Rebecca H A Oakes BA MA PhD
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
Historian of Late Medieval England, specifically mortality and life expectancy in medieval colleges
In 2002 I completed my undergraduate studies in History at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth before moving to the University of York for my MA in Medieval studies. In February 2009 I was awarded my doctorate from the University of Southampton, which focussed on mortality and life expectancy among the medieval scholars of Winchester College and New College, Oxford. I was the recipient of the Economic History Society Eileen Power fellowship for 2009-10, and used this time to commence a comparative study of mortality among scholars at King's College, Cambridge as a Visiting Scholar at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure. I now hold a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship and am extending my college datasets into the 1660s for comparison to parish record data for the early modern period.
- 2010- British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
- 2009-2010 Institute of Historical Research, Economic History Society Eileen Power Fellow
- 2009-2010 Visiting Scholar, Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, University of Cambridge
- 2009-Present, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Winchester
- 2009 Editorial work for Wessex Historical Databases
- 2007-2008, and 2009, Sabbatical cover, Winchester College
- 2007 Institute of Historical Research Scouloudi Fellow
- 2005-2008 Associate Lecturer, University of Winchester
- 2002: BA (First Class Honours), History, University of Wales, Aberystwyth
- 2003: MA Medieval Studies, University of York
- 2009: PhD, University of Southampton. Mortality and life expectancy: Winchester College and New College, Oxford c. 1393 – c. 1540, unpublished PhD, University of Southampton
My current research focuses upon the scholars of Winchester College, New College Oxford, Eton College and King's College Cambridge as comparative case study samples for investigation of mortality and life expectancy across the late medieval and early modern period. This research builds upon my doctoral study of mortality and life expectancy at Winchester College and New College Oxford, and upon the work commenced in 2009/10 on the scholars of King's College during my Economic History Society Fellowship. This project will compare the experiences of medieval scholars across the different institutions, and the expansion of the dataset into the early modern period will allow for comparison with data drawn from parish record analysis for the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. My wider research interests include the functioning and administration of medieval colleges, the subsequent career patterns and geographical movement of medieval scholars, and the role of mortality in the economic and social history of the late medieval period more generally.
- Adolescent mortality from Winchester College 1393‒1540: new evidence for medieval mortality and methodological considerations for historical demography, Local Population Studies (forthcoming)
Other in preparation publications can be found on the current version of my Curriculum Vitae.
Recent seminars and conference papers
- 'A plague on both your houses: college insights into medieval mortality', Local Population Studies Society Autumn Conference: Death and Disease in the community, 1400-2010, University of Leicester, November 2011.
- 'Moving targets: how place of origin affected the life chances of late medieval scholars at Winchester College and New College Oxford', Population, economy and welfare: a conference in honour of Richard M. Smith, Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, September 2011.
- 'Medieval Kentish Church leaders', Herne Bay Historical Records Society (invited speaker), March 2011.
- 'Bridging the gap: new evidence for mortality and life expectancy spanning late medieval and early modern England', Poster presentation outlining proposed research for this British Academy Project, presented at the School of Physical Sciences for the visit of the Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge, November 2010.
- 'Perspectives on occupational health for graduates of Winchester College and New College Oxford: linking late medieval career and life expectancy data, 1393-1540', Fifteenth Century Conference, University of Southampton, September 2010 (invited contribution).
- 'Surviving school: mortality and life expectancy of the medieval scholars of Winchester College and New College Oxford', Medieval Economic and Social History Seminar, University of Cambridge, November 2009.
- 'Greater expectations: new evidence for medieval mortality and life expectancy', British Society for Population Studies annual conference, Bournemouth, September 2009 (circulated paper; Unpublished material - Please do not quote or cite this material without the permission of the author)
I am not undertaking any teaching in the current academic year.
Details of previous teaching experiences can be found on my Curriculum Vitae.
- Editorial board member of Local Population Studies
- Member of the Institute of Historical Research
- Member of the Economic History Society
- Member of the British Society for Population Studies