I am a Ph.D student from Italy in my final year. I spent one term in Cambridge as a visiting student at the History faculty. Before arriving, I knew about the Gender and Sexuality History Workshop on the advice of an Italian researcher. To be honest, I had never attended a graduate workshop before. Let’s say that in my country these initiatives are generally quite rare. However, it was clear to me right away how useful this kind of experience could be.
On the one hand, I had the opportunity to present my work while I was writing the first draft of the dissertation. It was very helpful to test its main arguments and to get valuable suggestions. On the other hand, it was certainly very challenging explaining the research in front of people from diverse intellectual backgrounds. Moreover, since the participants were all interested in using the category of gender in their works, a fruitful exchange of opinions about that was part of our discussions.
And last but not least, I found the atmosphere to be very friendly and welcoming. For a visiting student, it is very important to find not just a good audience and some valuable speakers, but also a supportive group of people with whom I could share ideas and spend time with. For all these reasons I was very pleased to attend this seminar and I am hoping to facilitate a similar workshop in my University.