Research Topic: Funded jointly by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and New College, my research centres broadly on the depiction of religious diversity in seventeenth-century British and French travel accounts, particularly those written by clerics who lived, worked and travelled within the Islamic world, stretching from the Eastern Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, thousands of Britons travelled to the Islamic world, particularly to the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal Empires, and to the Muslim sultanates of North Africa. Among this diverse group of men - and sometimes women too - there were diplomats, merchants, clerics, scholars, spies, travel writers, soldiers, servants and captives, all of whom had their own ambitions, fears and prejudices. My PhD thesis will therefore ask the following questions of this variegated group of British travellers: what kind of exposure did they have to the religious diversity of the Islamic world, and what did they make of its varying forms of religious practice and belief, including Islam, Eastern Christianity and Hinduism? How did they make sense of the religious changes that convulsed the Muslim world during this period, such as the intensification of the Sunni-Shi’i divide, the rise of millenarianism, and the growing influence of disparate forms of Sufism? And why did they think and write what they did about the religions of the Islamic world, and how did they use these systems of belief to reflect on the state of seventeenth-century British society? As a way into these questions, my thesis will explore a combination of journals, correspondence and published works composed by contemporary British travellers to the Muslim world, particularly Church of England clerics, most of whom served as chaplains for English trading companies in the region.
At present, I am examining the writings of Sir George Wheler (1651-1724), an Anglican cleric and scholar, who visited parts of Greece and Turkey between 1675 and 1676, in the company of the French doctor and antiquarian Jacob Spon (1647-85). I have also studied the writings of Edward Terry (c. 1590-1660) and John Covel (1638-1722), who served as chaplains to English ambassadors in the Mughal and Ottoman Empires, respectively (served 1616-19 and c. 1670-78). I welcome any queries about my research!
2017 - present: PhD in History, University of Oxford.
2015-2017: MA in Global History, University of Warwick.
2011-2015: BA (Hons) in French and History, University of Warwick, with year abroad at l'Université Paris-Sorbonne, 2013-2014
October - December 2018: Graduate Teaching Assistant, 'The Crisis of the Reformation: Britain, France and the Netherlands, 1560-1610' (third-year undergraduate history module).
June 2019:'An English Chaplain and the Religious Diversity of Mughal India, 1616-1655'; 'Graduate Approaches to Global History' (Oxford Sudbury Transnational and Global History Seminar); Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
February 2019:‘Edward Terry and the Muslims of Mughal India, 1616-1655’; ‘New Approaches to Cultural History in the Early Modern World’, Freie Universität Berlin.
September 2018: ‘Reassessing the Utility for Historians of Seventeenth-Century European Travel Literature: Edward Terry and the Muslims of Mughal India’; Rothermere American Institute Annual Postgraduate Conference ('Incredible: Lying, Credibility, and the Truth in Historical Research'), University of Oxford.
March 2018:'Negotiating Islam: Sir Thomas Roe and Religious Difference at the Mughal and Ottoman Courts, 1615-1628', Early Modern Britain Seminar, Merton College, University of Oxford.
May 2016: ‘Anglo-Ottoman Diplomacy during the Seventeenth Century: The Embassy of Sir Thomas Roe, 1621-1628’; Department of History Postgraduate Conference, University of Warwick.
March 2016: ‘Propaganda, Persuasion and the mission civilisatrice: French Cinematic and Television News during the Algerian War, 1954-1962’; British Conference of Undergraduate Research, Manchester Metropolitan University.
September 2015: ‘Propaganda, Persuasion and the mission civilisatrice: French Cinematic and Television News during the Algerian War, 1954-1962’; International Conference of Undergraduate Research, University of Warwick.