May - June 2014

Talks and events about Sheffield and beyond

The city has played a part in human life for thousands of years, and now over half of the earth’s population live in one. In The City is a celebration and exploration of urban existence, heritage, and experience, with a variety of themes including modernist housing, forgotten places, activism, musical heritage and personal narratives. Alongside contributions from our own academics and others based in Sheffield, we have invited a host of acclaimed writers, thinkers and artists into our city to provide insights into aspects of urban life. These include John Grindrod, Anne C Fogarty, Iain Sinclair, WJT Mitchell, Desiree Reynolds, and Tristram Hunt MP, amongst many others.

Most events in this series (with the exception of films shown at the Showroom) are free, and supported by Arts Enterprise. Arts Enterprise funds activities which connect the power of university research in the Arts and Humanities and creative activities with local, regional and national partners, bringing benefits to our city and beyond. Watch this page for our In The City: Fringe programme - a series of extra, student led events that won't be included in our main printed programme, but are just as exciting. We'll also be updating with news in the run up, and during May, so make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Look out for event previews on our blog!

This is Arts Enterprise Showcase: Wednesday 4 June

Come and see what the Faculty of Arts and Humanities means by Arts Enterprise and public engagement: projects which combine the academic expertise of University staff with external partners in the city and beyond. The evening features an exhibition of the exciting things that our academics are involved in, working outside the University to use research in meaningful ways.

More information


Minutemen DVDWe Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen

The Showroom CinemaIn The City: Fringe Event

  • Speakers: Dr Brian Kennedy, Adam Zejma, and Max Templer
  • Date: 15 April - 8.30pm
  • Venue: The Showroom
  • Tickets: Tickets from The Showroom box office, 0114 275 7727,, or in person. Standard ticket prices apply.

A early start! In conjunction with Minutemen bassist Mike Watt’s gig at the Harley on the 17th April ‘We Jam Econo’, the Minutemen documentary, will be shown at the Showroom cinema on Tuesday 15th April with introductory talks on the subject of 'D.I.Y' music in the city, from Dr Brian Kennedy (University of Sheffield), Adam Zejma (Tye Die Tapes) and Max Templer (GET RAD/Public Humanities MA). There will be a ‘Minutemen disco’ afterwards in the Showroom bar. Tickets will be £4.50 with Mike Watt and the Missingmen tickets or proof of purchase.

Image courtesy of Believekevin.


Headlines logoHead -Lines: Writing from Survivors of Coma and Brain Injury

Head-Lines is the second anthology of creative writing produced by members of The Write Way, a Sheffield-based collective of which all members have experienced coma, brain injury or both. It is an eclectic mix of poetry and prose that explores a wide range of subjects, including post-coma experiences and ways of coping with brain injury. At this launch of 2014’s collection, writers will perform live readings and discuss their work and experiences.


The Showroom CinemaOf Time & The City

We're delighted that we can screen this classic film as part of the In The City programme. Of Time and the City is both a love song and a eulogy to Liverpool - it is also a response to memory, reflection and the experience of losing a sense of place as the skyline changes and time takes its toll. Award-winning director and screenwriter, Terence Davies, returns to his native Liverpool and to his film making roots to capture a sense of the City today and its influences on him growing up in the late 40's and early 50's. The film will be introduced by Dr Jonathan Ellis, from The School of English.


Donne in SheffieldJohn Donne

Speaker: Rev. Dr Erica Longfellow & Dr Emma Rhatigan, School of English

In collaboration with Sheffield Cathedral, Donne in Sheffield provides the rare opportunity to hear a sermon by the well known poet and preacher John Donne. The sermon will be delivered by the Rev. Dr Erica Longfellow as part of a seventeenth century Evensong, with anthems performed by members of the Cathedral choir, and the service will be accompanied by a short introductory talk by Dr Emma Rhatigan (University of Sheffield). This event will offer a unique insight into the religious world of the seventeenth century and a chance to encounter one of the less widely known works of Donne.


