In my time at Brandeis, I have been very fortunate to develop relationships with a great many faculty and students, often in unexpected ways. Whether through classes, my own research, serving as a GDR, or my involvement in other projects (such as the graduate student workers union or the professional development series), these connections have helped me to broaden the ways I see academic work and how it is situated. This has in turn encouraged me to develop more ways of working across departments and cohorts, fields, and disciplines in a manner that I find both challenging and rewarding. At its heart, humanities work is dependent on people and the networks they inhabit. This knowledge has benefited me on a personal level as I have formed lasting social and professional connections and has also helped to inform what I work on (magic and religion in early modern Europe) and how I work on it.
The chance to be a teaching fellow for classes on Witchcraft and Magic in Early Modern Europe and Shakespeare have offered me invaluable opportunities to have far-ranging discussions about how historical texts were shaped by their own relationships – to the world they inhabited, to their authors and audiences, and to the communities in which they were produced. The generosity of faculty and other students has helped me to see unexpected connections in the period I study between contemporaneous texts and to later periods. The opportunity to work at the Mandel Center for the Humanities has given me insight into what different fields can offer each other and models for how those collaborative efforts can work, while my internship with the Recall this Book Podcast has taught me to think about how the humanities work in the world and to expand my relationships past the boundaries of the university. As I look forward, I have no doubt that relationships will continue to broaden my understanding of myself, what I choose to study and the work that I do.