Research plus

History Lab Plus

HL+ Committee Members

The History Lab Plus Committee are:

Kelly Spring, Lead Co-Chair

Kelly A. Spring is a social and cultural historian. Her thesis, entitled ‘British Food Rationing and Gender in the Second World War: Representation, Experience and Memory’, examined people’s relationships around food rationing on the British home front to understand gender constructions in wartime, and in popular and personal memory. Her research interests include: food, gender, the Second World War, emotion, and the use of personal testimony in historical inquiry. She has published on a variety of topics. Recent publications include: an article in The Conversation, ‘How World War II Rationing Gave Us a Liking for SPAM’; and an encyclopaedic entry, ‘Import Foods’ in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Food Issues.

In addition to her research and publications, she sits on several academic committees. She serves as the postgraduate representative on the committee of the Friends of the Institute of Historical Research, and represents History Lab Plus on the Research Committee of the Royal Historical Society.

Adam Chapman, Secretary

Adam Chapman completed his PhD 'The Welsh Soldier, 1283-1422’ at the University of Southampton in 2010.  He has been involved in a number of postdoctoral research projects including: Agincourt 600, RCAHM Wales- Welsh Battlefields, and English Episcopal Acta. The main focus of his research is aspects of later Medieval Wales,  the poets of fifteenth century Wales, their work and their social and political context.  He has published in this area and his book on the Welsh Solidier will be coming out shortly. He is interested in digital humanities and technology and is currently an editor for Victoria County History  at the IHR.



Ben Wilcock, Communications Officer

I have recently completed a PhD at the University of Manchester in eighteenth-century socio-economic history. My research interests are consumption, the North West of England, and the history of retail and shopping. I am also interested in public engagement with history, and alongside my research, I work with museums and outreach services in the Manchester area. I have been involved with History Lab + for two years, and my specific responsibilities are to write the new HL+ newsletter represent universities in the North. Outside of academia I enjoy food (cooking and eating), hiking, and Netflix.  



Marci Freedman, Membership Secretary

Marci Freedman recently completed her PhD ‘The Transmission and Reception of Benjamin of Tudela’s Book of Travels from Its Twelfth Century Origins to 1633’ at the University of Manchester. She is interested in textual and intellectual history of the Middle Ages but equally dabbles in the Early Modern world. Her other research interests include medieval travel literature, particularly Hebrew narratives. Marci will continue to undertake research in these areas and has a number of projects on the horizon.

Ellie Pridgeon, Co-chair/Expenses

Ellie Pridgeon wrote her PhD on representations of St Christopher in medieval wall painting at the University of Leicester (2010). She is currently Course Convenor and Lecturer for two BA in Humanities and Arts modules (European Architecture / Modern Art). She has published a number of articles on medieval wall painting, and has recently advised Dr Miriam Gill on St Christopher imagery for the Churches Conservation Trust Discover Wall Paintings web project. Ellie is a member of the Church Monuments Society council, with responsibility for managing the archive and social media platforms. She is a professional archivist and has worked at a number of leading UK institutions, most recently the Science Museum in London. She undertakes the role of HE / FE Liaison for the Archives, Learning and Education Section UK (ALES), and is co-editor of ARC Magazine, the monthly publication for archivists.

Jessica Hammett, History Lab Liaison

Jessica Hammett is a historian of twentieth century Britain and is in the final stages of her PhD at the University of Sussex. Her thesis is provisionally entitled ‘Representations of Civil Defence, 1938 to the Present’. It looks at how community was developed and maintained within the civil defence services and focuses on the role of small groups in developing narratives about their work, thus highlighting the significant of the local and the everyday in shaping the experience of war. The thesis also considers how community was remembered, using oral history alongside other memory texts.

Jessica is the History Lab liaison. More information on her research can be found at, and she is on twitter @J_M_Hammett.

Sarah Holland, Diversity Officer

Sarah’s research interests combine history, health and wellbeing – including agricultural and rural history, adult education, educational and cultural impact, and mental health and wellbeing – many of which intersect. Her PhD thesis examined how and why rural communities developed, often differently, in the nineteenth century, and is the basis for a forthcoming book. She currently teaches at the University of Nottingham. Having recently completed a PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, she is particularly interested in student engagement, employability and applied history, widening participation and equality and diversity issues. Sarah also enjoys sharing her research with a wider audience, for many years worked with the WEA to develop adult education courses, and guest curated the museum exhibition ‘Life on the Land’ in 2016.


If you wish to join our committee contact us