Josh is a social and economic historian of England, specialising in gender, property, and capitalism in the long eighteenth century. He was awarded his PhD from the University of Exeter in March 2019, and from April to August 2019 was a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Gender, Place and Memory research cluster at the University of Hull. He has taught on the BA History programme at the University of Exeter and on the BA Liberal Arts programme at the University of Bristol.
As the Economic History Society's Tawney Fellow, Josh will write his first monograph drawing on his doctoral research, titled 'Capitalist Farming in Eighteenth-Century England'. Josh will use the Fellowship to collect additional material to broaden the geographical scope of his research.
'Capitalist Farming' overturns the dominant narrative that the development of market-oriented, large-scale farming was a process driven by landlords at the peasantry's expense. It shows instead that much of the initiative for change through the engrossment and consolidation of farms came from farmers, not landlords. Shifting the focus to farmers also reveals that family labour and familial life-cycle dynamics previously associated only with 'peasant' farming persisted into the nineteenth century. This influenced economic strategies on all farms, including large, wage-labour-employing farms that typify the ideal type capitalist farm in the literature.