The English-Speaking Union

Luard Morse Scholarships

Kyana Washington's Mid-Term Report

"The past 4 months at The University of Oxford have been an absolutely amazing experience, and I can't believe that I have completed the first term already! This past term I took tutorials in Ancient Philosophy and Romantic Literature. In my Ancient Philosophy tutorial, I've studied the ethics of Plato and Aristotle, analyzing the implications of their work on our current conceptions of justice and ethics. This class was especially rewarding because I took it with two other students who were also interested in the way ethics and justice have been used in the feminist struggle for women's rights.

During my Romantic Literature tutorial, I had one on one instruction from a tutor who was extremely passionate about the Romantic era. After I shared my interest in feminism with her at the beginning of the term, she was kind enough to allow me to focus on the female authors, poets, and philosophers of the time. We had amazing discussions on the work of Anne Radcliffe, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Anna Letitia Barbauld, also poets such as P.B. Shelley. Through this, I we focused on various forms of feminism and the shortcomings of feminist writers through this period. This class was a perfect opportunity for me to explore the relationship between literary and philosophical themes about women and femininity. The work I have done in this tutorial has inspired me to begin a project centered around the philosophical and literary work of Mary Wollstonecraft.

As a student at Mansfield College, I have met some amazing students from all over the United Kingdom and joined a large group of visiting students from all over the world. The college is extremely diverse and all the students have been extremely welcoming. I have also had a great time getting involved in the Oxford community. I have been able to attend lectures in various fields including theology, which has led me to explore the relationship between the theological problem of evil and the philosophical concept of ethics. I have also joined the Oxford Politics, Philosophy, and Economics Society, the Oxford International Women's Society which has been a great opportunity to meet students from other colleges! I can't wait to continue to be involved next term and explore this amazing intellectual space further.

During my time here, I have also been able to take multiple trips to London. Through Arcadia University, I saw the musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie and explore the West End. I've also been able to experience the culture in Camden and East London.

Thanks to Mansfield's visiting student community, I met study abroad students who were just as eager to explore Europe as I was! I am so happy to say that during my spring break I was able to fulfill my dream of traveling to Iceland with a fellow philosophy student.

These photos were taken at the Gullfoss Waterfall as the glaciers began to melt for spring.

This is a photo of me standing at the edge of the North American Tectonic Plate.

Iceland was indescribably beautiful! It's remoteness makes it truly feel like another world. I was a little nervous about how I was going to handle the cold, but the beauty of the landscape was the perfect distraction. I was able to take a tour of the entire Golden Circle and got a chance to watch the Great Geysir (the first geysir known to Europeans) erupt multiple times. I also took a tour of The Snæfellsnes Peninsula and got a chance to see some Game of Throne scene locations. Not only was the island beautiful, but the Icelandic people were extremely warm and welcoming. As I met people I learned about the history of the island and the famous Icelandic Sagas. Oh and last, but certainly not least, I saw the Northern Lights dance!

I am very excited for my last term at Oxford. I know that this time will continue to go by fast so I don't plan on wasting a second! This term I am taking the History of Philosophy from Descartes to Kant and Fairytale, Fantasy & Myth. I am very excited to have Diane Purkiss as my English tutor and plan to study these fiction genres' relationship to femininity and feminism. A group of friends and I are also making plans to continue to explore the UK, next stop is definitely Stonehenge!"

- Kyana Washington, 2019 Luard Morse Scholar