All posts by School of History, Classics and Archaeology Postgraduate Forum

Democracy and people power conference, Durham

This cfp could be of interest to some of us – contact the organisers for more information.

Call for Papers: “We the People: We the People: Democracy, Democratization and people power in the 21st Century”.

Conference organized by the SGIA PhD Association 8th December 2016 Senate Suite, Durham Castle.

Building on last year’s successful conference, this conference is organised to offer doctoral researchers across all universities in the North East (Northumbria, Sunderland, Teesside, Newcastle and Durham) an opportunity to present their work and receive feedback from peers and academics in a cooperative environment. Moreover, participants will be able to gain invaluable experience in conference participation and have the chance to expand their network with other students in the region. The conference will address three main areas: theories of democracy, democracy in state institutions and democracy outside and beyond the state. Submissions with a national, regional or global focus are all welcome, and are expected to contribute to academic debate either in a theoretical, empirical, or methodological perspective. Abstract length should be no longer than 200 words, and should include the title of the proposed paper, the author’s name and institutional or departmental affiliation.

Please send your abstracts to Edward Walker or Elisabeth De Vega Alavedra at by the 15th of July 2016 deadline. We look forward to receiving your abstracts!

Best wishes, Edward Walker and Elisabeth de Vega Alavedra for the SGIA PhD Association For more information on the SGIA PhD Association, email us at or contact us through Facebook at

13th Annual Postgraduate Forum Conference

‘Individuals and Communities’

20th May 2016

Room 2.22, Research Beehive, Newcastle University

9.00 – 9.15 Tea and Coffee
Panel 1

Chair: Lauren Emslie

9.15 – 9:45  George Scratcherd (University of Oxford)

The four horsemen of the AME Church: ‘Great Men’ and the challenges of black church historiography.

9.45 – 10.15 James Mullen (Newcastle University)

God, King, and the Land: The relationship between Neo-Assyrian Kings, their subjects and the God Aššur.

10.15 – 10.45 David Astbury (Newcastle University)

Can path creation theory restore the agency of individuals and communities in the past?

10.45 – 11.15 Tom Whitfield (Newcastle University)

“Wilkes and Liberty”—Punch bowls and the later-eighteenth-century Wilkite agitations.

11.15 – 11.30 Tea and Coffee
Panel 2

Chair: Amy Shields

11.30 – 12.00 Mareike Ahlers (Newcastle University)

All for One and One for All—Identifying heterarchial structures in Early Neolithic barrow building communities.

12.00 – 12.30 Henry Clarke (University of Leeds)

Negotiating individual identities within the community in Central Spain, 2nd century BC – 2nd century AD.

12.30 – 1.00 Kate Caraway (University of Liverpool)

Group size and community cohesion in Archaic Greece: Towards a methodology.

1.00 – 2.00 Lunch and poster session
Panel 3

Chair: Lucy Cummings

2.00 – 2.30 John Bowman (Newcastle University)

Derwentcote Forge Cottages: A steel making community in the Derwent Valley 1841-1891.

2.30 – 3.00 Lawrence Mills (University of Glasgow)

Building the Old College

3.00 – 3.30 Alberto Cafaro (University of Pisa)

Praefecti fabrum and Roman politics.

3.30 – 4.00 Andrew Marriott (Newcastle University)

Entrenched Views. Accessing the people of the First World War through Material Culture

4.00 – 4.30 Tea and Coffee
4.30 – 5.30 Keynote: Dr Valentina Arena (UCL)

‘The Individual and the Community in Republican Political Thought’

5.45 Reception and prize giving (Student Common Room, Armstrong Building)




Exploring Classical and Historical Northumbria: Warkworth Castle

Dr. Susanna Phillippo  will be continuing her ‘Exploring Classical and Historical Northumbria’ trips this Sunday (17th April) with a visit to Warkworth Castle and Hermitage.

Details are as follows:

Depart c. 12.10, return c. 18.05
Cost: £7.80 for transport
A visit to the impressive medieval Percy fortress in the scenic town of Warkworth.
• Picturesque town dominated by showpiece medieval castle, home to a number of key players in English history, notably the Percy family (the original ‘kings in the north’).
• Wars of the Roses, the English Civil War and several wars with Scotland(!)  feature among the many historical events in which the castle and town played a part.
• Castle features in Shakespeare’s *Henry IV* plays: the scenes which he set here make use of elements from classical writers Plutarch and Virgil — we shall hear about these on site, and visit the exact locations!
• Unique 13th-century hermitage elaborately carved out of the solid stone of the river bank.

As with previous trips, entrance to the castle is free by special arrangement with English Heritage. We travel by bus: the X18 from Haymarket bus station, outside Marks and Spencers.
Meet at Haymarket bus station (usually Stand Q), ideally by *12.05*.
Catch 518 bus at 12.13.
Arrive Warkworth (via part of the scenic Northumbria coastal route) 13.40

Best to bring sandwiches to eat on the bus: refreshments including hot drinks are available at the Castle but there’s no cafe as such.

