Hallam Roffey

Department of History

Research student & Teaching assistant


Thesis title: Boundaries of Acceptability: The Politics of Obscenity, Pornography, and Blasphemy in England, 1970-1989. 




I began my PhD at Sheffield in 2018 having completed my BA in History and MA in Historical Research here. My research interests lie mainly in twentieth-century social and cultural history with a particular focus on Britain since the 1960s. 

My doctoral work was an exploration of censorship in 1970s and 1980s England. It examined how different interest groups fought over the proliferation of different types of 'obscene,' pornographic, blasphemous, violent, and otherwise offensive material, and how the laws governing these cultural categories evolved over time. This was the culmination of undergraduate and postgraduate work aiming to contextualise contemporary debates around free speech, hate speech, and identity politics. 

I have taught on a range of undergraduate modules in the Department as an associate tutor since 2019.  

  • PhD History, University of Sheffield, 2022
  • MA Historical Research, University of Sheffield, 2018
  • BA History, University of Sheffield, 2017

Arts & Humanities Research Council PhD full competition scholarship via the White Rose College of Arts & Humanities (2018).

Teaching activities

University of Sheffield Teaching Assistant previous years:

  • HST31020 Permissive Britain? Social and Cultural Change, 1956-74
  • HST112 Paths from Antiquity to Modernity
  • HST117 The Making of the Twentieth Century 
  • HST119 The Transformation of Britain
  • HST120 History Workshop (Guest Tutor)
Professional activities and memberships

Professional Bodies / Associations:

  • Member of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society
  • Member of the Oral History Society
  • Postgraduate Member of the Royal Historical Society
  • Member of the Social History Society

Administrative Roles:

  • PhD Representative for the Research and Innovation Committee, Department of History, University of Sheffield, 2021-2.
  • Social Secretary for the Postgraduate Forum, Department of History University of Sheffield, 2021-2022.
  • PhD Representative for the Postgraduate Forum and Staff-Student Committee, Department of History, University of Sheffield, 2018-2022. 
Publications and conferences

Journal Articles:

Roffey, H., "The Radical in Julie: Psychedelics, Environmental Radicalism, and "Operation Julie" in Britain, 1977-8," Journal for the Study of Radicalism [Forthcoming special issue on 'environmental radicalism', 2023].

Book Chapters:

Roffey, H., 'Psychedelics, Political Radicalism and Transnational Acid-Anarchism in the 1970s' in E. Dyck and C. Elcock (eds), Expanding Mindscapes: Global Histories of Psychedelics (MIT Press, 2023). 

Book Reviews:

Roffey, H., 'Review of E. Smith, "No-Platform: A History of Anti-Fascism, Universities and the Limits of Free Speech,"' Twentieth Century British History (2021).

Blog Posts:

  • Roffey, H., '50 Years of the Misuse of Drugs Act (1971),' History Matters (25 May 2021).
  • Roffey, H., '"Freewheeelin' to Ban-Happy"?: Students and No-Platform in Britain,' History Matters (6 October 2020).
  • Roffey, H., 'Undead Letters: Ireland's Blasphemy Referendum,' History Matters (25 October 2018). 

Public Engagement 

  • Telling Stories About the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Sheffield Museums (30 March 2022)
  • I delivered a talk and Q&A session, along with Dr. Lucy Brown, providing context for Sheffield Museums’ exhibition on daily life in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.