Warburg student wins £500 PhD research seminar prize

Monday 8 July 2019
Professor Michelle O'Malley, Warburg's deputy director, presents Antonia with her prize.


Antonia von Karais, a student at the Warburg Institute, was awarded the School of Advanced Study’s (SAS) first Postgraduate Research Seminar Series Prize on 5 July.

The honour recognises her excellent presentation ‘The life and death of reason – Christian Wolff’s rationalist household in the early Enlightenment’, which the judges said was a ‘very effective presentation, showing sophisticated analysis of the text and with a clear focus.’ They also praised its suitability for a multidisciplinary audience.

The award of £500 and a certificate is intended to recognise the excellence of the School’s multidisciplinary MRes, MPhil/PhD students and encourage them to take advantage of the research variety and culture that SAS offers. 

Set up three years ago by Dr Sue Onslow, a reader and deputy director of the School’s Institute of Commonwealth Studies, and by colleagues in the Institute of Modern Languages Research, the seminars provide a platform for post-graduate students to share research, methodologies and ideas. It is also another social point of connection with colleagues across all nine SAS institutes.

Commenting on her achievement, Antonia, who has been an active member of the seminar group over the past year, says ‘The seminar was a great chance to have direct exchanges across a broad range of disciplines. I’m thrilled about the prize and glad to see that my paper on a historical subject managed to resonate next to topics of contemporary significance.’

Dr Onslow commented: ‘We hoped to give our students an opportunity to learn about their colleagues’ research, which might be on topics they had never considered, and the chance to compare notes with others at the same stage of their research project.’

‘Above all, we wanted it to be interesting and supportive. (Only constructive criticism is allowed!). We’ve had presentations ranging from refugee regimes in Southern Africa, to the politics of theological debates in the Levant and Marxist interpretations of colonialism and eco-cide. Students have also presented on language and theatre in Renaissance Italian city states; food, culture and identity in the Brazilian diaspora in the UK; and the costs of entertaining the masses in Imperial Rome. The seminar underlines yet again the rich and varied research culture here at SAS.’