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Clare Hall, University of Cambridge
A blog for the Clare Hall community

Several Clare Hallers were kind enough to share insights into their research and personal reflections on the College for a mini yearbook this month. Here are some highlights…

Dr Jingyi Jenny Zhao, a Research Fellow at Clare Hall based at the Needham Research Institute, discusses her focus on philosophy in ancient Greece and early China.

I was born in China and moved to Cambridge at the age of eleven.
Little did I know then that I would go on to study and to have a family here — Cambridge has become my home! I feel very fortunate to have had a bilingual and multicultural upbringing, which has influenced the way I think, both on a personal and an academic level.

My research takes a comparative perspective on the cultural traditions of ancient Greece and early China.
These traditions have come to be seen as representing important trends in Eastern and Western thought. …

Photo by madison lavern

To mark International Day of Yoga, Ruta Marcinkeviciute, an MPhil student in Engineering here at Clare Hall, shares the ways yoga has had a positive impact on her time at the College during this unusual academic year

At the beginning of the year I joined the Graduate Student Body (GSB) as an External Officer.
While hoping the pandemic would improve, I was getting myself familiar with the new position and responsibilities, and looking forward to organising some nice in-person events in collaboration with other colleges. Yet, to my great disappointment, we entered another lockdown instead. By the end of Michaelmas term I’d lost any hope of having a ‘normal’ Cambridge experience. Although heartbroken at first, I soon realised that it was in my hands to make my time at Clare Hall full of warm and unforgettable memories, and…

As we enjoy the sunshine here in the UK, the minds of many will turn to what we looked forward to in summers past. Alongside May Balls, one of the highlights of June would be Bumps season, which traditionally would have begun on Wednesday 9 June and run until Saturday

Due to the mercurial nature of the pandemic and its variants, and lack of adequate time available for teams to train and prepare (having only been permitted to return to the University en masse as recently as 17 May), the Cambridge University Combined Boat Clubs (CUCBC) cancelled Bumps. An understandable decision: ‘May’ Bumps is the apex toward which colleges train all year, and unfairly sliding down the rankings due to lack of practice could affect teams for many seasons.

To give our Life Members a taste of what may be missed, in this special blog, President of the Clare Hall…

Jörn Alexander Quent is a cognitive neuroscientist and psychologist completing a PhD here at Clare Hall. The Gates Cambridge Scholar shares insights into his research into vivid memory, based at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit

For me Clare Hall was the perfect fit, as I love its egalitarian and cosmopolitan vibe.
I could not imagine myself in one of the more traditional colleges that follow certain archaic rules and rituals. Clare Hall is a mature and academically stimulating place, where at Formal Hall you sit with Fellows without any imposed hierarchy and have the most interesting conversations.

My research explores what makes certain experiences form vivid memories.
I’m focusing on the extent to which specific experiences are novel, and how this shapes our memories. In a theoretical review I have shown that it is surprise…

We’re delighted to share these reflections by Claire Barnes, who edited the book ‘For Her Good Estate: The Life of Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare’, by Professor Frances Underhill (2020)

The precious pearl of learning
In 2026 we’ll be celebrating the 60th anniversary of Clare Hall, and the 700th anniversary of Clare College. The decision by Clare College to use part of its endowment to establish Clare Hall is one of its most inspiring — and what a success it has been! 1326 is the year in which Clare College was founded, and regime change ended the disastrous reign of Edward II, eventually leading to peace and prosperity under Edward III. The dramatic events of that year — described in the new edition of For Her Good Estate — restored the…

Thomas Glave

Thomas Glave was a Visiting Fellow at Clare Hall from 2012–13. Having recently been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Nottingham and become Associate Editor of Wasafiri, he offers a glimpse into his life and career to date

I was born in the Bronx, New York, and grew up there and in Kingston, Jamaica.
I graduated from Bowdoin College and Brown University in the USA, and was awarded my first Fulbright Fellowship in 1998, for a year of study and writing in Jamaica. During that year in Jamaica I worked on issues of social justice with other local activists, and helped to found the Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals, and Gays, which to this date remains one of the few major human rights advocacy organisations in the Caribbean region.

I’m the author of four books and the editor…

Tess Little; photo Daniella Shreir

Tess Little, a Life Member of Clare Hall, reveals details of her journey to publishing a debut novel

I studied for my MPhil in Modern European History at Clare Hall in 2013–14.
After that, I sat the Fellowship Examinations at All Souls College, Oxford, and was elected as a Fellow. It’s a seven-year Fellowship, so I’m just approaching the end. During that time, I completed my doctorate — which explores the 1970s women’s liberation movement in the UK, US, and France — and I’ve been writing fiction, too. My debut novel, The Octopus, was published in the UK last August, and it’ll be published in the US as The Last Guest this October.

Dr Cobbold at the Medmerry realignment

Research Fellow Dr Carolyn Cobbold’s specialism is food science of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries — but in her spare time, her work as co-founder of the Manhood Peninsula Partnership has made a huge impact

Dr Carolyn Cobbold’s work on environmental and climate change mitigation, which she has been doing voluntarily for the past 20 years, was honoured by BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour in 2020. As they noted, her projects have changed the shape of coastal defence in the UK. Dr Cobbold has devoted her time to the Manhood Peninsula in West Sussex since the late ‘90s, when she and a friend developed plans to protect the area from flooding. They formed the Manhood Peninsula Partnership (MPP) in 2001, and the group has since been responsible for securing significant funding for many climate change…

“I am really delighted to be able to introduce four new colleagues who together form our new President’s Office alongside the Vice-President and me. Competition for each role was tough with many highly eligible candidates — very gratifying. We will work closely as a team to offer a seamless service to College members in the very best interests of the Clare Hall community, whether in Cambridge or the other side of the world.”
- Professor Alan Short, President of Clare Hall

Clare Hall, University of Cambridge

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