Having completed both his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in History at the University of Kent, David remained there to undertake teaching on a range of modules whilst completing his PhD in 2015. David’s doctoral thesis is a study in the decentred dynamics of early modern colonial state formation, and the role played by family networks in the origins of the British in Asia in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
David’s research publications have similarly focused on the British in Asia, and in 2013 he was awarded the Royal Historical Society’s Alexander Prize for an article in the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth Historywhich challenged entrenched ideas about the non-territoriality of the British presence in Asia before the later eighteenth century. David has also published in the Journal of Global History and has contributed to various edited volumes. He is currently working on revising his thesis for monograph publication, provisionally titled ‘Families, States, and Empires: the formation of the colonial state in Asia, 1600-1800’.
David joined the Centre for the Political Economies of International Commerce in October 2016 as a Research Fellow. Part of his focus is to explore the ways in which the practice, experience and expansion of English East India Company agents in Asia shaped metropolitan discourse and policy towards trade, empire and governance in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
- ‘The Contested-State: Political Authority and the Decentred Foundations of the Early Modern Colonial State in Asia’, in Mahesh Gopalan and William Pettigrew, eds., The East India Company: Essays on Anglo-Indian Connection (Routledge, 2016)
- ‘”Inhabitants of the Universe”: Global Families, Kinship Networks and the Formation of the Early Modern Colonial State in Asia’, Journal of Global History, vol. 10, no. 1 (2015), pp. 99-121
- ‘”The Company as their Lords and the Deputy as a Great Rajah”: Imperial Expansion and the English East India Company on the West Coast of Sumatra, 1685-1730’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol. 41, no. 5 (2013), pp. 687-709 [winner of the 2013 Alexander Prize]