The following is a list of scholars researching petitions, in any period or place. Please e-mail Henry or Richard to add your own biography of no more than 150 words.
Benoît Agnés, Associate Researcher in the Centre de Recherches en Histoire du XIXe siècle, Universités Paris 1 / Paris 4. He holds a PhD in history from the Université Paris 1–Panthéon Sorbonne and his field of research includes comparative European history, particularly of Britain and France, political culture, and popular mobilization. He has published widely on this area in, Labour History Review, Revue d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, and Revue Historique.
Martin Almbjär, Umeå University, is working on a Ph. D.thesis on supplications submitted to the Swedish Diet during the so called Age of Liberty (1719–1772), a period where most of the central political authority rested with the Diet. The thesis is scheduled for defence in early September 2016. Almbjär is also interested in comparative studies of representative assemblies and their involvement in so called lesser errands, a research field he hopes to contribute to in the future. While not toiling away with eighteenth century supplications, Almbjär is preparing a project for the study of political and administrative relations between the Swedish realm and its provinces in the northern Holy Roman Empire during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Daniel Carpenter, Center for American Political Studies, Harvard University. He has published widely on contemporary American public policy, and currently co-ordinates a large, long-term project on petitioning in North America that draws on the digitization of petitions held by Congress as well as state archives. One outcome of this project has been the Digital Archive of Massachusetts Antislavery and Anti-Segregation Petitions, launched in 2015, and research, combining the analysis of historical data with spatial and quantitative methods, has been published in American Political Science Review and elsewhere.
Malcolm Chase, Department of History, University of Leeds. His interest in petitioning derives from research into labour history, the Queen Caroline affair, and Chartism. His books include Chartism: A New History (2007), 1820: Disorder & Stability in the United Kingdom (2013) and The Chartists: Perspectives & Legacies (2015).
Faramerz Dabhoiwala, Exeter College, University of Oxford. His expertise is in the English-speaking world since the middle ages, and he is particularly interested in petitioning as form of communication as well as an expression of power-relations, in the material aspects of petition-writing (such as the use of scriveners), and in individual as well as collective petitioning, at all levels of society.
Elin Hinnemo, Mid-Sweden University, Holds a PhD from Uppsala University Sweden on a thesis which discussed the interplay between female individuals and the state representatives of the supreme court in Sweden at the turn of the 18th-century trough petitions and appeals. She has now initiated a project together with Martin Almbjär about petitions as means to a deeper understanding of early modern state formation in the Swedish context.
Richard Huzzey, Department of History, Durham University. He is working on a new history of British abolitionism, exploring the ideas and politics of anti-slavery campaigners, c. 1787-1838. The author of Freedom Burning: Anti-Slavery and Empire in Victorian Britain (Cornell University Press, 2012) and a number of essays, Richard has co-edited The Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade (Manchester University Press, 2015). He is now working with Henry Miller on the ‘Re-thinking Petitions, Parliament, and People in the Long Nineteenth Century’ project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
James Jaffe, Department of History, Institute for Legal Studies and South Asia Center, University Wisconsin-Whitewater. He currently works on the transnational interactions between law, legal ideologies, and society. In particular, his work focuses on the adoption, adaptation, and legacies of English law in colonial and modern India. Recent publications include Ironies of Colonial Governance: Law, Custom and Justice in Colonial India (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and ‘Custom, Identity and the Jury in India, 1800-1832’, Historical Journal, 57 (2014), 131-55.
Maartje Janse, Institute for History, Leiden University. Her book on the culture of Dutch single-issue campaigns was published as Publieke Opinie, Organisatie en Politiek in Nederland, 1840-1880 (Amsterdam 2007). She was joint co-ordinator of the NWO project, ‘The Promise of Organization: Political Associations, 1820-1890: Debate and Practice’. She has published widely on the entangled history of reform organizations and forms of protest in Europe and the United States in the long 19th century (with a special interest in the antislavery campaigns), including in Past & Present, Low Counties Historical Review and the European Review of History.
Philip Loft, University College London. He is interested in the nature of the interactions between the public, parliaments, and the state in early modern Britain. This has primarily taken the form of considering how the public and interest-groups were directed to engage with “facts”, “reason” and deliberative procedures and cultures by parliaments and political elites. My thesis has examined this in relation to the use of the Palace of Westminster as a public space, patterns of petitioning, the role of the public in providing “facts” and “data” to the state, and the importance of litigation to state-building in the early eighteenth century. Early findings from this research can be found in ‘They Have Considered Your Addresses/Our Noble Peers Could Do No Less”: “Large Responsive Petitions” to the Westminster Parliament, 1688-1720’, Journal of British Studies (forthcoming).
Kinga Makovi is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at Columbia University, and a member of the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE) lead by Peter Bearman. Her interests include social networks, quantitative methods and simulation techniques applied to puzzles in the areas of historical sociology and social movements. Makovi’s dissertation project focuses on the movement for the abolition of the slave trade in England which lies in the intersection of her research interest. She focuses on the social-structural underpinnings of the large-scale petitioning campaigns for abolition.
