The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Monday, December 12, 2011

We always joke about the lacuna of men in museum studies; at least in our department, the masculine half of the race forms but a tiny proportion of all our students. It's an amazing testament to the strides made by women over the last 150 years that we can laugh and boast of our predominance in any academic field. The history of the struggle of women for recognition in higher education in the English-speaking world is fairly well known, but I came across a very interesting account of a true pioneer and urge you to read it. Elena Lucrezia Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman ever to be awarded a PhD in 1678 from the University of Padua; she simultaneously became the first woman to ever be awarded any university degree. Not a bad way to start, was it?


MuseumWriter said...

Well, that is beautifully uplifting for us women! Puts things in perspective too. Heavens, 8 languages and a viva in Latin? I can't imagine. Much less in front of a crowded audience!

MeLa said...

It is not a coincidence that she was Italian!