Author Archives: James Pearson

2015 BGEAH Conference

The British Group of Early American Historians will hold its annual conference at the University of Sheffield, 3-6 September, 2015. The program features thirty speakers from across the UK, Europe, North America, and Australia addressing topics in early American history before 1820. Trevor Burnard, University of Melbourne, will deliver a lively keynote, “Planters, Fear, and Slavery in the Coming of the American Revolution” and there will be a “book club” session considering Andrew Beaumont’s, Colonial America and the Earl of Halifax, 1748–1761 (OUP, 2015).

View the full program.

Colleagues and students are all welcome. There is no need to register, unless you want to share in the delights of university catering and the conference dinner on Saturday night – in which case see the uni “shop”.

Rethinking Right-Wing Women

Today our own Julie Gottlieb features on BBC Radio 4’s Womens Hour talking about her upcoming conference: Rethinking Right-Wing Women.

This two-day international conference explores the relationship between women and conservatism since the late 19th century. In the media frenzy and the re-enactment of the visceral political divisions of the 1980s that greeted the death of Margaret Thatcher in April, 2013, it soon became clear that Britain’s first woman Prime Minister was being portrayed as an aberrant figure who had emerged from a party of men. It appeared that the media and the public had not been well enough served by academics in making sense of and contextualizing the Thatcher phenomenon and, more broadly, the paradoxical sexual politics of the Right. In many respects– from the foundation of the Primrose League in 1883 all the way to the 2010 so-called ‘Mumsnet’ election — the success of British Conservatives to organise and mobilize women has been ‘exceptional’. In the weeks after the General Election, we will come together to assess the British Conservative Party’s gender politics, and rethink right-wing women as political leaders, activists, organisers, and voters.

Rethinking Right-Wing Women on BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour (starts at 33:08)

Rethinking Right-Wing Women conference website

Which Witch is Which? Margaret Thatcher as Lady Politician

Women to the Right: The Ascendancy of Women in Conservative Politics

The Right-Wing Women of Wales: A Secret History

‘The Men Have Turned Against Me’: Winston Churchill and the Gender Politics of the 1945 Election

92% satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2014

We’re very proud to have received a 92% overall satisfaction rating in the National Student Survey 2014.

94% of our students say our staff are good at explaining things and are enthusiastic about what they’re teaching.

91% of our students also say that our staff made their subject interesting and that the courses are well organised and run smoothly. 93% are happy with the teaching on their course.

If that’s not all The University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union has been voted the best in the UK for the third year running!


More about our Students’ Union and the national student survey ranking.

Two new publications for Benjamin Ziemann

Benjamin Ziemann - Encounters with Modernity book cover.In the past four weeks, Professor Benjamin Ziemann has published two monographs. His award-winning book on the “szientization” of the Catholic Church in the postwar period – described by one expert reviewer of the German edition as ‘one of the most important studies in contemporary history published in recent years’ – has been published as Encounters with Modernity. The Catholic Church in West Germany, 1945-1975 (New York: Berghahn, 2014).


Benjamin Ziemann - Veteranen der Republic book cover.A few weeks earlier, his book on the Contested Commemorations of the Great War in Weimar Germany, originally published with CUP in 2013, has now been released in German translation as Veteranen der Republik. Kriegserinnerung und demokratische Politik 1918–1933 (Bonn: J.H.W. Dietz, 2014). One recent review of the English version concluded: ‘Without doubt, this superb monograph will become compulsory reading for scholars working in the fields of World War I studies and modern European history alike.’

New Histories: Final Issue of the Academic Year – Out Now

Our final issue of the academic year has just been published and you can access it here:

This is the current chief editing team’s last issue so as Sam and Kathryn move on, we’d like to thank you for your contributions and support over the last year!

Brad Bosson, Sam Ellis and Kathryn Robinson

Editors-in-Chief of New Histories

Old Bailey Proceedings Online celebrates tenth anniversary with audience of millions

The Old Bailey Online celebrated its tenth birthday this month (15 April 2013) after attracting over 34 million page views since it went live in 2003.

The searchable archive of proceedings from the Old Bailey trials from 1674 to 1913 has been used by scholars, students and the general public over the past decade to uncover multiple hidden histories.

Old Bailey Online has so far had over 34 million page views, more than 5 million visits and 3.5 million unique users from all over the world.

The website also provided the inspiration for the three series of the BBC One award-winning drama Garrow’s Law and the Radio 4 series ‘Voices from the Old Bailey’.

The founders of the Old Bailey Online, Professor Robert Shoemaker (University of Sheffield) and Professor Tim Hitchcock (Hertfordshire University) were awarded the Longman-History Today Trustees Award for their major contribution to history. The award was given for the ground-breaking Old Bailey and follow-up London Lives projects that point the way to the future of the discipline.
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the National Lottery, the Old Bailey Online was developed at the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Sheffield.  Since its completion the same project team have added two new resources to widen its reach. London Lives, released in 2010, contains records relating to crime, poverty and social policy in eighteenth-century London. This fully searchable resource provides access to over 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to the names of 3.4 million Londoners.  Locating London’s Past, launched in December 2011, allows place names from the Old Bailey Proceedings to be mapped onto John Rocque’s 1746 map of London and the first accurate modern Ordinance Survey Map (1869-80).

A pioneering online historical resource, the Old Bailey Online has inspired countless other online projects.  It is also included in several larger web resources, including Connected Histories, a search interface for twenty-two online historical databases.

Professor Shoemaker said:

“The Old Bailey Online has been used in many, many ways we never anticipated.   We are particularly proud of the fact it is a free resource, open to all, and we continue to be amazed at the creative work it facilitates.”

Additional information

Professor Robert Shoemaker:

University of Sheffield academics elected Fellows of the British Academy

In an unprecedented honour for The University of Sheffield, two academic staff from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities have been elected Fellows of the British Academy – the UK’s national body which champions and supports the humanities and social sciences.

We’d like to offer our warmest congratulations to Professor Michael Braddick, Professor of History, and Professor Glynis Jones, Department of Archaeology.

Mike has recently completed a term of office as Pro Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. Author of a number of highly acclaimed histories, he has published widely on aspects of state formation and forms of political resistance in early modern England. He is also a champion of the value of the Arts and Humanities within education, and his articles on this subject have been published by the national media.

Glynis has been a member of staff at The University of Sheffield for almost thirty years. She is the Director of the MSc Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy and is a world expert on the origins of agriculture.

Professor Keith Burnett, Vice Chancellor, said, “I am truly delighted that two of our colleagues have been honoured by Fellowship of the British Academy. It is vital that universities not only address the scientific and technical challenges of the modern age, but also that we ask profound questions about society and how we live. The humanities and social sciences bring vital insight of history and archaeology and an understanding of human life and cultures. Without this perspective, we are deeply impoverished as people and our technical solutions run the risk of misunderstanding the very people they are meant to serve.”

Additional information:

University press release

Mike Braddick’s staff profile

Glynis Jones’ staff profile