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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Q&A: Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic

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Dr Debby Banham 

I'm Director of Studies in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, known as ASNC. My research looks at life in England before the Norman Conquest, especially farming, food and drink, and medicine. I'm currently working on women's role in food production.

What's special about ASNC at Cambridge? 

Cambridge is the only University anywhere that has a department combining the particular ASNC subjects: we study Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia, Iceland and Brittany in the early Middle Ages, and uniquely, we look at both their history and their language and literature. We're also the only department in the UK where undergraduates can do manuscript studies.

How does Murray Edwards College support its ASNC students? 

Like most Colleges in Cambridge, Murray Edwards never has a large number of ASNC students - in fact any ASNC here is likely to be the only one in their year in the College. But that means every ASNC gets loads of support from their Director of Studies, including one-to-one teaching, and resources like library books don't have to be shared with many other people. We also have an ASNC tea party every year.

What do you enjoy most about working at Murray Edwards College? 

The very best thing about Murray Edwards is its wholehearted commitment to promoting women's education, and seeking out innovative ways of doing that. It also has a very diverse student body, and the staff too come from lots of different backgrounds, so that makes it a very stimulating environment. And it's very friendly, which is really important.