Recent Masters graduate Julia Lorenz will go on to study for a DPhil in Medieval and Modern Languages at Merton College this October after being awarded two scholarships: The Clarendon Scholarship and the Oxford-Merton Clayton Scholarship.
Julia came to Oriel as an Erasmus scholar in 2021, and is originally from a small town near Heidelberg, Germany. She studied Political Science, Linguistics and German Literature at undergraduate level at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg.
Over the course of her studies, Julia became more and more interested in Medieval German literature, choosing to specialise in Middle High German literature focusing on identity and relationships as depicted in courtly literature. Julia’s research aims to create “a new methodological approach towards measuring the intensity as well as qualitative aspects of a literary relationship, thereby making romances and novels more comparable to facilitate categorisation.” Julia plans to use a database and a manually coded dictionary to assess the language used to describe a relationship, which can then be categorised and systematically compared to other novels and romances as well as other forms of literature.
When asked about her response to finding out she had been awarded two scholarships, Julia explained:
“I did not even know what Clarendon was until I received an informal email from my faculty’s director of graduate studies telling me that I could expect an email from Clarendon soon. I was at the gym when I read the email and I completely freaked out. I could not believe someone would be paying for me to do my research and there I was awarded with full funding for the duration of my DPhil. A couple of weeks later Clarendon reached out to me and explained the funding in detail. I later received an additional scholarship from Merton College, the Oxford-Merton Clayton Scholarship in the Humanities, which will support me with my studies.”
Julia remains a very active member of the Oriel community, taking up a range of extra-curricular activities, such as gymnastics sessions, rowing in several competitions for the Oriel College Boat Club, and running for her second year as Social Secretary for the Oriel MCR – a role which involves creating, planning and carrying out special events and dinners, all of which serve to “make the MCR a lively and welcoming community [by] bringing its members and friends closer together and providing support when needed [to] reinforce the MCR community and give its members a welcoming space to socialise, relax, and invite their friends.”
When Julia is not studying or taking part in extracurricular activities she enjoys spending as much time as possible with friends and writing short stories.
Julia’s writing has been published in the Oxford Magazine, where she submitted a bilingual short story titled ‘The Garden Tree’. You can read Julia’s story here on page 13.
When asked about her short story, Julia shared:
“Writing short stories or even books has been a dream of mine for a long time. I toyed with numerous ideas, but never actually followed through with it. When Covid started I suddenly had so much free time to think and so few people to talk to that I just started writing. I wrote ‘The Garden Tree’ sometime during lockdown. I was preparing for my oral bachelor’s exam at the time and read a lot of Rilke. Especially his prose ‘The Notebook of Malte Laurids Brigge’, which inspired me. I cannot pinpoint why specifically I am so fascinated by it, but I shared his desire to see beyond what we are told to see in the world. I distinctly remember sitting in my kitchen chair and looking out the window into the garden. I saw the almond tree my mum had planted a few years before, it is one of those artificially created trees that grow fruits which look like real fruits but are in fact poisonous. Looking at this tree I could not help thinking that it does not really belong anywhere, because it does not fit into any category. So, I started writing.”