Professor David Turner

About Me

I studied for a BA in Modern History at Brasenose College, Oxford University and for an MA in Historical Research at Durham. I then returned to Oxford to complete a DPhil on representations of adultery in England 1660-1740 under the supervision of Dr Martin Ingram. After that I held the first Past and Present Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research and taught at the University of Glamorgan before taking up my post at Swansea in 2005. I am the author of Fashioning Adultery: Gender, Sex and Civility in England 1660-1740 (Cambridge University Press, 2002) and the co-editor (with Kevin Stagg) of Social Histories of Disability and Deformity (Routledge, 2006). My most recent book Disability in Eighteenth-Century England: Imagining Physical Impairment (Routledge, 2012) won the Disability History Association Outstanding Publication prize for the best book published worldwide in Disability History. I am Principal Investigator and Director of Disability and Industrial Society: A Comparative Cultural History of British Coalfields 1780-1948 (http://www.dis-ind-soc.org.uk), funded by a Wellcome Trust Programme Award.

Professor Turner is Director of the Research Group for Health, History and Culture. He is also a member of MEMO, Swansea's Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research.

Publications

  1. & Technologies of the Body: Polite Consumption and the Correction of Deformity in Eighteenth-Century England. History 99(338), 775-796.
  2. Disability in Eighteenth-Century England: Imagining Physical Impairment. New York: Routledge.
  3. Disability and Crime in Eighteenth-Century England: Physical Impairment at the Old Bailey. Cultural and Social History 9(1), 47-64.
  4. The Body Beautiful. In Carole Reeves (Ed.), A Cultural History of the Human Body in the Enlightenment. (pp. 113-131). London: Berg.
  5. The World of 'Poor Robin's Intelligence': Comedy and Communication in Late Stuart London. In Angela McShane and Garthine Walker (Ed.), The Extraordinary and the Everyday in Early Modern England: Essays in Celebration of the Work of Bernard Capp. (pp. 86-104). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Teaching

  • HI-M39 Research Folder

    This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.

  • HI-M80 Directed Reading in History

    Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.

  • HIH118 Early Modern World, 1500-1800

    In 1500, European exploration and colonisation of the rest of the world was only in its infancy. America, two continents North and South, had been unknown to Europeans until just eight years previously. Most of it was still unmapped by Europeans, as were large parts of the rest of the world. By 1800, on the other hand, it was possible to construct a recognisable modern version of a world map. Europeans had explored, colonised, and resettled huge swathes of America in the first instances. They had killed or displaced millions of Native Americans in the process, wiping out whole civilisations, and they had enslaved 12 million or more Africans in that same process, inflicting immense damage on African societies. Europeans were in the early stages of colonising large parts of Africa and Asia too by 1800. And yet, advances in science had transformed human understanding of the universe, of the world, and indeed of ourselves. This was connected through the Renaissance in art, culture, and politics as well as science, to enormous changes in the structure of polities and societies. The early modern era perhaps saw the invention not only of modern empires, but of large, centralised modern states. Also, the Renaissance and then Enlightenment changed the way people and states interacted. Arguably, the early modern period represents the transition period between an era of medieval hierarchy and the origins of modern social and political democracy. Essentially, the aim of the module, through your lectures, seminars, and independent reading and thinking, is to give you a sense of the connections between these places and their histories, highlighting that the increasing inter-connection between them is itself a feature of the early modern period. You’ll also get a broad sense of how the world as a whole changed between 1500 and 1800.

  • HIH124 Modern British History

    This module explores the broad sweep of the history of the United Kingdom since its modern creation in 1801. It brings together different approaches from political, economic, social and cultural history to consider the different ways the history of a nation can be studied. At the module's heart are questions of what constitutes a nation and the extent to which British society can be considered to be unified.

  • HIH237 The Practice of History

    The purpose of the module is to encourage you to think more deeply about how historians work and, in particular, about how we as historians can locate and use primary historical sources effectively as a means of interpreting and understanding the past. During the module we will learn about the survival of historical evidence, how it is organised and made accessible to historians to undertake their research, and how to effectively locate and interpret it in your studies. We will consider how the process of doing historical research changes over time, in particular with the impact of recent developments like digitization. At the core of the module will be the work you undertake with others in your seminar group using a range of primary sources which your seminar tutor will introduce to you. As part of the module assessment you will also undertake your own primary source based research project using items from these collections. The module is designed strengthen your analytical skills and to help prepare you for the more extensive uses of primary evidence which you will encounter in final year special subjects and dissertation.

