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Dr Sarah Hellawell

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Lecturer in Modern British History

I joined the University of Sunderland as Lecturer in Modern British History in January 2018.

I previously taught at Northumbria University, where I also conducted my doctoral research. In 2017, I was Research Associate on the 'British Ex-Service Students and the Re-building of Europe Project, 1919-1926' AHRC funded project.

I am currently working on my first book based on my PhD research, which examines the formation and early years of the British Women's International League.

Teaching and supervision

I teach a range of modules on BA (Hons) History. I am Module Leader for:
  • HIS116 'British History since 1750'
  • HIS212 'Britain's Age of Reform, 1750-1846'
  • HIS395 'A Brave New World:Interwar Britain'

I also teach on 'Introduction to History', 'Special Project', 'History in Ancient and Contemporary Debates'.

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 forthcoming journal article.


Number of items: 5.


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

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 Fri Dec 2 02:36:51 2022 GMT.
  • 20th Century British history
  • Women's and gender history
  • Transnational social movements

Last updated 16 November 2021