Battle of the BandsGuitar

In The City: Fringe Event

  • Date: 5 May
  • Venue: The Hop
  • Tickets: £2 On the door.
As part of the In The City: Fringe series, students on the Music Management course at the university have organised an exciting Battle of the Bands. Sheffield has always been renowned for its plethora of musical talent, and what better way to showcase this than a competition drawn from Sheffield's quality local music scene. The winning band will be chosen by means of an audience vote.


A picture of cumbernauldTo Build a Home: Modernism & Urban Planning in Post-war Britain

To Build a Home looks to explore the drive for social housing in the mid-20th Century, from multiple perspectives. Behind the ‘grand designs’ of buildings such as Park Hill Flats, lie stories of huge social upheaval, influential protest movements, but also political determination and a desire to improve the lives of urban residents.

In the first evening of this two part event, acclaimed new writer John Grindrod will present a talk based on his book, ‘Concretopia’, a personal journey through the history of the modernist housing drive after WW2. The talk will be followed by insights from residents involved in Sheffield’s side of the story, interviewed by students. There will also be an exhibition and archive photos, with oral history clips from the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars history project. Image courtesy of the J R James Archive.

More information on the project can be found here


//InnerCitySounds//Poster Draft

  • Performers: Danny Maddocks, Georgia Stanway, Robbie Chapman-Thong and Beth Edwards
  • Date: 7 May - 7pm
  • Venue: The University Arms
  • Tickets: £2 advance, £2.50 on the door. 
On Wednesday, 7th May, Sharpe Bookings, as part of the university's Music Management course, are presenting some of the best acoustic talent from the Sheffield area. Performances will be set alongside projections of the surrounding city, immersing the audience in the merged visual and audio scenes of Sheffield. All profit goes to the Sheffield Deaf Children's Society. More information can be found here.


To Build a Home: Sea-Change in Sheffield Housing and Planning Practice

View from the Arts Tower

The second part of the To Build a Home series brings together an exciting panel talk, based on the story of the highly influential Walkley Action Group and the proposed slum clearance by Sheffield City Council in the 1970s. Professor Geoff Green, Veronica Hardstaff and Narendra Bajaria will discuss their role in the activism and the subsequent sea-change in Sheffield planning that saved Central Walkley from the bulldozers. They will specifically also discuss the wider political context, and council’s determination to improve living conditions, whilst exploring the relationship between politicians, planners and residents. Image courtesy of the J R James Archive.

The talk will be followed by more interviews from Walkley Witness, which is a Department of History project that contributes to Walkley Ways, Walkley Wars through oral history.

For more information on the project, visit


StatueArt & Craft in Sheffield: Our History in 100 Objects (Exhibition)

Date: 9 May onwards

The Our History in 100 Objects project began in the summer and autumn of 2013, where members of the public nominated objects to Sheffield Visual Arts Group (S.V.A.G.), that they felt reflected the city’s artistic and cultural heritage. Museums Sheffield have now opened up their stores to small groups from ‘hard to reach’ and interested communities. The groups selected objects for this exhibition in Weston Park Museum, which will represent a new history of Sheffield told through objects, curated by the public. More information on Weston Park museum, including opening times, can be found here.


In This Place in History cc

How do you tell the story of a city’s past? Why does the urban landscape matter? And how do you convey it to a reader? History Matters blog editor, Caroline Dodds Pennock, will chair a panel discussion with writer Charlie Connelly and historians Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid (Modern Ireland/terrorism) and James Shaw (Renaissance Italy), on the challenges of telling stories about the history of cities – and what difficulties this presents to their work.

Charlie Connelly is a bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster, who has written ten books including And Did Those Feet: Walking Through 2000 Years Of British And Irish History, and Attention All Shipping: A Journey Round The Shipping Forecast.

