Professor Garthine Walker
Professor of History
Major research projects
- Effaced from History? Facial Difference and its Impact from Antiquity to the Present Day
- Rape in England and Wales, 1500-1800. Funded by a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship, 2013-2016.
- Women Negotiating the Boundaries of Justice: Britain and Ireland, c.1100-c.1750. An AHRC-funded research project, 2014-2018.
- Early modern social, cultural, and legal history
- The history of crime
- Gender history
- The history of rape and sexual violence
- The history of emotions
- The history of the face, the body, and disfigurement
- Historical theory and historiography
For a list of recent and forthcoming publications see the 'Research' tab.
I began my academic career as a mature student reading Modern History and English Literature at Liverpool University 1986-89, where I remained in the early 1990s to undertake my doctoral research on gender and crime in early modern England. After a year as a Scouloudi Research Fellow at the Insitute of Historical Research, University of London, and lectureships in History at the Universities of Warwick and Liverpool, I joined the Department of History at Cardiff in 1995.
Honours and awards
Recent awards, honours, distinctions
2015 Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship to enable Professor Tim Stretton (St Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada) to spend six months at Cardiff University: £15,641.
2015 Royal Historical Society, Conference Grant to conference organisers to support conference registration costs for historical conferences where there is substantial involvement of early career (PGR and immediate postdoctoral) researchers: £350.
2015 Annual Public Lecture, Centre for Gender History, Glasgow University.
2014 Co-Investigator, AHRC Project ‘Negotiating the Boundaries of Justice: Britain and Ireland, c1100-c.1750’ (48-months), £119,578 [£857,000 overall for a team of five].
2014 Sutherland Prize of the American Society for Legal History for the Best Article on English History Published in the Previous Year, for ‘Rape, Acquittal and Culpability in Popular Crime Reports in England, c.1670–c.1750’, Past & Present, 220 (August 2013), pp. 115-42. $500
2013 Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship (36-months), £133,121.
2013 Research Development Grant, History Research Wales: £2,798.10.
2012 Visiting Professor / Directeur d’études, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociale, Paris €4,000.
Editorial and advisory boards
- Gender & History, editorial collective, 2004-present (Book Reviews Editor, 2004-2007).
- Journal of Social History, editorial board, 2005-2011.
- Women's History Review, editorial board, 2004-2009.
- Rethinking History, editorial board, 1997-present.
- Law, Crime & History, editorial advisory board, 2011-present.
- Crimes & Misdemeanours: Deviance and the Law in Historical Perspective, editorial advisory board, 2007-2010.
- H-Frauen-L: History of Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe, H-Net Discussion List, editorial committee, 1998-2002.
- Advisory board member, Leverhulme Trust Research Project, ‘Women’s Work in Rural England 1500-1700: A New Methodological Approach’, 2015-2018 (PI: Professor Jane Whittle, Exeter).
- External Expert, Periodic Review of Undergraduate Programmes, Department of History, University of Essex.
- External Subject Specialist to validate MA in Early Modern History, Swansea University, 2006.
6-7 June 2016: ‘Rape and Monstrosity in Early Modern England and Wales’, The Abnormal Renaissance: Queers, Crips, and Rogues in Early Modern Europe Conference, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.
- 6 May 2016: Keynote Lecture: ‘Feeling, Thinking and Doing: Emotions and Evidence in the History of Crime’, Emotions and Evidence in the Early Modern and Medieval Worlds conference, Royal Historical Society/Cardiff University.
21 April 2016: 'Gender, Langauge and Subjectivity', Women Negotiating Justice in Medieval and Early Modern Britain & Ireland Symposium, Cardiff University.
15-16 April 2016: ‘Victim-Blaming and "Progress" in English Rape Trials c.1650-c.1800’, Sexual Violence Interdisciplinary Conference, Virginia Tech, USA.
- 27-28 November 2015: Crime and Gender 1600-1900. Comparative Perspectives conference, invited commentator, Leiden University, The Netherlands.
- 8-9 October 2015: ‘Changing constructions of culpability for rape in early modern society’, Crime as a Construction conference, Kursusstation Knudshoved, Nyborg, Denmark. Kriminalitetens Kulturhistorie/Cultural History of Crime research network subsized by the Danish Council for Independent Research | Humanities (FKK).
17 September 2015: ‘Translating Emotions in 17th- and 18th-Century English and Welsh Court Records’, Summer School in Comparative and Transnational History: Theories, Methodology and Case Studies, European University Institute, Florence, Italy.
- 11-12 September 2015: ‘Intimate relations in early modern Wales’, From Institution to Intimacy: Courtship, Marriage and Marriage Breakdown in Historical Perspective, c.1650 to 2000 international symposium funded jointly by the Australian Research Council and the AHRC.
