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Andrew Steels

About Me

I am a second year part-time PhD researcher supervised by Professor Mark Knights and Dr. Guido van Meersbergen. My research interests include early modern political and mercantile cultures, 'history from below' especially early modern families and kinship networks, overseas encounter and exploration, and material culture.

My earlier professional career was spent first as a Human Resources (HR) practitioner and then as management consultant with 'Big Four' and specialist global consultancy firms.

My Research

The title for my PhD project is Merchant Families and the Organisation of Trade in the Levant, 1600-1750. I am interested in how, and how far, merchant families and kinship networks were able to use their power and resources to organise the Levant trade in their own interest, and to overcome the challenges they faced.

The institution formally mandated by the English state to oversee trade in the eastern and southern Mediterranean was the Levant Company. This organisation of the trade was contentious amongst contemporaries, with chartered institutions like the Levant Company being associated by some with monopoly privilege and monarchical rule. My thesis is that in addition to their commercial power, merchants and their families mobilised their cultural, political, and emotional experiences in their cause, with implications for their cross-cultural trade. As well as the English and Ottoman states, the Levant Company could be co-opted to support the organisation of trade around the interests of merchant families rather than in the public interest.

My project therefore explores themes of public and private interests, regulation and agency, corporate organisation and familial and kinship networks, core and periphery, and cosmopolitanism and cross-cultural trade.

Academic History

2022-2029 PhD in History, University of Warwick

2019-2021 MA in History (Early Modern) with Distinction, University of Warwick

1992-1994 MBA, University of Birmingham

1979-1982 BA (Hons) in History, University of Lancaster


Early Modern and Eighteenth Century Centre, University of Warwick

Global History and Culture Centre, University of Warwick

History Lab, Institute of Historical Research

Postgraduate Member of the Royal Historical Society


Commodity Prices in Constantinople