Dr Sara Caputo is a Junior Research Fellow at Magdalene.
I completed my BA at Cardiff University, my MSc at The University of Edinburgh, and a PhD at the University of Cambridge, Robinson College, working under the supervision of Dr Renaud Morieux. My thesis, entitled ‘Foreign Seamen and the British Navy, 1793-1815’, looks at foreign sailors in the Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It examines the legal, social, cultural and diplomatic context of these men’s recruitment and service, using sources from British, Italian, Maltese and Dutch archives. I am particularly interested in the tension between the efficiency needs of states during wartime and the practical workings of cultural, social and legal difference. My research was jointly funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council grant and a Robinson College Lewis Research Scholarship, as well as a Scouloudi Fellowship from the Institute of Historical Research.
My new project is a comparative and transnational history of the medical culture of eighteenth-century naval sailors. In parallel, I will be working on a study of cultural aspects of naval technology, and an expanded version of my doctoral thesis. In 2019-20 I will be spending some periods of research at the Deutsches Schifffahrtsmuseum in Bremerhaven, Germany, the Huntington Library in California, and the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich to gather primary material for this work.
Methodologically, I am interested in the application of inferential statistical analysis and programming to the study of history. I also have a lifelong love for language learning.