Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of York
Website URL
English Reformation, Counter-Reformation Europe, Post-Reformation Catholicism, music, society, and culture in early modern England, women, women's writing, convents, nuns, exiles, migration, language.
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of York. Before joining the department in September 2016, I held a postdoctoral research position on the RECIRC (Reception and Circulation of Early Modern Women’s Writing) project at the National University of Ireland Galway, was a junior fellow (funded by the Royal Historical Society) at the Institute of Historical Research, and taught at King’s College London.

My research focuses on processes of religious change, identity formation and cultural encounter for people living in Reformation England, and for anglophones in Counter-Reformation Europe.

I am currently writing a monograph, provisionally entitled The Reformation of the Soundscape: Music and Piety in Early Modern England, which considers the changing acoustic landscape of the ‘long’ sixteenth century. It compares the multifaceted ways in which English Catholics and Protestants utilised music (and sounds) to express their devotion.

I am also a specialist of English Catholic exiles, and am interested in the ways English Catholic nuns negotiated language barriers on the continent.

Recent Publications

Edited books:

(ed. with Robin Macdonald and Elizabeth L. Swann) Sensing the Sacred in Medieval and Early Modern Culture (London: Routledge, 2018).

Chapters in edited collections:

(co-authored with Robin Macdonald and Elizabeth Swann) ‘Introduction’ in Sensing the Sacred in Medieval and Early Modern Culture, Emilie K. M. Murphy, Robin Macdonald and Elizabeth L. Swann.

‘A sense of place: hearing English Catholicism in the Spanish Habsburg territories, 1568-1659’ in Sensing the Sacred, eds. Murphy, Macdonald and Swann.

Peer-reviewed articles:

‘Language and Power in an English Convent in Exile, c.1621-c.1631’,  The Historical Journal (forthcoming, 2019). Early view online:

‘Musical self-fashioning and the “theatre of death” in late Elizabethan and Jacobean England’, Renaissance Studies 30 (2016): 410-429.

  • Awarded ‘Renaissance Studies Article Prize’ for best essay published in Renaissance Studies in 2016.
  • I explained the results of this article for a special feature on BBC Radio 4’s show Making History (4 August 2015).

‘Ballads and Catholic culture in post-Reformation Lancashire: piety, protest and conversion’, British Catholic History 32 (2015): 492-525.

‘Adoramus te Christe: Music and post-Reformation English Catholic domestic piety’ in Religion and the Household: Studies in Church History Vol. 50, eds. Alexandra Walsham et al. (Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, 2014): 242-255.

  • The findings of this article were featured both on BBC1’s Countryfile (7 April 2013) and in Christopher Howse’s column in The Telegraph (11 July 2014).
Media Coverage
I have media experience, and have shared my research expertise with the general public through features on radio (BBC Radio 4), and on television in the UK (BBC 1 - Countryfile) and US (What on Earth, The Science Channel - for WAG TV).
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
British Isles, England, United Kingdom, Western Europe
Expertise by Chronology
Pre-17th century, 17th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
Gender, Migration & Immigration, Religion