Author Archives: Abby Brown

CFP: The Gender History Discussion Group is back! 

The Gender History Discussion Group will resume meeting in February 2016, and we would like to invite any postgraduate students interested in gender research to attend. Meetings will be every 3 weeks, and will include reading group sessions and papers presented by researchers from inside and outside Sheffield. PhD, Masters students and staff are very welcome to attend. The focus this year will be interdisciplinary, so you do not have to be based in the Department of History. We would particularly like to hear from new students who would be interested in lightning talks. These are fun and informal 3 minute talks on your chosen topic – it’s a great way to get some speaking practice and the chance to get feedback from other researchers.

The group’s interests are very broad and we would welcome work including, but not limited to, femininities, masculinities, transgender studies, the gendered body and sexuality.

Please contact Kate Gibson at or visit our website for details

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PhD Funding applications for 2016 are now open

The following funding is now open for applications for 2016 entry:
AHRC White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities Scholarships
University of Sheffield Scholarships – University Prize
University of Sheffield Scholarships – Doctoral Academy Awards
ESRC White Rose Social Science DTC Scholarships – Advanced Quantitative Methods Awards
Hossein Farmy Scholarship

Whatever funding you’re applying for, we recommend getting in touch with the member of staff you are hoping to work with before you begin. They will be able to discuss your research proposal with you and offer advice on your application.

For futher details please see:


Congratulations to Dr. Siobhan Lambert-Hurley whose edited book collection is out now

Speaking of the Self: Gender, Performance and Autobiography in South Asia is co-edited with Anshu Malhotra and examines a range of women’s autobiographical writing from South Asia.

Many consider autobiography to be a Western genre that represents the self as fully autonomous. This volume challenges this presumption by examining a wide range of women’s autobiographical writing from South Asia. Expanding the definition of what kinds of writing can be considered autobiographical, the contributors analyze everything from poetry, songs, mystical experiences, and diaries to prose, fiction, architecture, and religious treatises. The contributors find that in these autobiographies the authors construct their gendered selves in relational terms. Throughout, they show how autobiographical writing—in whatever form it takes—provides the means toward more fully understanding the historical, social, and cultural milieu in which the author performs herself and creates her subjectivity.

Speaking of the Self: Gender, Performance and Autobiography in South Asia (Duke University Press, 2015).



Congratulations to Benjamin Ziemann whose book on the practices of killing and patterns of survival during WW1 has been awarded a prestigious prize

A book on the First World War ‘anyone should read’ by Professor Benjamin Ziemann has been awarded a book prize by Geisteswissenschaften International in 2015.

This award is jointly organised by the Association of German Booksellers, the German Authors’ Licensing Agency, the German Foreign Office and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. The jury has selected Ziemann’s book Gewalt im Ersten Weltkrieg. Töten-Überleben-Verweigern, first published with Klartext Verlag in 2013, as one of the few books from the humanities that will receive funding to facilitate the publication of an English translation.

The book has received ample positive coverage in German national newspapers and was praised by Dieter Langewiesche in the Historische Zeitschrift as ‘anyone who is studying the First World War and its aftermath should read [this book].’ The English translation will be published in 2017 with Bloomsbury Academic under the title Violence and the German Soldier in the Great War: Killing-Dying-Surviving.

This is the second time that Benjamin Ziemann has been the recipient of this award: his book on the ‘scientization’ of the Catholic Church, also the recipient of the book prize awarded by H-Soz-u-Kult as a runner-up, received the prize by Geisteswissenschaften International in 2011 and was published as Encounters with Modernity. The Catholic Church in West Germany, 1945-1975 (New York. Oxford, 2014).

Seminar Programme Poster Autumn 2015

Department Research Seminar Programme Autumn 2015

We are very pleased to announce our forthcoming Department Seminar programme.

As usual each seminar will be held on Tuesdays at 16:15 in G:03 (ground floor Jessop West). Seminars are followed by drinks and dinner with the speaker organised by the chair.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can email

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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. The British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme runs annually, with a submission deadline usually in October (further details available on the British Academy website)

Applicants are required to submit the following by 14th September, to Gwyn Jones (

  1. A recent CV.
  2. A .pdf of the completed British Academy application form, (accessible here:


Julia Hillner

Dr Julia Hillner explores unusual crimes and punishments in the Roman world

Dr Julia Hillner is interviewed by Dr Richard Flower at the University of Exeter. Watch the full discussion about cruel and unusual punishments, inequality before the law and why the Romans did (and didn’t) put people in prison.

Watch the full interview:

Julia’s new book: Prison, Punishment and Penance in Late Antiquity (Cambridge University Press, 2015)  is available here:



Is Greek European identity in crisis? Dr Eirini Karamouzi reviews a conflicted history for the Royal Historical Society

Read the full article here:

Eirini Karamouzi is a Lecturer of Contemporary History at the University of Sheffield,and A.G.Leventis Fellow at SEESOX, St Antony’s College, Oxford.

You can find Eirini’s latest book Greece, the EEC and the Cold War, 1974-1979. The Second Enlargement(Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) here:

je suis charlie

New WRoCAH Network studentship: ‘Beyond Charlie: Anticlericalism and Freedom of the Press’

We are delighted to announce a new WRoCAH Network studentship working on ‘Beyond Charlie: Anticlericalism and Freedom of the Press’ for entry in October 2015. WRoCAH networks each have three doctoral researchers, one each at Leeds, Sheffield and York. Each doctoral researcher works on a separate project under a common theme.