Henry Miller, Senior Research Fellow, Durham University, and Project Co-ordinator of the Leverhulme Trust funded Petitions, Parliament and People project (RPG-097-2016). Previously he was Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century British History, University of Manchester. He has published a number of articles on political culture and popular politics in Britain in the ‘long nineteenth century’ (1780-1914), including in Historical Research and Parliamentary History, and is currently writing a book on popular petitioning in this period that developed out of his earlier work on free trade petitions published in English Historical Review (2012). His study of the role of images in pre-democratic mass politics, Politics Personified: Portraiture, Caricature and Visual Culture in Britain, 1830-1880 (Manchester University Press), was published in 2015.
Michelle Orihel is an Assistant Professor of History at Southern Utah University. Her research focuses on politics and the print media in early America and the Atlantic world, and has appeared in The Historian and The New England Quarterly. She is presently writing a book about opposition politics along America’s first frontier, the trans-Appalachian West of the late eighteenth century. She is particularly interested in how westerners transformed traditional modes of protest, petitioning, and association to suit their own local and regional circumstances.
Diego Palacios Cerezales, Lecturer in History, University of Stirling. Has published widely on protest, popular politics and social movements in Spain and Portugal in the modern era. His books include O poder caiu na rua. Crise de Estado e acções colectivas na revolução portuguesa, 1974-1975 (Lisbon: Imprensa de Ciencias Sociais, 2003); A culatazos. Protesta popular y orden público en el Portugal contemporáneo (Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades, Palma de Mallorca: Genueve Ediciones, 2011); Estranhos corpos políticos. Protesto e mobilização no Portugal do século XIX (Lisbon: Unipop, 2014) He has published widely, including on female petitioning in Portugal in Análise Social. He is currently writing a transnational history of petitioning.
Sami Pinabarsi, University of Manchester. My research interests cover the period of petitioning in the Manchester region between the years 1788-1806, with reference to the abolitionist and pro-slavery activities of Manchester’s population, who often expressed themselves through the signing of numerous petitions which emerged from the city. The Manchester petitions which still exist today are my principal focus of academic study.
Robert Poole is Guild Research Fellow in History at Uclan, Preston He works on the early nineteenth-century radical movement, and is currently writing a book on the ‘Peterloo massacre’ of 1819. He is also involved in a collaborative project to make the Home Office disturbances papers more accessible. His publications include:
‘ “To the last drop of my blood”: politics and melodrama in early nineteenth-century England’, in Performance, Politics and Popular Culture in Nineteenth-century Britain ed. Kate Newey, Jeffrey Richards & Peter Yeandle (Manchester University Press, forthcoming 2015).
Editor, Manchester Region History Review 23 (2014), Return to Peterloo https://www.hssr.mmu.ac.uk/mcrh/mrhr/peterloo/
‘French revolution or peasants’ revolt? Petitioners and rebels from the Blanketeers to the Chartists’, Labour History Review 74 (2009), 6-26.
‘The march to Peterloo: politics and festivity in late Georgian England’, Past and Present 192, (2006), 109-153.
‘By the law or the sword: Peterloo revisited’, History, (2006), 254-76.
Joris van den Tol, Leiden University. By October 2016, I hope to have finished my PhD dissertation that focusses on individuals lobbying for seventeenth-century (Dutch) Brazil through petitions, pamphlets, patronage and presentations. I have a particular interest in petitions that are signed by a larger number of individuals, and how petitions were able to change institutions and the (Dutch) Atlantic.
Dr Amanda Whiting is a Historian and also Lecturer in Law at the University of Melbourne. Her British historical research focuses on gender and the petitionary voice in early modern England – Women and Petitioning in the Seventeenth-Century English Revolution: Deference, Difference and Dissent (Turnhout, Belgium: Breplos, 2015). Wearing her ‘legal’ hat she has published a number of articles and book chapters about human rights in Malaysia and the colliding and conflicting understandings of secular and religious law in Malaysia (particularly as they affect women and children). She is currently writing a history of the Malaysian Bar as an agent of civil society, engaged in sustained resistance to the authoritarian post-colonial state.
Prof. David Zaret, Professor of Sociology, Indiana University. His earlier work on petitioning examined its connections to the development of a public sphere. This includes Origins of Democratic Culture: Printing, Petitions and the Public Sphere in Early-Modern England (Princeton University Press, 2000); ‘Petitions and the ‘Invention’ of Public Opinion in the English Revolution,’ American Journal of Sociology (1996); and ‘Petitioning Places and the Credibility of Opinion in the Public Sphere in 17th-Century England,’ in B. Kümin, (ed., Political Space in Pre-Industrial Europe (Ashgate, 2009). His current project is a comparative-historical study of petitioning in pre-modern states across Eurasia.