This internship provided me with the opportunity to finish my MA thesis, do my own research, and connect to a valuable network of American Studies scholars in the Netherlands.
I worked at the RIAS from June through September 2018. Staffing the library over the summer was a real pleasure because it gave me more than enough time to develop my own research in field of the environmental humanities. I managed to finish my thesis and write a PhD proposal, while also busying myself with more mundane tasks like updating the website and manages the social media accounts.
Over the course of my three summer months at the RIAS there were few researchers who needed my assistance, but the requests that I did receive were very interesting. For example I did some preliminary research for someone writing a cookbook on the reception of Dutch cuisine abroad. In September, with the start of the new academic year, things sped up a bit. In the last week of my internship I assisted in the organisation of a public symposium that looked at refugees from a historical perspective. I kept track of the registration and photographed the event. I also compiled the Netherlands American Studies Newsletter while in Middelburg.
I really enjoyed working with my colleagues – the PhD students, the postdoc researcher, the office manager of course, and our visiting Fulbright scholar. The younger scholars and I even got together for game nights every week or so. I consider myself very lucky to have been introduced to such kind, knowledgeable people, whose experiences in academia I had much to learn from.