The period surrounding the turn of the twentieth century was a time of great transition in both the United States and what would soon become South Africa. As the Boer Republics clashed with the might of the British empire in the 1899-1902 war, Americans were transfixed, as the conflict forced them to confront their own self-image in a period of rising social strife and continuing expansion. The phenomena of myth-reshaping and social activism on display during this period with reference to South Africa are a crucial and unexamined part of why today’s America is the way it is. My research relies on studying the records of various individuals and organisations located in many different places in the United States. The Honors Fellowship is invaluable in allowing me to undertake the travel I need to form credible conclusions about my topic.
Hometown: McLean, VA
Majors: History and Religious Studies
Future Plans: I am currently in discernment over whether to pursue a PhD in African History, and the coming summer of research will be a crucial aspect of that decision. I intend to go to South Africa as soon as possible after graduation and study the local languages there.
Hobbies: I am on the vestry of Canterbury Episcopal Campus Ministry, and am also heavily involved in acting as well as campus publications such as the James Blair Historical Review. My usual summers are not spent in the classroom, but rather at summer camp, where I lead children in backpacking, canoeing, ropes elements, and many, many other activities that I too adore. I am an avid actor, despite not majoring in theatre, and I write poetry in my spare time.
Fun Fact: I am a certified Wilderness First Responder, and last summer I walked 240 miles across Spain with the William & Mary Santiago de Compostela summer programme.
Follow Robin’s research on the W&M Honors Fellowships blog!