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Dr Sarah Hellawell

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Quality Support Officer

I am currently a Quality Support Officer in Academic Registry. I support colleagues in the Faculty of Education and Society with the quality management of their courses. I joined the University of Sunderland as Lecturer in Modern British History in September 2016. In my lecturing role, I was module leader for a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules.

My research focuses on the history of activism, particularly British women’s participation in international associations during the twentieth century. I have authored book chapters in a range of edited collections and I have had articles published in BBC History magazine, Women’s History Review, Twentieth Century British History, and History: the journal of the Historical Association. I am currently working on my first monograph, which examines the formation and early years of the British Women's International League.

Teaching and supervision

As Lecturer in Modern British History, I was Module Leader for:

  • HIS116 'British History since 1750'
  • HIS212 'Britain's Age of Reform, 1750-1846'
  • HIS395 'A Brave New World: Interwar Britain'
  • HIS396 'Special Project: Activism, Gender and Social Change: Britain and Beyond, 1850s-1970s'

I also taught on 'Introduction to History', 'Special Project', 'History in Ancient and Contemporary Debates'. I supervised undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations, including MA and MPhil student projects. I have examined two PhD projects.

Research interests for potential research students

I am interested in supervising projects that relate to the women's and gender history, and the histories of social movements, internationalism, activism, and other themes in British social history in the 19th and 20th Centuries.


Feminism, Pacifism and Internationalism: The British Women’s International League, 1915-1935

My PhD research sheds light on the British Women’s International League (WIL), an organisation that campaigned for peace, disarmament and international law, alongside goals for women’s rights. Having formed part of an international association – the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) – WIL offers a unique perspective on the women’s movement and the interplay between activism at local, national and international levels. My project engages with the broader historical themes of citizenship, class and social activism. It makes a distinct contribution to the historiography on the British women’s movement by considering the influence of internationalism on activism. I am currently revising my research for publication as a monograph.

British Ex-Service Students and the Rebuilding of Europe, 1919-1926

As Research Assistant, I conducted archival research in London and the North East on the history of student activism after the First World War. Funded by AHRC World War One Engagement Centre at the University of Hertfordshire and led by academics at Northumbria University and University College London, I also worked in collaboration with community partners – the National Union of Students and North East branch of the Workers Educational Association – to organise dissemination events in London and the North East. This project has led to a pop-up exhibition, public talks, a blog and a journal article.


Number of items: 8.


Hellawell, Sarah (2022) 1921: A Brave New World? BBC History Magazine. ISSN 25143336

Hellawell, Sarah (2021) ‘A Strong International Spirit’: The Influence of Internationalism on the Women’s Co-operative Guild. Twentieth Century British History, 32 (1). pp. 93-118. ISSN 1477-4674

Brewis, Georgina, Hellawell, Sarah and Laqua, Daniel (2020) Rebuilding the Universities after the Great War: Ex-Service Students, Scholarships and the Reconstruction of Student Life in England. History, 105 (364). pp. 82-106. ISSN 1468-229X

Hellawell, Sarah (2017) Antimilitarism, Citizenship and Motherhood: the formation and early years of the Women’s International League (WIL), 1915 – 1919. Women's History Review, 27 (4). pp. 551-564. ISSN 0961-2025

Hellawell, Sarah (2015) Book Review, Cathy Hunt, National Federation of Women Workers, 1906–1921 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) in Economic History Review, vol. 68, no. 2 (2015), 739–740. Economic History Review, 68 (2). pp. 739-740.

Book Section

Brockington, Grace, Hellawell, Sarah and Laqua, Daniel (2023) Pacifist Journals. In: The Edinburgh Companion to First World War Periodicals. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 352-368. ISBN 9781474494717

Hellawell, Sarah (2021) Women as Peacemakers: The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom in Zurich, 1919. In: The Global Challenge of Peace: 1919 as a Contested Threshold to a New World Order. Liverpool University Press, Liverpool, pp. 111-126. ISBN 9781800857193

Hellawell, Sarah (2019) Building a 'New International Order': International Women's Organizations and the UIA. In: International Organizations and Global Civil Society: Histories of the Union of International Associations. Bloomsbury Academic, London. ISBN 9781350055629

This list was generated on Wed May 29 22:36:33 2024 BST.
  • 20th Century British history
  • Women's and gender history
  • Transnational social movements

Last updated 28 February 2024