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Professor Briony McDonagh

Professor Briony McDonagh

Director of the Doctoral College & Professor of Environmental Humanities, Energy & Environment Institute

Faculty and Department

  • Doctoral College
  • Doctoral College

Summary

Briony McDonagh is Professor of Environmental Humanities at the University of Hull, where she is also Director of the Doctoral College. Her disciplinary background is in historical geography and environmental history and her current research interests lie in the green-blue humanities. She has published widely on the landscape and environmental change, on histories and cultures of living with water, on women’s histories, and on the historical geographies of enclosure, commons and protest.

Her book, Elite Women and the Agricultural Landscape, 1700–1830 (Routledge, 2017), won the Joan Thirsk Memorial Prize and Women’s History Network Book Prize. She is co-editor of Women and the Land, 1500-1900 (Boydell & Brewer, 2019), Remembering Protest in Britain since 1500 (Palgrave, 2018) and Hull: Culture, History, Place (Liverpool University Press, 2017). She is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Royal Historical Society and Higher Education Academy, and was 2018-2019 President of the British Science Association’s Geography Section.

She is Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Water Cultures, hosted by the University of Hull's Energy & Environment Institute. The Centre pioneers a new, humanities-led, interdisciplinary and transhistorical research area – the ‘green-blue humanities’ – equipping a new generation of PhD students to take this agenda forward and transform our understanding of humanity's relationships with water in the green-blue regions of the world, past, present and future.

In addition, Briony is Principal Investigator of 'Risky Cities: Living with Water in an Uncertain Future Climate', a UKRI-funded project learning from the past to build climate awareness today and for the future. Working with project partners including the National Youth Theatre, Absolutely Cultured and the Living with Water Partnership, the project develops learning histories for one flood-prone city (Kingston upon Hull, UK) and use arts and heritage interventions to engage diverse communities in building flood resilience.

Briony holds a prestigious Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship (on 'Gendering the Early Modern Commons') and is Co-I on an AHRC/XR Stories Creative Industries project combining disciplinary and industry expertise to virtually recreate a seventeenth-century flood of Hull.

Recent outputs

View more outputs

Journal Article

Gender, property and succession in the early modern English aristocracy: the case of Martha Janes and her illegitimate children

Worthen, H., McDonagh, B., & Capern, A. (2019). Gender, property and succession in the early modern English aristocracy: the case of Martha Janes and her illegitimate children. Women's History Review, 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/09612025.2019.1696414

Landscape, territory and common rights in medieval East Yorkshire

McDonagh, B. (2019). Landscape, territory and common rights in medieval East Yorkshire. Landscape History, 40(2), 77-100. https://doi.org/10.1080/01433768.2020.1676043

Disobedient Objects: material readings of enclosure protest in sixteenth-century

McDonagh, B. (in press). Disobedient Objects: material readings of enclosure protest in sixteenth-century. Journal of Medieval History,

More than bricks and mortar: Female property ownership as economic strategy in mid-nineteenth-century urban England

Aston, J., Capern, A., & McDonagh, B. (2019). More than bricks and mortar: Female property ownership as economic strategy in mid-nineteenth-century urban England. Urban history, 46(4), 695-721. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0963926819000142

Feminist historical geographies: doing and being

McDonagh, B. (2018). Feminist historical geographies: doing and being. Gender, Place and Culture, 25(11), 1563-1578. https://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2018.1552122

Lead investigator

Project

Funder

Grant

Started

Status

Project

Risky Cities: Living with water in an uncertain future climate

Funder

AHRC Arts & Humanities Research Council

Grant

£333,903.00

Started

1 August 2020

Status

Ongoing

Project

The University of Hull Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Centre on Water Cultures

Funder

The Leverhulme Trust

Grant

£1,350,000.00

Started

1 June 2021

Status

Ongoing

Project

Experiencing the landscape: popular geographical imaginations in the English Midlands, 1450-1650

Funder

British Academy

Grant

£9,968.00

Started

1 September 2014

Status

Complete

Project

Gendering the commons

Funder

The Leverhulme Trust

Grant

£55,000.00

Started

1 January 2019

Status

Complete

Project

On the Edge: a co-created exploration of young people’s eco-anxiety in the face of climate uncertainty

Funder

NERC Natural Environment Research Council

Grant

£10,000.00

Started

1 July 2021

Status

Complete

Co-investigator

Project

Funder

Grant

Started

Status

Project

NERC: Supporting Interdisciplinarity in Discovery Science 2022

Funder

NERC Natural Environment Research Council

Grant

£14,197.00

Started

1 October 2022

Status

Ongoing

Project

By the rising tide of Humber: Flooding Andrew Marvell's Hull

Funder

AHRC Arts & Humanities Research Council

Grant

£7,658.00

Started

1 October 2019

Status

Complete

Project

Hubert Nicholson: Lost and Found

Funder

SAS School of Advanced Study

Grant

£1,500.00

Started

1 June 2017

Status

Complete

Postgraduate supervision

Briony welcomes enquiries from potential PGRs (PhD and Masters candidates) wishing to work on projects on the following themes (broadly interpreted), in the UK and beyond, in periods c. 1400 onwards (and long duree studies):

- Historical geographies of landscape and environmental change, including projects on living with water and flood; enclosure and the commons; agricultural improvement; rural and urban landscapes; global environmental histories

- Women histories and historical geographies

- The geographies of protest, resistance and the law (in both historic and contemporary contexts)

- Heritage and/or arts-based community engagement, including in relation to climate action

- Climate action and social justice, particularly place-based approaches to resilience building

Completed PhDs

- Helen Bergin, The man, the sea and the ice. Captain William Colbeck's Antarctic story (1898-1904)

- Charlotte Garside, Women in Chancery: an analysis of chancery as a women's court of redress in late 17th-century England

- Kalliopi Kaparounaki, Caring children in Malawi: children's work within families affected by illness and disability

- Sarah Shields, Maid, wife, widow: women's life-course and property ownership, 1550-1800

- Jazmin Scarlett, The development of co-volcanic societies: the reciprocal relationships between the volcano La Soufrière and the society of St. Vincent, Lesser Antilles, 1718-1979

- Lizzie Rogers, Women and the World: Explorers from the Home during the Enlightenment in Britain

- Stormm Buxton-Hill, The impact of women on family dynastic ambitions and legal change in England, 1550-1800

- Catherine Goddard, Heritage interpretation and visitor experience at historic homes in the East Midlands, with a focus on women's history

- Ruth Quinn, Agricultural heritage of Saltaire

- Helen Manning (passed subject to corrections) Women, property and the law: mapping sexual inequality in the East Riding of Yorkshire, 1708-1974

Current PhD supervisions

- Alice Whiteoak, Walking the world: Emotions, place and memory in English court records, 1400-1800

- Flavia Manieri, Living with Floods in 20th C Hull

- Fred Bricknell, Water, Slavery and Indentured Labour: Plantations and People in British Guiana, c.1796-1880

- Blessing Mucherera, The Cultural Production of Flood Injustices

- Luke Michno-Neville Living on the Edge: surviving and thriving in the Holocene Humberhead Levels

- Felicity Wood, English literature, water, health, and well-being in estuary communities, 1500 - 1700

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