Accessibility statement

Rachel Feldberg



Non-elite women’s engagement with the production, use and consumption of scientific knowledge, 1740-1810.

Supervisors: Mark Jenner and Gillian Russell



My thesis addresses the ways in which women of the middling and lower sort encountered and shaped the making and consumption of natural knowledge in the mid-eighteenth and early nineteenth century. It examines their quotidian engagement with scientific process, both in the context of work and as an aspect of polite knowledge, and considers the impact of women interlocutors, readers, writers and audience members on the construction of popular science.

My broader research interests include newspapers and newspaper culture in eighteenth century Jamaica; women, work and material objects in the long century and the impact of gender and religion on eighteenth century ideas of embodiment. I am also interested in the interface between archives and the public, and I am currently working on ways of animating a selection of late 1940s mass observation-style interviews, the source material for Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree’s study English Life and Leisure (1951), as part of a Jane Moody Scholarship.


Member of the CECS Postgraduate Forum organising group.

Papers and publications


  • Distance 2020: Online Conferences and Reimagining the International Academic Landscape’ in The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Special Issue, Scholarship in a Time of Crisis, Summer 2020. University of Illinois. Co-authored with Kurt Baird, Sharon Choe, Holly Day and Francesca Kavanagh.
  • '"I attribute these pains to the Weather": Winifred Constable's Clinical Eye, 1768-1774', Student Conference: 'Studying Herstories', Women's History Network, London (online) March 2021.


  • 'Absent Bodies? Gouty Brethren and Sensitive Hearts in William Constable’s Letters from the Grand Tour 1769-1771' in Letters and the Body, ed. Karen Harvey, Sheryllynne Haggerty and Sarah Goldsmith, (Routledge, forthcoming, 2021).


  • ‘Absent Bodies?: Illness, Embodiment and the Articulation of Gender, Winifred and William Constable (1768-1773)’ Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies Website, University of York 2020.


Contact details

Ms Rachel Feldberg
PhD student
Department of History
University of York
YO10 5DD