I’m an Associate Professor of Political Theory in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford and a Tutorial Fellow at University College. I’m also an Executive Editor at the Journal of the History of Ideas.
I completed my PhD in the History of Political Thought at the University of Cambridge (Trinity College) under the supervision of Annabel Brett, after an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History and a BA in History, both also from the University of Cambridge. My PhD thesis won the 2015 Prince Consort Prize and Seeley Medal for best dissertation from the History Faculty at the University of Cambridge. After this I was a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, University of Oxford.
I’m primarily a historian of political thought. My two main areas of research are early modern political ideas and twentieth century intellectual history, especially the history of feminist politics and political theory.
In early modernity, I’ve written on the history of European ideas of democracy, empire and the state, of citizenship and slavery, and on arguments about the nature and purpose of political philosophy itself. I am especially interested in the relationship between philosophy, politics and imaginative literature in this period, the early modern reception of Aristotle’s Politics and the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. I am currently editing The Cambridge History of Democracy, 1200-1800.
My interest in the project and politics of political theory extends to my work on feminism. One focus of my research, much of which involves unpublished archival material, is on the ways that feminist authors across the twentieth century theorised in response to questions that are still with us: about work and social reproduction to coalition and collective action. I am also interested in the intersections between activist and academic approaches to feminist theory, about feminist engagements with so-called ‘mainstream’ political theory and about what these histories suggest for the future of feminist inquiry.
Finally, I’ve written about the historiographies of 20th century political philosophy/theory and of women’s intellectual history.