Claire Walker

Dr Claire Walker

Senior Lecturer

School of Humanities

Faculty of Arts

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.

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 (taught with Dr Gareth Pritchard) explores the lives and experiences of five types of people in western Europe during the Middle Ages: (i) warriors, (ii) women, (iii) townspeople, (iv) peasants, and (v) clergy, monks and nuns. 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.

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.

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

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2019 Principal Supervisor Princess Mary and the Performance of Loyalty, 1516-1547. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Meagan Elizabeth Nattrass
    2019 Principal Supervisor Henrician Fashion Diplomacy Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Grace Samantha Hickey Waye-Harris
    2019 Co-Supervisor Politics and Emotion in Jacksonian America Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Lachlan James McCarron
    2019 Principal Supervisor Roman Catholic Missions in the Americas and East Asia in English Anti-Catholic Discourse, 1558-1660 Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mr Alexander Timothy Pring
    2018 Co-Supervisor Eighteenth-Century Literature and Sexuality Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Lani Gerbi
    2016 Principal Supervisor Female Patronage and Religious Networks in Reformation England, c. 1534-1558 Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Stephanie Joan Thomson
    2016 Principal Supervisor Seventeenth-Century English Nuns in Exile: Mysticism and Emotion Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Jessica McCandless
    2013 Principal Supervisor Early Modern Sermons and Religious Culture Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Jasmin Sonya Parasiers
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2016 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Epilepsy in the Lunatic Asylums of South Australia (1852 – 1913) Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Mrs Margaret Boult
    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
    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: 8313 5241
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Napier, floor 3
  • Room: 3 12
  • Org Unit: History

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