other in many different ways.
I have partipated in the research culture in Classics in many ways. I have given papers at several Postgraduate conferences, including in New York in 2012. Being able to take my research and share it with a wider audience is vital. As well as giving papers I organised the 3rd annual postgraduate conference at Leeds Classics department in 2012 with the help of the Classics postgraduate community. The conference brought postgraduates together from across Europe to discuss the topic of Identity, not only in the ancient world, but also across disciplines as well. I am currently working towards the 4th annual conference in June 2013, which hopes to include trans-Atlantic speakers. I have also been involved in RIXA, a Faculty of Arts teaching programme that brings undergraduates from across the faculty, which includes English, Theology and Modern Language to name a few, together for a seminar led by a PhD student.
I played for the University Lacrosse team in my second year and there is a wide range of sports and societies to be involved in here.
My supervisor and I are always discussing career development. Being in my final year it is on my mind more now than ever before. But I have worked towards career development with regards teaching and conferences, and gathering as much experience as I can. I certainly haven’t been in a library on my own for 3 years. When I finish my PhD I plan to to continue teaching.