SRS Postdoctoral Fellows 2023-2024

August 3, 2023
By News Updates

The Society for Renaissance Studies is pleased to announce that its 2023–2024 postdoctoral fellowships have been awarded to Natasha Bailey and Anna Parker for projects on indigenous human-food relationships in colonial Mexico and the experience of flooding and climate change in Renaissance Prague. As always, we received a high number of exceptional applications and we would like to congratulate all applicants on the quality of their research projects.


Natasha Bailey, ‘Indigenous Plant Ecologies in Early Modern Mexico’

Natasha Bailey is a historian of early modern Mexico with a particular interest in the social lives of Indigenous Nahua communities and their interactions with the Spanish colonial state. She received her PhD from the University of Leicester in 2021. Her doctoral research on Nahua alcohol producers in the sixteenth-seventeenth centuries, which she is currently revising into a monograph, also connects to the study of gender, legal history and drinking studies/food history. 
For the SRS Postdoctoral Fellowship, Natasha’s next research project will explore the relationship between plants and Indigenous communities in colonial Mexico (c. 1570-1821).  She will study transformations in the ways that Indigenous communities and individuals looked to plants not only as sources of food and income, but also to heal their bodies and provide sensory pleasure, to build environments and map out geographies, and to express emotion and construct identity. This research will offer a unique insight into broader attitudes of Indigenous people towards Spanish rule. Drawing on the ever-expanding field of plant humanities, the project emphasises the role of plants as active participants alongside humans in the creation and maintenance of social identities and practices amongst Indigenous communities, groups whose historical ecologies are increasingly at the forefront of environmental debates.


Anna Parker, ‘Family Feeling, household, objects and emotions in Renaissance Prague’

Anna Parker received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2023. Her thesis used legal records from Renaissance Prague to examine the connections between material culture, emotions and the life cycle with a methodology based on psychology and psychoanalytic theory.

‘Family Feeling’, explores households, objects, and emotions in Renaissance Prague. Based on a rich and unexplored collection of over one hundred legal records, contextualised with probate inventories, printed texts, and surviving objects, it brings an innovative methodological approach to the history of the home by combining the burgeoning fields of material culture and emotions history. I use the everyday artefacts that filled city citizens’ homes – entering or exiting at major lifecycle junctures – to uncover domestic practices, quotidian relationships, and shifting affects in Prague. By concentrating on the material realities of household life, my project challenges histories of emotion based on text, and provides new insight into the ‘domestication’ of the Renaissance and Reformations.


The one-year fellowships, currently valued at £15,000, come with free membership of the Society. Fellows will serve on the Society’s Council for the duration of their awards. Further details about the fellowships can be found here. The next call will go live in early 2024.  

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