Making a case for the presence of a female medical practitioner working out of a villa in Sicily, circa 1-3 A.D., anthropology PhD candidate Christie Vogler wowed the judges and the crowd at the first-ever Humanities 3MT competition on September 27. The Obermann Center hosted the event to celebrate and share the work of the UI's humanities graduate students, and to give them a chance to practice and compete before, hopefully, choosing to move on to the all-campus 3MT competition.
In front of a crowd of 40 well wishers, eight students participated: Luke Borland (History), Enrico Bruno (English), Hadley Galbraith (French & Italian), Jake Jones (Art & Art History), Nina Kintsurashvili (Art & Art History), Pranav Prakash (Religious Studies), and Vogler.
Based on her win at the Humanities 3MT, Vogler will automatically compete in the UI finals on November 15. She received $250 for taking top prize from the judges, in addition to earning a Prairie Lights gift certificate for receiving the People's Choice award from the audience. We spoke with Vogler about her 3MT experience.
O: Why did you choose to compete in the Humanities 3MT?
V: I wanted the experience of sharing my research with a general audience in an accessible way. For a few years, I worked as an educator at the Iowa Children's Museum, and I loved introducing kids to the field of archaeology by simplifying big concepts into fun activities. I have met so many people who do not realize being an archaeologist is an actual career option. I hope that by making my research more accessible, it will inspire others to learn more about archaeology.
O: Where are you currently in your grad school journey, and how did this experience help you at this juncture?
V: I am currently ABD and writing my dissertation, which I plan to defend in the spring. I am also currently job hunting for academic teaching positions, which is another reason I wanted to participate in the 3MT competition. Once I start interviewing for positions, having a short elevator pitch about my dissertation research will be helpful. Writing and orating my pitch also solidified for myself the importance of my research. I imagine that assurance will help me get over the finish line of my graduate career.
O: What excites you the most about the research topic you shared for the competition?
V: Getting to tell the story of Roman women that has otherwise been ignored by the historical record really excites me. It's the same reason why I love the field of archaeology. The old sentiment "history is written by the victors" is accurate to the extent that a very few privileged individuals were able to write their own stories. Yet anyone who has ever lived had a chance to leave behind a material record, and through archaeology we can learn of their stories. Archaeologists get to read between the lines of history.