The University of Bristol: my penultimate stop to becoming a professional historian. With an eye on not only my dissertation, but also my career, Bristol’s graduate school offered expertise in eighteenth-century art, philosophy and history unparalleled. The team of Dr. Richard Sheldon and Dr. Ronald Hutton further cemented my decision to come to Bristol.

I have a tough dissertation, one that seeks to pinpoint a massive political disruption at the beginning of the Seven Years’ War by exploring the cultural norms that served to enflame it. In addition, for career purposes, I must also produce a dissertation that

The University of Bristol - founded in 1909

widens the geographical scope to be inclusive of both the British Empire (from colonizers to the colonized) and the influences of Western Civilization upon British imaginations.

Toward that end, Dr. Sheldon’s work on popular protest and radicalism from 1700 to about 1860 allows me, at the least, to investigate the history of radicalism and protest in the early modern era and beyond. Further, Professor Sheldon will assist me with understanding the role of economics and economic change and the concomitant influences they held within all strata of British society. Dr. Richard Hutton’s extensive work on popular culture – the influences of religion, paganism, superstitions, and rituals – will ground me in an understanding of one of the least heard voices prior to 1770, that of the lower ranks of British society. Professors Sheldon and Hutton offer potent opportunities to investigate popular protests within cultural contexts; all of which will lead to a well written, erudite, and historical investigation on how culture contributed to the political disarray surrounding the loss of Minorca (1756), as well as the arrest, trial and execution of Admiral John Byng (1757).

My post-dissertation plans are to teach. Here, too, Bristol offers me solutions. If I can graduate from the MLitt status and prove myself before my esteemed supervisors, the teaching possibilities at Bristol (such as leading seminar classes) as well as other nearby colleges will certainly go a long way in achieving my goal of becoming a professional historian.

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