- 6-7 July 2015: Commentator at ‘Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother’: Violence Against Parents in Northern Europe’, Second International Workshop, St Anne’s College, Oxford University, funded by the Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences.
- 15 May 2015: Gender & History Annual Public Lecture, ‘Rape, victim-blaming and “progress” in England and Wales, c.1650-c.1800’, Centre for Gender History at Glasgow University. Sold out.
- 25 February 2015: ‘Victim-blaming and progress in 17th- and 18th-century rape trials’, History Department Research Seminar, Newcastle University.
- 24 February 2015: ‘Victim-blaming and progress in 17th- and 18th-century rape trials’, Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies Seminar, Durham University.
- 18 February 2015: ‘Victim-blaming and progress in 17th- and 18th-century rape trials’, Crime and Legal History Research Seminar, Oxford Brookes University.
- 6-8 January 2015: ‘An unimaginable crime? parricide and publicity in eighteenth-century England and Wales’, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, St Hugh’s College, Oxford University.
- 14 November 2014: Public Lecture: ‘Portrait of a parricide: unveiling Miss Blandy’, Portrait of a Lady: Ruin and Reputation Symposium, Georgian House Exhibition Centre, Bath.
- 7-9 November 2014: ‘Responses to rape in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England and Wales’, North American Conference on British Studies 2014, Minneapolis, USA.
- 16 October 2014: ‘Victim-blaming and progress in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century rape trials’, Society, Culture and Belief, 1500-1800 Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Studies, University of London.
- 16 September 2014: Plenary Round Table speaker on ‘Gender in academic and professional practice’, Is Gender Still Relevant to the Historical Disciplines? Conference sponsored by the British Academy, University of Bradford.
- 21 June 2014: Keynote lecture at the West or England and South Wales Women’s History Network 21st annual conference on Gender, Generation and the Body, Cardiff University.
- 22-24 May 2014: ‘Parricide, gender and modernity: the changing spectre of violence against parents in England and Wales, c. 16th-c. 18th centuries’, ‘Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother’: Violence Against Parents in Northern Europe’, First International Workshop, University of Tampere, Finland, funded by the Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences.
- 3-5 April 2014: Keynote lecture on ‘Rape and desire, 1500-1800’, at Framing Premodern Desires conference, Turku Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, University of Turku, Finland.
- 29 March 2014: ‘Gender and Everyday Life’, invited speaker at Approaches to the History of Everyday Life workshop, Merton College, Oxford, funded by ESRC research project grant.
- 25 January 2014: ‘Baring/Bearing Emotional ‘Truths’ in Interpreting Legal Testimony c.1590-c.1750’, Emotions and the Researcher Conference, Cardiff University.
- 7 January 2014: ‘The history of sexuality: a view from the history of rape’, Roundtable Invited Speaker at the Inaugural History of Sexuality Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Studies, University of London.
Crime in England & Wales, c.1570-c.1790 - 30 credits (HS1823)
Dissertation - 30 credits (HS1801)
The Dynamics of Witchcraft 1450-1750 [Europe, Britain and the New World] (HS1790) - not running 2016-17.
Exploring Historical Debate - 30 credits (HS1702)
Early Modern England and Wales - 20 credits (HS1106)
History in Practice: Fury, Folly and Footnotes - 20 credits (HS1107)
- Crime, Sexuality & the Body 1500-1800 - new module for 2016-2017
- Order & Disorder in Early Modern Society I - 20 credits (HST629)
- Order and Disorder in Early Modern Society II - 20 credits (HST888)
- Historiographical Study I: Key themes - 10 credits (HST698)
- Historiographical Study II: Key debates - 10 credits (HST699)
- Historical Theory and Historical Methods - 30 credits (HST644)
- Key Research Skills - 10 credits (HST643)
- Early Modern Palaeography - 10 credits (HST813)
- Analysing Early Modern Primary Sources - 10 credits (HST814)
- Dissertation - 60 credits.
I shall be very pleased to receive enquiries from prospective doctoral and masters students interested in pursuing research in a wide range of areas of early modern (c.1500-c.1800) history, but especially those relating to my expertise in crime, gender, sexuality, emotions and the body.
Current PhD students:
Elizabeth Howard, ‘Women and Crime in Wales 1550-1660’: AHRC-funded [research project grant], lead supervisor.
Abby Johns, ‘Death, Accidents and Children in England and Wales 1600-1800’: AHRC-funded [SWW-DTP], lead supervisor.
Wendy Hill, ‘The Representation of Sexual Deviance in Jacobean Drama and a Presentist Study of its Reception’, part-time PhD, co-supervisor with Dr Ceri Sullivan in the School of English, Communication and Philosophy.