The bus drops us close to the castle; we’ll have ample time to explore it, and hopefully the hermitage (to which visitors are ferried by English Heritage rowing boat!) before heading downhill into the village for a refreshment stop in one the village’s excellent cafés/pubs (one of the latter serves particularly good scones!).

We will aim for the 16.37 bus back from Warkworth, getting back to Haymarket at 18.06.  Buses leave at 37 minutes past each hour, though, so you can catch an earlier or later bus back if you like.

Cost: An Arriva all-day ticket (£7.80) is the cheapest option.  Entrance to the castle is free; otherwise, just bring money for refreshments.

If you would like further details, email Dr. Phillippo at

Newsletter, week 12.04.16

Sorry the newsletter is late this week (IT fault…).  If you would like to promote an event, please get in touch

Research Seminars

Tuesday 12th April, 6-8 pm, Armstrong Building, Room 1.06
Stephanie Moat (Newcastle University): ‘New Perspectives on Provincial Religious Statuary: A Case Study from Roman Britain and North Africa’

Classics and Ancient History:
Wednesday 13th April, 5-7 pm, Armstrong Building, Room 2.50
Eric Csapo (Sydney): ‘Choregic dedications and what they tell us about comic performance in the fourth century BC’


Further School Events

The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell Exhibition
30th January 2016 – 3rd May 2016, Great North Museum

Newcastle University Public Lectures

14th April, 5:30-6:45pm, Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building
Sian Reynolds (Professor of French, University of Sterling): ‘Children of the revolutionaries’

Live Music

14th April, 1:10-2pm, Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle
Sarah Beth Briggs (piano):
Beethoven: Bagatelles, Op. 199, Nos. 1-4
Hayden: Sonata in C, Hob XVI/50
Debussy: Reflets dans l’eau (from first book of Images)
Chopin: F Minor Fantasy, Op. 49
Free admission

14th April, 4:30-5:30pm, Spaces 4 and 5, Culture Lab, King’s Walk
Student Performances including Alex Guthrie (piano), Nishant Verma (drums), Mark Johnson (drums), Joe Harmsworth (guitar), Grace Alexander (keys)
Free admission, limited capacity

Just a minute with… Emma Nicholson

emmaDr. Emma Nicholson finished her PhD on Philip V of Macedon in Polybios’ Histories at Newcastle in December 2015 and is currently teaching in the department. her research interests include Hellenistic history, historiography, epigraphy, leadership, cultural politics, cultural values and interstate relations. Traveller, artist, lover of movies, good food, good beer, and books. find her on Twitter.


  1. How did you come to be interested in your current area of research?

I’ve been interested in the ancient world since childhood, but came to love Macedonian and Hellenistic history during my BA and my MA. Philip V and Polybios emerged as top for the PhD.

  1. What advice would you have for current UG or early stage PG students?

Start early, work hard, work consistently, but always leave time for yourself!

  1. What book are you currently reading?

Too many!

  1. If you were a biscuit, what sort would you be?

Something chocolatey.

  1. What has been the highlight of your week?

Having an old friend over for the weekend. Lots of food, fun, geek and games!

  1. What is the most important life skill you learnt whilst being a PGR student?

Finding a decent work-life balance and not feeling guilty about taking time off. We worry so much about our work and achievements that we forget to take care of the very instruments (our brains) which get us there!

  1. Do you have favourite hidden gems of Newcastle?

Gorgeous little Café 1901 in Jesmond.

  1. What has been the most significant/memorable moment of your academic career so far?

A four-month research trip to Erlangen, Germany!

  1. What do you enjoy the most about being part of the history, classics and archaeology department at Newcastle?

People are supportive, connected and get involved.

  1. What would your perfect day away from work be?

Either reading/playing games at home all day, or hiking up a mountain somewhere.

  1. What is your favourite movie quote?

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us” (Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring). Ok, it’s originally a book quote, but all the same.

  1. What’s next for Emma?

New adventures!


Thanks , Emma! We are all behind you all the way, wherever those new adventures may lead you.

Newsletter, week 22.02.16

Once again, the newsletter.  If you would like to promote an event, please get in touch

Research Seminars

Monday 22nd February, 5-7 pm, Armstrong Building, Room 2.28
Dr Eugene Costello (NUI Galway)’ Booley houses and herders: an historical archaeology of transhumance in the west of Ireland’

Wednesday 24th February, 5-7 pm, Armstrong Building, Room 1.04
Aditya Sarkar (University of Warwick): ‘Arrears Due: Wage-Payment and the Labour Question in Late-Colonial Bombay’

Thursday 25th February, 5-6.30 pm, Armstrong Building, Room 2.16
Philip Garrett (Newcastle University): Title TBC

Further School Events

The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell Exhibition
30th January 2016 – 3rd May 2016, Great North Museum

Newcastle University Public Lectures

Tuesday 23rd February, 5:30-6:45pm, Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building
Helen Berry, Professor of British History, Newcastle University: Gertrude Bell and the ‘Woman Question’
Free admission

Thursday 25th February, 5:30-6:45pm, Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building
Clive Morton OBE, Professor of Corporate Governance and Business Development, Middlesex University Business School: Tackling uncertainty in organisations –the future: opportunity or threat?

