Nandini Das is a literary and cultural historian, and Professor of Early Modern Literature and Culture at the University of Oxford, and Fellow of Exeter College. In multiple essays and books such as Robert Greene’s Planetomachia (2007), Renaissance Romance: The Transformation of English Prose Fiction, 1570-1620 (2011), and Enchantment and Dis-enchantment in Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama, co-edited with Nick Davis (2016), she has explored the genre of romance, Renaissance prose fiction, and the place of the everyday in late sixteenth century literature. Her investigation of the traces and impact of early modern cross-cultural encounters in Britain, and British and European engagement with the wider world, has developed at the same time through a number of essays on Renaissance travel, and through her work as volume editor of Elizabethan Levant Trade and South Asia in the forthcoming Oxford University Press edition of Richard Hakluyt’s The Principal Navigations, co-editor (with Tim Youngs) of the Cambridge History of Travel Writing, and Principal Investigator of the ‘Travailer’ and ‘Envisioning the Indian City’ projects. TIDE brings those two facets of her research interests together in an attempt to understand how transculturality evolved in early modern Britain, and how literature reflected and complicated that story. As one of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Thinkers, Nandini has written and presented programmes on television and radio on Renaissance cabinets of curiosity, Shakespeare, Renaissance travel and histories of immigration, and on literature and popular culture of sixteenth and seventeenth century England.
Haig Smith comes to the TIDE team after completing degrees at the University of Edinburgh and Kent. He was previously a member of the centre for Political Economies of International Commerce at the University of Kent, where he completed his PhD. Haig’s thesis investigated how English overseas companies’ established distinct governmental identities through their religious interactions with diverse communities across the globe. He has previously published work in an edited volume on Anglo-Indian Interaction and in the Journal of Church and State. His research focus on the TIDE project investigates how law and governance influenced the formation of identity in the early modern English world. His work examines the intellectual process in the politics of Anglo-indigenous interaction between 1550-1700 in forming early modern concepts of identity and English governance. It also highlights how identities were formed through interaction as well as interchange in ideas concerning the governance of ‘others’.
Lauren Working is a historian of sixteenth and seventeenth-century English politics and culture. Her research examines the convergence between expansion and state formation, drawing on textual and material sources to reconstruct the social and discursive worlds of Jacobean politics in the first phases of English colonisation in America. Having earned degrees from St Andrews (BA), the University of London (MA), and Durham (PhD), her work investigates the two-way impact of colonisation; the Anglo-Algonquian Chesapeake; material and visual approaches to civility; and wit and political friendships at the Inns of Court. She has held two fellowships at the Jamestown archaeological site in Virginia, and currently freelances for the National Portrait Gallery in London, leading educational programmes in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces. Lauren is the project coordinator for public engagement and outreach, with a particular interest in developing methodologies that use museum collections to explore contemporary debates about heritage and identity.
João Vicente Melo
Honorary Researcher Associate
João Vicente Melo is a cultural historian who works on early modern cross-cultural encounters and diplomacy. His research interests include diplomatic rituals, early modern European ethnographic production about South Asia and Africa, religious missions, and the European presence at the Mughal court. He holds a PhD in History (Swansea University), a MA in Cultural History (Goldsmiths, University of London) and BA in Sociology (University Institute of Lisbon). He has published his research findings in edited books and journals such as the Journal of Early Modern History, the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient and Portuguese Studies. As a part of the TIDE project, he will publish a book-length study on the Jesuit and English presence in Mughal India between 1580 and 1650. João was one of the the organisers of the conference Locality and Globality in Early Modern Cultural Encounters: A Comparative Analysis of Religious and Political Accommodation and is particularly interested in collaborating with archives and museums on themes related to early modern intercultural diplomacy and religious missions.
Before moving across to the TIDE Project, Neil supported and coordinated teams within Oxford University over a nine-year period across three different departments. He was involved in a diverse range of higher education projects including creating accessible resources for disabled students, outreach and widening participation, and childcare provision for students and staff. Concurrent with his work at Oxford University, Neil completed a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Kent, which built on research he had undertaken at UCL for an MA in the same discipline. His research background aligns closely with the cognitivist approach, and his thesis analysed unconventional character portrayals in film within the wider context of psychological and philosophical theories of self-identity.
Tom Roberts studied for a BA in English at Queen Mary, University of London before moving to Ireland to pursue an M.Phil in Early Modern History at Trinity College Dublin. After two years in the financial sector, Tom returned to higher education as a PhD researcher on the TIDE project. His thesis will assess how the Italian commedia dell’arte manifested in the English cultural landscape between the beginnings of the secular public theatre in the 1570s and their closure in 1642. His wider research interests include document records of extemporal performance, the English ’Clown’, and immigrant spaces in early modern London.
Emily Stevenson is a PhD student currently focusing on researching the intellectual networks and sources of Richard Hakluyt. She previously studied at the University of Warwick (BA English Literature) and King’s College London (MA Early Modern English Literature), where she gained a British Library reader’s pass and a love of sixteenth and seventeenth century literature. Her MA thesis focused on the political role of Tudor Queens in early Jacobean culture, but after reading Principal Navigations she became fascinated with the rise of travel literature and the ways writers used it to create their nations in the early modern period. She is delighted to be a part of the TIDE project.