Laura McCarthy, a postgraduate researcher, writes:
The Early Modern Research Centre Conference was a fantastic opportunity to meet and hear from Early Modernists in an interdisciplinary and friendly environment. The attendees were a mix of experienced and new academics, which was a relief for this inexperienced one! For students not yet working at Ph.D. level, conferences can occasionally be intimidating but the EMRC was so varied and open that it was easy to get involved. The panels I attended were fascinating, and I especially enjoyed the ones held in the ‘Material histories of early modern women’s writing’ strand. At the end of each panel there was an opportunity for questions, and in each one I sat in on the thoughtful questions were excellent at provoking lively discussion and really drawing out the best from the papers. It was also great to have a chance to talk to historians and archivists as well about their take on the subjects. Each discipline was given equal respect and time at the Conference, giving it a truly forward-thinking interdisciplinary feel. I spoke to a lot of the attendees in the breaks between panels and left every day feeling inspired and full of new ideas for my future research. I have also got some great material from two of the papers that I will be using in my MA dissertation.
Since the conference I have seen several of the attendees at other events, and feel really grateful that I had a chance to start building up my network of academic contacts in a really supportive and encouraging environment. I would definitely recommend the future EMRC conferences to other postgraduate students.