Student Spotlight: John Koenig

Hometown: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Research Interests: Deciphering the enigmatic oeuvre of Marcel Duchamp.

Members of my treasure hunting team: my son and my Irish nephews taking a well-deserved break.

1. What do you do outside of class/academic work?
Before entering the PhD program, when time had some meaning, I enjoyed curling up with a good adventure novel like Treasure Island, King Solomon’s Mines, or The Da Vinci Code. In my off time, I actively search for lost treasure.

2. How did you get started with this activity?
After watching National Treasure starring Nicolas Cage as Benjamin Gates, I said to myself, “I want to be that guy.”

3. What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your CV/resume alone?
I have rapelled 100ft into a cave in NewZealand and spelunked a cave with a British armoured platoon in Belize. Subsequently, I had tea on the deck of a British tank with said platoon, but unfortunately was not permitted to ride back to town in said tank (they gave me a ride, nonetheless, in their jeep, reticent to leave me in the jungle on my own – British hospitality, I suppose) And no, I did not find any treasure.

4. What’s next for you?
Finish deciphering Duchamp, publish my findings, and locate that lost treasure that I have been on about for the last three questions.

5. What is your favourite thing about Toronto?
It has incredible resources to assist me in deciphering Duchamp … and in my search for lost treasure.

6. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
I would be gold, the traditional colour of treasure. Unfortunately, gold is always the first colour to get stolen from the box, hence I would likely be missing, or at the very least lost. If you ever do find me missing, please search for me in the following three locations pertinent to my research: Ile d’Aix, France; Minerva Reef, South Pacific; Assekrem, sub-Sahara Africa.

Our family: Margaret, myself and our son David; the core of my treasure hunting team. David contents himself with a red crayon … the gold crayon was missing.

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