The American Isthmus

James Yeoman (Sheffield) ‘The Panama Papers: Transatlantic Anarchist Press Networks in the Early Twentieth Century’

James Yeoman completed his PhD at the University of Sheffield in February 2016. His thesis examined the formation of the anarchist movement in Spain, with a particular focus on grassroots publishing.

He has recently guest-edited a special edition of International Journal of Iberian Studies (29:3, 2016), which focuses on the international dimensions of Spanish anarchism. This edition includes his article ‘Salud y Anarquía desde Dowlais,’ which presents a case study of Spanish anarchist migration to South Wales in the early twentieth century.

James has spoken at leading universities across the UK and Europe, including UCL; the Royal Geographers Society (London); The International Institute of Social History (Amsterdam); Bielefeld University; and the University of Seville.

He is currently preparing his thesis for publication, and writing a chapter on the Spanish Civil War for the forthcoming Palgrave MacMillan Handbook of Anarchism.

James has also been employed as an associate tutor at the Department of History since 2011.

All welcome!



All welcome.

Beatrice de Graaf (Utrecht) ‘Inauguring the Allied Machine. Building a System of Inter-Imperial Collective Security in Europe, 1815-1818’

In this paper Beatrice will address the hitherto neglected history of the Allied Council of Ministers that convened between 1815 and 1818 in Paris, chaired by the Duke of Wellington as an instrument of inter-imperial, indirect rule, intended to create, shape and fix the Balance of Power in Europe, and the balance of powers in France. Based on new archival findings, this first attempt of creating an administrative body of European security integration, propelled by the four great powers (most notably the UK) will be described and analyzed by using new concepts from security studies, emotional history, intellectual history of moderation and balance and imperial history on occupation and indirect rule. This paper is a first outline of a monography that is under way next year.

All welcome.

Mira Siegelberg (Queen Mary) ‘Writing the History of Statelessness: Legal Thought and the History of International Order’

This talk examines the entangled history of the birth and evolution of the legal category of statelessness with ideas of rights, statehood, international law, and the history of global order in the twentieth century. Over the course of the two world wars mass statelessness transformed from a central theoretical resource for those promoting a vision of politics and law outside the state to a touchstone for the legitimation of the sovereign territorial state against other options for the political organization of humanity. The history of the distinct regimes of thought characterizing approaches to statelessness provides unique insight into the broader historical transition from a world structured by imperial forms of political and legal organization, to one organized by formally sovereign states.
All welcome!

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.

Gendering Peace Conference Poster-page-001

Gendering Peace Conference

About the Conference

During and after the First World War, blueprints for peace and a non-violent reordering of society permeated all countries in Europe. They were political, artistic and practical responses to the experience of total war, based on a wide array of different political and religious values and motives. While many of these ideas and initiatives have been studied in some detail, the gendering of peace in Europe during and between the two world wars has not as yet been systematically analysed.

The gendering of initiatives for and debates over peace was a crucial element of European politics from the onset of the Great War to the struggles over appeasement in the run-up to the Second World War, and to the planning for post-war reconstruction. The gendering of peace is more than just the study of women’s pacifist groups – even though this is an important part of it. The notion of a gendering of peace refers to the fact that the different roles, emotions, and forms of agency that are attributed to men and women were crucial parameters for the ways in which a non-violent re-ordering of national polities and international relations was envisaged and legitimised. For example, male conscientious objectors as well as female pacifists were portrayed as ‘effeminate’, thus delineating a gendered space for the debate over non-violent politics. Discourses on nationalism and sovereignty in the wake of the Treaties of Paris in 1919/20 were ripe with gendered metaphors that portrayed the task of peaceful self- determination as a predominantly male endeavour. Debates over maternalism and the role of mothers in society were a crucial site for conceptualising a critique of belligerence.

The organising themes of the conference are as follows:

  1. gender and non-violent practices, including the reception of Gandhi’s ideas in Europe;
  2. masculine/feminine values and metaphors in debates over national sovereignty and rearmaments;
  3. competing spaces and forms of agency for men and women in European pacifism;
  4. the gendering and politicization of pacifism and peace campaigns across the political spectrum;
  5. the evolution of pacifist commitment in the face of fascism and war.

We will discuss these issues in this two-day conference, to be held at the HRI on 20-21 January, 2017.

Please see the conference website for the call for papers and further details