For Starters: Winter 2019
1. Learning Arabic
Seven students—four Mawrters and three Haverfordians—attended a study program at the Sijal Institute in Amman, Jordan, this summer. Weekdays were devoted to Arabic language classes and weekends to exploring the country. The immersive program was designed to improve students’ language skills with the goal of entering the fall semester of Arabic at a higher level of proficiency.
2. Nota Bene
It was a footnote that sent Leah Borquez '20 to Spain over fall break. She encountered the reference in a text she was reading for her Hannah Holborn Gray Research Fellowship paper, Guilt of the Day, Innocence of the Night: De Medicina Early Imperial Roman Madness. The footnote referred to a 15th-century manuscript of De Medicina, a medical treatise by the Roman author Celsus housed in the library of the Cathedral of Toledo and, until Borquez took an interest, largely ignored by scholars. Working with the Toledo manuscript, she found information not preserved in other versions of the text. “This text is different essentially from any extant copies of the text,” Borquez says. “It’s a unique manuscript in the tradition.”
3. In the Ancient World
From a young age, Wynter Pohlenz Telles Douglas '19 felt the lure of the ancient world and would check out Greek tapes from the Flint, Michigan, library and devour articles on Herculaneum papyri. But at a recent Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) summer program, the scholars and mentors Douglas met, while seriously invested in the field, were all too often lacking in the academic interest and historical context to engage deeply with scholars of color. Inspired by the experience Douglas, together with Ana Alvarez ’19, organized the first-ever MMUF Conference on the Ancient World. Focused on the ancient world, conference presentations encompassed a range of disciplines: philosophy, history of art, political science, classical languages, migrant studies, historical linguistics, and others. For Alvarez, the conference was “one step toward changing that lack of diversity—allowing us to present research that ... we hope will inspire students of color much like ourselves and allow them to delve into the field with multiple role models to serve as their mentors.” And, says Douglas, the participating scholars were “excited to meet one another, to share resources, to celebrate each individual’s work, and to be reminded that they are not alone.” The student-run conference was funded in part by the Tri-Co’s classics departments, the President and Provost’s office, the Bryn Mawr and Haverford MMUF, Haverford’s Hurford Center, and the Classical Association of the Atlantic States.
4. Going Wild
5. Welcome to Wales
6. In Court
Founded just this year, the Bryn Mawr Mock Trial team competed in its first event this fall at Drexel University’s Dragon Invitational Tournament. Tournaments involve a team of students performing attorney and witness roles and competing in trials against other colleges.
Says Chloe Berger ’21, “Competing at our first invitational strengthened our team’s cohesion and confidence.”
The American Mock Trial Association (AMTA), which writes the case materials used, includes more than 5,300 students from 600 teams at member colleges across the country. Teams begin the fall season by attending invitational tournaments in order to prepare for AMTA’s regional and national competitions in the spring.
“Competing at the Dragon Invitational was a really amazing way for our team to form relationships with teams from other schools,” says Maggie Morris ’22, “and those connections we’ve made are going to be essential as we continue to grow.”
Before competing, students spend months analyzing the case and learning the Rules of Evidence, under the guidance of attorney-coaches. Once the team finalizes its trial strategy, attorneys practice their speeches and refine their direct and cross examinations while witnesses study their affidavits and develop their character roles.
After months of practicing, the team flourished during the competition. “It was my first time competing in a mock trial competition,” says Claire Hampton ’21. “It was invigorating and challenging to be an attorney. I had to think on my feet during objection battles and help my witness convey their story.”