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Miss Rebecca Simon

Biographical details

I am an American PhD student hailing from the greater Los Angeles area in California.  Prior to coming to London to research at King's, I completed an undergraduate degree in history at the University of San Francisco in 2007.  My Bachelor's culminated with a research project on post-war masculinity and glam rock in 1970s Britain.  After my BA, I moved back to Los Angeles and enrolled at California Lutheran University to earn a primary school teaching qualification.  After quickly discovering that I did not belong in a primary school classroom, I embarked on a Master's degree in history at California State University, Northridge and worked intially under the supervision of Dr Chris Magra and ultimately under Dr Richard Horowitz and Dr Erik Goldner.  Whilst at CSUN I completed an MA thesis jointly in Atlantic and World history, in which I researched the cultural significance of the novel, Treasure Island, and its impact on yellow journalism regarding pirates in 19th-century Britain and America.  Following the completion of my MA, I returned to Cal Lutheran in 2011 to complete my teaching qualification - this time secondary education in Social Sciences. During this time I taught history for grades 7 - 12 at two public schools.  I also published an article in the International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences entitled 'The Social Construction of Crime in the Atlantic World: Piracy as a Case Study.'

I have had my work featured History Today and The Gazette about piracy and exeuctions in the public sphere. Additionally, I have served as a historical consultant for the media. Most recently I was featured in the BBC4 docu-series, 'Britain's Outlaws: Highwaymen, Pirates and Rogues' where I discussed the trial and execution of Captain Kidd. I served as a historical consultant for a novel about seventeenth-century Jamaica and before that I was a historical consultant for Many Rivers Films in South London. I have also done research and presentations for business start-ups in the Los Angeles entertainment industry.

Research interests

I am a PhD student of the early modern Atlantic World under the supervision of Richard Drayton.  My research interests include cultural and intellectual history, identity, piracy, religion and print culture.  I am also particularly interested in settler societies, social constructions and behaviour.  My geographic research interests lie within the early modern Atlantic World (Great Britain, the Caribbean and Colonial North America). 

For my PhD I am researching pirate executions in the Atlantic World with focuses on London, the Caribbean and Colonial America. I am looking specifically at the early modern legalities and the processes/transference of English law to its overseas planations and colonies through the establishment of Admiralty Courts.  In addition to looking at the functionality of these courts, I am also analysing the cultural history of pirate executions through printed media in the 17th and 18th centuries.   

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