Simon Mills is a historian specialising in the religious, cultural, and intellectual history of the period from the late seventeenth to the early nineteenth century.
He was awarded his PhD at Queen Mary, University of London in 2009. Since then he has held fellowships at the Council for British Research in the Levant; the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge; and the Dahlem Humanities Centre, Freie Universität, Berlin. He joined the School of History at the University of Kent as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in 2014.
He is currently working on a monograph exploring the links between overseas trade and various forms of early modern science and scholarship by tracing the ways in which English commercial and diplomatic expansion in the Near East fostered new directions in oriental, antiquarian, and natural-historical studies. At the centre of the book are the chaplains who served the English Levant Company in Aleppo, Syria between the late sixteenth and the eighteenth centuries.
His broader interests encompass early modern British and European religious, cultural, and intellectual history. He has published a number of articles on aspects of the history of biblical and oriental studies and is a contributor to the forthcoming A History of the Dissenting Academies in the British Isles, 1660-1860, for which he is writing chapters on the teaching of ‘Pneumatology’ as part of the academies' philosophy curriculum and on the connections between the English academies and the Scottish universities. In 2013 he organised (with Kate Fleet and Scott Mandelbrote) a two-day conference entitled ‘Knowledge, Encounter, Exchange: Europe and the Ottoman Empire, 1453-1718’, at CRASSH, University of Cambridge. He is currently editing a volume of essays on the same theme.