History UK in 2018

This post outlines some of the activities of History UK in 2018 and is based on a message that was sent out to subscribing institutions. We thought that it might be of broader interest!

History UK is the independent national body promoting and monitoring History in UK Higher Education. It is funded by history departments or their equivalents and campaigns on issues of concern to academic historians and the broader history community, particularly in the following areas:

  • The profile of history in higher education and beyond
  • The state of the profession, particularly the recruitment and career development of undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers and staff
  • Research culture, including the research resources available to historians and the impact of the REF
  • Teaching and learning within the discipline, especially the impact of the NSS and TEF
  • Audit culture, to ensure that the demands of external audit and quality measurement are appropriate to the discipline and light in touch.

For example, some of the events that we have organised in the last year include:

  • our Plenary and AGM in November on The Future of the Humanities, which brought together Professor Stefan Collini (Cambridge) and Dr Karen Salt (Nottingham), as well as a round table of younger scholars – Sara Barker (Leeds), James Baker (Sussex) and Sihong Lin (Manchester);
  • in May, one of our co-convenors, Jamie Wood, hosted an event at the University of Lincoln with the British Library Labs, to explore the use of the BL’s digital collections in teaching and research;
  • in May, we also ran our third academic job bootcamp, in which both early career historians and PhD students participatedand which helped at least one attendee secure a job;
  • in May, we supported a workshop for school and university teachers onTransitioning in History from School to Universityat Leeds Beckett University;
  • in September, our education officer, Peter D’Sena, ran the third New to Teaching Workshop(co-funded by the Royal Historical Society), exploring themes including digital history, lecturing, small group teaching, curriculum design and career development;
  • in September, our research officer, Neil Fleming, together with our co-convener, Lucie Matthews-Jones, organised a Research Grant Workshopwith input from the AHRC and the British Academy, as well as a range of speakers who have held grants.

July also saw the culmination of a year-long partnership with The National Archives on collaborative working between the higher education and archive sectors. This resulted in the publication of a guide to collaborationand a workshopat the TNA. In 2019 we are continuing our close working relationship with the TNA and are co-sponsoring a series of workshops(at the IHR, Liverpool, Cardiff, Bristol, Leeds, Colchester and Birmingham – sign up here) that further explore (and seek to develop) partnerships between higher education, especially History, and archives, whether in teaching, research or other kinds of activity.

We have also continued to develop close working ties with a number of organisations. For example, we have run combined events with the Royal Historical Society, History Lab and History Lab Plus, and HUK representatives attend meetings and speak at events of these bodies. Through our education officer, and other steering committee members, we have close links with the HEA and Historical Association. We are also members of the Arts and Humanities Alliance.

We hope this goes some way to demonstrating what your support of History UK enables us to do. The coming year promises to be just as exciting as last. Our twitter feed (@history_uk) and website (http://www.history-uk.ac.uk)both publicise our  events, but also act as a forum for members to feedback and even blog on their experiences of our events or on other important HE issues.

Ultimately we work for our members, and you have a say through your representative on the steering committee, or (if you do not currently have a representative) by directly contacting the co-convenors, Dr. Lucie Matthews-Jones (L.M.Matthews-Jones@ljmu.ac.uk) or Dr. Jamie Wood (jwood@lincoln.ac.uk).

Perspectives on the New to Teaching workshop 2018

Below we collect some perspectives from participants in the New to Teach event that was held at the IHR in September 2018. Sponsored by the Royal Historical Society, HUK provided travel funding to enable participants from outside London to attend. We share some of their thoughts below.

Amy King (Bristol)

With the start of my new job looming (thanks in no small part to the Academic Job Boot Camp earlier this year!), I was delighted to sign up for the New To Teaching training held in September. The day started with an introduction to writing new courses, including an overview of the principles of backwards design and some practical exercises to get us started. Needless to say, I feel much less daunted by the prospect of writing two new modules this year thanks the session! We were also given a taste of how to use digital humanities to improve the student experience, shown some exciting examples of the use of social media in the classroom, and given some top tips and tricks for delivering lectures and seminars. Thank you to History UK for another brilliant, practical training day; I look forward to putting what we learned into practice in the new academic year.

 

Marc Collinson (Bangor)

Although I have taught seminars for four years, being offered the opportunity to convene a module for the first time had proved daunting. Likewise, my simultaneous entering the Job market after just shy of four years enrolled on a PhD forced me to reassess my employment situation – was I fully equipped? Was I prepared? The session was enlightening in helping me to consider the fundamentals of lecturing, seminar leading and course design – revisiting these in a friendly environment was fruitful and encouraging. This session helped me ignore some of the pettier concerns I had and prepare to rethink what I could do differently, it also made me more confident for an interview for a post-doc I had the following week. At time of writing, I had not heard back, but I felt more prepared for the interview, and comfortable with the line of questioning. I would thoroughly recommend others attend this event in future. Even if you think you are a good tutor, it is important to be able to reflect and reassess. That is, after all, a cornerstone of the teaching in higher education.

 

Liz Brooker (Leicester)

Having done a PGCE in Secondary History, I thought I would attend this course to update my practice now that I am teaching in Higher Education. I thought the course was very well structured and it covered lots of different teaching styles such as small group teaching and lecturing. I found these sessions useful and have tried to implement some of the strategies in my own teaching. The careers development session at the end of the day was very informative. It was especially nice to hear the thoughts and experiences of the other academics in attendance.

