Dr Linda Kirk

M.A. (Cantab.), Ph.D. (Lond.), FRHistS

Department of History

Honorary Lecturer in Early Modern History


Linda Kirk's undergraduate education was at Cambridge, and after a short while lecturing at the then University College of Rhodesia she returned to England, simultaneously starting part-time work on her doctorate at London University and teaching at Sheffield University, where she worked for 40 years.

Her main research interests lie in the history of seventeenth and eighteenth-century ideas and their connections with social and political behaviour in ancien régime Europe. Her book on Richard Cumberland and Natural Law (1987) went into a second edition in 2022.

She has written on the resurgence of religious intolerance in Europe in the late seventeenth century.

She has focused, however, on the city-state of Geneva, especially in the eighteenth century, publishing a number of articles.

In exploring the ways in which eighteenth-century understandings of political culture gave rise to what moderns perceive as states, participation-rights and revolutions she engages with both the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, and has published on Tom Paine.

Professional activities and memberships

Former member of panel for Civil Service fast-stream selection; and current Bishop’s adviser on vocations. A founding member of the Political Thought Conference. Secretary and Trustee of the University of Sheffield Africa Scholarship.  Former Chair of University of Sheffield Anglican Chaplaincy Committee. Trustee of the Sheffield Church Burgesses Educational Foundation.

Administrative Duties

Former member of Senate, Council and many University committees.

Public engagement

Linda Kirk continues to give invited lectures.