Postgraduate and early career scholars are represented on the executive committee of the Social History Society by two representatives. One is elected each year for a two year term.


2016-18: Matthew Pawelski

Matthew is a PhD student in his final year at Lancaster University. His research on the Derbyshire lead industry aims to identify and examine the local mechanisms that contributed to the‘the industrial revolution’, and to examine the role of the household economy and communal relations in economic and industrial change.

In his role as PG Representative, Matthew hopes to encourage new researchers to engage with the local and regional contexts of their research. Through communication and collaboration with local institutions, societies and communities, new researchers can acquire numerous skills and competencies that are useful in any future career.

In conjunction with other committee members, Matthew also hopes to tackle the issue of diversity, which was raised at the 2016 Annual Conference.

If you have any problems or queries that you wish to voice, contact him via email at or via Twitter: @MatthewPawelski


2017-19: Cara Dobbing

Cara is a third year PhD student at the University of Leicester. Her research examines the patients who were circulated in and out of the Cumberland and Westmorland Lunatic Asylum (today known as Garlands Hospital) from its inception in 1862 until the outbreak of war in 1914.

Her work focuses on redressing the imbalance of institutional asylum histories which neglect the experiences of pauper patients. The movement of these patients sits at the heart of her work, as the provision of mental health care in this period was not a stationary experience.

You can visit her blog here, where she regularly posts about her research.

If you have any queries or problems you wish to voice, you can contact her by email at or contact her on twitter: @caradobbing