On 4 November, as part of Sheffield HSTSOC’s Remembrance Week, academic, public historian and broadcaster Helen Weinstein chaired a panel discussion of historians from the University of Sheffield on the significance of anniversaries and centenaries. With the centenary of the outbreak of World War I next year, historians will ask: why do anniversaries matter? What significance do they hold in the modern world? How do they shape media coverage of history and affect the ways in which we remember?
The panel was live-tweeted @unishefhistory using the hashtag #paths (Storify here). We will be continuing the debate here (and in future articles) on the blog. Please do feel free to join in the discussion or to ask the panel questions in the comments below. Podcasts of the presentations are also available here.
[Video production: Nick Walsh]
Helen Weinstein is a broadcaster and historian who is heavily involved in shaping the national dialogue on the commemoration of the First World War as an advisor and broadcaster at the BBC, for whom she is also producing content with her team at Historyworks TV. You can find Helen on twitter @historyworkstv.
Tim Baycroft is Senior Lecturer in Modern History, specializing in 19th-century France. He has worked on the development of nationalism and regionalism in France, including memory, commemoration and the creation of national identity.
Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid is Lecturer in Modern History specialising in political violence and modern Ireland, particularly its revolutionary period between 1912 and 1923. You can find her on twitter @CaoimheNicD.
Caroline Dodds Pennock is Lecturer in International History, specialising in Aztec, indigenous American and Atlantic history. You can find her on twitter @carolinepennock and read her History Matters blogs here.
Lydia Rollinson is in the final year of her History degree at Sheffield. She has been involved in the AHRC The Significance of the Centenary project.
Amy Ryall is the External Engagements Project Officer in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and is currently involved in leading the on-going AHRC-funded research network The Significance of the Centenary. She runs a Public Engagement blog, you can also find her on twitter @amy_ryall and read her History Matters blogs here.
Helen Smith recently completed her PhD at Sheffield and is currently working on the centenary project Sheffield 1914: Lives and Headlines. You can find her on twitter @DrHelenSmith.
Charles West is Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Sheffield and a historian of the European early Middle Ages. You can find him on twitter @Pseudo_Isidore and read his History Matters blogs here.
Image: Panel at HRI on 4 November 2013 ©Nyasha Mangera Lakew