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Dr Edward Cavanagh FRHistS

Dr Edward Cavanagh, FRHistS

Research Fellow

Downing College
Regent Street

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Biography:

My undergraduate degrees come from the Australian National University and Swinburne University (2007-2010). I picked up a Master of Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand (2011), and then became the first Trillium Scholar to be hosted by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Ottawa (2012-2015). I am very much a product, therefore, of the Commonwealth. My global research questions have taken me across the world. I have held visiting fellowships at the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, the National Library of Australia, Universität Basel's Institute for European Global Studies, and the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History. I have researched in archives and libraries in southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, France, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, the United States of America, and elsewhere. 

Subject groups/Research projects

Political Thought And Intellectual History:

Legal thought in the longue durée; British constitutional thought; empire.

World History:

Constitutional history of the British Empire-Commonwealth; European legal and political thought; imperialism and colonialism.

Departments and Institutes

Downing College:

Research Interests

My research profile is interdisciplinary. Within history, I am interested in the history of ideas and world history. Within law, I am interested in legal and constitutional history. As unconventional as it may be, I try to work across periodisations, geographies, and – as far as I can – languages, too. Some areas that interest me include: crown and monarchy; empires and colonies; time and prescription; government and administration; officeholding and delegation; war and conquest; corporation and contract; sacerdotium et (ex[!]/cum[!]/contra[!]) imperium; written and unwritten constitutions; legal and constitutional thought, in other words – and very broadly conceived!

Research Supervision

I have supervised students preparing essays for the M. Phil (World History). I am also happy to act as an informal advisor for all research graduate students in the History of Political Thought, World History, and Legal History.  

Teaching

I am extremely happy to teach students taking Part I, Paper 4, 'British Political History (1485-1750)'.

Other Professional Activities

I am a Fellow of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law and an active member in the new research group, Legal histories beyond the state. Outside of Cambridge, I am an Associate Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London.

Keywords

  • Medieval British History
  • Modern British History
  • Early Modern History
  • International History
  • Imperial History

Key Publications

Empires and Legal Thought: Ideas and Institutions from the Ancient World to the Modern World (collection, under preparation).

‘Monarchy’, in The Cambridge Constitutional History of the United Kingdom, ed. Peter Cane and Harshan Kumarasingham (forthcoming).

‘Flowers of the Crown in English Legal Thought: Metaphorical Assessments of Royal Power in Transitional Periods of Monarchy’, Royal Studies Journal (forthcoming, 2019).

'The Imperial Constitution of the Law Officers of the Crown: Legal Thought on War and Colonial Government, 1719-1774', Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History (2018).

‘Infidels in English Legal Thought: Conquest, Commerce, and Slavery in the Common Law from Coke to Mansfield, 1608-1774’, Modern Intellectual History (2018).

‘Charters in the Longue Durée: The Mobility and Applicability of Official Grants in North-Western Europe and North-Eastern America from Edward I to Chief Justice John Marshall’, Comparative Legal History (2018).

‘The Atlantic Prehistory of Private International Law: Trading Companies of the New World and the Pursuit of Restitution in England and France, 1613-43’, Itinerario (2017).

‘Prescription and Empire from Justinian to Grotius’, Historical Journal (2017).

The Routledge Handbook of the Global History of Settler Colonialism (Abingdon and New York: Routledge, November, 2016), co-edited with Lorenzo Veracini; sole author of the chapter on South Africa, 1898-2015. 

‘Corporations and Business Associations from the Commercial Revolution to the Age of Discovery: Trade, Empire, and Expansion without the State, 1200-1600’, History Compass (2016).

‘“We Exterminated Them, and Dr. Philip Gave the Country”: The Griqua People and the Elimination of the San in Philippolis and Griquatown’, in Genocide on Settler Frontiers: When Hunter-Gatherers and Commercial Stock Farmers Clash, ed. Mohamed Adhikari (Cape Town: UCT Press, 2014; New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015).

‘Possession and Dispossession in Corporate New France, 1600-1663: Debunking a “Juridical History” and Revisiting Terra Nullius’, Law and History Review (2014).

‘Kingdom or Colony? English or British? Early Modern Ireland and the Colonialism Question’, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History (2013).

‘The History of Dispossession at Orania and the Politics of Land Restitution in South Africa’, Journal of Southern African Studies (2013).

Settler Colonialism and Land Rights in South Africa: Possession and Dispossession on the Orange River (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

‘Land Rights that Come With Cut-Off Dates: A Comparative Reflection on Restitution, Aboriginal Title, and Historical Injustice’, South African Journal on Human Rights (2012).

‘History, Time, and the Indigenist Critique’, Arena Journal (2012).

‘“Not Celebrated for its Agriculture”: Emigrant Guides and the Complications of Land Settlement in New South Wales, 1831-65’, Australian Studies (2011).

‘A Company with Sovereignty and Subjects of its Own? The Case of the Hudson’s Bay Company, 1670-1763’, Canadian Journal of Law and Society (2011).  

The Griqua Past and the Limits of South African History, 1902-1994 (Oxford: Peter Lang Publishers, 2011).