Dr Joseph Harley

Lecturer, History

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: History

Research Supervision:Yes

Courses taught: History

Joseph Harley teaches early modern British and European history. He is an expert on early modern, Georgian and Victorian poverty and researches the topic through myriad approaches including consumption, welfare, material culture and social relations.

Email: joseph.harley@aru.ac.uk

Background

Before joining Anglia Ruskin in 2021, Joseph was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Derby. Between 2016 and 2017, he held an Economic History Society fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research, where he researched life in the English workhouse during the long eighteenth century. He has extensive teaching experience having worked at a range of UK universities such as the University of Leicester, Derby and Loughborough and a number of secondary schools. He is currently Editorial Assistant to Urban History (2014-) and was formerly employed as a researcher on two Heritage Lottery Fund projects.

Joseph is an expert in the history of poverty and consumption over the early modern , Georgian and Victorian periods. He has published a number of articles on these themes and one book. He is currently editing a book on the working-class at home over the long nineteenth century and writing a monograph for Manchester University press entitled At Home with the Poor: Consumer Behaviour and Material Culture in England, c. 1650-1850. His work helps to address a major historiographical gap, in which the poor and their consumer behaviour and material culture has largely been neglected. The work shows that poverty did not necessarily equate to owning very little and taking no pride in living spaces. Rather, most of the poor had an emotional attachment to their homes and strove to improve their domestic spheres by making them more comfortable, convenient and respectable through new consumer goods.

Research interests

  • Britain, c. 1600-1900
  • Poverty
  • Welfare
  • Consumption
  • Material culture
  • Industrial revolution
  • Social relations
  • Everyday life

Areas of research supervision

Joseph welcomes inquiries for PhD supervision on any aspect of the history of Britain between c. 1600 and 1900. He is particularly interested in supervising students interested in any of the broad themes in the list above.

Teaching

Joseph teaches on the following modules:

  • The Making of Modern Britain, 1714-1832
  • Creating the Past: From the Archive to the Web
  • Global Histories: Britain and the World 1500-1800
  • Life in the English Workhouse, c. 1690-1834
  • Consumption and the World of Goods, 1600-1830

Qualifications

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2020
  • PhD History, University of Leicester, 2016
  • MA History, University of Warwick, 2011
  • BA (hons.), University of Leicester, 2010

Selected recent publications

Books

Norfolk Pauper Inventories, c. 1690-1834 (Oxford: British Academy/Oxford University Press, 2020).

Articles

'Domestic Production and Consumption in Poor English Households, 1670-1840', Agricultural History Review. Forthcoming in 69:1 (2021).

'Pauper Inventories, Social Relations and the Nature of Poor Relief under the Old Poor Law, England c. 1601-1834', Historical Journal, 62:2 (2019), pp. 375-398.

'Consumption and Poverty in the Homes of the English Poor, c. 1670-1834', Social History, 43:1 (2018), pp. 81-104.

'Material Lives of the Poor and their Strategic use of the Workhouse during the Final Decades of the English Old Poor Law', Continuity and Change, 30:1 (2015), pp. 71-103.

Chapters in edited collections

'Consumption and Material Culture of Poverty in Early-Modern Europe, c. 1450-1800', in David Hitchcock and Julia McClure (eds.), The Routledge History of Poverty, 1450-1800 (London: Routledge, 2021), pp. 185-205.

Publications in progress

Books (peer-reviewed)

At Home with the Poor: Consumer Behaviour and Material Culture in England, c. 1650-1850 (Manchester University Press). Under contract.

The Working Class at Home, 1770-1940 (with Vicky Holmes and Laika Nevalainen) (Palgrave). Under contract.

Chapters in edited collections (peer-reviewed)

'"I can barely provide the common necessaries of life": Material wealth over the life-cycle of the English poor, 1790-1834', in Joseph Harley, Vicky Holmes and Laika Nevalainen (eds.), The Working Class at Home, 1770-1940 (Palgrave).

'Introduction' (with Vicky Holmes), in Joseph Harley, Vicky Holmes and Laika Nevalainen (eds.), The Working Class at Home, 1770-1940 (Palgrave).

Recent presentations and conferences

2021 '(Dis)comforts of the hearth in poor English households, c. 1650-1850', British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, St Hugh's College, University of Oxford.

2020 'Consumer behaviour and material lives of the poor in the town and country: A comparison, c.1670-1834', Pre-Modern Towns Conference, Birkbeck, University of London.

2020 'Material poverty or wealth? Pauper consumer behaviour during the 'crisis' years of the old poor law, c. 1780-1834', Economic and Social History of the Early Modern World Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, University of London.

2019 'Pauper inventories and domestic production, c.1670-1834', Domestic Production and Work in Poor British Homes, c. 1650-1850, University of Derby

2019 'Small things in the English pauper home, c.1670-1834', Small Things in the Eighteenth Century conference, University of York.

2019 '"His cottage was his happy home": Industriousness and domestic production in poor English homes, 1670-1830', University of Lincoln History Research Seminar.

2019 'Production in the homes of the English poor, 1670-1830', University of Derby ICR seminar.

2019 'Domestic work and pauperism in England, c.1670-1834', British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, St Hugh's College, University of Oxford.

2018 'The origins and uses of parish-related inventories in the long 18th century'. Keele University.

2018 'Pauper Inventories and the Nature of Poor Relief in England, c.1670-1834', British History in the Long 18th Century, Institute of Historical Research, SAS, University of London.

Media experience

'Who Do You Think You Are?', BBC, Advisor to historical researchers.

Joseph welcomes media enquiries relating to his research expertise.