Jasmine Losasso, ‘Betraying Bodies and Dissembling Demeanours in Early Modern England c.1600-1750’: AHRC-funded [SWW-DTP], lead supervisor
Anna Field, ‘Intimate Crime in Early Modern England and Wales 1660-1760’: AHRC-funded [SWW-DTP], lead supervisor.
Past research students:
Hector Roddan, ‘Defining Differences: The Religious Dimension of Early Modern English Travel Narratives, c.1550-c.1840’: AHRC-funded PhD 2016, lead supervisor.
Catherine Horler-Underwood, ‘Women’s criminality in Wales, c.1660-c.1803’: AHRC-funded PhD 2015, lead supervisor.
Rachel Butler, ‘Hidden mysteries and open secrets: negotiating age in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century culture’: AHRC-funded PhD 2014, lead supervisor.
Rachel Bowen, ‘“The anatomy of abuses”: nature, artifice and the body, 1300-1700’: AHRB-funded PhD 2006, lead supervisor.
Kevin Stagg, ‘Putting the monsters in order: monstrosity in early modern society’: AHRB-funded PhD 2005, lead supervisor.
Patricia E. Brimer, ‘Population in the parish of Awre: size, growth and structure, 1538-1811’: PhD 2001, lead supervisor.
Anna Lovelock, ‘Gender, stereotypes and stories of courtship and domestic violence in the courts of early modern England and Wales’: MPhil 2001, lead supervisor.
- Durham University, MA History, 2015-2018.
- University of St Andrews, Undergraduate sub-honours History, 2008-2012.
- Roehampton University, MA in Historical Research, London 2004-2009.
- PhD theses: University of London (2002); University of East Anglia (2008), University of Western Australia (2009), Trinity College Dublin (2016).
Rape in England and Wales c.1500-c.1800
Funded by a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship
This project investigates the complex changes in the treatment of rape in the period 1500-1800. By examining a rich array of primary sources and situating rape in its broader cultural and individual contexts, I shall show that rape does have a history, but not one that we necessarily expect. How did the 'everyman-rapist' of the sixteenth century become the 'aberrant monster' of the late eighteenth? Why did seventeenth-century people seem to believe that guilty men were acquitted and their victims genuine? When and why did these perceptions change? What role did misogyny, religion, politics, and news play in changing attitudes? And what were the practical implications for women and children seeking justice? These questions will be explored in a number of articles and in a monograph. Early fruits of the project have been published in 2013 in History Workshop Journal and in Past & Present - my article in the latter was awarded the 2014 Sutherland Prize of the American Society for Legal History.
Women Negotiating the Boundaries of Justice: Britain and Ireland, c.1100-c.1750
Funded by an AHRC Research Project Grant, 2014–2018
This four-year project explores women’s relative access to justice in a wide range of different courts, from a comparative perspective. The project team includes Principal Investigator Dr Deborah Youngs (Swansea University), and Co-Investigators Dr Garthine Walker and Professor Alexandra Shepard (University of Glasgow), two Research Associates, and two PhD students. The project's objectives are:
- To challenge the essentialist assumption found in many studies that women's gender placed them at a monolithic disadvantage: much relevant historical research is narrowly focused and draws inappropriate comparisons over time, place, and jurisdiction. Here, attention is paid to the potential differences of jurisdiction and region, and to the significance of language, ethnicity, and other affiliations and identities of individuals and groups.
- To assess critically the frameworks within which women's engagement with the law has been studied, and to challenge the tendency within British legal history to work within discrete, national frameworks and assume that the English situation represents a norm. Given that women still struggle to obtain equal access to justice, particularly in politically unstable regions, the project intervenes in contemporary debates about women's legal subjectivity and the extent to which inequities might be disrupted or modified by political change.
- To compare women's strategies at different times and in diverse legal structures. A more nuanced understanding of gender is possible by exploring comparative determinants of difference. This project examines women as perpetrators, victims, plaintiffs, petitioners, and witnesses by mapping their experience of justice in a number of discrete contexts: Anglo-Norman England (including a focus on Jewish women); the English colony in late medieval Ireland; late medieval and early modern Wales; early modern Scotland, and early eighteenth century Scotland, Wales and England. Criminal, civil and church courts allow the study of violent offences, property disputes, marital and child custody cases, punishment, alternative routes to justice and the hierarchy of resort.
Details of the research project can be found on the project homepage.
The Extraordinary and the Everyday in Early Modern England: Essays in Celebration of the Work of Bernard Capp, co-edited with Angela McShane (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010).
Gender & Change: Agency, Chronology and Periodisation, co-edited with Alexandra Shepard (Blackwell, 2009). Also published as a Special Issue of Gender & History 20:3 (November 2008), to celebrate the twentieth volume of the journal.
