Despite all the ups and downs, the past three years have been memorable. One of the special aspects of War Studies is the abundance of opportunities to learn and grow outside of seminars and lectures. I attended so many informative talks both with external speakers and the wide array of experts in the Department itself. It felt like every week there was an opportunity to go to an event whether that be a book launch, a Q&A panel or careers talk. One of my favourite speaker events was Dr Joanna Cook’s talk about her book A Woman’s Place, it really opened my eyes to the connection between gender and war.
At times, being a student in War Studies felt surreal. The Department is filled with experts in their field, it’s pretty common for professors in the Department to be consulted for current events and documentaries. Just to list a couple, Dr Pablo de Orellana, whom I worked with to help set up an art exhibition, hosted an episode of the BBC documentary Rise of the Nazis and was given the title “Expert on Joseph Goebbels”. Dr Ahron Bregman, a guest lecturer during my second year, was the focus of the 2019 documentary The Spy Who Fell to Earth for his role in exploring the life and death of Ashraf Marwan, an Egyptian millionaire and Israeli spy. The interactions I’ve had with experts in the Department of War Studies haven’t just been sightings in the hallway but have been meaningful and integral to my education.