In 2018 I paused my full-time career in TV to embark on an MA at UCL, eager to pursue my passion for history. I enjoyed the course so much that I decided to continue exploring my dissertation topic through a PhD, which I’m completing part-time. My research explores the presence of the Arabic language in England before 1635, and sheds light on how people encountered and engaged with it, both at home and abroad. Much of my time is spent viewing and thinking about historical books and manuscripts, and I’m particularly interested in the material traces left behind when people interacted with the language, like annotations in books, or how they wrote (or didn’t write) the Arabic script. As I conduct my research and write my thesis, I am also sharing my work with both academic and non-academic audiences whenever the opportunity arises.
Alongside my PhD, I co-run a group for early-career book historians called Miscellany and I’ve spent 12 months as a part-time RA on David Pearson’s Book Owners Online. I’m also a researcher-for-hire, and have conducted on-site research and transcriptions for authors, academics and researchers at institutions such as the Bodleian, the British Library and The National Archives.