Welcome to World-Changing Words – an online archive for research of speeches and literature.
Note: This website is currently under construction – posts will be made available soon. For now, take a read below and have a look at my submissions for the research aspect of the Laidlaw Scholarship.
About this Project:
In Summer 2021, I worked as a researcher with the wonderful Laidlaw Research and Leadership Scholarship. This granted me the opportunity to devise and work on my own research project over the course of 6 weeks. I chose to look at the words and phrases of two key texts to evaluate wider society and ideologies in 1910s Ireland. Whilst this was a micro-historical study (the study of a small unit), I quickly discovered that studying a small unit does not necessitate asking small questions. Through looking at the words and phrases of the two documents, I was able to answer questions about the socio-economic factors, the experiences of women, individual fears, and how leaders gained support for violence. Whilst the 6 weeks of this research project have now concluded, being a Laidlaw Scholar is fortunately a priviledge for life. Therefore, I hope to continue to utilise the skills, knowledge and experience provided by this scholarship to further build upon this important historical research. I aim for this resource to aid understanding of these historical texts, and to prove the worth of words in uncovering the past.
Why study words?
Whether from a politician hoping to gain a vote, or a company hoping to make a sale, we are surrounded by persuasive words every single day. These can transfer information, instil feelings into us and draw emotions out of us. Sometimes, they can be powerful enough to even result in action. It may appear that societal factors and ideologies are powerful enough to be living organisms, but this is not the case. They are survived solely through the individuals who endorse and experience them. Speeches and literature can often reveal the feelings and experiences of both the speaker and the listener, and so it is intuitive that through examining the texts to discover indiviual experiences, we can also evaluate the wider societal factors to which they are linked.
My name is Lucia Cathers, a History Undergraduate at the University of St Andrews. I have been fortunate to work as an historical researcher through the ‘Curious St Andrews’ programme last year, and so this Summer was able to improve and refine my research skills. I am avid debator, a keen traveller and language-learner, and can often be found with my nose in a book. This project blended together my love of language and my passion for the past, and I am greatly looking forward to continuing with it through this website. I enjoy volunteering within my community and using my skills and experiences to help others. I hope to take this further in the future with a career in diplomacy and humitarian aid.
The best way to contact me is through email: [email protected]
Through the 2 year Laidlaw Scholarship, I am aiming to develop my leadership skills, and so I am always open to opportunities wherein this may be possible.
I know that within historical research, it is impossible to cover everything – but that doesn’t mean I can’t try! Please feel free to send recommendations of speeches and literature to the above email address.
You can also connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucia-cathers-24130299/
And find out more about the Laidlaw Programme here: https://laidlawfoundation.com/scholars/
Other Laidlaw Scholars can also reach out on the Laidlaw Scholars Network: https://laidlawscholars.network/users/lucia-cathers