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Dr Jeremy Burchardt

Jeremy Burchardt profile picture

Areas of interest

As a rural historian, I have become increasingly fascinated in the last few years by the different ways we experience landscape – how it can subtly interfuse itself with sometimes quite profound aspects of our being, and the changes and continuities in this across time and space.  Researching this elusive subject is challenging, especially in a historical context, but that makes it all the more intriguing and rewarding. I hope something of this comes across in my recent book, Lifescapes: The Experience of Landscape in England, 1870-1960 (CUP, 2023).  I’ve also worked recently on children’s experiences of landscape (especially children’s place-naming practices), representations of the rural in children’s literature, the English rural community movement, village halls, and the history of allotments.  All my research is concerned with the significance of rural land and landscapes in people’s lives, the relationship between experiences and representations of the countryside and the cultural history of ruralist ideologies such as that underpinning the rural community movement.

Postgraduate supervision

Current supervision

I am currently supervising PhDs on:

  • Charles Paget Wade, Snowshill and heritage collecting in the early twentieth century (Charlotte Fiell)
  • Domestic service in rural Berkshire (Peter Jolly)
  • Land agents and great aristocratic estates: George North and Stratfield Saye (Gareth Jones)
  • Railways and economic development in Berkshire (Richard Marks)
  • Friendship networks and agricultural improvement in early nineteenth-century England (Hilary Matthews)
  • Architects, builders, clients and the development of modern Reading (Michael Saunders)

Postgraduate research teaching/skills

  • Landscape history
  • Rural history (especially modern Britain)



  • Year 1: Revolutionary Cities
  • Year 2: Utopia: The Quest for a Perfect World
  • Year 3: The Romantic Revolution: Culture, Environment and Society in England, 1790-1900
  • Year 3: Landscapes of the Mind: Romanticism and the Rural Idyll, 1750-1939

Postgraduate MA (postgraduate taught)

  • The Twentieth-century Countryside: Agriculture, Environment and People
  • Dissertation supervision

Research centres and groups

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Principal Investigator of the Arts & Humanities Research Council research network ‘Changing Landscapes, Changing Lives’

Awards and honours

  • Awarded Land Use Decisions programme consultancy by the Royal Society, 2020
  • P.H. Ditchfield Fellowship at the Museum of English Rural Life (2019-20)
  • Invited to speak at international conferences at Harvard, Leuven, Wageningen and Valenciennes; also Oxford, London (Institute of Historical Research), Glasgow, Leicester and Sussex
  • External examiner for Oxford University Department of Continuing Education
  • Peer reviewer for Arts & Humanities Research Council and for American Academy in Berlin
  • Awarded Undergraduate Research Opportunities Placements (UROP) in 2012-13 and 2020-21
  • Nominated for Reading University Student Union Excellence Awards (for teaching/as a personal tutor) in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2021


‘Changing Landscapes, Changing Lives’ research network blog

Impactand Public engagement

  • Media work: BBC1 (Countryfile); BBC4; BBC Radio 3; BBC Radio 4; BBC World Service; BBC South; Channel 4;
  • Consultant for the Museum of English Rural Life’s major redesign project, ‘Our Country Lives’
  • Principal Investigator/academic lead for Family and Community Historical Research Society Allotments Project


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