We were delighted to hear that OV Matt Raven (Br 03-10) is currently Economic History Society (EHS) Postan Fellow for 2019-2020.
We caught up with Matt to find out about his time since leaving King’s…
“I had always been interested in history and how it has shaped the world we live in today but I only seriously considered studying history at university when I started to think about UCAS forms and so on in my penultimate year at King’s. I was fortunate to receive some excellent teaching from members of the history department which made me want to carry on studying history when I left school; and luckily that is what I ended up being able to do.
I went to the University of Nottingham in 2010 to read history and graduated in 2013 after three enjoyable years. Once again, I was lucky to be taught by an inspiring tutor, Gwilym Dodd, who teaches medieval history, and once again this opened up a path for what to do next. I went to Cambridge to do an MPhil in Medieval History and, after another inspiring dose of teaching from Christine Carpenter, went from there to the University of Hull to do a PhD on the nobility of fourteenth century England. I was awarded my doctorate in 2018 after a spell as a doctoral junior research fellow of the Institute of Historical Research in London, during which time I lived with fellow OV David Lewis (W 04-10).
I have now returned to the Institute as a postdoctoral junior research fellow to work on the smuggling of wool, England’s largest export in the fourteenth century, which I think is an interesting topic in its own light and which allows us to see how royal regulations over trade and taxation conflicted with the desire to maximise individual profit. This project involves looking at lots of legal records dating from the mid-fourteenth century, which are kept in The National Archives UK. In some ways it seems a long way from the history classes I took at King’s but in fact, while the subject matter may have changed, there is a linear progression from the teaching which made me interested in history at school right through to my doctorate and beyond. Such is the power of teaching.”