Claire Walker

Dr Claire Walker

Senior Lecturer

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Claire Walker studied at the University of Western Australia before being appointed to her first academic position at the University of Newcastle, Australia. She has been teaching history at the University of Adelaide since 2007. As an early modernist, Claire teaches courses on early modern European history, heresy and witchcraft, and medieval Europe. She researches the history of religion, society, politics, gender and material culture in 17th and 18th centuries, focusing in particular on exiled communities of English nuns in France and the Southern Netherlands and on the family of Samuel Wesley Senior. Claire is an experienced supervisor of postgraduate research students and she is currently the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics.

Governing Emotion: The Affective Family, the Press and the Law in Early Modern Britain

This project investigates the rise of an ‘emotional public’ around anxieties about threats to the affective family, and to assess its influence in matters of law and governance in early modern Britain, from sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. It is a joint project with Dr Katie Barclay and Professor David Lemmings, both of the University of Adelaide and the Australia Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. I am focusing on religious media and representations of the affective family, relying principally on sermon literature and conduct/advice manuals. Sermons and religious prescriptive literature remained a key shaper of public opinion, even into the eighteenth century when the regular press was increasingly influential. Sermons imagined that piety, morality and good order would be manifested not just in the behaviour, but also in the emotional state of individuals, particular with the rise of sensibility in the eighteenth century. They, along with conduct literature, can be read as indicators of contemporary concerns regarding moral laxity and the social disorder which might emanate from it, but they can also be considered as key texts for establishing ‘emotives’ and emotional communities.

Devotional Objects and Affective Spaces: The Materiality of Religious Exile in Early Modern English Convents

This project considers gender, religion and material culture within the context of exile/migration in seventeenth and eighteenth-century Europe. It examines how religious objects and spaces might mediate the anguish of separation from the homeland and establish new relationships and identities. Using monastic chronicles, personal diaries and letters, religious images and statues, relics, shrines, religious furnishings and convent plans and maps, it documents the location, provenance, uses and meanings of particular rooms/areas and objects to explore how exiled nuns used artefacts to endure, explain and embrace religious exile. It also considers the ways these artifacts shaped collective and personal spiritual devotions.

HIST2053 Medieval Europe from the Crusades to the Black Death

This course explores the lives and experiences of people in western Europe during the Middle Ages. We begin the course in the early Middle Ages with Charlemagne and his successors, and the upheaval caused by Vikings and other invaders. We shall then consider the expansion of European power in the eleventh and twelfth centuries (including the Crusades), and the flourishing of European civilisation and culture, trade and urban life in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. At the end of the course, we discuss the crisis of medieval civilisation that was brought about by conflicts within the Church, the great struggle between France and England, and the Black Death. Students have the unique opportunity to locate and research medieval objects and examples of medievalism in Adelaide for a virtual 'museum' exhibition.

HIST2069 Heresy and Witchcraft in Medieval Europe

This course explores belief and deviancy in medieval Europe. After identifying religious and cultural orthodoxy, it embarks upon an analysis of dissent. Divergence from sanctioned ideology and ritual ranged from the spiritual and social challenge of medieval heresies, through popular beliefs in the magical powers of people and objects, to the witch hunts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Using a wide variety of original documents and historical interpretations, the course aims to understand and explain conflicting belief systems and the rise of intolerance in the pre-modern world.

HIST3037 Early Modern Europe

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are often claimed by historians to represent the transition between the medieval and modern worlds. Beginning with the Renaissance and Reformation, the era was characterised by intellectual, religious and political upheaval, which affected all levels of society, not only the elites. Through lectures, documentaries and films, tutorials and particular emphasis on primary documents, students will examine not only the great events of this era, but they will also delve below the surface to discuss the impact of these changes on the lives of ordinary men and women.

