I am an interdisciplinary historian of early modern England, with particular interests in socio-legal, intellectual and cultural history. My DPhil thesis, 'Public men on public stages: the performance of state authority by magistrates in popular drama' investigates popular reception of the state in early modern England, through examining a series of plays staged in the outdoor theatres of London. My work hinges on a consideration of acts of government as performances, where magistrates’ actions constituted the structure of the state in the minds of ordinary Englishmen and women. My work thus blends archival and printed legal, political and administrative material together with a close eye to the exigencies of performing drama and government, partially through the use of practice-as-research workshops. By utilising my performance-centric methodology to consider the practice of government, and how it was depicted in popular drama, my thesis provides a new way to examine the workings and reception of the early English state.
Alongside my thesis, I have been working on a side project about the performance of magisterial authority in early modern England, which will be the focus of my postdoctoral research. This project offers a brand new insight into the exertion of authority and the strength of the early modern state, by conceptualising the enactment of authority as a performance which attempted to manage an audience. I have presented elements from this new project at the IHR and at the University of Portsmouth's 'Disruptions to Authority' conference in June 2021.
I was a Scouloudi Doctoral Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research during the academic year 2020-2021, and I am now part of the History Faculty's Researcher in Residence scheme, where I am working with the Oxford Academy to provide enrichment activities and encourage wider participation in higher education. I also teach English Literature, including early modern drama, at Wroxton College in Banbury, Fairleigh Dickinson University's study abroad campus.
Historical Research (Forthcoming, 2021) '"I say I must for I am the King’s shrieve": magistrates invoking the monarch’s name in 1 Henry VI (1592) and The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon (1598)' [Runner up for the IHR's annual Pollard Prize, which is awarded to the best paper given by a PhD student at the IHR]
Shakespeare Bulletin (2021) Review of The Duchess of Malfi at the Almeida Theatre.
Early Theatre (2021) Review of Emma Whipday's Shakespeare's Domestic Tragedies.
under review: ''My scene is London': jurisdictional and dramatic space in A Warning for Fair Women (1595)'
under review: ''Why should our faults at home be spread abroad?/ 'Tis grief enough within doors': testing the community's participation in the state in A Yorkshire Tragedy (1605)'
I have experience with teaching the following undergraduate papers:
- History of the British Isles IV: 1500-1700
- Literature and Politics in Early Modern England
- Approaches to History
- Disciplines of History
- English Literature 1550-1660
I also welcome enquiries about undergraduate thesis and dissertation supervision, especially History and English students working on their interdisciplinary dissertation.
You can find me on Twitter here.
Supervisors: Dr Alexandra Gajda and Dr Paulina Kewes