Confrat 110th Annual Dinner, 7th May 2022

Due to the rising number of Covid cases in Lent Term, the Annual Dinner was rescheduled to the start of Easter term. During the pre-dinner drinks in the Knox Shaw, the Confrat enjoyed the opportunity to converse with this year’s guest speak, Richard Partington, who had read History at Sidney in the eighties. In line with the unprecedented nature of many of Confrat’s activities this year, the opening speech was not given by the Pontifex but by the Magister, followed by Dr Bernhard Fulda who shared anecdotes from Confrat’s history. In his speech, Mr. Partington reflected on his time at Sidney and shared in his love for the society. The Princeps closed with a charming speech which got many laughs from the audience and with that the society retired again to the Knox-Shaw for port. 

Magister Rotulorum – Bijal Manoj Daialal

Princeps Senatus – Oscar Matthews Martinez

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“The Confrat Games” Debate, 15th March 2022

Confrat went back to its roots this evening with its own members leading the show. Prof. McKitterick opened the evening, followed by a graduate student and three undergraduates all who presented what they regarded to be the ‘best history film in history’. The night ended with a wonderful chat and lots of wine. 

Magister Rotulorum – Bijal Manoj Daialal

Princeps Senatus – Oscar Matthews Martinez

Confraternitas Talk, 1st March 2022

The President of the Royal History Society, Prof Emma Griffin, delivered an excellent talk on the various European perspectives on Industrialisation. By drawing attention to the processes of industrialisation in Switzerland, Belgium, and France she disputed the idea that industrialisation had to follow the path pursued by Britain. In doing so, she particularly highlighted the importance of local resources. This led to many interesting questions asked by the audience including the role of imperialism in the story, the viability of the nation-state as a category for comparison, and the issues with acquiring data and statistics. A fantastic formal in the Old Kitchen followed the talk where the lively conversations continued. 

Magister Rotulorum – Bijal Manoj Daialal

Princeps Senatus – Oscar Matthews Martinez

Confraternitas Talk, 15th February 2022

Dr Emma Mackinnon joined us this evening to deliver a talk on The Promise of Human Rights. She first delved into the concept of human rights, exploring the potential history of its origins before turning to the more conventional date of 1945. Her talk was most fascinating in illuminating the historical circumstances attached to universal ideas and also the conflicts arising from the appropriation of such ideas between different interests. A thoughtful Q&A followed, led by a question from a fresher. Unfortunately, there was no Formal Hall this evening.

Magister Rotulorum – Bijal Manoj Daialal

Princeps Senatus – Oscar Matthews Martinez

Graduate Seminar I, 25th January 2022

Sidney’s graduate students took to the floor for the first Confrat talk this term. They delivered the talks in a hybrid virtual and in-person manner, with some of the speakers presenting through zoom. Despite the odd technical difficulties and audio mishaps, the talks were highly insightful in exploring as a range of niche subjects. 

Magister Rotulorum – Bijal Manoj Daialal

Princeps Senatus – Oscar Matthews Martinez

Confraternitas Dissertation Evening, 30th November 2021

Third year students, including the Princep Oscar, took to the stage in presenting their dissertation work this evening. The audience had a wide range of stimulating topics introduced to them: from suffragette presentation in textbooks; to sex-work in 60s Birmingham; to the philosophies of Peter Singer. Oscar himself discussed the trans-national features of Liberalism between Britain and Spain in the eighteenth century. All presenters also shared their experiences of researching and writing a dissertation including the both the rewards and challenges that come with it. The younger undergrads in the audience found this very helpful. There was no formal hall after the talk but an abundance of wine and festive snacks to make up for it.  

Magister Rotulorum – Bijal Manoj Daialal

Princeps Senatus – Oscar Matthews Martinez

Confraternitas Talk, 16th November 2021

Dr Shruti Kapila took the audience on a journey through India’s political history this evening. She began with an overview of historiography and the approaches she adopts in her work before moving on to discuss key political actors. Here she explored the works of Gandhi and Ambedkar, elaborating on their contemporary impact as well their far-reaching legacies. Many thought-provoking questions were asked afterwards. This included inquiries about the gendered nature of Indian politics and also how ground-breaking Gandhian style politics was. There was a two-course formal hall dinner following the talk. 

Magister Rotulorum – Bijal Manoj Daialal

Princeps Senatus – Oscar Matthews Martinez

Confraternitas Talk, 2nd November 2021

This evening Rev’d Dr Robert Evans explored the realm of theology in early medieval societies with the audience. He provided an insight into the role religion and God played for the so called ‘barbarians’ in Europe. Evans took the audience through a primary source of a Carolingian queen giving advice to her son on how he should navigate himself through court and the role God should play in his life. Interesting questions were asked by the audience. This included the value and limitations of using written sources to gain an understanding into early medieval societies. A slightly limited two-course formal was served after the talk.  

Magister Rotulorum – Bijal Manoj Daialal

Princeps Senatus – Oscar Matthews Martinez

Confraternitas Talk, 19th October 2021

For the first talk of Michaelmas, Dr. Tim Blanning gave a fascinating talk on Beethoven and the German nation. Blanning walked through the life and work of Ludwig van Beethoven who had become the symbol and hero of an aspiring German nation. His talk then expanded to explore the role of the cultural sphere, specifically music, in the formation of nationalism. The presentation had a multitude of images, including the dramatic painting of Beethoven’s funeral and of the locations where he had performed, as well as pieces of his music. However, it was Blanning’s good humour and political memes that were the icing on the cake. The freshers and Dr. Fulda asked some interesting questions on the topic after which followed a formal hall dinner. 

Magister Rotulorum – Bijal Manoj Daialal

Princeps Senatus – Oscar Matthews Martinez