In 2015, Julia Peters (PhD student in Classics and Archaeology) received funding from the European Centres and KIASH (Kent Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities) to walk on the historic route of the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome. This walk was part of a cultural heritage initiative to promote this Cultural Route of the Council of Europe. The project continues in 2017, with a walk on the Via Francigena of the South, which leads from Rome to the port of Brindisi in southern Italy.
Eight students will walk 87 miles on the Via Francigena of the South from Rome to Terracina. These students have been funded by the Kent Opportunity Fund, the European Centres and the School of English. The students come from a variety of disciplines and to complete their experience on the Via Francigena, they will collaborate on a series of blog posts highlighting various aspects of the route.
Julia Peters is a 50th Anniversary Graduate Teaching Assistant and PhD candidate in the Department of Classics and Archaeology, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent. Her research project, entitled ‘Testaccio: the origins and the value of Rome’s working-class district’, explores the multiple identities and tangible heritage of ancient and modern Rome’s industrial zone. Julia’s research interests include the use of cultural routes as a means of engaging with heritage sites and landscapes. In 2013 she walked 550 miles along the Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela, and in 2015 she walked 1200 miles from Canterbury to Rome on the Via Francigena, both designated Cultural Routes by the Council of Europe.
Eleanor Arscott graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a degree in History of Art & History of Music, and is now a student of the MA Heritage Management at the University of Kent. She is interested in art, aesthetics and cultural routes, and is currently writing her dissertation on the latter. She lives on an ancient sacred route in the outskirts of Athens, where she finds the sunny Greek weather terribly distracting when trying to get any serious academic work done.
Elle has recently launched a blog ‘Walking the Sacred Way’, a project to map and promote a safe pedestrian route from Athens to Elefsina following the ancient Iera Odos. https://sacredwayathens.wordpress.com/.
Karl Goodwin is a Graduate Teaching Assistant and PhD candidate in the Department of Classics and Archaeology, School of European Culture and Languages, University of Kent. His research title is ‘Ethnicity and Culture in Europe, Ancient and Modern. Exploring how Roman museum galleries and heritage sites represent ethnic diversity and the issues arising’.
Jane Hartshorn is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Kent in Paris. She describes her poetic practice as being ‘concerned with notions of identity; the multiple selves we inhabit, and the slippage between these selves’. She is specifically interested in the ‘othering’ of the self; an act which an individual can experience post-diagnosis. On the Via Francigena Jane plans to explore this disassociation, as she believes walking can be understood as a point of connection, or mediation, between mind and body. She is also interested in the idea of pilgrimage as transformation, and the notion that physical exertion can aid one’s spiritual development.
Oscar Kruger is a doctoral candidate in Social Anthropology within the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent. His research is on small scale viticulture in Italy, where he is heading for fieldwork in 2017. Additionally, he has a great interest in how ambulatory knowing on foot might offer different modes of engaging with the earth than does wheel-bound knowing on seats. He is hoping that walking in Italy might offer some insights into this question.
İrem Zararsız works for the Culture Route Society which is an NGO based in Antalya Turkey. She participated the project ‘Europe to Turkey on Foot’ funded by the EU in coordination with the Central Finance and Contract and the Turkish EU ministry. She is now working within the project ‘A Historical Break on the Lycian Way’ funded by Anadolu Efes and United Nations Development Programme. She graduated in Economics and continues to study Cultural Heritage and Tourism. She is interested in survival tactics and camping.