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Streicker Snapshot: Sophie Evans '19 in Oxford, U.K.

Streicker Snapshot: Sophie Evans '19 in Oxford, U.K.

Oct. 1, 2018

Sophie is one of 15 undergraduates who were awarded 2018 Streicker International Fellowships. Streicker Fellows design their own projects or internships in conjunction with a hosting organization. During her fellowship, Sophie working as a research assistant at the University of Oxford’s Middle East Centre, where she explored the Suez War along with other instances of “Track Two” diplomacy in the Arab-Israeli Conflict.


Looking back on the two months I spent in Oxford through the Streicker fellowship brings me nothing but joy as I begin my senior year at Princeton. I remember my daily routine of waking up and heading to the Weston archives to pick up where I left off with my research on the Suez Crisis. Chatting briefly with the head archivist, who after the first week seemed to know which papers from then Prime Minister Anthony Eden collection I might want to look into even before I did, was always a wonderful start to the day. I will say that exchanging quips about politicians’ penmanship seems to be a line of humor limited to the archival world, though one I certainly came to appreciate. I remember cycling to the Middle East Center for lunch with colleagues before meeting with my supervising professor, Avi Shlaim, to discuss the day’s discoveries. Oxford, like Princeton, is certainly a cycling town, and I was soon at home on my bike, despite the prolonged adjustment to UK rules of the road. The opportunity to work with Professor Shlaim will always be the highlight of my Streicker experience. Our joint projects presented a multilateral cultural immersion experience, where I was able to explore not only Oxford but also the relationship between the UK, Middle East, and US. I found that through studying and discussing the UK’s diplomatic relations, I was able to gain unique insight into its national identity.

To be sure, my experience of the UK extended beyond academics. I attended a University ball, sang with chapel choirs, and took group horseback riding lessons. I explored the stunning grounds of Oxford colleges, learned how to paint with watercolor, and travelled with friends to watch the Henley Royal Regatta, to see a show in London, and to swim in the Lake District. Of course, this list is by no means all encompassing. I suppose that is the inherent difficulty with sharing my Streicker experience: there is simply too much to share. Though, what a wonderful problem to have! Thank you so much to Professor Shlaim, Oxford friends and colleagues, Princeton advisors, and, most importantly, Mr. Streicker, without whom this experience would not have been possible. Not a day goes by where something I learned in Oxford does not come in handy, whether with thesis research, course discussion, extracurricular pursuits, or my personal relationships with faculty and friends. And for that I wish to offer the sincerest expression of gratitude.

Vaults Café, Oxford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magdalen College Garden, Oxford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

University Ball, Oxford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Horseback riding, Whitney.