Author Archives: Abby Brown

PhD student Steph Wright features on the Times Higher Education Website

When writing book reviews during your PhD: is honesty the best policy?

In her article for Times Higher Education, Steph Wright wonders if it is better to speak your mind or to hold your tongue?

2016 Academic Awards Winner

Congratulations to Eirini Karamouzi who has won a Sheffield Students’ Union Academic Award in the category of Best Feedback. The annual Academic Awards, run by the Students’ Union, celebrates those who have enhanced Academic Life at the University of Sheffield.

Eirini’s students said:
”Eirini is dedicated in giving constant, constructive feedback for her special subject and dissertation students. A huge part of her teaching style is setting personalised tasks, and providing detailed feedback which leaves you feeling more thoroughly prepared. She makes herself as readily available to her students as possible, including setting up extra office hours for her special subject group and meeting students outside her office hours when they needed feedback and support with their work. The nature of her feedback is always very well balanced; whilst she definitely always challenges you and points out where you could improve, she also always offers encouragement and validation.”

You can read more about the 2016 Academic Awards here:


SHS40 Conference Prize Winner: Kate Gibson

Congratulations to current PhD student Kate Gibson who has won the Social History Society’s postgraduate prize for best paper.  To find out more about the prize, and to read Kate’s paper on  ‘Natural Alliances: Illegitimate Children and Familial Relationships in Long Eighteenth Century England’ please click here.

Well done, Kate!

Studentship: Crime, Innovation and Mobility: Transport Migration and Policing in England, 1750-1950

Applications are invited for the above ESRC Network project studentship commencing on 1 October 2016. This opportunity is part of the wider ESRC Network on ‘Comparative Historical Perspectives on Crime, Innovation and Social Change’ in collaboration with the University of York and the University of Leeds.

Application deadline: 5pm, Friday 29 April 2016
Interviews: interviews will take place week commencing 9 May 2016

For more information please click here

Job Opportunity: Researcher and Designer for our History Matters Blog

Researcher and Designer for History Matters Blog

This post is open to current students and employees of the University of Sheffield only.


The Department of History wishes to recruit a promising candidate to help develop its well-established History Matters blog into a major public-history resource. Having been active since 2012, History Matters needs not only cosmetic and technical refreshing, but has also accumulated a significant archive of articles which need cataloguing and reorganising into a new more user-friendly interface.

The successful candidate will play a key role in designing and developing History Matters into an outstanding public-facing resource, targeted at schools, interested general readers, and other students and scholars. Building on the blog’s strong reputation for relevant and original historical comment, the appointed blog assistant will help to redesign History Matters to create a reference section alongside the topical content. The blog redesign constitutes a key aspect of the Department’s recruitment and public-engagement strategies. The two principal aims of the project are:

– to redesign the blog to create an accessible interface and increase the accessibility of our rich archive of public-history content;

– and to categorise the content in a way which targets current A-level topics and appeals directly to History students.

The blog assistant will work in close collaboration with other colleagues, especially the editors of the blog, and so the precise structure of the project will be tailored to the specific strengths and interests of the candidate. In general terms, however, it is anticipated that the appointment will cover three key areas:

  • training on the blog and researching the archive of available material;
  • researching A-level modules and relating them to the structure and content of the blog;
  • and redesigning the blog’s structure and interface.

The successful candidate will receive any necessary training in the use of WordPress and associated technologies for blogging, including plug-ins and the operation of Content Management Systems. As well as working with the blog editors, the designer will also receive support from the History Department’s IT & Learning Technology Manager, James Pearson, who is the blog’s technical advisor.

This post is for five hours per week (though there may be some flexibility from week to week), with an immediate start date and an end date of 30 September 2016.

This role is paid at grade 6.1 on the University of Sheffield salary scales (£13.71 per hour, plus holiday pay).


Essential qualities:

  • Excellent English-language communication, spoken and written
  • Confident user of IT and digital/social media
  • An interest in communicating historical research to wider audiences
  • Clear organisational skills
  • An ability to categorise and organise qualitative data

Desirable qualities:

  • Experience with blogging
  • An interest in History teaching and in current A-level content
  • Experience in communicating with non-academic audiences
  • Experience in using, designing and/or building digital/web resources
  • Experience in online research
  • Experience in use of WordPress

How to apply

A brief statement (one side of A4 maximum) explaining your suitability for the role, along with your CV, should be sent to Caroline Dodds Pennock at by Friday 15th April 2016.

Informal enquiries about this post should be directed towards Caroline Dodds Pennock:, 0114 222 2579.

Job Opportunity: Research Assistant for Aztecs Abroad teaching project

Research Assistant for Aztecs Abroad teaching project

This post is open to current students and employees of the University of Sheffield only.
For c.120 hours at Grade 6 (£13.71 ph).


