Elaine Fulton


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

My research interests have given me experience of and enthusiasm for a number of broader themes which I would be keen to supervise. These include aspects of early-modern Catholic reform, the Habsburg dynasty, early-modern politics, and the interaction between people and environment in early-modern Europe. Doctoral and MPhil students who I currently supervise or have supervised work on a range of topics:


Thomas Wood (co-supervision with Simone Laqua-O’Donnell): Dragons in early modern German religious culture (in progress)
Yasmin Vetter (co-supervision with Jonathan Willis): The Elizabethan Church and Marian Exile (in progress)
Laverne Smith (co-supervision with Nathan Cardon and Tom Cutterham): Anglican Virginia And Regular Baptists: A Reflection On The Effects Of Government-Regulated Toleration (in progress)
Tayler Meredith (co-supervision with Jonathan Willis): Divine Disorder: Environmental Change, Natural Disaster and English Communities, c.1550-1650 (in progress)
Ruth Atherton (co-supervision with Simone Laqua-O’Donnell): Pedagogy and Persuasion: The Power of the Catechism in Germany, 1529-1597 (successfully defended in 2017)
Charles Byrd II (co-supervision with Allan Anderson): Pentecostalism’s Anabaptist Heritage? (successfully defended in 2017)
George Doukas: The World of Pierre Boaistuau: Man, Sin and Nature in Early Modern Europe (successfully defended in 2011)

Adrian Roberts: Truth is Unkillable: Non-Resistance and ‘The Sword’ in the Theology of Balthasar Hubmaier, 1523-1528 (passed in 2012)
Lesley Smith (co-supervision in History of Medicine): John Ince’s Leech Book (passed 2015)


Research activity per year

Personal profile


I was born and raised in Northern Ireland and left there at 18 to read Modern History at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, where I first discovered a love of Reformation History. Thanks to the expertise and encouragement of the early-modernists at St Andrews, in particular Andrew Pettegree and Bruce Gordon, I stayed to pursue postgraduate study at St Andrews and was funded by the award of two scholarships: a one-year studentship from the Humanities Research Board of the British Academy to support the M.Litt. degree, and a Caledonian Research Foundation Scholarship to fund the PhD. Between 1999 and 2003 I also taught on a broad range of Modern History courses at the Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh. I was appointed to my current post at the University of Birmingham in 2003.

I am currently Director of Education for the College of Arts and Law. I was an elected member of University Senate 2012-16 and Head of History 2015-18. I became the College’s first teaching-focussed Professor in 2018.

Research interests

My first monograph, entitled Catholic Belief and Survival in Late-Sixteenth Century Vienna, was published by Ashgate in May 2007. Focused on the career of one of the most prominent Catholic figures of late sixteenth-century Vienna, Georg Eder (1523-1587), this work highlighted the role of the Catholic laity in instigating, enacting and supporting Catholic reform in the early-modern period.

I have also published work pertaining to Disaster History, East Central European History, and Reformation History more broadly (please see Publications section). I am currently planning an undergraduate-level textbook on the Habsburgs and sixteenth century Europe, as well as engaging in pieces of pedagogical research.


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