If you are unable to attend, you can submit a question for the panel via twitter to @unishefhistory. The event will also be streamed afterwards on the blog


1914Sheffield's World War 1: Your Objects & Stories

  • Speaker: Short talks will take place throughout the day, by experts from both the University of Sheffield, and Museums Sheffield. More information coming soon!
  • Date: 10 May, 11am-3.30pm
  • Venue: Weston Park Museum
  • Tickets: Free, no tickets required.

Do you have any objects or heirlooms that can help us understand life in Sheffield during World War One? Did your grandfather join the City Battalion? Was your grandmother a 'Woman of Steel' in the munitions factories? Bring along your objects and tell us your stories at Weston Park Museum. Experts, curators and a professional photographer will be on hand to document and record this people's archive, and perhaps give you some extra insight into your objects. The day will also feature an exciting variety of talks from experts based at the museum, and the University of Sheffield!

The day, and the objects you bring will also have the opportunity to be photographed to contribute to the new Europe-wide online history archive, Europeana 1914-1918.


The Showroom CinemaThis is Our City: Sheffield on Film

Iain Sinclair

Please note this event is starting earlier than previously scheduled due to the number of films being shown.

  • Speaker: Iain Sinclair
  • Date: 12 May, 6.15pm-8.30pm
  • Venue: The Showroom
  • Tickets: Free, please book via The Showroom box office in person or over the phone on 0114 275 7727.

This is Our City showcases the work of some of the many filmmakers working in Sheffield to document our city. Films will include a vivid story about a forgotten event on the River Don; a portrait of a Sheffield band which has played together for 30 years; a powerful human story of the last days of a small factory in the city; and other films which explore the lives and places of Sheffield.

The event includes a talk by award winning British writer and filmmaker, Iain Sinclair. Much of his work focuses on London, its history, spirit and surroundings, and his books are widely regarded as foremost examples of psychogeography. Image courtesy of Andy Miah.


Desiree ReynoldsSeduce by Desiree Reynolds: Sheffield Book Launch

This remarkable debut novel, Seduce (2013) by Sheffield-based author Desiree Reynolds explores the unfolding conflicts between men and women, parents and children, lovers and friends on a mythical Caribbean Island intimately connected to the history of slavery. Written in the vernacular speech-style of the Islanders, this novel deserves to be both read and heard. This event celebrates the Sheffield launch of Seduce with the author reading from her work, followed by a Q and A chaired by Dr Rachel van Duyvenbode from the School of English.

Music is central to the novel, and as such, Winston Hazel aka The FMG (Forgemasters) will be filling the HRI with nyabingi drumming, reggae, soca and mento prior to the reading! The event will be followed by an open-mic celebration at the Harrison's bar.


The Potteries: Past, Present and FutureTristram Hunt

Dr Tristram Hunt is MP for Stoke-on-Trent, a city with a rich and proud history: birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and hub for the finest ceramics industry in the world. As part of In the City, Dr Hunt will talk about Stoke’s role in the past, its present state and his aspirations for its future; and about how priorities for regeneration are being realised by developments in the city. This event was postponed last year, and Dr Hunt has kindly agreed to come back to Sheffield to deliver the talk.


Hand Of LogoA Long Walk to GrimethorpeBrass Band

In The City: Fringe Event

A Long Walk To Grimethorpe is a new commission for brass band, electronic music and documentary film bringing together the University of Sheffield Brass Band (USBB), electronic music composer Joe Snape and film-maker Ismar Badzic. As the sun comes up over the peak district, the composer sets off from Sheffield city centre with a simple aim: to walk to the renowned Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band’s rehearsal space in time to hear their evening rehearsal. The catch? He has to do it wearing a tuba rigged with numerous tiny microphones, each capturing a subtly different resonance within the instrument. Together, these microphones are responsible for recording the entire walk, creating an abstract, patchwork document of a most basic of journeys. A Long Walk is a rumination on the relationships between sound, geography, musical heritage and cultural belonging.