HIST4002/HIST7002 The Tudors and their Legacy

The Tudors ruled England and Wales from 1485 to 1603. In 118 years they transformed the historical landscape, enforcing religious change (and conflict), cementing the British Isles military and diplomatic position in Europe and the Atlantic world and encouraging an intellectual and cultural renaissance. Moreover, they provided history with many ‘firsts’ and a succession of colourful monarchs – Mary I was England’s first queen regnant, while Henry VIII and Elizabeth I are two of the best-known sovereigns. In recent years there has been renewed fascination with the Tudors, sparked by historical fiction (Wolf Hall) and TV series (The Tudors). This Honours/Masters course investigates Tudor history, examining the monarchs and the momentous changes taking place during their rule, and unravelling their legacy into the twenty-first century.

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2024 Principal Supervisor The Tudor Monarchy's Self-Representation in Early Modern England Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Yannic Bietz
    2023 Principal Supervisor The Evolution/Role of Chivalry during the Tudor Era (1485-1603) Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Amber Louise Cox
    2023 Principal Supervisor Painted Ladies: The Representation of Female Rule in the Imagery of Mary Tudor and Mary Stuart Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Lucy Jasmine King
    2022 Principal Supervisor Love in Gethsemane: The Consolatory Legacy of Thomas More in the Writings of English Exiles and Martyrs Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Mitchell Robert Thompson
    2022 Principal Supervisor Marginal Martyrs: Faith, Doubt, and John Foxe, c. 1553-1558 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Grace May Howe
    2020 Principal Supervisor ‘A Floating Home’: The emotional lives of nineteenth-century emigrants voyaging to Australia Master of Philosophy Master Part Time Miss Emma Laurel Mary Grimes
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - 2023 Principal Supervisor “Killing those foul witches”: the witch in fantasy medievalist computer role-play games Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Tess Alana Watterson Dunbar
    2019 - 2024 Principal Supervisor ‘Knot of Love and Concord’: Loyalty in the Life of Mary I Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Meagan Elizabeth Nattrass
    2019 - 2023 Principal Supervisor Fashion Diplomacy at the Court of Henry VIII Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Grace Samantha Hickey Waye-Harris
    2019 - 2022 Principal Supervisor Feeling Heads: Phrenology and Emotion in the United States, 1820-1850 Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Lachlan James McCarron
    2019 - 2023 Principal Supervisor Antichrist in the Indies: Anti-Catholic Discourse and English responses to Roman Catholic Missions in the Americas and East Asia, c. 1558-1660 Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Alexander Timothy Pring
    2018 - 2022 Co-Supervisor Romantic and Socio-Sexual Scripts in Eighteenth-Century Britain Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Lani Gerbi
    2016 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Epilepsy in the Lunatic Asylums of South Australia (1852 – 1913) Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mrs Margaret Boult
    2016 - 2020 Principal Supervisor Women, Piety, and Patronage in Reformation England, c.1530-1558 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Stephanie Joan Thomson
    2016 - 2020 Principal Supervisor Mysticism and Emotional transformation in a Seventeenth-Century English Convent Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jessica McCandless
    2012 - 2015 Principal Supervisor Dynastic Marriage in England, Castile and Aragon, 11th-16th Centuries Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Ms Lisa Anne Joseph
    2012 - 2017 Principal Supervisor A 'Plea of Humanity'? Emotions and the Makings of Lunacy Reform in Britain, c.1770-1820 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Mark Adam Neuendorf
    2011 - 2017 Principal Supervisor A Dynamic Equilibrium: Doctors and Patients in Seventeenth Century England Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mrs Elizabeth Connolly
    2011 - 2014 Co-Supervisor Treason, Passion and Power in England, 1660 - 1685 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Elsa Reuter
    2011 - 2020 Co-Supervisor Fleecing the Pious: The Palmers' Guild of Ludlow in the Central and North Welsh Marches 1400-1530 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Judith Bailey
    2010 - 2018 Principal Supervisor 'Baptism, No Wall of Division': Seventeenth-Century Particular Baptists and Dynamics of Toleration Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Matthew James Gray
  • Offices Held

    Date Office Name Institution Country
    2017 - 2017 Acting Director, Adelaide Node, ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions ARC CHE and the University of Adelaide Australia
    2015 - ongoing Deputy Director, Adelaide Node, ARC Centre of Excellence in the History of Emotions ARC, CHE and the University of Adelaide Australia
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83135159
  • Email:
  • Fax: 83135241
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Napier, floor 3
  • Org Unit: School of Humanities

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