The award will cover the cost of UK/EU tuition fees and provide an annual maintenance grant (£14,057 in 2015-16) for three years.

Application deadline: midnight, Friday 22 May 2015

Interviews: interviews will take place on Monday 15 June 2015

Further information about the award and how to apply is available on our website here.

The network theme

The Paris attacks on 7 January 2015 make this an apposite moment to assess the deep cultural and historical links between iconoclastic thought and freedom of the press in western Europe. The proposed network will reassess anticlerical print culture and ideas of free speech, taking as its starting point the Hébertiste tradition of radical and scabrous political satire, a tradition in which Charlie Hebdo clearly stands. Though part of a wider secularist tradition, this populist—and often deliberately provocative—strand of anticlerical transmission should be distinguished from literary forms or those rooted in social and political movements.

The Sheffield studentship focus

Supervisory team: Professor Mary Vincent (Department of History, Sheffield), Dr Claire Chambers (Department of English and Related Literature, York)

The studentship will examine the relationship between the polemic and ideological traditions of anticlericalism (clearly aimed at Catholicism in countries with a historic allegiance to the Roman Church) and contemporary polemic aimed at Islam (or perceived tendencies within Islam, such as ‘fundamentalism’). This comparative study would explore issues of tolerance within societies looking at how debates around anticlericalism and/or Islamophobia bring into play conflicting understandings of freedom, including in societies characterised by religious indifference.

Any academic enquiries can be directed to Professor Mary Vincent ( Any questions about the application process should be directed to Beky Hasnip (


We are delighted to announce a new studentship working on ‘Performing Bodies: Anatomical Display in the Twentieth-Century Fairground’

Applications are invited for one doctoral studentship commencing on 1 October 2015. This opportunity arises from University of Sheffield funding dedicated to developing its research resources, in this case the National Fairground Archive.

Application deadline: 12pm, Monday 11 May 2015
Interviews: interviews will take place in the week commencing 1 June 2015

Project description

The project will use the National Fairground Archive’s collection on sideshows and fairground exhibits in a multidisciplinary exploration of the popular presentation of bodily and anatomical display. Both simulacra (waxworks, mannequins and ‘sleeping beauty’ exhibits) and live display (freak shows to strip tease) were deployed within performative frameworks, exploiting ideas of the arcane, the unsettling and the macabre in relation to the body and embodiment. Within the noisy, transient and atemporal world of the fairground, these uncanny encounters provided important insight into popular constructions of human agency and identity.

Central areas of investigation include:

  • What do the historical, aesthetic and performative constructions of anatomical display reveal about contemporary understandings of embodiment and human identity and how did these change over the course of the twentieth century?
  • How are constructions of gendered bodies reflected and constructed within the fairground displays, discourses and practices?
  • How were scientific and medical discourses transposed into popular culture?
  • How might the fairground audience have made sense of these various forms of the human body, living and non-living, sexed and non-sexed?

Studentship description

Supervisory team: Professor Mary Vincent (Department of History), Dr Julia Dobson (School of Languages and Cultures)

The doctoral project will constitute an independent piece of research on a topic related to the overall project. The student will be able to use evidence and electronic resources generated by the project; attend project meetings, workshops and conferences; benefit from working closely with the investigators and Research Associates; and be given the opportunity to co-write publications. Nonetheless, in consultation with the supervisors, s/he will be given the latitude to shape their own direction of research.

The student will have access to the established archival practices and support of the National Fairground Archive and the multidisciplinary network of Medical Humanities Sheffield. Training available through the Doctoral Academy, Doctoral Development Programme provision and Faculty postgraduate networks is further supported by a dynamic postgraduate and research community.

Award Details

The award will cover the cost of UK/EU tuition fees and provides an annual maintenance grant at the standard RCUK rate (full-time rate £14,057 in 2015-16) for three years plus an annual Research Training Support Grant of £1,000 for expenses related to their research, such as travel, conferences, books, consumables and equipment. The studentship will commence on 1 October 2015.

To apply for the studentship, applicants need to apply directly to the University of Sheffield for entrance into the doctoral programme in History.

The general eligibility requirements are:

  • Applicants should normally have studied in a relevant field to a very good standard at MA level or equivalent experience.
  • Applicants should also have a 2.1 in a BA degree, or equivalent qualification, in a related discipline.
  • Awards are open to UK, EU and international applicants who are applying to study either full or part-time. Please note that only the UK/EU tuition fee rate is covered by the award.


How to apply

  • Complete an application for admission to the standard history PhD programme here.
  • Applications should include a research proposal; CV; academic writing sample; transcripts and two references.
  • The successful candidate will produce a thesis that responds to these issues in relation to the archive in a manner they devise. Your plan for this should be outlined in a research proposal of up to 1000 words, along with details of your interest, expertise and experience in a related field.
  • Supporting documents can either be uploaded to your application or sent by email or post to Miss Abby Brown, Department of History, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S3 7RA.


Informal enquiries can be directed to Dr Julia Dobson ( and Professor Mary Vincent (