As a five-time Paralympic medallist, Kare Adenegan’s (BA History, 2022) sporting endeavours have played a big part in her university experience. No stranger to making history, Kare graduated with a first-class honours degree a week after claiming silver in the T33/34 100m at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Here Kare reflects on her studies and how we can all learn a lot from history.
Why history, and why Warwick?
I chose to study history at university for a variety of reasons. Firstly, history was my favourite A-level subject. Since studying it at GCSE level, I always planned to read it at university. I wanted to learn about topics and periods of history that weren’t taught during my time at school, like colonialism, transatlantic slavery, and British immigration policy. I didn’t feel that the history of my ancestors was reflected in the curriculum but studying history as an undergraduate was a way to enlighten and liberate my experience.
What did you particularly like about your course?
I really enjoyed the academic freedom of the course. There were broad themes covered across the modules and I liked the diversity of assessments, including blog posts, book reviews, and podcasts, alongside traditional essays. Seminar discussions and presentations also brought a collaborative dimension to study through developing ideas with and learning from other students.
I particularly enjoyed the module ‘Space, Place and Movement in Atlantic Slave Societies’ because of its globalised approach, and the module ‘Race, Ethnicity and Migration in Britain’ because it helped me to better understand the cultural development of Britain since the 20th century.
What would you say to someone thinking about studying history at Warwick?
I would tell them to go for it. In my opinion, the History Department at Warwick is both modern and innovative. There are modules that cater to a range of interests. For example, I studied popular music history through the module ‘From Blues to Hip Hop’. As a music enthusiast, I found this very rewarding. I was also fortunate to benefit from the opening of the new Faculty of Arts building, which makes a fantastic spot for studying.
How can history prepare us for the future?
History helps us to explain why things happen in the present. That’s not to say that history repeats itself as such, but I think we can use our historical knowledge to understand the foundations of future events.
If you could meet one historical figure, who would that be and what would you ask them?
If I could meet anyone it would be John De La Rose, who I researched as part of my dissertation on the Black Education Movement in Britain. De La Rose was a pioneer of the movement and established one of the first Black supplementary schools in England.
I would ask him what he envisioned for the future of the education system and what he believes still needs to be done to make schools an academically inclusive space, where Black and Brown histories are embraced.
How has studying history impacted your life?
Studying history has increased my analytical skills and stimulated greater academic curiosity, especially when reading. My presentation and communication skills have also developed from the oral assessments and seminar discussions that are fundamental parts of the course.
What’s next for you?
I hope to compete at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, which will be my third Paralympics. I would also like to continue to campaign for diversity and inclusion in sport. Alongside sport, I aim to work in education and support student-athletes to achieve their sporting and academic goals.
Hear more from Kare
Listen back to Kare share her thoughts around the vital role sport plays in society from our Sport for Social Good alumni webinar