Author Archives: Abby Brown

Vacancy: Digital Media Assistant for History Matters blog

Digital Media Officer for History Matters

This post is open to current students and employees of the University of Sheffield only.
5 hours per week, fixed term to 30th September 2017.

The admin tasks for History Matters divide into four areas: planning content, blogging, promoting and maintenance:


  • Maintaining and updating a list of pieces commissioned/promised/in progress/in hand.
  • Keeping an eye out for upcoming anniversaries, film releases, TV programmes and the like on historical themes. With editor’s input, commissioning content from colleagues/PhD students/guest contributors well in advance.
  • Identifying history-related stories in the news and approaching authors to commission content at short notice, with editor’s input.
  • Prioritising publication dates where there is more than one option, with editor’s input.


  • Copy-editing and proof-reading content; where substantial changes are needed liaising with contributor to get agreement for changes (everything, with the exception of minor typographical issues, needs to be checked by editor before publication and this process may need editor’s input depending on extent of changes)
  • Uploading content into WordPress where contributors cannot do this for themselves
  • Adding image (checking copyright clearance is okay), tags and SEO text (the blurb about each article that will appear in the Google search results etc.)
  • Where contributors are inputting directly to WordPress checking that the above has been done to appropriate standard and that credits are included where necessary.


  • Launching blog post on publication day (preferably between 8.15 and 9am)
  • Tweeting about blog from @unishefhistory
    • In morning when launched (also tweet from @usesofhistory to push up rankings)
    • At lunchtime (East Coast breakfast)
    • At 5pm (West Coast breakfast)
  • Retweeting mentions of blog from others during day from @unishefhistory
  • Tweeting directly about blog to selected twitterers who may help promote it
  • Putting on Facebook
  • Where blog ties into major news story, alerting central media and social media teams (editor would usually be involved with a story of this type)
  • Nudging author to respond to comments on blog where necessary
  • Promoting old content when it is relevant to current news stories.


  • Checking spam folder periodically and deleting unwanted messages
  • Monitoring comments coming in to WordPress and approving/checking/deleting as appropriate
  • Monitoring audience figures and identifying patterns that will be useful for promoting particular stories in future (needs editor’s input).

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 2017.

This role is paid at grade 6.1 on the University of Sheffield salary scales (£13.86 per hour, plus holiday pay).

A knowledge of WordPress is desirable, and a clear ability to learn new software packages is essential. An understanding of blogging and social media is essential, and experience of personal blogging would be an advantage. The ability to work diplomatically and sensitively with contributors is essential, as is a high standard of English and the ability to proof-read and copy-edit.

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 Pennock at by 12 noon on Wednesday 15th February 2017.   

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

Julie Gottlieb granted a Seed Award in Humanities and Social Science from the Wellcome Trust

Julie’s Seed Award in Humanities and Social Science will begin in late 2017 supported by The Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation which supports researchers in their efforts to take on big problems, and to spark debates. Julie’s project is entitled ‘Suicide, Society and Crisis’ and will focus on links between suicide and socio-political crisis.

About the project:
For over 150 years, instances and rates of suicide have been a hugely symbolic resource for making statements about society. The key goal of this project is to investigate the links between suicide and political and social crisis, at macro and micro levels. Do suicide rates increase in times of socio-political crisis, and, if so, why? How do psychiatrists, pathologists, jurists, coroners, politicians, and the public understand suicide epidemics as symptomatic of instability? These questions will be brought to bear on a case study of the suicide epidemic triggered by war fear during the Munich Crisis (1938-39), and documented in the Wellcome collections, Coroners records and Press representation. Together with key collaborators in the medical humanities and the crossdisciplinary field of suicidology, in two conferences we will test psychological, psychiatric, sociological and historical theories about how internalisation of dramatic socio-political change effects incidents, methods, and attitudes towards suicide. Our preliminary findings will be disseminated through journal articles, History & Policy, and blogs, offering historical insight into recent suicide epidemics connected to PTSD and veterans of the Iraq Wars, the increase in suicides during the 2008 Financial Crisis, mental health in refugee communities, up to the psychological fallout of Brexit.

Mary Vincent awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship

Mary Vincent  has been awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship to the value of £95,051.  The project is entitled ‘Religious Violence in the Spanish Civil War: Iconoclasm and Crusade’ and runs for 24 months from 1 Sept 2017 to 31 August 2019.

