Hello! My name is Harriet and I’m from the UK. I graduated from the University of Birmingham last summer with a degree in Ancient History and I am about to start my Masters in Classics and Ancient History. Whilst I’ve really enjoyed spending the last year working and deciding what I want my next steps to be, I’m so excited to be returning to university. I can’t wait to explore new ideas and meet new people!
As part of my undergraduate studies, I focused on how women were portrayed in creation myths across different ancient cultures and what this can teach us about their roles and lives within societies at that time. I found this fascinating, and discovered so many links between ancient and modern-day expectations and portrayals of women. I think it’s important to look back and understand where our stereotypes and preconceived ideas about women and girls come from. When I return to university, I hope to focus on modern reception of the ancient world in film and literature.
When I’m not studying, my hobbies include dancing, yoga and reading. At the moment, I’m enjoying reading fantasy and historical fiction – this sort of escapism has been essential with the last year the world has had! I also love being outside in nature, having grown up in the countryside, and take every opportunity to go walking and discover new places (and getting lost a few times too!).
I have so many dream jobs but they all seem to centre around writing and teaching! I’ve worked as a tutor for three years and really enjoy talking about history, literature and culture to anyone who will listen. I find it really rewarding and am very passionate about making education more accessible and engaging for everyone. I’d like to work in museums and help create exhibitions and content for the public, especially young people. I’d also like to be a writer one day, whether that’s an author of fiction or an academic writer.
My favourite museum has to be the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, County Durham. I have lots of family in the north of England, so when I used to visit in the holidays as a child I’d always go there! It reminds me of my childhood and my first experience in a museum. It’s a beautiful, huge, 19th century building with lavish gardens. It’s very famous for being home to the ‘Silver Swan’. This is an 18th century automaton which would move like a real-life swan and completely captivate the audience (myself included!).
There are so many issues facing girls I know today. One thing that my friends and I were discussing recently was that a lot of people seem to think that ‘we’re done now’ and women have all the rights and equal opportunities needed. Whilst there has been rapid change and improvement for the lives of women, especially in the last 100 years, there are still so many issues to confront. I think this complacent attitude and reluctance to acknowledge the deeply ingrained misogyny that still exists in society today is really harmful. Whether it is inequality in the work-place, victim blaming, problems with accessing healthcare, or teaching girls from a young age to not speak up for themselves, all these issues are holding girls back! I hope to help change this in the future and look forward to the day where girls are free to express themselves and be who they want to be.
I’m so thrilled and proud to be working for Girl Museum, I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Girl Museum Inc.