The collaboration between the band and composer will provide the basis for a documentary exploring the cultural heritage of brass banding communities in South Yorkshire, directed by Sheffield based film-maker Ismar Badzic. The performance of A Long Walk to Grimethorpe, together with a screening of the documentary will be premiered May 15th at Sheffield's S1 Artspace.


A picture of Caberet Voltaire in Western WorksNo Lectures From Western Works 

This event has now sold out - there may be limited places on the door, but we cannot guarantee entry.

The John Pemberton Lecture Theatres are as close as we can get to the site of Western Works, Cabaret Voltaire's recording studio that once stood on the corner of Regent Street and Portobello. No Lectures... aims to explore the space that remains in 2014. Contemporary musicians will draw on the material recorded here while writers and academics will discuss some of the ideas that travel around the place. Join residents and workers past, present and future in experimenting with art and Sheffield, music and technology, health and disease.

The evening will feature live performances from Blood Sport, Juxtavoices, and B.H.S., video installations and panel talks, with much help from The Audacious Art Experiment, an industrious DIY record label based in Sheffield. Paul Bower (2.3 & Gunrubber) will be talking about the space in use and discovery, and Ron Wright (Hula, Now Society) will ruminate on time spent there. Bob Baker (Clock DVA) and friends will perform their own special lecture. We’re also very excited to announce that other former members of Cabaret Voltaire, Clock DVA, and In The Nursery will be performing an exclusive collaboration as ‘IBBERSON’ for the event.

Image courtesy of Pete Hill.


Picture of River WoltonStories of Activism: City Activist Walk 

The 17 May run of this walk has now sold out, but there are plenty of spaces on the 22 May run.

Sheffield has a rich and vibrant history of activism. Over the past few years, the Stories of Activism in Sheffield, 1960-present project has been conducting interviews with activists from around the city. The city centre and its immediate surrounding areas are an important part of their stories. Join poet River Wolton and others as we trace the City’s activist past and present through its buildings, landmarks and streets. The stories we tell will bring to life again—and update—the famous ‘Radical History Walk’. All participants are invited to add their stories as we walk, and contribute to the project’s growing collection stored at Sheffield Archives.

Also on 17 May:

Classical music on the streets - Winter Gardens,  10am - Midday.

Come and join the experiment! The Classical Music on the Streets project looks to bring classical music to audiences that may not actively access live classical music performance regularly themselves. Silver Strings, a string trio, will be performing in the Winter Gardens and audience reactions to their performance will be captured with time-lapse photography.


On The Town On The Town
The Showroom Cinema

  • Speaker: Geoffrey Block, Professor of Music History, University of Puget Sound
  • Date: 18 May, 4.45pm
  • Venue: The Showroom
  • Tickets: Tickets from The Showroom box office, 0114 275 7727, their website or in person. Standard ticket prices apply.

Part of the Stagestruck! Festival
This phenomenally popular 1949 adaptation of the 1944 Broadway hit broke new ground for its Manhattan location shooting and exquisite cinematography. A highlight of the movie is the iconic “New York, New York” routine, but producer Roger Edens controversially replaced much of the rest of Leonard Bernstein’s score with new songs of his own. The all-star cast includes Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Jules Munshin, Ann Miller, Vera-Ellen and Betty Garrett.

Screening introduced by Geoffrey Block, Distinguished Professor of Music History at the University of Puget Sound, USA.


The Showroom CinemaThe DeadJames Joyce

  • Speakers: Anne C Fogarty, University College Dublin, Dr Katherine Ebury, School of English
  • Date: 20 May, 8.30pm
  • Venue: The Showroom
  • Tickets: Tickets from The Showroom box office, 0114 275 7727, their website or in person. Standard ticket prices apply.

