Previously organised by Kate Gibson, undertaking a PhD in the Department of History, Aysha Winstanley Musa, a PhD student with the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies in the School of English Literature, took over the Gender History Discussion Group in 2016. Shortly after taking over the Gender History Discussion Group she was joined by Catherine H Kennedy, soon to begin an MRes with SIIBS, as co-organiser.
The Gender History Discussion group is a space for staff and students from across the faculty to hear papers from early career academics and postgraduate speakers from the University of Sheffield, and further afield. The group provides the opportunity to discuss completed and ongoing research, and solicit feedback in a friendly and supportive environment, as well as providing a forum for general discussion of methods and issues relating to the study of gender history.
There is a strong inter-disciplinary flavour to the group’s activities, and the papers presented, over the course of the year. As is reflected by this sample of articles.
The group is coordinated with Arts and Humanities postgraduate students in mind, and reflects a growing interest in gender history and related themes and issues among PhD students and early career academics.
Papers have been diverse and challenging, exploring gender history from a variety of research angles through a variety of texts including art history, film, freedom of expression on social media, and religiosity’s impact on gender performance, as well as a host of others.
The Gender History Discussion group has contributed to building a supportive research community, facilitating discussion across the faculty, and has provided an opportunity for researchers with overlapping interests to come together in a forum created specifically with their needs in mind. The group has proven to be an illuminating and entertaining exploration of gender history, gender and sexualities, and related fields such as feminist and masculinity studies.
For Sheffield students, this is an opportunity to network, learn about new methodologies, and contribute their feedback to the ongoing research presented, in addition to a valuable opportunity to share ideas, and practice presenting their research and answering questions on it.
In addition to the more popular paper presentations, the group has had discussion based sessions focused on set readings, as well as presentations involving visual media.
In order to respect and celebrate the interdisciplinary nature of the papers that have been presented at the Gender History Discussion Groups, this journal has embraced a variety of referencing styles which reflects the diversity of disciplines represented at both the discussion group and in this publication.
The Gender History Discussion Group leaders are extremely grateful to the AHPGR Forum for the funding they have provided over the past three years, which has enabled the group to invite outside speakers and publish the present publication.
Aysha Winstanley Musa and Catherine H Kennedy