Dr Tamar Lewit, History of Ideas lecturer talks about coming full circle and her life outside TCFS.

Many years ago (in 1992!) I started work at Trinity College, with a student cohort of about 50 students. My career followed a roller coaster up and down the hills as TCFS and student numbers expanded, contracted, and exploded – it was a rocky ride, with many administrative duties and many students, as well as raising two children.

Since 2015, the roller coaster has come full circle: after stepping down from administrative roles, I have been able to enjoy teaching just a few tutorials, and getting to know my students really well. Now that my own “children” are completing year 12 and a university degree, I feel like I know how my teenage students feel and think, including what they are doing on that iPhone!  

Having more time to dedicate to my research projects is fantastic, and my childhood dream to make a mark on the writing of History seems like it’s coming true! My ideas have been discussed in the The Oxford Classical Dictionary, The Cambridge Ancient History, The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity, and The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History. In 2009 I was elected the 50th Australasian Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, an international archaeological and historical society of approximately 2,500 fellows, so I can now proudly add the letters ‘FSA’ after my name. In February 2016, my academia.edu (academic website) page was ranked in the top 0.1% out of 38,645,355 academics signed up worldwide, so I’m pretty proud of that too!

Some of the recent topics I’ve been excited about are technological innovation - how people invented and spread new technical ideas, without mass education or printing, in the ancient world; the collapse of the Roman Empire and effect of climate change, natural disasters and mass migration; and how animals have been part of human society - whether farmed, hunted, or as pets or religious symbols.  

Apart from research, I like to spend time at the football (that’s Australian Rules – can’t really get excited about soccer), and to travel. My favourite country is Italy, for the ancient archaeological sites and fashion shopping – for those of you who remember my little girl Miranda, who loved to come to TCFS balls with me, check out her Instagram ‘The Girl who Lived for Clothes’, and see how she has inherited my love of fashion (while also now studying Biomedical Science). Last year I went with my husband and son Lucas to Uluru in Central Australia, a truly amazing experience. Yes, it took me more than 50 years to get there, but better late than never! 

18 Jul 2016
Category: Foundation Studies