The Social History is home to a thriving community of postgraduate researchers.

Sadly, not being able to attend conferences in person often means that our postgraduate members have fewer opportunities to share their research and grow their network. We want to help rectify that by providing an online space that showcases their work. If you are interested in their research topics and you’d like to get in touch, you’ll find their contact details in their profiles.

If you are a postgraduate researcher and you would like to become a member of the Social History Society, membership is just £15 per year. If you are already a member and you’d like to have a profile space here, please get in touch with one of our PGR Reps Edda Nicolson ( or Ella Sbaraini (

Louise Bell, University of Leeds


Twitter: @LouBell

Louise is undertaking a AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership with the University of Leeds and The National Archives. The PhD is focusing on British state provision of prosthetic limbs in the two world wars and will explore the relationship between the British government, prosthetics manufacturers and the men whose limbs were amputated as a result of service during the two world wars.

Murray Seccombe, Lancaster University


My thesis, ‘Highways, law and governance in Halifax parish, c. 1550-1700’, takes a bottom-up approach, and relies, in particular, on 6,000 highway-related manorial presentments and an unusual set of constables’ accounts to understand how townships managed their roads. It covers issues of law, manorial regulation, social participation, and economics, employs GIS and includes a micro-history of developments in the township of Sowerby. It challenges traditional perceptions of road management as ineffectual before the turnpike trusts and suggests local participation was as important as justice activism in understanding how things worked.

Joshua Dight, Edge Hill University


Twitter @DightJoshua

I am a second-year history PhD student at Edge Hill University. My project makes use of the digital humanities and memory theory to explore Britain’s late eighteenth-century radicals through the perspective of the Chartist press.

My project explores the different portrayals of late 18th century radicals within the Chartist press. It seeks to highlight the role of newspapers in capturing, producing, and circulating these memories amongst readers. By taking a more interdisciplinary approach to Chartism’s rich commemoration culture, I hope to amplify the social and flexible qualities of memory, and the different ways it was put to use.

Emily Sharp, Northumbria University


Twitter: @mlyshrp

My PhD seeks to assess the contribution of British student activists to international solidarity campaigns across the second half of the twentieth century. Examining the anti-apartheid movement, and the Chile and Palestine solidarity campaigns, I hope to track the changing sentiments, principles, patterns and priorities in British student activism across this period and to demonstrate the interconnected nature of local, national and international activism.

Anna Fielding, Manchester Metropolitan University and the National Trust


I look at early modern gentry commensality in the northwest of England and my work mainly concerns the properties Little Moreton, Speke and Rufford Old Hall. In my work I consider commensality as a dining assemblage and use a combination of affect, sensory history, emotional history, archival sources, and material culture to build up the experiential layers of the early modern dinner table. I aim to examine how commensality was used by gentry families to influence and maintain social status against a backdrop of reformation and conflict in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Lena Ferriday, University of Bristol


Twitter: @lenaferriday

My doctoral research considers the complex relationship between the human body, the material world and textual representations, in an historical context, focused through the case study of life-writing sources on the landscapes of Devon and Cornwall in the nineteenth century.

Andrew Barnes, University of Sheffield


My research examines the political culture of the East Riding County Council between its inception in 1889 and its dissolution in 1974.  The main question addresses how the county’s exclusive reliance on agriculture, coupled with its relative isolation, shaped the political culture of the county council resulting in the landed classes and the agricultural community maintaining power until the 1960s.  In the majority of counties this type of local governance had been displaced with a far more eclectic membership earlier in the century.

Stephanie Brown, University of Cambridge


Twitter: @StephEmmaBrown

Stephanie’s PhD assesses the role of identity in the prosecution of interpersonal violence in late medieval Yorkshire, c.1340-85. Her interests lie in socio-legal history and the history of crime and punishment (c.1300-c.1900).

Emma Marshall, University of York


Twitter: @earlymodernemma

My thesis is provisionally titled ‘Social Dynamics and the Management of Sickness and Healthcare in Elite English Families, c.1620-1750’. It explores how experiences of and responses to illness, particularly as written about in personal correspondence, intersected with power dynamics, order and identity in gentry households. In so doing, my work approaches sickness as a uniquely complex social state and healthcare as a range of micro-political activities which shaped familial relationships.