Conference Team


Laura Cofield: Laura’s CHASE/AHRC funded research investigates body hair removal in twentieth and twenty-first-century British culture, as a way of exploring changing perceptions of body image and personal experiences of grooming/body modification.She is an Associate Tutor and representative for History postgraduate research students at the University of Sussex. She received a BA in Modern History and Political Science and an MA in Contemporary History (College of Arts and Law Graduate Scholarship) at the University of Birmingham. Laura is a Student Associate Member of the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research and was a coordinating member of Ngender: The University of Sussex postgraduate gender and sexuality research collective (2015-2016). She is also a PhD Tutor for The Brilliant Club Most recently she has published:

Robinson, Lucy and Cofield, Laura (2016) ‘The opposite of the band’ fangrrrling, feminism and sexual dissidence. Textual Practice, 30 (6). pp. 1071-1088. ISSN 0950-236X


dr-sian-edwards-in-template Sian Edwards a Lecturer in Modern British History and is a historian of twentieth-century Britain, with a particular interest in youth, rurality and gender. Increasingly, she has become interested in challenging urban-centric histories of youth and youth cultures and currently I am especially interested in exploring experiences of rural youth in the twentieth century.

Sian studied for a History undergraduate degree at the University of Sussex, where she went on to study for her Master’s and PhD in Contemporary History. She graduated with my doctoral degree in January 2014. Her PhD research, supervised by Professor Claire Langhamer and Professor Ian Gazeley, explored the centrality of the countryside in the training of British youth organisations in the mid-twentieth century and will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017. She began teaching in 2010 and since then have taught on a variety of courses ranging across the degree programme at the Universities of Sussex and Brighton.

Youth Movements, Citizenship and the English Countryside: Creating Good Citizens, 1930-1960 (Palgrave Macmillan, Forthcoming 2017)

Review: James Nott, ‘Going to Palais: A Social and Cultural History of Dancing and Dance Halls in Britain, 1918-1960’, Twentieth Century British History, 2016, DOI: 10.1093/tcbh/hww011

‘Nothing gets her goat! The Farmer’s Wife and the Duality of Rural Femininity in the Young Farmers’ Club Movement in 1950s Britain’, Women’s History Review. From the forthcoming Special Issue: Revisioning the History of Girls and Women in Britain in the Long 1950s. DOI: 10.1080/09612025.2015.1123022.

thumbnail_fullsizerenderOwen Emmerson
 is researching the emotion of childhood corporal punishment in twentieth-century Britain. His research traces the status of emotion in movements to reconceptualise the status of the child’s body over the century. It asks why children’s bodies remain less privileged than adults. His research is funded by CHASE/AHRC at the University of Sussex, where he previously gained a BA and MA (Cate Haste Scholarship) in Contemporary History. His interests include the history of sound, emotion, childhood, popular culture and the body.


hlJessica Hammett
‘s doctoral research at the University of Sussex, Representations of Community in Second World War Civil Defence, was submitted in December 2016 and was supported by the AHRC. The thesis highlights the significance of local social groups in shaping the experience of the war, and it offers a new angle on the ‘People’s War’ by showing how this national mythology was engaged with and shaped by individuals and groups. She has taught at the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton, and is a committee member of History Lab Plus. She has just begun work on a community history project for which she has received Heritage Lottery Funding: ‘Moving to Bettws: Starting a New Life on a 1960s Estate’. This fits into a wider research project on ‘Working-Class Friendships in Britain, 1950-1990’.

Her recent publications are: ‘“It’s in the blood, isn’t it?” The Contested Status of First World War Veterans in Second World War Civil Defence’, Journal of Cultural and Social History (forthcoming 2017); ‘“We’re absolute heroes now to everyone”: The Fluctuating Popularity of Civil Defence in Britain’, University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History, 16 (2015).

img_3066Michele Nicole Robinson‘s research at the University of Sussex, funded by a Chancellor’s International Research Scholarship, examines the roles that visual and material culture played in shaping children’s domestic experiences in sixteenth-century Italy. She is a participant in Material Witness, a training programme partly funded by the AHRC for PhD and early career researchers part of the CHASE consortium. She studied for a BA and MA (Honours with Distinction) in Art History at the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She is a member of Association of Art Historians, Renaissance Society of America, College Art Association, Sixteenth Century Society, Pacific Northwest Renaissance Society and the Society for Renaissance Studies.