This event celebrates the June 2014 centenary of James Joyce’s short story collection, Dubliners, with a screening of John Huston’s adaptation of The Dead introduced by Dr Katherine Ebury of the University of Sheffield and Professor Anne Fogarty, Professor of James Joyce Studies at UCD. The centenary itself and Joyce’s struggles to publish the stories in the face of censorship will also be discussed. Huston’s thoughtful adaptation of the film highlights tensions between the space of the home and the wider city space, as, following a family party, Gabriel and Gretta Conroy find their marriage haunted by ghosts from the past. A short Q&A will follow the film.

Opening The Archive

Help us unlock the city's archives and tell its secrets. Come along and see some of the treasures held by Sheffield Archives and the University of Sheffield Special Collections. Items on display will range from the 15th to 20th centuries, from a selection of letters autographed by Mary of Queen of Scots to the catalogues produced by Painted Fabrics Ltd in the wake of World War One. Read and hold these materials, and discuss their significance with experts and archivists.
23 May, 1-3pm, Sheffield Archives, 52 Shoreham Street, S1 4SP
24 May, 1-3pm, Jessop West Exhibition Space, Jessop West, S3 7RA

W.J.T MitchellThe Arts of Occupation

W.J.T. Mitchell is Professor of English and Art History at the University of Chicago and editor of the ground-breaking interdisciplinary journal, Critical Inquiry.
In this lecture, he gives a survey of the way the Occupy movement employed a variety of images, media, and performative acts to take possession of symbolic urban spaces. The talk will attempt to examine the spatial tactics of Occupy in relation to the long history of revolutionary public "spaces of appearance," to use Hannah Arendt's phrase, across the globe.

City Lights (with live score) City Lights

Part of the Chaplin Boom Festival
Critics went crazy for Chaplin’s masterpiece ‘City Lights’ as the birth of cinematic sound and the talkies threw the film industry into turmoil. Chaplin composed his own superb score for the film and the end product is one of his most cherished cinematic accomplishments. Every action on screen of this timeless classic will be brought to life with the original score performed live by the Sheffield Rep Orchestra.

Furnace ParkNo Picnic: Exploring Art & Research

To launch our book we're holding a picnic. The book presents what happened when researchers and artists explored each other's work in Furnace Park, which was, when we started, a wasteland. The project addresses the approaches we take individually and collectively within art, science and investigation. The picnic will celebrate and interrogate this process, featuring many creative contributions from academics, artists and beyond. Would you like an advance copy of the book and be prepared to respond to it with a 2–5 minute comment at the picnic? Email to speak.

Chatsworth Servants Project ShowcaseChatsworth

An opportunity to learn about the student led 'Chatsworth Servants Project' which looks at life below stairs through the archive at Chatsworth House. The project has consisted of digitisation and indexing of archival material, data visualisation, oral history interviews and case studies. More info on the project can be found on the blog set up by the students.

Come by Jessop West Foyer, 5pm - 7pm on Tuesday May 27th, have a drink and find out more about the project!


Madeleine BlaessThe Madeleine Blaess Project: A Public Preview

Madeleine Blaess (1918-2003) was a lecturer in French at the University of Sheffield, raised and educated in Yorkshire. Trapped as a student in Paris by the German advance in June 1940, she begins her diary in October, continuing to write it with barely a missed entry until October 1944, writing in unprecedented detail about everyday life in wartime Paris. Dr Wendy Michallat has spent the last year working with the manuscript to develop it into a documentary film. We are delighted to present a public preview and drop-in event to show excerpts from the film so far, with some brief introductions during the course of the evening.

Photo reproduced with the kind permission of Phil Morris. More information on the Madeleine Blaess Project can be found here.


Literature and The BibleLiterature and the Bible

In The City: Fringe Event

In collaboration with St Marie’s Cathedral, Literature and The Bible presents an evening of academic papers examining the broad intersection between Early Modern literature and The Bible (c. 1500 – 1800). Jaime Goodrich, Dr Emma Rhatigan and Adam Smith will explore how major literary figures such as Mary Sidney Herbert, John Donne and John Milton appropriate, adapt and engage with Biblical sources in their work. The event will also feature choral settings of the poetry discussed, an exhibition on Paradise Lost and a Q&A with the speakers. Refreshments will be provided.


