Polly Ha



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Personal profile


Polly Ha studied history at Yale University and was elected to the Paul Mellon Fellowship at Clare College, University of Cambridge, where she completed her PhD under the supervision of Professor John Morrill.  Her dissertation was jointly awarded the Prince Consort and Thirlwall Prize and the Seeley Medal.  Before being appointed Lecturer at UEA, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the British Academy and Clare Hall, Cambridge.  She also visited the University of Southern California in 2007-08 as Andrew W. Mellon Fellow and Lecturer. To date her work has been awarded nearly $1 million in funding from The British Academy, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Academic Background

BA, History, Yale University (2002)

PhD, History, University of Cambridge (2006)


Key Research Interests and Expertise


Dr. Ha's research interests include:

-Religious and political instability (c. 1560-1660) with a particular focus on Early Modern England

-The reception of continental European Reformation in Britain 

-Religious freedom and toleration in Revolutionary Britain and the British Atlantic world 


Current research projects (supported by the Arts Humanities Research Council in collaboration with the Jefferson Foundation and Trinity College Dublin):

-Independent freedom in the early modern world

-Religious conspiracies in early modern Britain


Other areas of interest:

-The uses of ancient and early modern history

-Print, censorship and scribal publications

-Early modern legal culture

-The social dynamics of puritan discipline and reformed church polity


Teaching Interests

Level 1

Introduction to Early Modern Studies and Witchcraft 

Levels 2 & 3

Early Modern England, The English Revolution, Conspiracy and Crisis in Early Modern England, and The British Atlantic 


MA in Early Modern Studies

Prospective students interested in English religious and political history and its relationship to the European continent and the Atlantic, particularly those working on puritanism, are welcome.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions