Pembroke Student Publishes Piece in Undergraduate Journal at Columbia University


Congratulations to Pembroke student Joshua Kirkhope-Arkley (2020, French and Arabic) for having his work published in the Columbia Journal of Asia, an official undergraduate peer-reviewed journal at Columbia University!

Josh shares:

“Writing for and ultimately being published in a fully-academic peer-reviewed journal has been such an incredibly rewarding journey, one which I would advise all undergrad students to try and pursue. My piece is entitled “Balancing the Scales: Kuwait’s neutrality amidst geopolitical rivalries in a f(r)actious Middle East” and has been published in the inaugural issue of the Columbia Journal of Asia, an undergraduate journal at Columbia University, New York. International Relations is a field in which I am very interested, particularly with regards to Africa and the Middle East; a core reason why I decided to study French and Arabic. In my course, however, there is no politics component, so I decided to independently seek out a way to maintain this interest of mine.  

My piece takes a micro-to-macro approach, studying Kuwait’s foreign policy over the last 7 or so years and analysing the Emirate’s position of multilateral mediation and humanitarian neutrality first within the Gulf Cooperation Council, then the Middle East as a whole, and then on a global level regarding the US-China conflict. As many of the news sources were in Arabic, my degree was very useful to this article, but it also allowed me to write academically on something which I really enjoyed but was not formally studying.”

We also asked Josh to tell us about his experience studying French and Arabic at Pembroke:

“Starting my EMEL French and Arabic course in 2020 in the midst of a global pandemic, I arrived at Pembroke nervous about what my experience would be like; possibly the best thing about Pembroke and its culture in my year is how friendly everyone was, and how quickly I was able to build strong relationships with people despite the difficulties Covid-restrictions posed.  

Studying two languages at once is not easy, but it proves to be rewarding sometimes when you least expect it – studying Arabic gave me a unique perspective on a piece of literature I studied at part of my French course. Likewise, studying French has been invaluable to learning the dialect of Arabic spoken in Tunisia, where I am now spending my year abroad. It is a choice I am so glad I have made, as seeing such a wide range of literary and grammatical material really helps you work out what you enjoy most and what you want to look at in more detail.  

As well as Pembroke’s welcoming charm which undoubtedly helped me settle in, their financial support has been of tremendous value. Book grants have allowed me to broaden my French literary repertoire, while exam prizes and scholarships have reduced my anxiety and financial concerns, allowing me to focus more on my studies and enjoying university to the fullest. College is also giving me financial support for my internship as a journalist in Togo this summer, something which would have been simply impossible without financial aid.”

Joshua in his sub fusc smiling and carrying his mortar board.