Faith and Fear in Philadelphia: Writing Music, Writing HistoryPayroll Union

Building on the collaboration between the critically-acclaimed Americana band The Payroll Union and the Sheffield History Department, this event brings together historians and musicians to consider how we tell stories about the past. Andrew Heath (Dept. of History) and Pete David will be joined by musicians to talk about how they’ve used research to develop their art. The panel talk and Q&A will be followed by a full performance of the Faith and Fear in Philadelphia project, including a set of new material from The Payroll Union, a creative interpretation of direct primary sources from the period, and more! Photo courtesy of Chard Remains.


Steel Stories Exhibition Storying Sheffield Logo

Steel Stories is an exhibition of visual, textual, and aural representations of the steel industry in Sheffield produced by photographers and filmmakers Shaun Bloodworth and Andy Brown who have worked with Brendan Stone, Matt Colbeck, and undergraduate students of the University of Sheffield. More information on the Steel Stories Project can be found here.


Amanda Crawley JacksonPlastiCities SymposiumPlasticities Logo

Scientific discourses on neuroplasticity abound with metaphors both of (neuronal) landscapes and (cortical) ‘real estate’. This cutting-edge symposium brings together speakers from across the disciplines to explore the ways in which recent advances in the understanding of neuroplasticity might be used to construct new models for negotiating urban landscapes and temporalities. Our discussions will include a consideration of how brain trauma and cerebral re-organisation can yield new understanding and insight regarding the complexity and resilience of the damaged topographies that punctuate the post-industrial, post-colonial and post-traumatic cityscape. Thinking through the sculptural dynamic of cerebral morphology will also open up a debate concerning the ways in which critical methodologies from the arts might find their place in the sculpting of new forms of stability within the contemporary built environment, participating in the ‘real life’ making of cities, at both grass roots and policy level. This symposium is open to all and will feature a digital exhibition by Dr Stuart Wilson.


Women in Sheffield: A Musical Tour Launch PartyBrave New Storm

In The City: Fringe Event

  • Date: 3 June - 7pm
  • Venue: Delaneys
  • Tickets: Free - more information available on Facebook.

The Women in Sheffield Tour on the Sheffield Music Map is a chance to capture the experiences of some of the many talented artists and professionals working in the Sheffield music industry. The tour explores the experiences of women in Sheffield through stories of some of their favorite places. The launch party will feature some up and coming female talent with Brave New Storm fronted by Siobhan Bligh and an acoustic set from Dnae of Dnae & The Indigo Sound Project. The tour has been created as an MA project by student Kate Geller as part of the Public Humanities course.


Arts Enterprise logoThis is Arts Enterprise

Come and see what the Faculty of Arts and Humanities means by Arts Enterprise and public engagement: which combine the academic expertise of University staff with external partners in the city and beyond. There will be an extensive exhibition of the exciting things that our academics are involved in, working outside the University to use research in meaningful ways, and many stalls with information about the projects in detail. The Faculty throws open its doors and invites all to partake in a fun, and informative evening. We'll be showcasing work from most of our projects, and other exciting public engagement from within the faculty. You can find out more about the Arts Enterprise projects here.

Sacred Sharrow Celebrationswing

Please note this event is starting later than previously scheduled.

Since September 2013 Sheffield University students have been working in partnership with arts charity Art in the Park to find out what makes a place or space sacred to the community living in the Abbeydale/Sharrow area. From church congregations to after school clubs, visual arts and creative writing workshops have captured resident’s thoughts and views of their community, its places, and what makes them important, safe and sacred. An exhibition of sound, words, photographs and visual arts from the project will transform one of these spaces into our own sacred space.