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Dr Joseph Hardwick

Associate Professor

Department: Humanities

Joe’s research interests and teaching specialisms lie primarily in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British imperial, environmental, animal and religious history, with a particular focus on the political and religious culture of British settler communities. His first book - see the research pages for further information - considered the Church of England's relationship with the British empire, while the second, published 2021, tells the story of the long-running history of 'special worship' or 'national prayer' in settler colonies from the mid-eighteenth century to the First World War. Research for these books was made possible by fellowships with the Arts and Humanities Research Council and a 2019 visiting fellowship at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Joseph Hardwick

Joe's past research has focused on two main areas. First, the overseas development of the Church of England, and how, despite contact with empire and a diversity of peoples, the institution became in some senses more 'English' as the nineteenth century went on. Second, and most recently, the culture of community-wide worship that was a long-running feature of British settler societies at moments of acute crisis (droughts and wars) and celebration (the coming of peace, the birth of royals). Joe has also written on the history of religious responses to extreme weather and climate change. His current research considers how far the intermixing of human life with the lives of a great variety of non-human animals, both wild and domesticated, has been reflected in everyday worship in the Church of England since the mid-1800s.


His 2014 Manchester University Press book, An Anglican British World, considered how the Church of England dealt with migration and how an institution that enjoyed a privileged status in parts of the British Isles tried to maintain a new kind of establishment overseas, most notably by projecting new forms of cultural and ethnic authority across the empire of British settlement.


Three recent articles in leading journals have considered the cultures of special national worship in Australia, Canada and the British Empire more generally. His second book - Providence, Prayer and Empire: Special Worship in the British World, 1783-1919 (Manchester University Press, 2021) - considers those moments when colonial populations of many faiths and ethnicities came together to pray for common causes and objects in times of crisis and celebration, and, in so doing, expressed a powerful, and often inclusive, sense of religious community.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Prayer, providence and empire: special worship in the British World, 1783-1919, Hardwick, J. 10 Aug 2021
  • Acts of God: continuities and change in Christian responses to extreme weather events from early modernity to the present, Hardwick, J., Stephens, R. 1 Mar 2020, In: Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change
  • The Church of England, Print Networks and the Book of Common Prayer in Atlantic Canada, c. 1750-c. 1830, Hardwick, J. 1 May 2020, Reappraisals of British Colonisation in Atlantic Canada, 1700-1930, Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press
  • Special worship in the British Empire: from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, Hardwick, J., Williamson, P. Jun 2018, In: Studies in Church History
  • Australia and New Zealand, Hardwick, J. 5 Oct 2017, The Oxford History of Anglicanism, Oxford University Press
  • Fasts, thanksgivings and senses of community in nineteenth-century Canada and the British Empire, Hardwick, J. 22 Nov 2017, In: Canadian Historical Review
  • Special days of worship and national religion in the Australian colonies, 1790-c.1914, Hardwick, J. 28 Feb 2017, In: Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
  • The Church of England and English Clergymen in the United States, 1783-1861, Hardwick, J. 2017, English Ethnicity & Culture in North America , University of South Carolina Press
  • An Anglican British world: The Church of England and the expansion of the settler empire, c. 1790–1860, Hardwick, J. 1 Sep 2014
  • An English Institution? The Church of England in the colonies in the first half of the nineteenth century, Hardwick, J. May 2012, Locating the Hidden Diaspora, 1500 - 2010, Liverpool, Liverpool University Press

  • Michael Pearce The military history of Berwick Upon Tweed from 1792 - 1908. Start Date: 01/10/2021 End Date: 10/03/2023
  • Shane Smith Forgotten Settlers: The Migration, Society and Legacies of British Military Veterans to Upper Canada (Ontario), 1815-1855 Start Date: 07/10/2014 End Date: 18/07/2018
  • Stan Neal Jardine Matheson and Chinese Migration in the British Empire, 1833-1853 Start Date: 02/10/2012 End Date: 05/04/2016
  • Jennifer Kain Preventing 'Unsound Minds' from Populating the British World: Australasian Immigration Control and Mental Illness 1830s - 1920s Start Date: 25/04/2012 End Date: 12/11/2015
  • Heather Page ‘The Political Languages of the Durham Miners, 1832-1884’ Start Date: 01/03/2020 End Date: 30/03/2022
  • Heather Page Start Date: 01/03/2020 End Date: 19/02/2021

  • History PhD January 09 2009
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2011

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