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Anna Pravdica

History, University of Warwick

Thesis title:

Emotional Sincerity, Social Authenticity, and Performance in England, 1660-1760

My doctoral thesis, ‘Emotional Sincerity, Social Authenticity, and Performance in England, 1660-1760’ is supervised by Dr Naomi Pullin, Professor Mark Knights at the University of Warwick and Dr Kate Loveman (University of Leicester). It investigates the cultural, religious, and sociopolitical contexts that influenced contemporary ideas about sincerity and deceit in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain, and how attitudes about these concepts were affected by categories of social identity like rank, gender, and race. In particular, it explores how expectations, anxieties, and assumptions about sincerity and deceit affected and informed the everyday interpersonal environments of family, friendship, community, and polity amongst people of the lower and middling sorts.

Research Area

  • Cultural History
  • History


'"Oaths of the Many Great and Worthy Persons by Whom They Were Regarded": Politically Potent Sociability in the Douglas Cause', Sociability in Food, Politics, and Travel in the Early Modern Era, EMECC and GIS Sociabilités, University of Warwick, June 2023

'Printed English Sermons on Sincerity and Hypocrisy, 1640-1695', The Church and Hypocrisy Conference, Ecclesiastical History Society, January 2023

'Letters to the Spectator: An Early Eighteenth-Century Periodical's Project of Emotional Refuge and Education', EMECC Work-in-Progress series, University of Warwick, October 2022

'True Crime in the Archives: Researching and Feeling the Eighteenth-Century Old Bailey', Archives and Emotions Conference, Aston University, Birmingham and University of Malta, October 2022

'Letters to the Spectator: An Emotional Community of Early Eighteenth-Century Readers", North American Chapter on the History of Emotion Conference, George Mason University, June 2022

'"Wild and Incoherent in Her Desires": Fantomina and the Passions in Early Eighteenth-Century England', Eliza Haywood: 300 Years of Love in Excess, Purdue University, April 2019

Public Engagement & Impact

I currently manage the North American Chapter on the History of Emotion's Twitter account, @NACHEmotion.

In the past, I have worked as a docent and program assistant at the Gibson House Museum in Boston and as an Education Intern at the Shirley-Eustis House Museum in Roxbury, Massachusetts. At each I was tasked with interpreting the historical significance of the house museums for visitors, as well as designing lesson plans for visiting student groups. 

Other Research Interests

More broadly, my research interests include seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British print culture, early modern social status, gender, and identity, religious history and popular piety, family, friendship, and community, early modern crime and legal history, and the history of emotions and history 'from below'.


Academic Profile

2022-2026, PhD History, University of Warwick

Thesis: 'Emotional Sincerity, Social Authenticity, and Performance in England, 1660-1760'

Funded by the AHRC M4C Doctoral Training Partnership 

2019-2020, MSc History, University of Edinburgh (Distinction)

Dissertation: 'Feelings, Family, and Community in English Witchcraft Pamphlets and Plays, 1566-1634,' supervised by Professor Adam Fox

Funded by the School of History, Classics, and Archaeology's Fennell Masters Scholarship

2015-2019, BA History & Literature Honours, Suffolk University, Boston (First Class)

Minors in Classics and Women’s & Gender Studies

Dissertation: '“Aids from Nature, Join’d to the Wiles of Art”: Emotional, Social, and Theatrical Performance in Eliza Haywood’s “Fantomina” and Early Eighteenth-Century England,' supervised by Professor Michèle Plott and Professor Hannah Hudson

Other Responsibilities and Experience

June 2023, Panel Chair, 'Comparative Experience of Architecture' at Emotion, Sense, Experience in British Art and Architecture Conference, sponsored by North American Chapter on the History of Emotion

2022-2023, Committee Member, History Postgraduate Conference, University of Warwick

2022-presentCommunications Officer and Council Member, North American Chapter on the History of Emotion

2021-2022, Visiting Honours Scholar and Teaching Assistant, Suffolk University History, Language, & Global Culture Department

2020-2022, English Teacher, various schools and companies, Florence, Italy

2019-2020, Research Assistant and Indexer, Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment book, Reframing Rousseau's 'Lévite d'Ephraïm': The Hebrew Bible, Hospitality, and Modern IdentityBarbara Abrams, Mira Morgenstern, and Karen Sullivan

2018-2019, Research Assistantship, Suffolk University English Department

2016-2018, Docent & Program Assistant, Gibson House Museum

2016, Education Intern, Shirley-Eustis House Museum 

Funding, Awards, and Honours

Spring 2023, Warwick-Newberry Research Fellow, Centre for the Study of the Renaissance Newberry Library Consortium Grant

Spring 2023, M4C Research Development Fund to conduct research and attend workshop 'Refashioning the Seventeenth-Century Self: A Case Study of John Taylor the Water Poet' at the Newberry Library

Autumn 2022, M4C Engagement Fund for English Palaeography

2022-2026, AHRC Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership, University of Warwick

2019-2020, The Fennell Masters Scholarship, University of Edinburgh

Autumn 2019, Conference Student Support Fund, University of Edinburgh

Spring 2019, Excellence in Honours Award for an Outstanding Senior Project in the Humanities Division, Suffolk University

Spring 2019, Excellence in Honours Award for an Outstanding Senior Project in History and Literature Honours, Suffolk University

Spring 2019, Departmental Distinction in History Award, Suffolk University

Spring 2019, George J. Levy History Prize, Suffolk University

Spring 2019, Women’s & Gender Studies Book Prize, Suffolk University

Spring 2019English Department Recognition Day Scholarship, Suffolk University

Spring 2019, CAS Honours Travel and Research Fellowship, Suffolk University

Spring 2019, History Department Travel and Research Funding, Suffolk University

Summer 2018, U.S. Department of State's Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Spring 2018, History Book Prize, Suffolk University

Spring 2018, Honours in History – Member of Phi Alpha Theta

Spring 2018, Peter Caputo Memorial Scholarship for Academic Excellence in English, Suffolk University

Spring 2017, Honours in English – Member of Sigma Tau Delta

Spring 2017, Stanley M. Vogel Scholarship, Suffolk University

Courses and Qualifications

Autumn 2022, English Palaeography, Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, University of Warwick

Summer 2019, Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certification, International TEFL Academy

Summer 2018, Intensive Italian, Florence University of the Arts