Dr Caroline Dodds Pennock is seeking to appoint a fixed-term research assistant to produce teaching materials related to her Aztecs Abroad project. Funded by a Senate Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, the successful candidate will be responsible for developing a set of translated primary-source materials related to indigenous Americans in Spain.

The Aztecs Abroad project studies the neglected history of Native American travellers to Europe. Beginning with indigenous Central and South Americans who travelled to Europe in the sixteenth century, this research seeks to transform our understanding of transcontinental networks, globalisation and the multicultural roots of modern society. The research is based on a wide range of documents, including traditional manuscript and published sources, art and material culture.

This post is intended to produce a collection of documents suitable for use in teaching on a topic where primary sources in English are frequently scarce. In the long term, the intention is also to make these documents more widely available via the web in order to facilitate teaching and research on this neglected topic.

The Research Assistant will be responsible for identifying and translating sixteenth-century documents concerning indigenous Americans (‘indios’). The RA will work principally with pre-transcribed texts, including which may include material from the Archivo General de Indias, Seville, as well as printed letters, manuscripts and chronicles. An ability to read and transcribe sixteenth-century Spanish manuscripts would be an advantage, but is not essential.

Depending on constraints of time and the expertise of the candidate, the Research Assistant may also begin exploring possibilities for the digitisation of these texts, with a view to making them available to students and teachers via the web.

The post is for 120 hours in total. There is flexibility as to the working pattern, to be agreed with Dr Dodds Pennock.This role is paid at grade 6.1 on the University of Sheffield salary scales (£13.71 per hour, plus holiday pay).


Essential qualities:

  • Excellent English-language communication, spoken and written
  • Clear organisational skills
  • Excellent Spanish-language skills
  • The ability to translate Spanish into fluent English
  • Experience of historical research

Desirable qualities:

  • Experience with translating historical Spanish into English
  • Experience of working with sixteenth-century Spanish sources
  • Experience of teaching
  • The ability to interpret/transcribe 16th-century Spanish documents.

How to apply

A brief statement (one side of A4 maximum) explaining your suitability for the role, along with your CV, should be sent to Dr Caroline Pennock at by Friday 15th April 2016.   

Informal enquiries about this post should be directed to Dr Caroline Pennock:, 0114 222 2579.

MA Funding 2016

We are pleased to announce that we have a number of funding opportunities available for 2016 entry. Please click here for more information.

Applications to our MA programmes should be made using the University’s on-line application system. There is no formal deadline for applying and we can usually accept applications until late-August for entry that September.

Already a student with us? Click here to see why you should stay on in Sheffield for your Postgraduate degree.

2016 PROSE Awards Honourable Mention for Julia Hillner

The PROSE Awards annually recognise the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content in 54 categories.  Julia Hillner’s latest publication: Prison, Punishment and Penance in Late Antiquity won a 2016 PROSE Award Honorable Mention in Classics and Ancient History

Judged by peer publishers, librarians, and medical professionals since 1976, the awards are extraordinary for their breadth and depth. The 2016 PROSE Awards winners were announced February 4, 2016 at the PROSE Awards Luncheon in Washington, DC.

Many congratulations, Julia!

Find out more on the PROSE Award website.

We are seeking outstanding individuals for a number of lectureships in the Department

This is an ideal opportunity for scholars with an outstanding publication record and excellent teaching ability to join one of the leading centres for historical research in the United Kingdom.

You will have a PhD in History or a related subject area (or have equivalent experience), proven teaching and leadership ability and the capacity to carry out high-quality research and to disseminate research findings effectively.  The willingness to communicate to a variety of audiences beyond the purely academic is also essential for this position.

We are one of the most active centres for historical research in the country with a distinguished record of internationally outstanding and innovative historical research. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) puts the Department of History third in its overall rankings and second on the quality of its publications, 42% of which were judged to be 4* or ‘world-leading’. We also have a vibrant postgraduate research culture, and our expertise in applying digital technology to historical research informs scholarship and teaching at every level. We teach the history of all periods from antiquity to the present day, taking in Europe, South Asia, and the Americas, and attract highly qualified undergraduate and MA students.

The University of Sheffield was voted number one for Student Experience in the Times Higher Education Survey 2013/14 and was awarded Times Higher Education University of the Year in 2011. We are a world-class university in a unique city, offering great opportunities for research-led teaching. The Department of History was rated highest in the 2015 National Student Survey among Russell Group History departments.

The University of Sheffield is committed to diversity. While individually you will be the best, we will always seek to recruit people whose skills, contributions and identities complement those in our existing teams to the greatest effect.  We aim to create diversity in teams because we believe that diversity in all its forms delivers greater impact through our research and teaching and enhances the experience of our students.

Visit for full details and to apply online.
Closing Date: 10th March 2016