Heather Hatton

Thesis title: ‘Bridging the Divide: The Language of Diplomacy in Early America 1701-1774’

My research focuses on the nature of diplomacy and communication between the British and Haudenosaunee during the eighteenth century. It specifically considers the influence of indigenous methods of communication and diplomatic custom upon the language of intercultural diplomacy formed in early America. Seeking to redress the interpretive imbalance stemming from a prioritisation of written communication over oral records my thesis considers metaphorical, material and performative forms of communication as central to diplomatic interactions between Native and non-Native peoples. It also considers the importance of context; how specific geo-political circumstances shaped the form of cross-cultural communication.

Before beginning my research degree at the University of Hull, I studied at the University of Sheffield; I graduated with a 2:1 BA (Hons) degree in History (2013) and gained a Distinction for my MA in Modern History (2014). My MA thesis, Sustained by Natives: Euro-American and Native American relations in the Pacific Northwest in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, focused on how encounters between Natives and Euro-Americans were shaped through food exchange and culinary practices. After completing a PGCE in history at the University of Bristol (2015), I took a brief break from academia, in which I taught history in a secondary school in Derbyshire.

As part of my PhD research I have received a BAAS Short-Term Travel Award (2019) and an EAAS Transatlantic Travel Grant (2018), funding which I used to conduct archival research in Canada and Philadelphia. I have reviewed for the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography and have presented papers concerning Haudenosaunee expressions of sovereignty at conferences in both London and Toronto. I have also recently been selected as a 2019 – 2021 Cumberland Lodge Scholar. The Cumberland Lodge is an educational foundation which seeks to empower people, through dialogue and debate, to tackle social divisions. This unique opportunity will enable me to develop my public engagement and networking skills by participating in a range of interdisciplinary conferences which seek to address pressing ethical and social issues.


Blog Post: Clearing the Path: Language Fusion in Early America