B.A. (Hon.) History, University of Waterloo, 2011
M.A. History, University of Waterloo, 2013
Ph.D History, University of Waterloo (current)
Medieval (major), Early Modern (minor) and Environmental (minor)
Supervisor: Dr. Steven Bednarski
My doctoral project centres on land use, culture, and environmental change in England between the Black Death and the passing of Henry VIII, through a study of poaching in a time of intense climate change. Southern England in the fourteenth through sixteenth centuries experienced recurrent pestilence, increased rainfall, rising sea levels, and coastal inundation. My project argues, thus, that ram-pant poaching at that time reflects not just political protest or petty theft, but social tensions resulting from real land shortages. To some extent, these shortages were culturally constructed as a product of class; to another, however, they were reactions to actual, mutable environmental pressures. To consider this relationship, I plan to study unedited poaching trials and to compare them to contemporary accounts of land loss and historical legislation, as well as to paleoclimatological data. My project incorporates interdisciplinary approaches drawn from jurisprudence, archaeology, environmental studies, and social and political discourses. Ultimately, my project aims to cast poaching as a useful cultural lens through which to view how land use and civil jurisprudence mutated in response to environmental and social pressures.