Just a minute with… Amy Shields

amyAmy Shields a third year history PhD student, and current editor of our postgraduate journal, Pons Aelius. Her research focuses on seventeenth century republicanism in England, Venice, and the Dutch Republic. She is on twitter @ahshields90

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

An Olympic swimmer, an author, and a vet. I think I may have been a bit over ambitious.

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

Get involved in as many things as you can! Not only is a great way to meet new people, but you gain new skills and your CV will look great.

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

How to blag confidence and ignore that gnawing feeling of panic that I’m out of my depth. Imposter syndrome is all too common in academia, but if you act like you know what you’re doing and just go for it, you’ll surprise yourself with what you can achieve.

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

When I got accepted to give a paper at Berkeley in California. I’d written the abstract just a few days before the deadline, and didn’t really expect to be accepted. I’d also never been to the US before, so that was a really great experience.

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

When I was little, I really wanted to be a vet because I absolutely love animals. I gave up on that dream because I found sciences much more challenging than humanities at school, and also because I’d get upset far too easily! But if I went back now, I wouldn’t let myself give up so easily.

  1. What book are you currently reading?

One Hundred Years of Solitude is sitting on my bedside table right now, but I’m only a few pages in. I have a habit of getting too distracted by a good book – I won’t notice that hours have passed because I’m so hooked! Last week I read the Hunger Games trilogy in four days….and my supervisor wonders why I miss deadlines… (sorry Rachel!)

  1. What has been the highlight of your week?

It was great to see the finished version of the newly renamed E-Journal, Pons Aelius, going live this week. Linda and I spend a lot of hours working on it, so we were really pleased to see it finally published. It also helped that we could celebrate with a few glasses of wine at the PGF party!

  1. Do you have favourite hidden gems of Newcastle?

It’s not hidden as such, but I love going to Intermezzo at the Tyneside Cinema. It’s a great place to while always the afternoon over a glass of wine and a good book.

Thanks, Amy! Hope you have a wonderful holiday period, and we will see you all in the New Year!

12th Edition of our E-Journal – Call for Papers!

Call for Papers

12th Edition of the Postgraduate Forum E-Journal

School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University


The theme of this year’s issue of the PGF E-Journal seeks to reflect on the way in which “disruptions” have shaped historical disciplines and processes.

Studies of history are littered with the disruptions of peoples and places, politics and religion, memory and belief, but the term itself is rarely used. Does the concept of disruption offer any new perspective, and how do we recognise and define these disruptions? Does the term disruption have any genuine utility?  Can we look at disruptions on a macro and micro scale?  How do we deal with disruptions to scholarly narratives when new theories, interpretations, and material are discovered?

We are seeking abstracts for papers of 4000 words. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Historiographical Disruptions
  • Material Disruptions
  • Disruptions of Landscape
  • Political Disruptions
  • Social Disruptions
  • Economic Disruptions
  • Ideological/Philosophical Disruptions
  • Religious Disruptions
  • Medical Disruptions
  • Urban or Rural Disruptions
  • Disruption of Memory
  • Natural or Environmental Disruption
  • Textual Disruptions
  • Narrative Disruptions

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words along with a CV to Amy Shields (amy.shields@ncl.ac.uk) by 28th August. If your paper is selected, the deadline for the final paper will the 2nd October.

E-Journal: A quick update!

We have now finished uploading the back issues of our Historical Studies Postgraduate E-Journal. You can find them listed under the ‘E-Journal’ tab (hover over the tab to reveal the list. Please Note: this may not work if you are using Internet Explorer), or use the menu on the right hand side of the page.

If you come across any broken, incorrect, or missing links, please let me know! You can do so via email (l.emslie@ncl.ac.uk).  Thank you.

Lauren (IT Officer)