Dr Laura Sangha

Research interests

  • Social history of theology: relationship between 'official' and 'popular' belief
  • Early modern life-writing, broadly defined
  • The English Reformation and processes of religious change
  • Supernatural beliefs, enchantment, secularisation
  • C16th & C17th century natural and mechanical philosophy: interface between 'science' and religion
  • Devotional piety, forms of public/private worship, particularly associated with reading and writing

My current research is on early modern life-writing, and particularly the diary and correspondence of Ralph Thoresby (1658-1725). Thoresby merits attention because he combined a deeply pious background with ‘scientific’ activities and a wide network of acquaintances. His life allows the investigation of the collation and dissemination of both religious and 'scientific' knowledge amongst Thoresby's geographical and intellectual community. My interest in Thoresby grows out of my broader interest in religious cultures, life-writing, and processes and models of enchantment and disenchantment across time.

Forthcoming and Recent Research Papers

‘Spirits of health and goblins damn’d’: English ghosts c. 1500-1700', Torquay Museum Society Lecture, 31 October 2017.

'The many-headed monster': blogging for and from below?', Creative Histories, University of Bristol, 19-21 July 2017.

'Haunted Communities: Ghost Beliefs in Early Modern England', Keynote speaker at the Early Modern Cluster Summer Symposium, University of Bristol, 4 July 2017.

‘Approaching the Supernatural Through Life-Writing c.1660-1720’, Approaching Inner Lives: Thinking, Feeling, Believing 1300-1900, University of East Anglia, 28 March 2017.

'‘“Take care that nothing be printed”: the public and private lives of supernatural narratives in later Stuart England’, Early Modern British and Irish History Seminar, University of Cambridge, 23 November 2016.

'Life-writing and Religious Identities in post-Reformation England', Reformation Studies Colloquium, Newcastle, 14-16 September 2016.

Contributor to Sixteenth Century Journal sponsored roundtable: 'New Technologies and Methods in the Classroom'; and individual paper 'Life-writing and Religious Identity in post-Reformation England', Sixteenth Century Society Conference, Brugge, 18-20 August 2016.

Contributor to 'The politics of doing history online: a roundtable discussion', Radical Histories/ Histories of Radicalism: A Major Conference and Public History Festival, Queen Mary University of London, 1-3 July 2016.

Keynote Lecture: 'England's Long Reformation and Models of Religious Change', Society for Reformation Studies 22nd Annual Conference, University of Cambridge, 8-10 April 2015.