Michael-Braddick-ProfileProfessor Michael Braddick FBA

B.A., Ph.D. (Cantab.)

Professor of History

Early Modern England; State in Early Modern England, 1550-1700

m.braddick@sheffield.ac.uk

+44 (0)114 22 29701 | Jessop West 3.05

Director, Global Humanities Initiative

Profile

Biography

Michael-Braddick-1

I was educated at Cambridge University where I took both my B.A. and Ph.D. degrees. Before coming to Sheffield in 1990 I was Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama and Assistant Professor at Birmingham-Southern College, Alabama. I have held fellowships from the British Academy, the Nuffield Foundation and a Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust. I have also held visiting scholarships at the Huntington Library, California, the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris, and an ARC distinguished visiting fellowship at the University of Adelaide.

I am the author of five books and around 40 chapters and articles, dealing with aspects of state formation, the English revolution and forms of political engagement and agency in early modern England, Ireland and the British Atlantic. I am also editor or co-editor of nine essay collections, three special editions of academic journals and of a major edition of seventeenth century letters.

My most recent publications are The Oxford Handbook of the English Revolution, God's Fury, England's Fire: A New History of the English Civil WarsPopular Culture and Political Agency in Early Modern England and Ireland (co-edited with Phil Withington), Suffering and Happiness in England 1550-1850: Narratives and Representations (co-edited with Jo Innes), as well as an edited collection on The politics of gesture: historical perspectives.

I am currently director of the Sheffield Global Humanities Initiative, and was previously Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Professional Roles

British Academy - Chair of the Higher Education Policy Development Group

Past & Present - Editorial Board Member

Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History - Series Editor

Until recently I served as a member of the Audit Committee and Peer Review College of the Arts and Humanities Research Council

I regularly act as peer reviewer, advisor or referee for publishers, research funders and other Universities and research centres both in the UK and internationally.

Research

Research

My research and teaching interests are in early modern state formation and political culture; popular politics; the English revolution; the early modern British Atlantic and the first stages of British imperial expansion; and early modern political economy, in particular attitudes towards the commercialisation of the grain trade.

I am currently focussing on the English civil war and on partisanship in early modern popular culture, in a series of articles examining the relationship between high and low politics. My study of the political life of John LIlburne is in press with Oxford University Press and I was until recently principal investigator on a Leverhulme-funded international network on the ‘Comparative history of political engagement’ and AHRC-funded project, ‘Participating in Search Design: A Study of George Thomason's English Newsbooks’ 

Research Supervision

I am keen to supervise graduate students with interests in early modern state formation and political culture; popular politics; the English revolution; the early modern British Atlantic and the first stages of British imperial expansion; and early modern political economy, in particular attitudes towards the commercialisation of the grain trade. I particularly welcome applications from those interested in the social, cultural and political history of early modern England.

Current Research Students

Alexander Hitchman - Popular Appeal and Political Mobilisation: A Study of Legal Pamphlets and the Law in the Early 1640s.

Michael Bennett - Merchant Capital and the Formation of Slave Labour Regimes in the English Empire, c. 1600-1700.

Further information on research opportunities within the department.

Publications

Full list of Publications

Selected publications

Suffering and happiness in England 1550-1850: narratives and representations (co-edited with Joanna Innes) (Oxford University Press for the Past and Present Society, 2017)

Suffering and Happiness in England coverSuffering and happiness in England 1550-1850: narratives and representations (co-edited with Joanna Innes) (Oxford University Press for the Past and Present Society, 2017)

Suffering and Happiness in England 1550-1850 pays tribute to one of the leading historians working on early modern England, Paul Slack, and his work as a historian, and enters into discussion with the rapidly growing body of work on the 'history of emotions'. The themes of suffering and happiness run through Paul Slack's publications; the first being more prominent in his early work on plague and poverty, the second in his more recent work on conceptual frameworks for social thought and action. Though he has not himself engaged directly with the history of emotions, assembling essays on these themes provides an opportunity to do that. The chapters explore in turn shifting discourses of happiness and suffering over time; the deployment of these discourses for particular purposes at specific moments; and their relationship to subjective experience. In their introduction, the editors note the very diverse approaches that can be taken to the topic; they suggest that it is best treated not as a discrete field of enquiry but as terrain in which many paths may fruitfully cross. The history of emotions has much to offer as a site of encounter between historians with diverse knowledge, interests, and skills.

