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Dr Elin Jones

Lecturer in Naval and Maritime History (E&S)

I am a social historian of the maritime world, c. 1750 - 1850. My research has examined shipboard society, and how built and natural environments shaped the lives of those who went to sea during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

My doctoral work focused on maritime labour, skill, work and masculinity on Royal Naval ships during this period, exploring how the naval ship was understood by its socially and culturally variegated population. I currently am writing a book for Cambridge University Press based on this research with the working title 'Tars: Naval Masculinity and Shipboard Society, 1756 - 1815'.

My new project explores the transition from sail to steam at sea, examining the changing relationship between technology, labour and understandings of the natural world during the first half of the nineteenth century. 

I am a member of the Centre for Maritime Historical Studies at Exeter.

Research interests

My research interests lie within the fields of social, environmental and maritime history, as well as the histories of labour, technology and technological change. I am interested in how studying maritime history can elucidate connections as well as divisions, and in how modern identities were formed through imagined and physical relationships with the sea. 



External impact and engagement

Since completing my PhD in 2016, I have worked across various forms of public history with heritage organisations and museums, as well as on arts and history television programming. I was employed at University of Edinburgh as the public history co-ordinator of a Heritage Lottery Funded project on geographies of social housing, and have worked in research and production for BBC 1 and BBC 2 arts and history programming.

My doctoral research was conducted in partnership with the National Maritime Museum, and I have since been awarded research fellowships with the Huntington Library, the National Maritime Museum and University of Warwick. 

I currently sit on the Council of the Navy Records Society, the panel for the Pearsall Fellowship in Naval and Maritime History and am Consultant Editor on a primary source digitisation project called 'Life at Sea, 1600 - 1900'.

I am also currently working with History & Policy and Lloyd's Register, developing a series of reports which reflect on risk and techological change at sea.