I am a Senior Lecturer in History at Canterbury Christ Church University, I have previously administered to the British Studies exchange study programme and served as programme director for Levels 5/6 for History, and School Director of Recruitment. I am presently the Course Lead for the medieval and early modern studies MA.
I previously worked and studied at the University of Warwick, and completed a PhD and post-doctoral fellowship at there in 2013. I am broadly interested in early modern social and cultural history, particularly of England, in poverty, mobility, and inequalities, and also in comparative and Atlantic history and historiography for a similar period. I am best positioned to work on the period between 1600 and 1800.
I am presently in the early stages of a new book project: tentatively called 'The Wheel of Poverty, c. 1600-1800' and intend to cover material ranging from utopian imaginings to colonial displacement, and architectural and environmental design.
I am presently teaching:
Renaissance, Reformation, Revolution in the early modern world, 1450-1750.
Guest Lectures: Kent Medical school and Making Your Mark.
The Futures of the Past: History and Our Present Debates (core)
Altantic Americas: Commerce, Domination and Resistance in the Atlantic World, 1450-1900
The History Extended Essay
Poverty, Prostitution, and Plague: The Problems of English Society, 1600-1800
A History of our Hopeful Tomorrows: Utopian Thinking from More to Orwell
Individually Negotiated Topics (Placements), and (Directed Reading).
I supervise numerous undergraduate dissertations, and have supervised several research postgraduates. I am happy to discuss graduate supervision of projects that cover social, cultural, and political themes across the Atlantic world and the three kingdoms (UK, Scotland, Wales) from 1500 to 1800. I have particular strengths in histories of poverty, sexuality, and colonialism.
Research and knowledge exchange
Current Graduate Students:
Previous Graduate Students:
James Dursley (M.Res), with Sara Wolfson: 'Sovereignty in Print': Censorship, Political Theory and Political Opinion During the Interregnum'
(Second supervisor with Jackie Eales) Cheryl Periton (PhD): 'The Development of Numeracy and Early Education in Kent, 1550-1700’
Kevin Field (M.Res), with John Bulaitis, 'Workhouse Medical Provision Under the New Poor Law in Kent, c. 1834-1880',
I am Principal Investigator of the 'Mapping Values' British Academy Project, currently running from April 2021 to April 2022.
I helped secured the first Being Human Festival funding for the School in 2018, and put together an event with colleagues, called 'Criminal Canterbury'.
I am a committee member of the Social History Society executive.
I am External Examiner for the History programme at the University of Hertfordshire.
I was for some years the 'annual periodicals reviewer' for early modern material for the Economic History Review.
Teaching and subject expertise
Broadly: the social and cultural history of early modern England and the Atlantic World, 1500-1800.
- Poverty, Vagrancy, social and economic inequality.
- Migration and mobility, rural demography
- Popular culture and popular literature
- New Historicist literary critique
- Social and Historical Geography
- Utopias, social dreaming, and social justice in history
I have recently delivered one of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Education's Keynote Open Lectures for 2021, on 'The Historical Development of Education as an end to poverty', available here:
9 December 2020: ‘Empire’s Engine, History’s Millstone: The emergence of “welfare colonialism” in the British Atlantic, c. 1600-1800’, presented to the IHR British History in the Long Eighteenth-Century seminar series.
26 February, 2020: ‘Imagining British Colonialism as an End to Poverty, from Richard Hakluyt to George Berkeley (1575-1740)’, CCCU Research Seminar Series.
3 December, 2019: 'Songs About the Poor: The Many Roles of Poverty and Homelessness in early modern Ballads', a charity lecture for the Whitstable History Society, Proceeds Donated to Catching lives.
22-24 July 2019: ‘A Memento Paupertas? Thinking with poverty in early modern manuscript commonplace books.’ Durham Early modern studies annual conference.
5-6 September 2018: ‘Empire, Improvement, and Imagining Poverty’s End in the British Atlantic, 1600-1800’ at the ‘Ideas of Poverty in the Age of Enlightenment’ conference, Kings College London.
25 January 2018: Invited Speaker, ‘Being Female and Homeless in Early Modern England’ at The Canterbury Historical Association Branch Programme, Canterbury.
5-6 December 2017: ‘“Why do you not take us up?”: Lived Experiences of Vagrancy as a survival strategy in England, c. 1650-1750.’ At Out of Place: Vagrancy and Settlement (IHR), London.
5 September 2017: ‘“And she Travelled about the Country Ever Since”: Vagrancy as strategic long distance migration in early modern Surrey, c. 1700-1750’ at ‘Ordering the margins of society: space, authority and control in early modern Britain’, The Instititute of Historical Research.
Publications and research outputs
Peer-Reviewed Publications in Print:
- With Julia McClure, (eds), The Routledge History of Poverty, c.1450-1800 (London: Routledge, 2020). (225,000 words)
- With Julia McClure, ‘Introduction: The Poor in History’ in David Hitchcock and Julia McClure (eds), The Routledge History of Poverty, c.1450-1800 (10,000 words)
- 'Vagrancy and Homelessness’ in David Hitchcock and Julia McClure (eds), The Routledge History of Poverty, c.1450-1800 (11,000 words)
- ‘Punishment is all the charity that the law affordeth them’: Penal Transportation, Vagrancy, and the Charitable Impulse in the British Atlantic, 1618-1718’, New Global Studies, 12:2, Special Issue: ‘Empires of Charity’ (2018); 195-215. https://doi.org/10.1515/ngs-2018-0029 (9000 words)
- ‘He is the Vagabond That Hath No Habitation in the Lord’: The Representation of Quakerism as Vagrancy in Interregnum England, c. 1650-1660’, Cultural and Social History, 15:1 (2018); 21-37. https://doi.org/10.1080/14780038.2018.1427340 (11,000 words)
- Vagrancy in English Culture and Society, 1650-1750 (London: Bloomsbury, 2016). (110,000 words)
- ‘Poverty in the Early Modern English Atlantic’, in Trevor Burnard (ed), Oxford Bibliographies in Atlantic History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013). Online: www.oxfordbibliographies.com (7,000 words)
- ‘Poverty and Mobility in England, 1600-1850’, a Rural History Special Issue, 24:1 (2013); 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0956793312000180 (4,000 words)
- ‘A Typology of Travellers: Migration, Justice, and Vagrancy in Warwickshire, 1670-1730’, Rural History, 23:1 (2012); 21-39. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0956793311000136 (11,000 words)
Work In Preparation:
Article: ‘Dying Homeless in early modern England’, (target: Past and Present)
Monograph: The Wheel of Poverty: Welfare Colonialism and Social Dreaming in Britain, c. 1600-1850 (n.d.)