Writing Early Modern History (Hodder Arnold/Bloomsbury, 2005).
Crime, Gender and Social Order in Early Modern England [Studies in Early Modern British History Series] (Cambridge University Press, 2003), 140,000 words, 310pp.
Women, Crime and the Courts in Early Modern England, co-edited with Jenny Kermode (UCL Press and University of North Carolina Press, 1994).
Journal articles (excluding review articles)
‘Imagining the Unimaginable: Parricide in Early Modern England and Wales, c.1600–c.1760’, Journal of Family History 41:3 (July 2016), forthcoming.
‘Everyman or a Monster? The Rapist in Early Modern England’, History Workshop Journal 76 (2013), pp. 5-31.
‘Rape, Acquittal and Culpability in Popular Crime Reports in England, c.1670–c.1750’, Past & Present, 220 (August 2013), pp. 115-42. Winner of the Sutherland Prize 2014 of the American Society for Legal History.
‘Gender, Change and Periodisation’, co-authored with Alexandra Shepard, Gender & History 20:3 (2008), pp. 453-462.
‘Widernatürliche Mütter? Die Tötung neugeborener Kinder und das englische Gesetz im siebzehnten Jahrhundert’, Querelles: Jahrbuch für Frauenforschung, Band 5 (2000), pp. 255-63.
‘Rereading Rape and Sexual Violence in Early Modern England’, Gender & History 10:1 (1998), pp. 1-25.
‘Expanding the Boundaries of Female Honour in Early Modern England’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 6th ser., 6 (1996), pp. 235-45.
‘Historical Research’, in T. Loughran ed., A Practical Guide to Studying History: Skills and Approaches (Bloomsbury Academic, forthcoming, January 2017). In press.
‘Framing Premodern Desires: Between Sexuality, Sin and Crime. An Introduction’ in Framing Premodern Desires ed. Satu Lidman et al. [Crossing Boundaries Turku Medieval and Early Modern Studies] (University of Amsterdam Press, forthcoming 2016).
‘Child-Killing and Emotion in Early Modern England and Wales’, in Small Graves: Death, Emotion & Childhood in Early Modern Europe, ed. Katie Barclay, Ciara Rawnsley and Kim Reynolds (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming 2016). In press.
‘Rape and Sexual Violence in Europe, 1500–1750’, in The Routledge History of Sex and the Body in the West, 1500 to the Present, eds Kate Fisher and Sarah Toulalan (Routledge, 2013).
‘The Strangeness of the Familiar: Witchcraft and the Law in Early Modern England’, in The Extraordinary and the Everyday in Early Modern England: Essays in Celebration of the Work of Bernard Capp, eds Angela McShane and Garthine Walker (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 105-24.
‘Gender, Change and Periodisation’, co-authored with Alexandra Shepard, in Gender & Change: Agency, Chronology and Periodisation, co-edited with Alexandra Shepard (Blackwell, 2009), pp. 1-12.
‘Keeping it in the Family: Crime and the Early Modern Household’, in The Family in Early Modern England: Essays Presented to Anthony Fletcher, eds Helen Berry and Elizabeth Foyster (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 67-95.
‘Modernization’, in Writing Early Modern History, ed. Garthine Walker (Hodder Arnold, 2005), pp. 25-48.
‘Introduction’ to Writing Early Modern History, ed. Garthine Walker (Hodder Arnold, 2005), pp. xi-xvii.
‘Telling Tales of Infant Death in Seventeenth-Century England’, in Culture and Change: Attending to Early Modern Women, eds Margaret Mikesell and Adele Seeff (University of Delaware Press and Associated University Presses, 2003), pp. 98-115.
‘Psychoanalysis and History’, in Writing History: Theory and Practice, eds Stefan Berger, Heiko Felder and Kevin Passmore (Arnold, 2003), pp. 141-60.
‘“Strange Kind of Stealing”: Abduction in Early Modern Wales’, in Women and Gender in Early Modern Wales, eds Michael Roberts and Simone Clarke (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2000), pp. 50-74.
‘“Demons in Female Form”: Representations of Women and Gender in Murder Pamphlets of the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries’, in Writing and the English Renaissance, eds William Zunder and Suzanne Trill (Longman, 1996), pp. 123-39.
‘Women, Theft and the World of Stolen Goods’ in Women, Crime and the Courts in Early Modern England, eds Jenny Kermode and Garthine Walker (UCL Press and University of North Carolina Press, 1994), pp. 81-105.
‘Introduction’ to Women, Crime and the Courts in Early Modern England, eds Jenny Kermode and Garthine Walker (UCL Press and University of North Carolina Press, 1994): pp. 1-25 [with Jenny Kermode].