My DPhil research focuses on early modern British understandings of China from the late-seventeenth to the late-eighteenth century, aiming to reassess to what extent this period saw a growing hostility towards China amongst British intellectuals (what is sometimes called a shift from 'Sinophilia' to 'Sinophobia'). By examining a wide range of areas of early modern British knowledge about China, including Chinese philosophy, ethnography and chronology, I aim to challenge the idea that the late-eighteenth century was a moment of radical discontinuity in British attitudes towards China. I am particularly interested in how a reassessment of this period’s conceptions of China might change our understandings of the context for the 1793 Macartney embassy to the Qianlong emperor, as well as the importance of early British sinology for debates surrounding the Enlightenment and Orientalism in eighteenth-century Britain. More broadly, I am interested in comparative intellectual history, particularly with regards to early modern China and Europe.
I am a co-convener and co-founder of the Oxford Seminar in Early Modern Global Intellectual History.
I did my BA in Ancient and Modern History at Lincoln College, Oxford, followed by an MPhil in Renaissance Literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and an EMA (English Taught Master’s) in Chinese History and Culture at Fudan University, Shanghai, the latter of which was funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC).
My DPhil research is generously supported by All Souls College, where I am a Fellow by Examination.
‘“Commendably industrious” or “very good friends” of the Devil?: How attitudes towards the Jesuits shaped understandings of China in early modern England’, Journal of Early Modern History 27 (2023): 397-417
‘“Fair Quiet, have I found thee here”?: The relationship between garden settings and otium-negotium in sixteenth-century philosophical dialogues’, Renaissance Studies 36 (2022): 395-411
‘Republican Friendship and the Fall of the Roman Republic in Late Elizabethan and Early Jacobean Drama’, Cahiers Élisabéthains 106 (2021): 39-58