Joe’s research interests lie primarily in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British imperial, environmental and religious history, with a particular focus on the political and religious culture of British settler communities. Future research will consider human-animal relationships in settler societies, and will seek to apply philosopher Mary Midgley's notion of a 'mixed community' to the unlikely surroundings of sheep and cattle farming in nineteenth-century Australia.
Past research has focused on two main areas. First, the overseas development of the Church of England and how it refashioned itself through contact with new settler societies across the British World; second, and most recently, the culture of community-wide worship that was a long-running feature of British settler societies at moments of acute crisis (things like droughts and wars) and celebration (the coming of peace, or maybe the birth of a royal). His 2014 Manchester University Press book, An Anglican British World, considered how the Church of England dealt with migration and tried to communicate new forms of authority across the empire of British settlement. Three recent articles in leading journals have considered the cultures of special national worship in Australia, Canada and the British Empire more generally. His forthcoming book - Providence, Prayer and Empire: Special Worship in the British World, 1783-1919 (Manchester University Press) - considers those moments when colonial populations of many faiths and ethnicities came together to prayer for common causes and objects.
Research Student Supervision InterestsEnglish-speaking settler empire; colonial political and religious culture; colonial environmental history; colonial Anglicanism; religious responses to crisis in empire
PhD, History1 Oct 2004 - 1 Jun 2008
Fellow (FHEA), Higher Education Academy (HEA)13 Oct 2011 -