Women in disguise have often played a surprising part in military history and there are lots of historical examples of women who dressed up as soldiers to fight for their country. Performers on the music hall stage only did so temporarily for entertainment, yet they still managed to make a significant mark in less direct ways. Male impersonators were hugely popular both at home and overseas and many considered them to be role models. As well as taking part in recruitment drives, male impersonators also performed in front of both British and American forces throughout the First World War.
Many military recruitment campaigns focused on the transformation of ordinary young men into disciplined and smart soldiers. And no soldier in England underwent such regular and public transformation as the music hall star Vesta Tilley. Continue reading
On Friday 20 March, first years on the module Twentieth Century Britain visited Wakefield and The Hepworth Gallery, a key feature of the city’s regeneration. They were exploring issues of urban change in the second half of the twentieth century, thinking about economic restructuring, social identities and their real-life urban settings. The students were also acting as researchers for an on-going collaborative project between historians at the University and the gallery, led by Elizabeth Pente and Paul Ward.
In October 2014 I began my first teaching position, working on the brand new and innovative ‘Digital Victorians’ module at the University of Huddersfield. The intention of this course was to provide second year History students with a comprehensive introduction to the digital humanities via an academic module on Victorian Britain. The students benefitted from a team of lecturers which included Professor Martin Hewitt and Professor Paul Ward and were provided with a brand new digital learning suite, complete with four conference desks with accompanying computers and ports for laptops, phones and tablets. Continue reading
On Wednesday 11 February, at the University of Huddersfield, a group of research students and academics engaged in a conversation about undertaking a PhD and the co-production of research. The postgraduate workshop had the aim of delineating methodologies, exploring common themes – problems and opportunities – and talking through real-world research issues from the perspective of co-production of research, in relation to historically-focussed humanities disciplines. The participants have shared their notes from the day to allow others to be part of the conversation.
It was a warm summer’s eve in the field of Hudds. A rarity to say the very least but I assure you it is true. After a solid days work dredging through the wealth of historical knowledge available from the emporium that is floor two of the library, a well-deserved crisp pint of beer with friends was required. Martyn Richardson, third year History student explains the origins of the Huddersfield History Society and calls for volunteers to get involved.
History at the University of Huddersfield and The Hepworth Wakefield invite applications for a fully-funded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award 3-year full-time PhD studentship entitled Location, Location, Location: The Gott Collection, Yorkshire landscapes and Connected Communities. In addition to fees (at Home/EU rate), the studentship will be funded at RCUK rates, £14,002 in 2015-16. The University also has a generous package of research development funds to enable attendance at conferences and to support public engagement activities. History has about 20 research students and has an energetic and sociable research culture, in which the successful applicant would be expected to participate.
“Wakefield Bridge and Chantry Chapel,” oil on canvas, by the British artist Philip Reinagle, R.A. Dated 1793. 153.5 cm x 245.5 cm. Courtesy of the collection of the Hepworth Museum, Wakefield.
Between 23 and 26 July I attended the International Standing Conference in the History of Education at the Institute of Education in London. I found it really useful – and enjoyed it – it for a number of reasons.
First, it gave me the chance to work on the new archival material I gathered in the Creuse in February 2014. I gave a paper on the Saturday morning of the conference in a panel with Rebecca Gill and Daryl Leeworthy, as well as a colleague from the University of Sweden, Ann Nehlin. The panel dealt with separated children and emergency schooling. I focused on the children evacuated from the Parisian suburbs during 1943-1945 who ended up in the Creuse. Continue reading
On 13 December 2014, about thirty students taking the first year module ‘Twentieth Century Britain’ visited Heritage Quay, the University of Huddersfield’s brand new archives centre. The visit was an integral part of the module, taught by Paul Ward and Liz Pente, to look at a scrapbook of primary source materials from the J.H. Whitley collection. Whitley was the MP for Halifax and Speaker of the House of Commons in the 1920s who in 1929 he chaired a Royal Commission on Labour in India. The commission explored issues of Indian poverty and working conditions in the textiles, jute and mining industries.
A newspaper photograph of the members of the Royal Commission. Whitley is the man in the white suit in the middle at the front.
Despite the scriptural warrant for their existence, early Protestant reformers were ambivalent about the visual representation of angels in places of worship, due to a fear of falling into the sin of idolatry. By the seventeenth century, however, a move to express the ‘beauty of holiness’ began to soften attitudes towards such images, and angels were once again used by Protestants in religious decorative schemes. Continue reading
As part of his second year work placement, History and Film student Tomi Zelei made a film about the relationship between the University of Huddersfield and the community in which it is located. Tomi’s film explores the links between the town and also the idea of a university community.
History at Huddersfield uses research-led teaching and a commitment to public engagement to ensure that what we do is both useful to society and beneficial to the employability of our students. We see our students as researchers – partners in the development of knowledge with academic staff, often through co-production of knowledge with community partners. For more information see http://www.hud.ac.uk/courses/full-time/undergraduate/history-ba-hons/ and http://www.hud.ac.uk/research/history/
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