The Social History Society’s committee has a vital role in shaping the society’s activities and priorities.
This year we are seeking nominations for six vacancies:
1 x Honorary Secretary
1 x Treasurer
3 x Ordinary Members
1 x Postgraduate Representative (to work alongside continuing PG Rep Louise Bell)
We are inviting nominations for all these positions by Friday 26 May 2023. Anyone who has been a member of the Society for a year is eligible to apply.
Once nominations have been received, information about the candidates will be circulated and voting will be open to all members of the society. Successful candidates will be announced at the AGM to be held at the SHS Conference in July.
Executive and Ordinary committee members usually serve for three years and are eligible for re-election on one further consecutive occasion. Postgraduate Representatives serve for two years are eligible for re-election as a Postgraduate Representative or election as an Ordinary Member depending on their status at that time.
Professor Georgina Brewis has served as Honorary Secretary of the society for five years. She spoke to us about the role to help anyone who is considering putting themselves forward.
SHS: What are your main responsibilities as Honorary Secretary?
It’s a key role on the SHS Executive and involves regular communication with the Chair and other Executive members in setting the strategic direction of the Society – decision making about our conference, grant making, finances and our journal Cultural and Social History. I arrange committee meetings, administer the various SHS grants schemes, help organise the annual conference, support our prize giving, deal with enquiries, and oversee recruitment and appointment of our paid Administrator.
SHS: How do you fit this role around your teaching and research?
Good organisational and time-management skills I suppose! They are quite essential criteria for the role of Secretary.
SHS: Have you benefitted from the role?
I’ve enjoyed it hugely. It’s a chance to make a contribution to the academic discipline of history on a national stage, as well as to support and promote historians at all career stages and those based outside academia. For someone who is not based in a history department, it’s a great chance to make connections with historians working on different time periods that I might not otherwise get to know. I’ve also gained skills and experiences that I have recounted in promotion applications and grant applications, including experience of recruitment and appointment, people management, grant making, prize giving and creating support schemes for PGRs and ECRs.
SHS: Has anything about the role surprised you?
The chance to work closely with other learned societies and to engage with UKRI has been an unexpected benefit. For example, SHS is asked to nominate colleagues for REF panels and AHRC/ESRC peer review colleges and to take part in high-level meetings with other learned societies where we receive briefings from research councils. I’ve been able to shape the direction of funding and prize giving as new needs arrive, for example, helping to establish the Joint BME Grant Scheme in 2019, an emergency COVID fund in 2020, and the Pam Cox Public History prize.