Popular culture and political agency in early modern England and Ireland: Essays in honour
of John Walter
(co-edited with Phil Withington) (Boydell and Brewer, 2017)

Popular culture and political agency in early modern England and Ireland CoverPopular culture and political agency in early modern England and Ireland: Essays in honour
of John Walter
(co-edited with Phil Withington) (Boydell and Brewer, 2017)

One of the most notable currents in social, cultural and political historiography is the interrogation of the categories of 'elite' and 'popular' politics and their relationship to each other, as well as the exploration of why and how different sorts of people engaged with politics and behaved politically. While such issues are timeless, they hold a special importance for a society experiencing rapid political and social change, like early modern England. No one has done more to define these agendas for early modern historians than John Walter. His work has been hugely influential, and at its heart has been the analysis of the political agency of ordinary people. The essays in this volume engage with the central issues of Walter's work, ranging across the politics of poverty, dearth and household, popular political consciousness and practice more broadly, and religion and politics during the English revolution. This outstanding collection, bringing together some of the leading historians of this period with some of the field's rising stars, will appeal to anyone interested in the social, cultural and political history of early modern England or issues of popular political consciousness and behaviour more generally.

The Oxford Handbook of the English Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2015)

The Oxford Handbook of the English Revolution CoverThe Oxford Handbook of the English Revolution(Oxford University Press, 2015)

This Handbook brings together leading historians of the events surrounding the English revolution, exploring how the events of the revolution grew out of, and resonated, in the politics and interactions of the each of the Three Kingdoms - England, Scotland, and Ireland. It captures a shared British and Irish history, comparing the significance of events and outcomes across the Three Kingdoms. In doing so, the Handbook offers a broader context for the history of the Scottish Covenanters, the Irish Rising of 1641, and the government of Confederate Ireland, as well as the British and Irish perspective on the English civil wars, the English revolution, the Regicide, and Cromwellian period.

The Oxford Handbook of the English Revolution explores the significance of these events on a much broader front than conventional studies. The events are approached not simply as political, economic, and social crises, but as challenges to the predominant forms of religious and political thought, social relations, and standard forms of cultural expression. The contributors provide up-to-date analysis of the political happenings, considering the structures of social and political life that shaped and were re-shaped by the crisis. The Handbook goes on to explore the long-term legacies of the crisis in the Three Kingdoms and their impact in a wider European context.

The experience of revolution in early Stuart Britain and Ireland: essays for John Morrill, (co-edited with David L Smith) (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

Mike Braddick Experience book coverThe experience of revolution in early Stuart Britain and Ireland: essays for John Morrill, (co-edited with David L Smith) (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

This volume ranges widely across the social, religious and political history of revolution in seventeenth-century Britain and Ireland, from contemporary responses to the outbreak of war to the critique of the post-regicidal regimes; from royalist counsels to Lilburne's politics; and across the three Stuart kingdoms. However, all the essays engage with a central issue - the ways in which individuals experienced the crises of mid seventeenth-century Britain and Ireland and what that tells us about the nature of the Revolution as a whole. Responding in particular to three influential lines of interpretation - local, religious and British - the contributors, all leading specialists in the field, demonstrate that to comprehend the causes, trajectory and consequences of the Revolution we must understand it as a human and dynamic experience, as a process. This volume reveals how an understanding of these personal experiences can provide the basis on which to build up larger frameworks of interpretation.

The Politics of Gesture: Historical Perspectives, (edited collection) (Oxford University Press for the Past and Present Society, 2009). Mike Braddick Gesture book coverThe Politics of Gesture: Historical Perspectives, (edited collection) (Oxford University Press for the Past and Present Society, 2009).
The British Atlantic World, 1500-1800, second edition (co-edited with David Armitage) (Palgrave, 2009).

The British Atlantic World, 1500-1800, second edition (co-edited with David Armitage) (Palgrave, 2009).

