Pudding Seminars 2018-19

Pudding Seminars take place on a Friday and are an excellent opportunity to unite two of life’s great things: cutting-edge research, and pudding!

All seminars will take place in the Jane Harrison Room, starting with coffee and cake from 1pm with the Seminars starting promptly at 1.15 pm, and ending by 1.50pm. The seminars are led by members of the College (undergraduate, graduate, Senior Member), who give a brief 20-minute talk on their current research, followed by informal discussion.

The dates for 2018 are: 26 October, 09 November, 16 November, 23 November.

The dates for 2019 are: 01 February, 08 February, 15 February, 22 February, 01 March, 26 April, 3 May, 10 May, 17 May.

The Newnham Pudding Seminar dates are also available on the intranet for downloading to your calendar.

If you are interested in giving a pudding seminar, or would like further details about the series, please contact Delphine Mordey (dmm36@cam.ac.uk).



1 February: Robyn Bellinger (JCR), 'Molière's deus ex machina and its (in)significance today'

Robyn is an undergraduate in her final year studying MML (French and German) at Newnham. She has a keen interest in early modern French works; eighteenth century European literature; and modern German culture. She also likes to explore literature on a multinational level- comparing how works are received in their country of origin and how they are received abroad.

8 February: Rowan Cookson (JCR), 'Class, feminism, housework, motherhood, paid employment: working-class women’s work in early 20th-Century England'

Life for many working-class women in early 20th-Century England was one of hard toil, working almost constantly to provide for their families’ basic needs. There is relatively little source material about working-class women’s work in early 20th century England, but the sources Round About a Pound a Week, Married Women’s Work and Life As We Have Known It, provide a rare glimpse. They discuss working-class women’s experiences as mothers, wives, employees and political activists and define these activities as work. As the sources focus on working-class women, most historians have focused on class when analysing them. Yet this underplays the sources’ context, a crucial element of which, is that the sources were produced by feminist organisations.

Considering both class and feminist politics, I will explore what the sources show about attitudes to working-class women’s work in early 20th century England. I will also discuss the challenges of using these sources, for instance the issue of voice; although the sources focus on working-class women, some of the writers were middle-class women.

Rowan is a second-year history student, interested in class, gender, feminism and women’s experiences.


15 February: Isabel Hernandez-Gil-Crespo (JCR), 'Losing our 'Pagan Innocence: Female Objectification through the Lens of Dance'

Isabel is a second-year philosophy student at Newnham College.

22 February: Bao Nguyen Nguyen Thi (PhD), 'Phase Transfer of Thermal Responsive Capsule and its Cargo'

Nguyen is a PhD student at Newnham. Originally from Singapore, she obtained her bachelor degree at Imperial College London. Her final-year research project was on “Ullmann Intramolecular C-S Coupling Reaction”, supervised by Dr. Rob Davies. After graduating, she briefly joined the Singapore Agency of Science Technology and Research (A*STAR) for one year before returning for her PhD. With the support of A*STAR National Science Scholarship, she is now part of Nitschke’s research team in the Department of Chemistry. This team is designing hollow supramolecular capsules or ‘cages’, which can be used to transport cargoes of molecules where we need them. These cages could be used to safely deliver drug therapies, reduce the costs and environmental effects of petroleum refining, and in many other areas.

1 March: Elise Burton (SCR), 'Religious Minorities and Human Genetics in the Middle East'

Elise is currently the Associates’ Research Fellow at Newnham College. She earned her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, achieving High Honors in two subjects, Middle Eastern Studies and Integrative Biology (specializing in evolutionary genetics). Her undergraduate research focused on the teaching of evolutionary biology in the state education systems of Iran, Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia. In 2017, she completed her PhD in History & Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University with a thesis on the history of human genetics research in Iran, Turkey, and Israel from the First World War to the present.


3 May: Alice Roberts (MCR), 'Images and Objectification'

10 May: Erika Teichert (MCR), '"Que sea ley": Fighting to Legalise Abortion in Argentina Today'

Argentina voted for the first time to legalise abortion on June 14th 2018. The ‘Ley de interrupción voluntaria del embarazo’ was partially approved by Diputados in a historic vote, but later got rejected in the upper chambers of the Senate on August 8th 2018. Despite this disappointing setback to a campaign that already dates over a decade, the feminist movement that emerged around the vote during these months was unprecedented. In this talk, I will explore the campaign, the reasons why legalising abortion in Argentina is of urgent necessity, and how the feminist movement developed during these months. I will especially explore the art of feminist activism, to consider how the movement intervened in the public sphere to generate vocabularies and an identity for both the campaign and contemporary feminism more generally.

Erika Teichert is a PhD candidate at the Centre of Latin American Studies at the University of Cambridge. Her PhD is funded by the Cambridge International Trust and Newnham College Scholarship, and she is also the recipient of a Trinity-MCSC Honorary Scholarship. Previously, she completed an MPhil in Latin American Studies at Cambridge and a BA in History of Art at University College London. Her research explores intersections between art and activism in contemporary Argentina.


17 May: Laura Dennis (Curator of Valuable Possessions), on the Arts Council Collection and its loan to Newnham