Dr Leigh Shaw-Taylor
I first went to University to study Physics at Oxford but soon realised this was not for me. I subsequently did an undergraduate degree at the Open University in social sciences and history. I began graduate work with the M.Sc. at Oxford and undertook my Ph.D, at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, supervised by Professor Richard Smith. After a research fellowship at Jesus College Cambridge, I held grants in the Department of Geography at Cambridge. I was appointed to a University lectureship in the Faculty of History in 2006. I have been director of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure since 2013.
My primary research interests are in (i) long-run economic developments in England from the late medieval period down to the late nineteenth centuries with a particular focus on occupational structure; (ii) comparative work in the same field (iii) tthe development of agrarian capitalism and (iv) the contribution of transport improvements to the Industrial Revolution.
I am director of an ongoing program of research: The occupational structure of Britain c.1379-1911. This was a British Academy research project from 2007 to 2018 and has been generously funded by the ESRC, The Leverhulme Trust, The British Academy, the Isaac Newton Trust (Cambridge) and the Keynes Fund (Cambridge). The project is a collaboration with Professor E.A. Wrigley, Amy Erickson and others, aimed at improving our understanding of the long run process of economic development, which culminated in the Industrial Revolution, through a quantitative reconstruction of the occupational structure of the economy over as long a period, and in as much detail, as the sources will allow. The project is based in the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure.
In conjunction with Professor Osamu Saito of Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo I am co-ordinating a network of historians working on the International Comparative History of Occupational Structure (INCHOS). The first phase of this project will be a volume. edited by myself and Professor Saito: Occupational Structure and Industrialization in Comparative Perspective. This will contain three thematic chapters and eighteen country chapters (and associated online datasets) covering the experience of Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Denmark, England and Wales, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Russia/Soviet Union, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, the United States.
With Professor Gareth Austin I co-ordinate another international network AFCHOS, African Comparative History of Occupational Structure, focused on sub-Saharan Africa.
With Dr Alexis Litvine I cordinate the European Network for the Comparative History of Occupational Structure (ENCHPOPGOS)
I would welcome enquiries from prospective students in most fields of British economic and social history c.1600-1900 but would be especially keen to supervise graduate students who wish to undertake work relating to the The Occupational Structure of Britain c.1379-1911 research program. I would welcome enquries from potential students wshing to work on occupational structure elsewhere. My current research students are working on: the occupational structure of China 1736-1899; the occupational structure of the Lower Yangzi River Region, 1736-2010; and male and female time-use 1851-1911. I have previously supervised research students working on: the male occupational structure of England 1550-1820; Female employment 1851-1911;an occupational study of the worsted industry 1700-1851; the development of agrarian capitalism and the growth of large farms; patents and the institutional pre-conditions for British Industrialization; and the history of urban back gardens in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. I would strongly advise prospective students to contact me before making a formal application.
I lecture for two part I papers, paper 10, British economic and social history 1700-1914 and paper 9: British economic and social history c.1500-1700 and also contribute to the lecture series Understanding Quantitative History. I teach on the part I themes and sources paper, Earning a Living 1381-1911 which uses material derived from the Occupational Structure of Britain project. I also supervise part II dissertations on British economic and social history 1600-1900. My research project on occupational structure provides a range of opportunities for undergraduates both to make use of existing large-scale datasets and to undertake archival research and I would particularly welcome enquiries in this area. Some successful dissertations can be found online athttp://www.hpss.geog.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/occupations/abstracts/
I teach an advanced paper on British Industrialization for the M.Phil in economic and Social History. I am one of the convenors for four research seminars: Early Modern Economic and Social History Seminar, the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure Seminar, the Quantitative History Seminar and the Core Seminar in Economic and Social History.
I am a member of the Economic and Social Research Council's peer review panel.
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Office Phone: 01223 3 33190