This text was the first edited collection on the burgeoning history of the early modern Atlantic world and has had a huge impact on the many fields of Atlantic Studies. This second edition features two new essays on science and global history respectively, as well as a revised Introduction and updated guides to further reading.

God's Fury, England's Fire: a new history of the English civil wars, (Penguin, 2008).

Mike Braddick Gods Fury book coverGod's Fury, England's Fire: a new history of the English civil wars, (Penguin, 2008).

The sequence of civil wars that ripped England apart in the seventeenth century was the single most traumatic event in this country between the medieval Black Death and the two world wars. Indeed, it is likely that a greater percentage of the population were killed in the civil wars than in the First World War.

This sense of overwhelming trauma gives this major new history its title: God’s Fury, England’s Fire. The name of a pamphlet written after the king’s surrender, it sums up the widespread feeling within England that the seemingly endless nightmare that had destroyed families, towns and livelihoods was ordained by a vengeful God – that the people of England had sinned and were now being punished. As with all civil wars, however, ‘God’s fury’ could support or destroy either side in the conflict.

Negotiating Power in Early Modern Society: Order, Hierarchy and Subordination in Britain and Ireland, (co-edited with John Walter) (Cambridge University Press, 2001).

Mike Braddick Negotiating book coverNegotiating Power in Early Modern Society: Order, Hierarchy and Subordination in Britain and Ireland, (co-edited with John Walter) (Cambridge University Press, 2001).

Addressing the dynamics of power in early modern societies, this book challenges the existing tendency to see past societies in terms of binary oppositions--such as male/female, rich/poor, rulers/ruled. Drawing on recent social theory, the essays offer a series of micro-sociologies of power in early modern society, ranging from the politics of age, gender and class to the politics of state-building in the post-Reformation confessional state. Its findings also have relevance for thinking about inequality in present-day societies.

State Formation in Early Modern England, c. 1500-1700, (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

Mike Braddick State Formation book coverState formation in Early Modern England, c. 1500-1700, (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

The seventeenth century has always been seen as important for the development of the modern English state. Over the past twenty years, however, this view has been criticized heavily and no general account of the development of the state in this period has yet emerged. On the basis of a wide-ranging synthesis of specialist work in diverse fields of English, British and colonial history, this book makes a novel argument about the modernization of the seventeenth-century English state, and of the role of class and gender interests in its development.

The Nerves of State: Taxation and the Financing of the English State, 1558-1700, (Manchester University Press, 1996).

The Nerves of State: Taxation and the Financing of the English State, 1558-1700, (Manchester University Press, 1996).

The period from 1558 to 1714 saw a marked change in the scale of taxation and its significance to the structure of public finances. Although the central significance of taxation and finances has been widely acknowledged in accounts of the political history of the early modern period, this study deals with the issue thematically over a broad period. The chronological span of the study allows a full outline of an important transformation of the financial structure of the English state, providing a new context in which to understand familiar and important issues.

Teaching

Due to my role as Director of the Global Humanities Initiative I currently have only a limited involvement in the teaching programmes. I have in the past taught modules at all levels in many areas of early modern English, British and European History.

Module Leader

1. Revolutionary England, 1640-1660: Politics, Culture and Society, HST694 (Postgraduate module)

Public Engagement

Public Engagement

I am a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and have in the past written for BBC History and Teaching History. I have advised on a number of radio and TV programmes and regularly speak to 6th form audiences. I recently co-curated (with Paul Evans) a collaboration between artists and academics from a variety of science, engineering, social science and arts disciplines thinkaboutbees.org. In the autumn of 2017 I will be curating a strand of events in Sheffield Literary Festival on the theme of radicalism http://offtheshelf.org.uk

Administrative Duties

Administrative Roles

I am currently Director of the Sheffield Global Humanities Initiative. I have in the past carried out a number of major administrative roles within the Department, particularly in relation to Undergraduate Admissions (including Senior Admissions Tutor and Tutor for Mature Applications), examinations and assessment, and as Chair of Teaching Committee. In the latter capacity I took a leading role in establishing new mechanisms of Teaching Quality assurance in the Department, and subsequently led the Department's very successful response to two Audits of Teaching Quality. I was Head of Department in 2008-9 and was Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities from 2009 to 2013.