British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships announced: Emily Ward to join UCL History

25 June 2020

UCL History is delighted to announce that Dr Emily Joan Ward will be joining us on a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship to pursue her project 'Adolescence and Belonging in Medieval Europe, c.1000 – c.1250'.

Emily Ward

In most societies, changes impress themselves with particular strength on young people. Emily’s project will analyse how individuals approached that age of marked psychological, physical and social development we call adolescence during an acute period of religious, social, economic and political change between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. 

Throughout this period, most young men faced similar expectations and pressures even if their paths to adulthood were different within specific knightly, monastic, urban and clerical environments. Interweaving evidence from across Europe – with emphasis on Britain, France and Germany – the project's central aim is to pair adolescence with the politicized concept of belonging to illuminate wider societal changes: from generational conflict between young and old, to intra-familial differences between elder and younger siblings; from frictions between secular and religious communities, to discord between imposed concepts of adult identity and individual notions of adolescent selfhood.

Emily will be joining UCL History from Darwin College, Cambridge, where she has been a Moses and Mary Finley Research Fellow since October 2017. She completed her AHRC funded PhD under the supervision of Professor Elisabeth van Houts at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and held a Scouloudi doctoral fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research in London in 2016/17.

As a comparative historian working on Britain and Europe between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, Emily has an especial interest in understanding change and continuity over this period. Her research touches on themes such as life cycle and gender, rulership and authority, and documentary culture and historical writing. The relationship between age and identity is something which particularly fascinates her, and she is looking forward to exploring this further during her British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCL.