This week during our cultural activities night, a guest speaker came to Ashwell to talk about her journey to becoming Associate Professor and about her latest book.

Helen introduced herself as the first member of her family to go to university; she went to Oxford to do her BA, MA and DPhil and she is currently a Fellow of Medieval French at Oxford. She chose to study French because of an inspiring French teacher she had at school and had a stimulating and passionate tutor of Medieval French at university; and now hopes to be as inspirational to her pupils.

Helen spoke about her latest book Representing the Dead: Epitaph Fictions in Late-Medieval France (Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 2016)

She talked to us about identity and legacy: who we are and who we are held to be; you are what you live.

She brought up interesting questions which made us think deeply about the topic:  At the time of death: who will tell my story?  Will I be remembered when I die?  You are what you live.

Thank you, Helen, for speaking so freely about this taboo issue. We all felt uplifted by your personal story and your enthusiasm for the subject. As you said, being an academic,  gives you great freedom to speak frankly and uninhibitedly about the topic.