The end of the academic year overwhelms students and staff alike. It’s a time not just of hard work and deadlines but also the culmination of twelve months of effort. Look closer, though, and you’ll see that much more than exams (whether sitting or marking them) and marking deadlines has been going on since May. The Humanities Activity Week offered a packed programme of events, on and off campus. Our School was closely involved with the wonderful Cheltenham Poetry Festival and student and staff spoke, performed, improvised and read at many of its events. History students (and others) spent a day at the National Civil War Centre, and the poet Helen Moore hosted a workshop combining ecology, poetry, and activism. Others buzzed off on the Humanities field trip to Cordoba, and we have no sympathy for them whatsoever.
We were very excited, and proud, to welcome three successful Humanities alumni to our special ‘Back to the Future’ alumni event. Former lecturer Dr Debby Thacker created this event last year to help current students think about their career and future options. The answer to the question ‘what can I do with a degree in Humanities’ is ‘Anything you like’. Katie Green spoke about her passion for and commitment to teaching; Jess Toogood about her media career; and James Kearle explained how his English Literature degree gave him the skills of deep analysis he’s put to use in engineering management. No one experience fitted all; each had arrived at their careers through so many different turns. Jess, James and Katie were totally inspiring to the students and staff who attended.