Research Day Spring 2022 at the House of Lords
As we set off in the minibus for the House of Lords and our annual Research Evening on May 12 there was a feeling of expectation and excitement. By the time we boarded the bus to go back to Cambridge late that evening all expectations had been more than fulfilled and the conversational audit of the evening confirmed the sense of purpose, mission, and collegiality between the Woolf staff and students, Lord and Lady Woolf, the trustees and those who support the Institute. The highlight of the evening was without doubt the brilliant presentations by six young Woolf researchers. These doctoral and post doc researchers spoke passionately about their work, confirming not only the enthusiasm and commitment they bring, but also the broad span of interest which the Woolf embraces. A huge thank you to Dr Katherine O’Lone who talked about her work on the psychology of forgiveness and moral transference, Alissa Symon who is looking at the political relationship between Israel and American jews, Mohammed Ahmed who spoke about analysing the exegesis of Al-Tabari (d.923 CE), focussing on the representation of Medinan Jews, Dr Danielle Padley whose research is into Jewish music in C19 England, Madeleine Ary Hahne on how cultural and religious narratives around climate are formed, and Dunya Habash who discussed her research with displaced Syrian musicians in Turkey.
We were fortunate to have our pre-dinner drinks on the Lords’ terrace in the bright evening sun, looking at the Thames and the stretching landscape of London from an extraordinary vantage point, and then to enjoy an excellent dinner and further conversation. Many topics were broached but the consistent theme was how valued and important role of the Woolf is in our fractured and politically volatile world, and how much more needed this work is today than ever before.
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