HUMs 2023: Video Training for Research Impact, Academic Engagement and Science Communication


  • Faculty of History
  • University of Oxford
  • Video 4 Impact – HUMS – 2023

I completed my undergraduate and MSt studies in Oxford, at Regent’s Park College and Worcester College respectively. I began my DPhil studies at Oriel College as an AHRC DTP Studentship-Doctoral Award holder, and I am supervised by Dr Jonathan Healey. In 2019 I was an AHRC International Placement Scheme Fellow at The Huntington Library in California.

I research social and gender histories of the English law between about 1550 and 1610. I use sources from common and equity law courts – mostly the Star Chamber. My attention is drawn especially to the part played in the construction of early modern gendered social norms by the law, and vice versa. Based at Westminster, much of the Star Chamber’s business derived from property disputes and related matters including assault, and forgery, and judicial corruption. Some of this work sees women and girls victimised by crime, including being abducted and forcibly married for their dowries. On the other hand, other case-types cause a reassessment of historiography which regards women’s own criminality as negligible. I also use the Star Chamber to throw light on mechanisms, long-debated by historians, behind premodernity’s ‘decline in violence’. My postgraduate project has led me to write about spouse-murder, couverture, anti-enclosure protest, economic and social stratification in Elizabethan society, and witchcraft. Most recently I have begun an emotional history project into spontaneous abortions, which are sometimes described in Tudor and Stuart law suits.

I have enjoyed teaching undergraduates tutorials in early modern ‘History of the British Isles’ (BIP/BIF), and ‘European and World History’ (EWP/EWF) papers, and the BIF Theme Paper ‘Bodies of Feeling: Gender and Sexual Identity since c.1500’. In 2020 I taught students taking the FHS Further Subject ‘Women, Gender and Print Culture in Reformation England, c.1530-1640’ (no longer running). Now I co-convene this paper’s successor, ‘Gender and Protestant Cultures in England, 1558-1659’. I have co-supervised undergraduate dissertations in seventeenth-century eroticism and print culture, humour and masculinity, and Tudor experiences of courtship.

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