Key Research Interests and Expertise

Eliza's research concentrates on the political and social history of later medieval towns. She explores the institutions and complex relationships engendered by the concentration of people in urban areas, and investigates the ways in which urban social and political structures contributed to the functioning of larger 'states'. Eliza's first monograph (Politics and the Urban Sector in Fifteenth-Century England, 1413-1471) argues that English politics in the Wars of the Roses era was shaped by the needs and experiences of an influential urban network. She has also published a number of articles that examine interactions between urban and royal government in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England, including pieces on rebellions, councils, and charters.


Eliza is now working on a new research project, entitled 'An Urban Empire: Towns of the English Empire and the Practice of Colonial Politics, 1370-1500', which focuses on towns under English control in late medieval Ireland, Wales, and France. She is looking at the ways in which commercial ties between towns and shared dialogues of citizenship helped to sustain the 'English Empire' during a period of military defeat and relatively weak 'state' power. In drawing attention to the role of towns and local institutions in a medieval empire, Eliza seeks to contribute to the study of historical empires, which typically focus on the ancient and modern periods.


Eliza is also keenly interested in placing the history of the British Isles within a European and global context. She convened a workshop on cities and cultural production in Europe and the Middle East between 1100 and 1550, and she has been involved in an AHRC-funded research network at the University of St Andrews on the comparative history of medieval rebellions.

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