I am a first-year DPhil student based at Pembroke College. My doctoral research deals with the issues of the emergence of German nationhood(s), the functioning of religious peace in Central Europe, and the transformation of the Early Modern military, by examining them at the nexus where they met in Lower-Rhine-Westphalia at the turn of the 17th century. Above all, I am seeking to understand in what circumstances, and with what consequences, soldiers serving in this area were classified as ‘foreign’. In a Holy Roman Empire characterised by multi-layered sovereignty and ambiguous frontiers, defining outsiders in this way was an incendiary political question in debates concerning the rights of princes, ‘German liberties’, and the relative merits of mercenaries and militias. In particular, I aim to use the archives of the regional peacekeeping associations known as Imperial Circles as a bridge between local and Imperial perspectives, and to determine whether the Lower-Rhine-Westphalian Circle can be understood as a borderland or as internal to the Reich.
I previously completed my BA in History and my MPhil in Early Modern History at the University of Cambridge, where my undergraduate dissertation on discourses of nationhood in the context of global piracy won a national prize from the British Commission for Maritime History. I remain a committee member of the Cambridge New Habsburg Studies Network, an interdisciplinary organisation running events which explore the culture and history of Habsburg Central Europe. I am interested in the intersection of travel and history, and recently completed a 1000km hike retracing the 16th century ‘Spanish Road’ military highway between Luxembourg and Milan; I blog about this and other aspects of European history here.