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PhD Student Kate Brock Awarded Travel Award, Presents at Two International Conferences

Kate BrockThis past January, PhD Student Kate Brock was awarded the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) Harriet Tubman Travel Award by the Gender and Minority Affairs Committee to support their attendance at the SHA annual meeting in Oakland, California. At the conference, Kate presented a talk entitled "An Archaeology of Folklore: A Transdisciplinary Future in the National Folklore Collection at UCD." This talk urged for the redirection of research within University College Dublin’s archive from a predominantly field-focused approach to one guided by queer theory and encounters of queer experience and possibility in archival materials and interpretation.

Kate also traveled to Ireland in early February to participate in the Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group (IPMAG) meetings in Cashel, Ireland, thanks to University travel funding for conference presenters. Here Kate delivered a presentation entitled "Ringing Ears and Moist Air: The Beetling Mill as an Exercise in Implosion,” a discussion of the Wellbrook Beetling Mill.

As Kate describes it, this talk “focused on the facets of research and the winding road that is possible when we interrogate all we know, all we would like to learn/acknowledge the gaps in our understanding, and how we follow the threads as they extend beyond what we anticipated might interest and excite us. In the case of the beetling mill, this meant accounting for the materials necessary to build the mill itself, the lives of the laborers who worked therein, and the fate of the linen that was worked and then sent onto the next handler in its life cycle.”

In following this avenue of research, Kate then had the opportunity to visit the National Folklore Collection to do research on both on the linen manufacturing and on folk understandings of the industry. Input from this conference and subsequent research trip will help to form Kate’s future dissertation.

Kate is encouraged in their research with the knowledge that “there is more work to do when it comes to folklore studies and historical archaeology in the linen industry on both domestic and factory scales.”Kate accepting the Harriet Tubman Travel Award at the SHA Annual Meeting in Oakland, CA

For more information about Kate and their research interests, consider following the link below.