Postgraduate student Celeste Thorn reflects on her first conference presentation and is a recipient of a Menzies Centre scholarship for field research:
In July, I presented at the International Association Genocide Scholars conference at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. This was my first attendance and presentation at a conference, and despite a significant case of nerves in the days leading into the event, I found it to be a rewarding experience. The opportunity to present part of the research that I have been undertaking for my PhD thesis, and receive feedback and advice from leading experts in the field was invaluable. And beyond the research itself, the public speaking experience, and to an audience of fellow scholars, was also rewarding. I’m not always a confident public speaker, and I gained critical experience from presenting, and listening to other speakers. The conference also provided me with the opportunity to immerse myself in research on genocide from a wide variety fields, including genocide studies, history, legal and judicial, museum/archival research. I was grateful to receive a scholarship from International Association of Genocide Scholars, and funding from the Contemporary Histories Research Group, to attend the conference.
I am also thrilled to share that I have been awarded an Australian Bicentennial Scholarship from the Menzies Centre at King’s College London to undertake archival research at the Wiener Library in London and fieldwork in Poland for my thesis. The Wiener Library kindly agreed to host me during the period of time I will spend in the UK, and grant me access to their archives, including the UN War Crimes Commission Archives that were opened earlier this year. I will also be spending time in Poland visiting the site of the former Nazi death camp Treblinka, and the Warsaw ghetto. This fieldwork will be my first experience travelling outside of Australia, and I am excited (and apprehensive) to undertake this trip early in 2018.