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Jake Halford

About me

I am a third year PhD student at the University of Warwick in the midst of researching dialogue, democracy and the public sphere in the seventeenth and eighteenth century under the supervision of Mark Knights. I began my university career at Lancaster University where I studied History and Philosophy for my BA. After completing my BA I spent the summer working at the Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics (CESAGEN) researching the history of Biobanks and Genetic Databases with Richard Tutton. Following my internship I stayed at Lancaster University to study an MA in philosophy that was generously funded by an AHRC studentship. Working with Stephen Pumfrey my MA thesis was a genealogical and linguistic analysis of philosophy in the seventeenth century that used corpus linguistics and discourse analysis in conjunction with Early English Books Online to look at the conceptualisation of new philosophy.

Research Interests

My current research is focused on democracy and the public sphere in the Early Modern Sphere. It aims to interrogate the conenction between public discussion and democracy through looking at the literary form of the dialogue, more information can be found here. My general academic interests are:

  • Public discourse and the relationship between literature, language and ideas
  • The history of early modern key-words and concepts
  • The philosophy of history
  • The representation of debate and controversy
  • Authorship and readership
  • Early modern philosophy and natural philosophy
  • Historical linguistics, discourse analysis and digital humanities


Jacob Halford, Review of Science in Denmark: A 2,000 year history, in British Journal for the History of Science, Vol. 43, No. 1, March 2010

Jacob Halford, ‘Models of Exemplarity: Uraniborg and Solomon’s House’ in Re-inventing utopia: science, politics and religion in early modern Europe, Studii de Stiinta si Cultura, Vol. 6, No. 4, Dec 2010

Academic Profile

2011-2014 - PhD (History) University of Warwick

2010-2011 - MA (Philosophy) Lancaster University (Distinction)

2010-2010 - University of Copenhagen, ERASMUS Module

2008-2011 - BA (History and Philosophy) Lancaster University (First Class)


2013 - Folger Library NEH funded Summer Institute

2013 - Warwick-Newberry Mellon Fellowship

2012 - HRC conference

2012 - Warwick-Newberry Residential Summer Workshop

2012 - Institute of Ideas Scholarship

2011 - AHRC Doctoral Award

2010 - AHRC MA Award

2010 - Friends of Lancaster Research Internship Award

Outside of Academia

When not reading copious amounts of books I like to cycle around the Derbyshire countryside, play the guitar, watch and make films. I blog on a semi-regular basis for Wheat and Tares and I have a personal blog in which I try and keep track of all the beautiful words, pictures and films I encounter.



Jacob Halford

jjshalford at gmail dot com

The Frozen Sea