Medieval travel and migration focus at historic colloquium
13 March 2017
Every year academic lecturers, postgraduates and undergraduates from across Wales come together for the Medieval History colloquium. This year the focus was on travel and migration throughout the period at the historic venue, Gregynog Hall.
Now an institution running over many decades, the Colloquium constitutes a unique partnership between universities in Wales, stretching from Aberystwyth and Bangor to Cardiff, Swansea and Trinity Saint David's.
Within the historic setting in mid Wales, the colloquium enables open, equal and reciprocal discussion of the discipline between academics and students. Facilitating an excellent training ground at which postgraduates can cut their teeth at delivering academic papers, the gathering offers a wide range of seminars, field trips to sites of particular interest in Wales, and enables creative partnerships and collaborations to develop across participating institutions.
Postgraduate student Tim Jones, who is pursuing his masters at Cardiff, said: “In terms of development and transferable skills, the value of the colloquium was clear by the number of undergraduates who developed the confidence to contribute – whether in discussion groups or lectures - over the course of the three days. As a postgraduate, it provided valuable professional and personal development opportunities including assisting and leading discussion groups.”
Third year undergraduate Hannah Snape added: “The theme of travel and migration was not one I was particularly familiar with and I learned that it played a part in many situations in the medieval world which I had never considered before. I also learned about the different methods of historical investigation and the importance of questioning and challenging existing beliefs about issues such as slavery. It was also exciting to be able to stay in such a beautiful setting, and to meet staff and students from other Welsh universities and hear about their research.”
Senior Lecturer in Medieval History, Dr David Wyatt, first attended as an undergraduate and gave his first academic paper at Gregynog in 1998: “Despite its longevity, the Colloquium is always fresh and unique in the way that it blends teaching and research seamlessly. This year’s event was by far the best, in terms of discussion, exchange, attendance and value for students and academics alike.”
The annual Medieval History Colloquium takes place every February at Gregynog Hall, the hidden Welsh gem once frequented by such leading cultural lights as George Bernard Shaw and Gustav Holst.