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Postdoctoral Researcher in Early Modern Transatlantic History, University of York

Sarah’s doctoral thesis explored the mediation of distance, dispute and disagreement in transatlantic puritan networks and communities, 1625-1649. She completed her PhD at the University of East Anglia, where it was awarded in 2019. Looking at three prominent letter collections from the Winthrop family, John Cotton and John Davenport, this research explored the mechanisms employed by puritans on both sides of the Atlantic when trying to negotiate differences of opinion, be it theological or personal, the immense strain posed by migration and separation, and their encounters with a new and unfamiliar land. The research added critical nuance to our understanding of puritanism by employing quantitative methods to explore the spatial distribution of letters and letter writers, their social networks, and those who sustained and facilitated the survival of communities by carrying correspondence across the Atlantic. This has important implications for how we understand membership to puritan communities, and the practical role of network facilitators and news bearers in sustaining emotional and personal communities in the early and mid-seventeenth century. In addition to her research into the transatlantic world in the seventeenth century, Sarah has an interest in digital humanities. Her PhD thesis made significant use of social network analysis and spatial analysis, adding critical nuance to our understanding of these communities.


  • 2020–present
    Postdoctoral associate, AboutFace, University of York