Dr Matthias Wong

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I will be joining the Brightening the Covenant Chain project as Postdoctoral Research Assistant on 1 July 2021, and will contribute to the development of the Project’s digital elements.

I am a historian of early modern mental worlds, with interests in understanding senses of time and place, and the repercussions of trauma and disruption. My doctoral research at the University of Cambridge examined the execution of King Charles I as a moment of ideational change and adaptation. Taking a diachronic approach to periodicals like almanacs and newsbooks, I traced how ideas of time and the future evolved in response to unexpected political change. I am excited to join Treatied Spaces: treaties and diplomatic negotiations function similarly as sites of ideational encounter and adaptation. These were occasions where different conceptual universes were brought into conversation, where ideas and metaphors were learned and traded. By understanding how each side communicated concepts like territory and sovereignty, we can gain valuable insights into how they saw and understood the world around them, and how they thought the world should function. 

As Postdoctoral Research Assistant, I will be visualising concepts of space and movement in the form of a ‘kinetic map’. This digital platform, created in collaboration with King’s Digital Lab, is an exciting opportunity to communicate historical research and sources in a new visual manner. The project may illustrate previously unseen connections in the sources, and it also has the potential to reach a wide audience and communities traditionally excluded from the conversation.