Sheffield has always had a reputation for being a little bit rebellious.
We’ve cultivated one or two troublemakers over the years. From Saxon revolutionaries to radical Chartists, militant Trade Unionists to environmental campaigners. In this season of events, blog posts, and podcasts, we’ll highlight some of these stories, many of which aren’t as well known as they should be.
We’re also teaming up with our friends across the nationwide Living Knowledge Network to bring you more events inspired by the British Library’s Unfinished Business exhibition, focussed on the ongoing fight for women’s rights.
Live Online Events
Sylvia Pankhurst: Natural Born Rebel
27th October, 7.30pm
Sylvia Pankhurst was a militant campaigner for women's
suffrage, but also a gifted artist and orator, a designer, newspaper editor and
radical visionary. Biographer Rachel
Holmes chats with Shami Chakrabarti.
White Supremacy: What You Need to Know
31st October, 5pm
Black Lives Matter has focused attention on the impact of
lived experiences of racism. But to what extent has anti-racism been
incorporated into the fight for gender equality?
Sheffield’s Feminist Rebels: Suffrage before the Suffragettes
9th November, 7.30pm
Did you know, the first-ever British petition for women's
suffrage came from Sheffield in 1851. Dr Matthew Roberts tells their story.
Folklore, Rebellion, and Reclaiming Robin Hood for Sheffield
12th November, 7.30pm
Dr David Clarke explores two legendary heroes from
Sheffield's folklore: Saxon Earl Waltheof, and Robin of Loxley.
Gloria Steinem in Conversation
24th November, 7.30pm
Gloria Steinem has been called the ‘world’s most famous
feminist’. At this special event she talks to Zeinab Badawi about her life and
activism about families, relationships, ageing, work, laughter, politics and
No Laughing Matter: Comics and Rebellion
26th November, 7.30pm
Dr Harriet Earle discusses how comics are the perfect
platform to make bold and sometimes incendiary statements.
30th November, 11am
Historian David Price traces Sheffield’s long history of
radicalism, free-thinking and the important role the city played on the
An Evening with Dolly Parton
2 December, 7.30pm
Grammy award-winning entertainment icon Dolly Parton is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor, author, businesswoman, the queen of country, and a Glastonbury showstopper. She also loves libraries, a lot. Dolly will be in conversation with Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox.
Resist: Stories of British Rebellion
3rd December, 7.30pm
The anthology Resist: Stories of Uprising
charts two thousand years of British resistance. A collection of fictions
and essays in which, authors, historians and activists re-imagine twenty acts
of defiance. In a panel event focussed on women’s rebellion through the ages,
journalist Bidisha will discuss her story Boudica’s Rising (60AD) and
historical consultant Jo Blackman, and author Zoe Lambert discuss The Seeds of
Hope protest (1996).
Archive Recordings from the Living Knowledge Network
The PEN Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by the charity English PEN, which defends freedom of expression and celebrates literature.
Jane Eyre: Gothic Rebel
Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is a classic example of defied convention. It presented a new voice, fully convinced of her defiance and standing up against adult tyranny.
Much-loved author Jacqueline Wilson talks about writing rebel girls who stand up for friendship, justice, and what they believe in.
From our librarians, archivists and fascinating friends, join us to delve deeper into the subjects, stories and collections that we find interesting, and hope that you will too…
Listen to previous episodes online or through your favourite podcast provider.
The Art of Disruption: Chatting with Magid Magid
Magid Magid came to Sheffield from Somalia as a refugee aged five. He is the youngest and first refugee and first Green Party Lord Mayor of Sheffield, and became an MEP for the Green Party in May 2019. His book The Art of Disruption: A Manifesto for Real Change is a guide to being courageous and community-minded, and to disrupting and dismantling age-old power structures in work, life and politics.
Saxon Lord Waltheof: Sheffield's King Arthur?
Earl Waltheof was the last Saxon Lord of Hallamshire, executed by William the Conquerer for this part in the Northern rebellion. In this episode we chat with Prof John Moreland from the University of Sheffield and Dr David Clarke from Sheffield Hallam University. We’ll look at Waltheof’s story, his place in English folklore, and the ongoing debate about the site of his Great Hall in Hallamshire.
Gender Swapped Fairy Tales
Our guests for this episode are wife and husband team, Karrie Fransman and Jonathan Plackett. Their new book Gender Swapped Fairy Tales imagines a world where the princesses wear shining armour and race to rescue their sleeping prince, and where kings sit by windows sewing and longing for a child. In this book, traditional stories take on a whole new dimension thanks to the unusual partnership of a computer algorithm and some very beautiful illustration.
Sheffield’s Rebellion Timeline
- Civil War
- Cold War
- Drug Use
- Gang Wars
- General Strike
- Kinder Trespass 1932
- Miner's Strike
- Outrages in Sheffield
- Slavery and Abolition
- Spanish Civil War
- Women's Suffrage