Wakefield is where it’s at: Urban change in twentieth-century Britain

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.

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Teaching History Digitally: My Experience as a New Teacher on a New Module

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

Finding our Feet: The Co-production of Research and Undertaking a Historically-focussed PhD

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.

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The birth, the life and the legacy of Huddersfield History Society

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.

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Location, Location, Location: The Gott Collection, Yorkshire landscapes and Connected Communities PhD studentship at the University of Huddersfield

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.

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A Conference on Education, Peace and War

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

That moment when history students become historians

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.

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Temple Newsam Chapel Reconstruction: Angels and Pulpits.

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

Town and Gown: A film by Tomi Zelei

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/

      You can email us at historyadmissions@hud.ac.uk




The Hepworth Wakefield, the Gott Collection and Heritage Open Days

My name is Adam West currently in my final year studying history at the University of Huddersfield. Along with 4 other fellow students and post-graduates I took part assisting at The Hepworth Wakefield’s heritage weekend, which was part of the national Heritage Open Days programme. Over the weekend of the 13th and 14th September 2014 the Gott collection was being featured as a special collection at the gallery in terms of its importance to Wakefield and Yorkshire as a whole.
The Gott collection itself comprises over 1200 images of places in Yorkshire past and present, sometimes being the sole surviving image of places that no longer exist. Collected during the 18th and 19th Century by William and John Gott the 10 volumes, full of water colours, prints, drawings and letterpresses eventually made its way to Wakefield as a gift from Frank Green.

The Hepworth Wakefield

Coinciding with the Volumes restoration project sponsored by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Hepworth displayed the volumes with other paintings of places in Yorkshire to finally make them available to the public. Now back to university of Huddersfield’s role in this. The Hepworth were having talks given on the Gott collection twice at 11 am and 2pm on both the Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th. Additionally they wanted 5 students on hand to converse with the audience afterwards and find out their memories of places that were inspired from the paintings and the collection itself. In doing so the gallery would then not only have an online database of the collections but also have the memories and thoughts from the people that live and lived in the places featured.