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Name: Sophie Cope

PhD: History

Thesis Title: Making Time Material: Domestic Dated Objects in Early Modern England

Thesis Description:
My project examines ideas of time in seventeenth-century England and their expression in material culture. It looks in particular at a body of neglected objects, a range of domestic wares inscribed with dates, and uses them to investigate how time was conceived and how objects were used to record and reflect upon its passage. I am supervised by Dr Tara Hamling and Dr Erin Sullivan.


University of Birmingham (2015-2018)
AHRC/M3C funded PhD Candidate in History
‘Making Time Material: Domestic Dated Objects in Seventeenth-Century England’ 

Victoria and Albert Museum/Royal College of Art (2012-2014)
History of Design MA 
Passed with Distinction 

University of Cambridge (2009-2012) 
History BA (Hons)


Prizes and Awards:

  • Universitas 21 Postgraduate Fellowship(March 2018) £1500
    Visiting scholar based at the Centre for the History of Emotions at University of Melbourne
  • Midlands3Cities Research Training Support Grant (March 2018) £600
  • Gillian Naylor Essay Prize(Victoria & Albert Museum, June 2013) £200
  • Oliver Ford Scholarship(Victoria & Albert Museum, September 2012-July 2014) 

Podcasts and Blogposts:

Conference Papers

  • ‘The Life and Times of Isaac Walton: Dated Material Culture and the Life-Cycle in Seventeenth-Century England’, Social History Society conference, Keele University (June 2018)
  • ‘Making Time Material: Domestic Dated Objects in Seventeenth-Century England’, University of Melbourne History Brown Bag Seminar Series (22ndMay 2018)
  • ‘Powerful Times: Astrology and Dated Material Culture in Early Modern England’, Powerful Objects conference at University of Birmingham (18thMay 2017)
  • ‘Furnishing Time: Dated Chairs and Familial Identity in Seventeenth-Century England’, Objects and Possessions conference, University of Southampton (4thApril 2017)
  • ‘Women in the Sea of Time: Domestic Dated Objects in Early Modern England’, Gender, Power and Materiality conference, University of Plymouth (9thApril 2016)


  • Postgraduate Teaching Assistant, University of Birmingham (September 2016 – Present)
    Seminar tutor on the first-year History module ‘Reformation, Rebellion, Revolution: The Making of the Modern World 1500-1800’. Groups of around 17 students.

Public Engagement:

  • ‘Marking Time in Shakespeare’s England’ Exhibition and Public Day
    Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford-Upon-Avon (April 2018)
    • Curated an online exhibition based on my research 
    • Wrote a blog post for the SBT website
    • Gave a talk at a public event to publicise the exhibition

  • ‘The Matter of Objects’ Artist Collaboration, Exhibition and Open Day  
    London Pathology Museum/Queen Mary University London (May 2016) 
    • Paired with a local artist, Grace Holliday, who then produced a series of artworks based on my research, following several months of conversation with me about my PhD 
    • Artwork was then exhibited over to the public at Queen Mary University London and at the London Pathology Museum
    • Gave a presentation alongside the artist ‘In Conversation’, as part of an open day for the project


University email address:


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