Personal profile

Research overview

I began my PhD at the University of St Andrews in September 2022, under the supervision of Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen. My thesis explores the development of printing, bookselling, and library culture in the seventeenth-century Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss Confederacy was an anomaly of European statecraft: A bi-confessional, multilingual defensive alliance of thirteen cantons and associated states, member with its own distinct government system, that survived for much of the medieval and early modern period with relative autonomy in the shadows of the great empires and monarchies of Western Europe. The Swiss Confederacy’s considerable German- and French-speaking populations, its premier geographic location at the crossroads of northern and southern continental trade routes and relative economic and demographic prosperity in the face of the pan-European devastation of the Thirty Years’ War ensured the early modern Swiss book trade enjoyed a high level of success both at home and abroad. Yet, although much scholarly energy has spent dissecting the exegetical efforts of Zwingli in Reformation Zurich or Erasmus in Humanist Basel in the sixteenth century as well as the pirate printing activities of Geneva and Neuchâtel at the height of the Enlightenment, no study has explored the state of the print industry in the Swiss lands in the decades between these historiographical acmes.

My project seeks to remedy this by considering the Swiss book trade on its own terms, comparing the state of the industry between Confederate print centres of all sizes and across linguistic lines, as well as assessing the impact of the Swiss imprints on the international market. An original short-title bibliography of all editions produced in the Swiss Confederacy between 1601 and 1700 will accompany my qualitative study—the first resource of this type to be compiled for this period in Swiss history, with the multilingual makeup of the Swiss state forcing scholars prior to this point to collate data from a multitude of foreign linguistic and national databases. My research is supported in part by a bursary from the Canadian Centennial Scholarship Fund.

I completed a BA (First Class Honours) in History with a Minor in German at McGill University in my hometown of Montreal, Quebec, before pursuing an MLitt. in Book History at the University of St Andrews in 2021, graduating with distinction and bolstered by the School of History MLitt Award. My broader research interests within Book History include the use of official print in pre-Enlightenment republican cultures, documenting war and peace through print, the book trade activities of linguistic diasporas in early modern Europe.   

In addition to my PhD, I work on the Universal Short Title Catalogue and am the co-convener of the St Andrews Early Modern Workshop. I have previously served as a tutor on the course ‘The Early Modern World, c. 1450-1770’ (MO1007).

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Letters, The Book. History and Techniques of Analysis

27 Aug 202115 Aug 2022

Award Date: 15 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • DD Germany
  • Swiss Confederacy
  • Switzerland
  • DC France
  • Z004 Books. Writing. Paleography
  • Z719 Libraries (General)
  • Book History
  • Printing
  • Bookselling