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Professor Briony McDonagh


Briony McDonagh

Director of the Doctoral College & Professor of Environmental Humanities, Energy & Environment Institute

Biography Briony McDonagh is Professor of Environmental Humanities at the University of Hull, where she is also Director of the Doctoral College. Her disciplinary background is in historical geography and environmental history and her current research interests lie in the green-blue humanities. She has published widely on the landscape and environmental change, on histories and cultures of living with water, on women’s histories, and on the historical geographies of enclosure, commons and protest.

Her book, Elite Women and the Agricultural Landscape, 1700–1830 (Routledge, 2017), won the Joan Thirsk Memorial Prize and Women’s History Network Book Prize. She is co-editor of Women and the Land, 1500-1900 (Boydell & Brewer, 2019), Remembering Protest in Britain since 1500 (Palgrave, 2018) and Hull: Culture, History, Place (Liverpool University Press, 2017). She is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Royal Historical Society and Higher Education Academy, and was 2018-2019 President of the British Science Association’s Geography Section.

She is Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Water Cultures, hosted by the University of Hull's Energy & Environment Institute. The Centre pioneers a new, humanities-led, interdisciplinary and transhistorical research area – the ‘green-blue humanities’ – equipping a new generation of PhD students to take this agenda forward and transform our understanding of humanity's relationships with water in the green-blue regions of the world, past, present and future.

In addition, Briony is Principal Investigator of 'Risky Cities: Living with Water in an Uncertain Future Climate', a UKRI-funded project learning from the past to build climate awareness today and for the future. Working with project partners including the National Youth Theatre, Absolutely Cultured and the Living with Water Partnership, the project develops learning histories for one flood-prone city (Kingston upon Hull, UK) and use arts and heritage interventions to engage diverse communities in building flood resilience.

Briony holds a prestigious Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship (on 'Gendering the Early Modern Commons') and is Co-I on an AHRC/XR Stories Creative Industries project combining disciplinary and industry expertise to virtually recreate a seventeenth-century flood of Hull.
Scopus Author ID 35730253800