 

Thomas Davies (Bangor)

The History UK New to Teaching event was a thoroughly enjoyable day, raising some interesting points and encouraging thought on how to structure lessons, how to engage students and ensure they obtain as much as possible from lectures and seminars, providing a forum for discussion with peers and with an opportunity also to discuss with individuals experienced in teaching techniques. I have managed to incorporate some of the ideas in semester of teaching – together this has helped in my professional development and made me keen to continue teaching in the future!

Forthcoming HUK events in 2019: Developing collaboration between archives services and Higher Education

The National Archives and History UK

Come Together: Developing collaboration between archives services and Higher Education

Where: Venues and dates across England and Wales (for details see below)

Cost: Free (funded)

Audience: Archive staff, academics, and higher education staff considering, or working on, cross-sector collaborations and/or partnerships.  The workshops are open to academics from all disciplines.

Book your place via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/come-together-collaboration-between-archive-services-and-higher-education-tickets-53860849250

In 2015 the National Archives published a ‘Guide to Collaboration between the archive and higher education sectors’.  Since its publication there have been a number of developments across both sectors, so following consultations and desk-based research in 2018 the guidance has been refreshed.  The revised guidance is aimed at those considering collaboration and those who wish to develop their collaborative practice further.  It covers:

  • Types of collaboration
  • Forming a collaboration
  • Developing collaborative working
  • Recording activities and capturing impact
  • Successful collaboration advice

In June 2018 a pilot workshop to introduce the guidance and support networking between archive staff and academics took place.  Following on from the pilot’s success TNA, History UK, and MALD have collaborated on taking the workshop around England and Wales.  It will be delivered in seven venues across the two nations. (details below)

This one-day workshop will introduce the revised guidance highlighting key areas of change. It will also explore practical ways to identify, develop, and sustain cross-sector collaborations.  It will include:

  • Understanding the archive and higher education sectors – drivers, initiatives, support, and language
  • Identifying organisational and project priorities
  • The collaborative lifecycle
  • Understanding outputs and outcomes – mutually beneficial and sector/organisational specific
  • Measuring impact in cross-sector collaborations
  • An outline of recent updates to REF, TEF and Research Councils
  • Priority setting for partnerships
  • Networking opportunities between the sectors

Pilot participants comments:

“It was great fun, and an excellent opportunity to network with people from both the HE sector and from the Archive sector.”

“Excellent interactive activities which really opened up opportunities for making contacts and discussion.”

“It was a total buzz – I loved the actives – and the new contacts and the insights were great.”

Registration 1030 | Start 1100 | Finish 1630

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

 

Dates and venues:

Date (all 2019) Venue
Friday 31st January Institute of Historical Research, London
Wed 20th/Thurs 21st February Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool
End of March Glamorgan Archives, Cardiff, Wales
Thursday 4th April University of Bristol, Bristol
May / June University of Leeds, Leeds
June University of Essex, Colchester
Thursday 27th June University of Birmingham, Birmingham

 

Book your place via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/come-together-collaboration-between-archive-services-and-higher-education-tickets-53860849250

History UK-sponsored panel at Heritage Dot conference, Lincoln, 3-4 June 2019

History UK is sponsoring a panel at the inaugural Heritage Dot conference, to be held at Lincoln on 3-4 June 2019.  The conference is hosted by the University of Lincoln, Imperial War Museums and the Heritage Lottery Fund. There is further information at the conference website, but here’s a brief extract:

Heritage Dot explores the exciting collision between the worlds of digital tools and technology and cultural heritage. This fusion is creating new relationships between past and future, tradition and innovation. It is enabling new audiences to reinterpret the past and technologies of the future to reimagine professional practice. At the same time, its continually evolving nature can be a confusing space, placing demands on people and organisations within a landscape of diminishing access to resources.

History UK will sponsor one panel (this includes paying fees, transport and accommodation for those taking part). So, if you’re a historian from a subscribing department who works on digital heritage and are interested in presenting at the conference (or have already decided to do so!), please do get in touch with us by emailing either or both of the co-conveners.

The call for papers is available here: http://heritagedot.org/call-for-participation/

Image taken from page 237 of 'The Half Hour Library of Travel, Nature and Science for young readers'

Another post on our Academic Job Boot Camp

Amy King, a PhD candidate in the Department of Italian at the University of Bristol/Bath, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and currently working on oral history project @bristoldockers, has written a short post about her (positive!) experience at this year’s boot camp:

Amy King presenting on her research“I was fortunate enough to attend the Academic Job Boot Camp five days before an interview for a university post. Having sent in my CV and cover letter, made my slides for the presentation, and planned for the mock interview, I felt as prepared as I could be for the training day. It’s not often that training allows for one-to-one sessions and advice for each and every attendee, but the Boot Camp gave us just that. No matter how much interview preparation you do at home, nothing beats having the feedback of experienced interviewers on your delivery, the way you sell yourself (and if your CV/cover letter is matching up!) and your approach to answering questions. The presentation session was equally as useful, and a reminder of how important it is to clearly communicate a subject that is all too familiar to us, but perhaps new to our audience. It was also a great opportunity to recognise (and adopt) some of the impressive presentation tricks used by peers! Thank you to all involved for their generosity in the time they gave each of us for personal feedback. I’m absolutely sure this training helped me to get the job!”

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