Christopher J. Ferguson
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Christopher Ferguson is a historian of Modern Britain, with special interests in the period c. 1780-c. 1870, urban history, and material culture. His dissertation, Inventing the Modern City: Urban Culture and Ideas in Britain, 1780-1880 examined the perception of the city during the one hundred years in which the country was transformed into the world’s first predominately urban civilization.
Dr. Ferguson is currently completing two monographs. The first, The Two Babylons: Making Sense of the City in Nineteenth-Century Britain, expands on his dissertation research, examining the ways in which urbanization revolutionized a number of different aspects of British life. The second, a microhistory, reconstructs the life and worldview of the tailor James Carter (1792-1853), examining patterns of rural-urban migration, the evolution of the clothing trades, personal religious faith, and working-class reading and writing practices. Dr. Ferguson has also begun work on a third project, exploring the history of British material life from the composition of William Cowper’s The Task (a poem beginning with an extended meditation on a sofa) to the Great Exhibition of 1851. Early research for this project has focused on the secondhand trade. He also has ongoing side interests in the history of Christmas in Britain, collecting and collectors, and of London beggars, especially the “celebrity” beggar Billy Waters.
At Auburn, Dr. Ferguson teaches survey courses in modern British, European, and World history, and topics and graduate courses in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British and European history, including a collaborative course on “Material Culture in Early-Modern Europe,” offered with Dr. Donna Bohanan.
- BA, 1999, St. Olaf College
- MA, 2002, Indiana University
- PhD, 2008, Indiana University
Last Updated: August 24, 2017