  • HIH3171 Family, Sex and Intimacy in Early Modern England

    Between 1550 and 1750 there was an enormous outpouring of writing on marriage, the family and intimate relations. More than a private institution, the household-family was a key social, economic and political unit and sexual intimacy was subject to surveillance and public regulation. This module explores in detail the changing nature of personal relationships in the early modern period and assesses what these relationships reveal about social, cultural and religious beliefs. After surveying historiographical debates about the family, sex and marriage in this period, the module will go on to examine a variety of themes which may include courtship, fertility, childbirth and family planning, relations between husbands and wives, parents and children and siblings, the economics of the household, marital breakdown, illicit sexuality, homosexuality and friendship.

  • HIH3259 Georgian Underworlds: Criminal Lives in Eighteenth-Century Britain (I)

    The eighteenth century is a significant period in the history of crime. There were significant contemporary debates about the nature of crime, its proper means of punishment, and the social factors that motivated criminality. At the same time, there was growing popular interest in the lives of criminals, which was fed by a developing market for criminal biographies, novels and satirical prints. In this module, the first part of a two-part Special Subject (the other being HIH3260), students examine the main historical debates surrounding crime and its representation in Georgian England, and are introduced to a range of primary sources. It introduces students to key issues in the history of crime in this period, and explores the ways in which sources relating to crime might be used to shed light on a variety of related concerns.

  • HIH3260 Georgian Underworlds: Criminal Lives in Eighteenth-Century Britain (II)

    The eighteenth century is a significant period in the history of crime. There were significant contemporary debates about the nature of crime, its proper means of punishment, and the social factors that motivated criminality. At the same time, there was growing popular interest in the lives of criminals, which was fed by a developing market for criminal biographies, novels and satirical prints. In this module, the second part of a two-part Special Subject, students undertake detailed study of primary sources relating to the history of crime in this period as they relate to a number of themes. Students will assess the ways in which stories about crime were told, both in the courtroom and in print, and will be encouraged to analyse how broader social and cultural shifts, such as developing ideas of gender difference, impacted on the construction of criminality.

  • HIH3300 History Dissertation

    The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.

Supervision

  • Providing education for children with cerebral palsy and related disabilities: how policy and collective action brought about change during the second half of the twentieth century. (current)

    Student name:
    MA
    Other supervisor: Dr Rebecca Clifford
  • Calculating Value: Using and Collecting the Tools of Early Modern Mathematics (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Adam Mosley
  • Aspects of Deafness in Eighteenth-Century England. (current)

    Student name:
    MA
    Other supervisor: Dr Leighton James
  • Battles for Breath: A comparative historical analysis of responses to coal workers' pneumoconiosis in South Wales and Central Appalachia, 1968-1985 (current)

    Student name:
    MA
    Other supervisor: Dr Christoph Laucht
  • Evaluating Public Engagement (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Harold Thimbleby
    Other supervisor: Professor Huw Bowen
  • Correcting Vision in Nineteenth Century Britain (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Louise Miskell
  • '[A] lively and effectuall kinde of preaching'''': materiality and images of the everyday in English printed sermons, 1560-1660.' (awarded 2015)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor John Spurr
  • 'Educational Experiences of Deaf Children in Wales: The Cambrian Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, 1847-1914' (awarded 2013)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Anne Borsay
  • 'Female Employment in Nineteenth Century Ironworking districts: Merthyr Tydfil and the Shropshire Coalfield, 1841-1881' (awarded 2013)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Louise Miskell
  • '''''Enough in my Heart to know all my Thoughts'''': The Letter Writing of Unmarried Women 1575-1802.' (awarded 2011)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor John Spurr
  • Health, Medicine and the Family in Wales c.1600-c.1750 (awarded 2010)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Anne Borsay
  • "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Lord" : Puritan Spiritual Diaries and Autobiographies in Seventeenth-Century England (awarded 2008)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor John Spurr
  • The Conjuror, The Fairy, the Devil and the Preacher: Popular Magic and Religion in Wales 1700-1905 (awarded 2007)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Professor Stuart Clark