So the last few months I have been busy working away writing my Master’s Dissertation, the final 15 000 words I will write for my MLitt Art History: Dress & Textile degree. Despite the amount of fun I have had this year, exploring, and enjoying Glasgow, it hasn’t been all easy. There have been many late nights reading and writing papers, hoursssssssssss spent at the library, early morning trips to galleries outside of Glasgow, and not always perfect results. However, with all the ups and downs of my Masters, I probably wouldn’t change a thing. I have learned so much this year, and have had so many amazing opportunities that I would never possibly have if I was back in Canada! People are always asking me what it is I actually study and what I plan to do with this degree, so I thought I would share a little bit about my academics.
For as long as I can remember I have had two favourite things in life, and they were history and clothing. Since I was little I was always obsessed with things that were “from the olden days,” thanks to Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairies and the Magic Tree House books. I never would have guessed that this fascination I possessed would lead me down an academic route. At the same time toddler, Laura was often dressed up in princess gowns and wearing a tiara, which would eventually lead to child Laura wearing “Little House on the Prarie” dresses that my grandmother had made for me for fun as my imagination always took me back in time. The moment I can remember, officially being captivated with learning history was sitting in the one-room schoolhouse at Kings Landing, as I partook in the Visiting Cousins summer camp. Our teacher began to teach us about Henry VIII and his collection of wives, and I was hooked. When I came home from camp I had my Dad print out all the Wikipedia pages about Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Marie-Antoinette. I can remember then reading through this new binder filled with information at the hockey rink while my brothers were on the ice (the story of my life). I wrote my first essay on Henry VIII in grade eight at the age of thirteen for my French speech competition… who would have thought I would still be fixated on the same king ten years later having written numerous essays, an Undergrad thesis and now a Masters thesis featuring the same sixteenth-century notorious king.
My Master’s thesis is comparing the dress of Henry VIII of England and Francis I of France. The two men were both kings at the same time between 1509/1515 – 1547, which created an interesting relationship between the two men. They were very similar, both handsome, young, intelligent Renaissance men who were not expected to become king. Their similarities lead to an obsession of keeping an eye on one another, through the use of ambassadors, portraits, and letters. What I am arguing is that one of the main traits the two men were obsessed with was the dress and appearance of one another, which led to Henry adopting various French fashions in his court. I am down to the one week mark in finishing my dissertation, so fingers crossed this all comes together like I have planned!!
Once I have finished school, I hope to take my Dress & Textile skills and work in a museum as a curator. Possibly I will even go on to complete a PhD as well!!! I plan on taking this upcoming year off from school to figure out what my next step will be. And who knows where I will end up!