Sarah Johanesen

Sarah Johanesen

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Biographical details

Sarah studied for a BA in History at the University of Warwick, going into the Heritage Industry for a few years before deciding to return to academic study in 2014. After completing an MA in History at Royal Holloway, focusing on Material Culture and the Early Modern period, she became a PhD student in the History department at King's College London in September 2015. Although her primary supervisor, Dr Lucy Wooding, moved to Lincoln College, Oxford, in September 2016, she continues to be supervised by both Dr Wooding and Prof. Gowing.

She can be contacted at sarah.johanesen@kcl.ac.uk.

Research interests

The main focus of Sarah’s research is the politicisation of Catholic material culture in post-Reformation England: 1558-1640. Her research aims to bring together material culture and political history, to gain a more expansive understanding of how materiality was employed by Catholics, and interpreted politically, in an era of state-persecution. It draws on the expansive literature of religious change and confessional politics, especially those on iconoclasm and images, devotional material culture, confessionalised spaces, polemic and visual propaganda.

She is interested in materiality as a political tool for expressing subversion and dissent, and Catholics, as a religious minority, who were active participants in political history. This involves an exploration of materiality in a range of political contexts from dynastic affairs of state, to parish politics, the court room, and the subtlest signs of dissent from otherwise loyal Catholics. It will also draw on a wide range of materiality, including devotional objects, print and manuscript culture, architecture, the decorative arts, and everyday objects as part of an interconnected network of political resources.

Education/Academic qualification

Early Modern History, Master of Arts, Royal Holloway, University of London

Sept 2014Sept 2015

Award Date: 16 Dec 2015

History, Bachelor of Arts, University of Warwick

Sept 2006Jun 2009

Award Date: 17 Jul 2009

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