More about the project:

The Spanish Civil War starkly revealed the patterns of assault and retribution that define religious violence. An anticlerical revolution took place within a conflict regarded by the other side as a crusade. More priests were killed than in the French Revolution and the scale of iconoclasm is still unquantified. Churches and images—seen as a locus of divine power—came under attack; retributive violence followed this assault on God. The case of Spain shows that modern religious conflict is not specific to jihad and provides an important counterpoint to work on non-European ‘communal’ violence.


Job Opportunity: Public Engagement and Impact Officer for the Digital Panopticon project

The AHRC funded Digital Panopticon project are seeking to recruit a Public Engagement and Impact Officer. The post is part-time (55%) during the final nine months of the project, joining a team of investigators from the Universities of Sheffield, Liverpool, Oxford, Sussex and Tasmania.

The Digital Panopticon: The Global Impact of London Punishments, 1780-1925’ ( links together existing and new criminal justice, genealogical, and biometric datasets held by different organisations in the UK and Australia in order to trace the impact of punishment on convict lives. Based in the Humanities Research Institute, you will develop and implement plans to generate publicity for the project web resource and its research findings following the release of the completed website in spring 2017, and maximise the non-academic impact of the project.

The application deadline is the 15th November.
For more details and to apply click here

Eirini Karamouzi and Benjamin Ziemann win Max Batley funding for new project on protest with colleague from Politics

Dr Eirini Karamouzi (Principal Investigator) and Professor Benjamin Ziemann (Co-Investigator) – both from the Department of History – along with Dr Maria Grasso (Co-Investigator, the Department of Politics) were successful in their bid on ‘Protest as democratic practice: peace movements in southern Europe, 1975-1990’ (c. £90,000) for the Max Batley Fellowship Awards scheme.

The mobilisation against the deployment of US Pershing and Cruise Missile atomic warheads in the wake of the NATO Dual Track Solution in 1979 was a watershed moment in the recent political history of Western Europe. The anti-nuclear protests of the 1980s activated civil society, renegotiated the parameters of political participation and redefined the understanding of (international and domestic) security. The contours and implications of the 1980s anti-nuclear protests are well researched for key western European countries. Developments on the southern European periphery, however, have not yet been substantially studied. The key objective of the project is to analyse anti-nuclear and anti-militarist peace protests in selected southern European countries during the late 1970s and 1980s. The focus will be on Greece, Spain and Italy, three countries that were involved in the 1980s mobilisation cycle in different ways. Italy had been selected for the deployment of Pershing missiles and was thus a key battleground of conflicts over the Dual Track Decision. But the country had also seen a wave of left and right-wing terrorism during the 1970s and a concomitant crisis of parliamentary democracy. Spain and Greece had just returned to parliamentary democracy from military dictatorship in 1975 and 1974, respectively. They were not directly involved in the conflict over the Dual Track Decision, but experienced intensive protests against the presence of US military bases or against NATO membership more generally. Thus, all three countries were involved in conflicts over security that entailed a complex renegotiation of democratic practices in the widest sense. The project will investigate these developments through the lens of peace movement mobilisation.

Considering both national peculiarities and the shared framework of a difficult transition to a renewed democratic practice, the project will consider the following research questions: How did the protest movements of the 1980s differ from previous (Italian and Greek) peace protests of the 1960s? What mobilised the peace activists of the 1980s, and which shared perceptions and collective symbols – such as anti-Americanism, a sense of national victimhood or socialist anti-militarism – framed their protests? How did the state and key parties respond to the protests? And, ultimately: to what extent were these peace protests a crucial element of the transition to and transformation of democratic practices in southern European countries?

The project is generously funded by an award in the context of the Max Batley Peace Studies Post Doctoral Fellowships. Starting in the autumn of 2016, a fully funded postdoctoral fellow will collaborate with the project leaders in conducting empirical research with regard to Italy and Spain, preparing an international conference on the topic, and writing-up the findings of the project in articles for peer-reviewed journals. The fellow will receive substantial interdisciplinary research training by the three project leaders/investigators.

The project will be employing a Post-Doctoral Associate for two years. For further information, please contact Dr Eirini Karamouzi.

Read more on the Peace Centre here.

Call for applications: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Department of History would like to invite applications to hold a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship in the department.

Applicants are asked to seek out an academic member of staff in the department to act as their mentor as the first step. Please refer to staff webpages for information on staff research interests.

Applicants are then required to submit the following by Friday 09 September, to Gwyn Jones ( ):

  1. A completed agreement of mentorship form (please email Gwyn for the form)
  2. A recent CV.
  3. A .pdf of the completed British Academy application form, (which will be accessible on the British Academy website from 24 August onwards).

If you have any questions,  please contact Gwyn Jones ( for information on the application process, or Dr Julia Hillner ( for academic queries.


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!