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School of History, Philosophy and Culture
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+44 (0)1865 483686
Jane Stevens Crawshaw is a Renaissance Italian historian with research interests in the relationships between people and the places they inhabit. Her current project explores the impact of developing ideas about 'cleanliness' on the public health, urban and environmental policies of Venice and Genoa. Before this, she developed a holistic and contextualised institutional study of plague hospitals, which were first established in fifteenth-century Venice.
Dr Stevens Crawshaw's teaching spans the early modern period (c.1450-1800) in Europe. Her interest in the social and physical history of the period leads her to explore how ordinary people experienced a world of environmental change, epidemic diseases, religious wars and global exploration.
Dr Stevens Crawshaw has supervised Masters Dissertations on early modern European social and architectural history and would welcome applications from students interested in early modern Italian social, medical and environmental history.
The social and environmental history of early modern Italy.
Dr Stevens Crawshaw has always been fascinated by the relationship between people and the places in which they live. This underpins her love of travelling to cities and exploring their architecture. These same things engage her in her work, sparking specific research interests in concepts of cleanliness and public health, the treatment (and locations) of marginal social groups and the relationship between urban space and the environment in early modern Europe, particularly Italy.
'Cleaning Up Renaissance Italy: environment, space and society in Venice and Genoa'. This project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellowship between 2012 and 2017, broadens our understanding of Renaissance public health. It demonstrates the ways in which ideas about cleanliness and health were expressed in the social policies, religious language and cultural production of the period. It also moves beyond the walls of Renaissance cities to trace the ways in which interventions in the environment were considered inseparable from urban public health measures. A focus on the important ports of Venice and Genoa enables these ideas to be explored in the context of cities which were also the centres of territorial states.
Jane Stevens Crawshaw delivered a public lecture at the National Galleries of Scotland in 2014 as part of the programme of events surrounding the 'Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting' exhibition.
She contributes blogs to the website of the Society for Renaissance Studies: www.rensoc.org.uk.
She is happy to talk about her research for TV and radio. In November 2015, she discussed the ways in which religions have interpreted epidemic disease in a Beyond Belief episode for BBC Radio 4 on Ebola and Plague. In 2016, she was short-listed for the AHRC/BBC Radio 3 New Generation Thinkers scheme.
Before coming to Oxford Brookes, Jane was the Rubinstein Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the Society for Renaissance Studies. Prior to this she was a Teaching Fellow in Early Modern History at the University of St Andrews (2007-8). She completed her MPhil (2003-4) and PhD (2004-8) at the University of Cambridge (Downing College) and her MA (1999-2003) at the University of Edinburgh.
She has been the recipient of an early career scholarship from the Istituto Datini in Prato and an award for independent research from the Gladys Krieble Delmas foundation. She was awarded a Small Research Grant from the British Academy in 2011 and held an Early Career Research Fellowship, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, from 2012-17.
She is the Honorary Secretary of the Society for Renaissance Studies and sits on the Executive Board for the International Network for the History of Hospitals. She co-organised, with Dr Irena Benyovsky Latin of the Croatian Institute of History in Zagreb, a conference for the INHH which was held in Dubrovnik, Croatia in April 2015. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Higher Education Academy.