Dr Emma Hart wins AHRC International Research Network Grant

EmmaHartThe School of History is delighted to announce that Dr Emma Hart has won an AHRC International Research Network Grant for a project on ‘The Global City: Past and Present’.

The project will consider the rise of the contemporary global city in its historical context. The global city – which both enables and embodies today’s inter-connected and globalized world – has become the focus of significant research and policy-making. However, the historical processes that produced many of the foundational practices of the global city have hitherto been overlooked. Whilst the immediate historical context of such spaces is commonly addressed, what is missing is a solid understanding of the historical precedents of the global city. This omission has grown out of a lack of interaction between global studies scholars and urban historians, as well as among urban historians working in different regions, who rarely have the opportunity to share their research or collaborate with one another. ‘The Global City: Past and Present’ will seek to address this lack by creating new opportunities for international and interdisciplinary networking.

The modern global city. Photo by Daniel Scwen (By Daniel Schwen (CC-BY-SA-2.5) via Wikimedia Commons.

New York – the modern global city. Photo by Daniel Scwen (By Daniel Schwen (CC-BY-SA-2.5) via Wikimedia Commons.

The project will be centred around four workshops, each discussing different aspects of ‘The Global City’. These events will bring together an international network of scholars to explore the connections between today’s global cities and their early modern colonial precursors from three angles; space, political economy and populations. The workshops will include geographers, urban planners, anthropologists, art historians, sociologists, and policy makers and will take place in St Andrews, Rio de Janeiro, and London at the Centre for Metropolitan History (part of the Institute of Historical Research).  There will also be a public lecture at the IHR. It is hoped that these events will both serve to improve our understanding of the global city as a historical phenomenon and provide the means by which this knowledge can be exchanged with academics and policy-makers at work in today’s global cities.

The AHRC Research Network Scheme is designed to promote wide-ranging discussion and intellectual exchange upon specific thematic areas, issues, or questions. As such, the ‘Global City’ project spans multiple continents and encompasses multiple research groups; Dr Hart’s Co-Investigator, Professor Mariana Dantas (a historian of colonial Brazil) is based at  Ohio University, and the St Andrews Centre for Transnational History will be involved with the project. Dr Jaap Jacobs, an Honorary Lecturer at the St Andrews School of History, was also a founding member of the network.

Carnegie Trust funds three History projects

Three historians in the School of History have been awarded Carnegie Trust Grants.

Tommy Steele

Tommy Steele in 1957

Dr Gillian Mitchell has been awarded a Carnegie Trust Grant for a project on Reactions of the Older Generation to Rock ‘n’ Roll Music in Britain, 1955-1965. The grant will fund a lengthy research trip to London to consult resources in various libraries and archives, including the British Library’s oral history collections, the Church of England Record Centre in South London and the V&A Collections.

The project aims to analyse the reactions of adults to rock ‘n’ roll music in Britain between 1955 (when the genre first became popular in the country) and 1965 (the height of the ‘beat group’ era). It is widely assumed that adults reacted to rock ‘n’ roll with uniform horror, and that the music, often linked to contemporary anxieties concerning cultural Americanisation and juvenile delinquency, represented the ultimate symbol of ‘the generation gap’. Dr Mitchell will challenge this impression by demonstrating that the reactions of adults (including parents, teachers, journalists, religious leaders and representatives of entertainment establishments) to rock ‘n’ roll, far from being overwhelmingly negative, were more varied than has hitherto been supposed.

Germantown, Philadelphia

Germantown, PA

Dr Emma Hart has been awarded a Carnegie Grant for her project Trading Places: The British Atlantic Marketplace and the Foundations of American Capitalism. Dr Hart’s grant will fund the final phase of research for this project, during which she will visit Northumberland, Glasgow, the National Archives in London and South Carolina. The Trading Places project is a history of the British Atlantic market place from 1660 to the American Revolution. Dr Hart will investigate where people traded and who set the terms and places of buying and selling. She is interested in how the creation of Britain’s American empire affected market practices and created diverse economic cultures.

File:Eglinton Tournament Jug.JPG

An Eglinton Tournament Jug, 1839.

Dr Katie Stevenson has been awarded a Carnegie Grant that will assist the publication of a substantial new volume, Chivalry and the Vision of the Medieval Past, to appear in the series ‘Medievalism’ with Boydell & Brewer. The volume is co-edited by Katie and Barbara Gribling (formerly of the School of History and now a postdoctoral fellow at Tel Aviv University) and includes essays by Dr David Allan, and former St Andrews postgraduates Rachael Whitbread (Mediaeval History) and Peter Lindfield-Ott (Art History).

Spotlight on Emma Hart

Emma HartDr Emma Hart joined the School of History in 2001 as a Lecturer in Modern History.  Born in Edinburgh, brought up in Leicester and educated at Somerville College, Oxford and The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, USA, she was (and still is) delighted to be back in Scotland.  She is primarily a historian of early America but also maintains a keen interest in early modern British history.

To date, Emma’s research interests have principally focused on urban history.  Her first book, entitled Building Charleston, is an exploration of the rise to prominence of this South Carolinian metropolis, which was among early America’s largest towns.  Looking at Charleston in the light of larger urbanization processes that were underway in Britain and its American colonies, Emma’s study showed that previous historians had been wrong to dismiss the town as peripheral to the development of plantation society.  Instead, Charleston was vital to the early emergence of a middle class in Britain’s southern colonies.

Emma Hart Building CharlestonIn a bid to continue her research trips to the beautiful sub-tropical South Carolina and its sandy beaches, Emma’s recent work maintains Charleston as a focus.  However, she is branching out to incorporate Philadelphia and the equally glamorous “Old World” locations of Glasgow and Newcastle in her new research project.  A comparative history of British and American marketplaces between 1660 and American Independence, her next book will show how looking at the spatial and physical characteristics of the market can help us to understand the processes by which capitalism took divergent paths in different areas of the British Atlantic world over the course of the eighteenth century.


CharlestonEmma’s teaching offerings very much reflect her research interests, and she runs a range of courses at honours level that focus on the settlement of early America, the American city, the American Revolution, the history of American slavery, and the consumer market place in Britain and America.  She is also coordinator of the interdisciplinary ID1004 “Great Ideas” module, a fascinating job which has brought her into contact with faculty from across the university and has also required her to revisit her long-forgotten (and rather limited) GCSE science knowledge.

When she is not at work, Emma is usually to be found at home with her husband and two young daughters, at the gym pursuing her passion for Zumba, or enjoying an evening of karaoke with colleague Katie Stevenson, who is the better singer by far.