Professor Andy Wood

IAS Fellow at University College, Durham University (October – December 2012)

Andy Wood is currently Professor of Social History at the University of East Anglia, where he has been teaching since 1996. He has held lectureships at the University of Liverpool (Department of Economic and Social History) and at the University of East London (Department of Cultural Studies), as well as a Scouloudi Research Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research and a British Academy Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at University College London. He has published three books: The 1549 rebellions and the making of early modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2007); Riot, rebellion and popular politics in early modern England (Palgrave, 2002) and The politics of social conflict: the Peak Country, 1520-1770 (Cambridge University Press, 1999). He is currently completing his fourth book, to be published by Cambridge University Press in 2013 as The memory of the people: custom and popular senses of the past in early modern England. This is based on 20 years’ of archival work, some of it funded by major awards by the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. His work has appeared in a number of collections of essays and in international journals including Past and Present; Journal of Social History; Historical Journal; Social History; Transactions of the Royal Historical Society; and International Review of Social History. He was educated at Marple Hall High School in Stockport; at the University of York; and at the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

While at the IAS, Professor Wood will contribute to the annual theme of ‘Time’ in a number of ways. His current research project deals with popular senses of time and space in England, c.1570-1770. This links to a number of the sub-themes identified by the IAS, including ‘Narrating Time’; ‘Experiencing Time’; ‘Reconstructing Time’; ‘Time and the Present’; and ‘Scaling Time’. Critically, Professor Wood will argue that senses of time need to be read in their spatial and social contexts. Preliminary work conducted by Wood suggests that early modern popular concepts of time changed in important respects. Ordinary people stopped dating time in relationship to liturgy and saints’ days; time became more pragmatic, related to the agricultural seasons and to processes of exploitation (such as rent days); in urban communities, time became defined by the clock and by the market; and in industrializing areas, it came to be organized around the experience of waged labour. Professor Wood will spend some of his time as an IAS Fellow working in the rich Diocesan archives held in the Durham University Library Special Collections. These court papers illuminate all sorts of aspects of everyday life in the Diocese of Durham, including senses of time and space. The result of these archival searches will be a much fuller, richer and systematic study of changing senses of time in a region undergoing radical shifts in its religious culture, economic base and social structures. He looks forward to the possibilities for real intellectual insight to be garnered from working in the interdisciplinary environment of the IAS.