We caught up with Dr Kimberley Thomas (BA History 2010, MA History 2012, PhD Caribbean Studies, 2020) to talk about her time at Warwick, ahead of her return to deliver a Caribbean seminar series.
Degrees held: 3
Current role: Research Associate on the AHRC-funded project, ‘The Register of British Slave-Traders’, at The University of Manchester.
Years at Warwick: 10
Areas of expertise: Empire, migration, and slavery in the Caribbean and Atlantic World.
Favourite place on campus: Warwick Arts Centre.
Top tip for history graduates: Ask for and embrace feedback! Whether it is for a job application, a piece of written work, a presentation, or working in a team, feedback is valuable. It is one of the best opportunities we have for growth.
I had heard about its friendly buzz before: in the 1970s, my auntie had been in the first cohort of students to study History of Art and she always spoke highly of her Warwick days.
Looking back on my experiences, I can understand why! The easy camaraderie I felt whilst sitting with friends on the Piazza still proves hard to beat and many of my closest friendships today can be traced back to Warwick. Intellectually, the university proved a dynamic, enriching, and exciting place to study.
How do you remember your time as a student?
I have many fond memories from when I studied for my BA in History, MA in History, and PhD in Caribbean Studies at Warwick. Throughout, I was always drawn to the lovely atmosphere on campus.
I had first applied to Warwick because of the Department of History’s fantastic reputation and, given my own interests, its excellent geographical coverage of the Americas. I was learning from experts in the field whose seminars left me feeling inspired. At the same time, Warwick opened doors for me: a second-year exchange to Queen’s University in Canada was life-affirming and gave me the opportunity to study Caribbean history for the first time
When I returned to Warwick, I sought the opportunity to research Caribbean history at postgraduate level and, with its prestigious Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies, I knew I was in the right place. While my tutors encouraged me to apply for scholarships that critically funded my studies, Professor David Lambert proved a wonderful supervisor at both MA and PhD level.
How does it feel to be returning to Warwick?
I grew immensely as a scholar at Warwick, and I am really looking forward to being back on campus this month to give a talk on my ongoing research, whose intellectual origins were forged minutes from where I will be standing.