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Alumni Profile - Emma Gleadhill

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Why Study History?

Everybody sees the world through different eyes; scientific, mathematical, musical, artistic, literary, the list goes on. In the process of trying to understand myself I have come to recognise that my vision is historical. For me, looking into the past is the best way of comprehending the changing and contradictory world in which we live.

History enables us to recognize the cycles and shifts that occur in cultural and social identity, in perspective, religion, attitudes, knowledge, and in sense of place. But the most important aspect of history for me is that it encourages us to question and interrogate our current perceptions and attitudes through its examination of continuity and change.

My Time in the Department:

My time in the department of History, International Studies and Philosophy has been very positive and rewarding. My knowledge base has been expanded immensely by the array of subjects I have been able to study. The lecturers and tutors were always supportive and encouraging of discussion and you were never made to feel inadequate for asking questions. For anyone who is considering doing an honours year, I strongly encourage it. The stimulating and dynamic discussion encouraged in your honours subjects will take your understanding of history to another level. This one year has given me a self-confidence that was lacking before; it has given me research skills that aid in all disciplines - even in the chemistry subjects I am currently undertaking! -; and it has opened so many unexpected doors.

Current Aims and Aspirations:

Currently I am completing my first year of a two year Master of Cultural Materials Conservation at The University of Melbourne. Specializations in this course include; the conservation treatment of paintings, works on paper, frames, objects and architectural conservation. In this course I learn about the physical sources of history and how to conserve them for future generations. My historical background encourages me to question how the conservation methods I am employing are modifying the historical meaning of heritage. It also encourages me to question what actually gets conserved and whose history it is that survives.