Live Music

Thursday 25th February, 4:30-5:30pm, Spaces 4 and 5, Culture Lab, King’s Walk
Student Performances
Including Desmond Lau (clarinet), Masoud Hardan (guitar), Joe Reeve (saxophone), Abigail Brierley (trumpet), Liam Mulpetre (guitar)
Free admission, limited capacity


Newsletter, week 15.02.16

The return of the weekly newsletter!  If you would like to promote an event, please get in touch

Research Seminars

Archaeology Seminar Series
Thursday 18th February, 4-5 pm, Armstrong Building, Room 2.16
Andy Jones (Cornwall Archaeological Unit): ‘The Whitehorse cist

Classics and Ancient History:
Wednesday 17th February, 5pm, Armstrong Building, Room 2.50 Ruth Morello (Manchester): ‘Making Fabricius take the cash: traditional exempla andhte problem of modernity’.

Further School Events

The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell Exhibition
30th January 2016 – 3rd May 2016, Great North Museum

Newcastle University Public Lectures

16th February, 5:30-7pm, Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building
The British Academy Debates: ‘does religion do more harm than good? ‘ If you would like to attend please register at

Live Music

18th February, 1:10-2pm, Brunswick Methodist Church, Newcastle
Rose Consort of Viols (Ibi Aziz, John Bryan, Alison Curm, Andrew Kerr, Roy Marks)
‘Flights of Fancy: fantasias, In nomines and dance music from Tudor and Stuart part-books, including music by Tallis, Byrd, Ferrabosco, and Holborne’
Free admission

18th February, 4:30-5:30pm, Spaces 4 and 5, Culture Lab, King’s Walk
Student Performances
Including Dan Lewis (drums), Sarah Berry (violin), Dario Lozana-Thortnon (guitar), Rosie Brownhill (piano accordion)
Free admission, limited capacity

Just a minute with… Chris Mowat

ChrisChris Mowat is a second year Classics and Ancient History PhD student, and our current IT and Social Media person. His research is on gender construction and divination in the Roman world. He is also organising AMPAH 2016. He is on twitter @chrismologos

Though currently away on research in Germany, we still managed to get him to answer a few questions…


  1. If you could time-travel back to any moment in the past where and when would it be?

Gosh, there are so many options… and I would probably just waste it on going to see the original production of a Shakespeare…

  1. What book are you currently reading?

Romanitas by Sophia McDougall. Alternate history modern-day Roman Empire, or, as my best friend described it, “Latin Steampunk”.

  1. What did you want to be as a child?

So many things, including a best-selling novelist and a window cleaner! True story!

  1. Can you describe your research in three words?

Roman Sex and Magic.

Okay – that is not exactly accurate, but close enough, and it is great to say!

  1. What are your three most overused/cliché words or phrases?

“Hi Hungry, I’m Chris!”

“True story.”

“On a scale of 1 to [word]…”

  1. What’s the worst Classics-related joke that you’re heard and/or are guilty of telling?

I have a Classics hoodie that says “my life is in ruins”. Works for archaeologists, too!

  1. Have you got any hidden talents?


But if I told you, they wouldn’t be hidden!

  1. If given complete freedom to start over, what profession would you like to do and why?

Professional panda hugger. It is a real job, which people are paid real money to do.

  1. What is your favourite movie quote?

“How am I not myself?” (from I Huckabees).


Thanks, Chris! See you in March, when you are back from Germany!

Individuals and Communities: the 13th Annual PGF conference

20th May, 2016

Humans are often considered ‘social animals’, existing only within larger groups, though still maintaining a unique identity. This interdisciplinary one-day conference seeks reflect on the shifting relationship between individuals and communities across history. Defining the relationship between the individual and a (or several) social group(s) is difficult task. A community and an individual often construct carefully curated identities, which are either mutual or distinct. Humans have constantly created communities, approaches to the study of which are wide-ranging and indeed interdisciplinary. Equally, throughout our history individuals have emerged and their eminency has endured the test of time. Prominent and conspicuous these great individuals stand as role-models and exempla. Yet others, individuals who are not famous (either in their own, or our time) often prove to be just as important. What role can we, as historians and archaeologists, play in reviving and bringing back the individual from a historical period, ancient or more modern? Can we restore their agency? How important is the individual experience in society? How are communities organised?
We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers from postgraduate historians, classicists, ancient historians, and archaeologists. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
·        Individuals in communities
·        Individuals outside communities
·        Outsiders and exile
·        Individuals in history
·        Agency
·        ‘Great-Man’ theory
·        Public and private religion
·        Organisation(s) and landscape
·        Social roles
·        International relations
·        Social communication
·        Family
·        Gender and sexuality
·        Creating society
·        Class and race
We also invite poster submissions from postgraduate students. In order to offer the opportunity to present work which is in the earlier stages of research, poster submissions are not necessarily required to fit with the theme of the conference.
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to by Friday 1st April 2016. If you have any ideas, questions or enquiries, please feel free to get in touch.