School of History

Dr Jessica Patterson


Lecturer in British Intellectual and Cultural History

Room Number: ArtsTwo 2.28


I studied History at Cambridge, before joining the MA in History of Political Thought and Intellectual History at Queen Mary. I later completed a PhD at the University of Manchester, and returned to QMUL as a lecturer in 2017.

Undergraduate Teaching

  • HST5407 The Making of the Modern Self
  • HST5222 The Age of Reason? Interrogating the Enlightenment


Research Interests:

My research interests encompass intellectual history and the history of political thought in eighteenth-century Britain and America, in the context of empire. I am also particularly interested in the relationship between religious heterodoxy and political thought.

My doctoral work explored British interpretations of Hinduism, set out by East India Company servants in the mid to late eighteenth century, when the British presence in India was experiencing a crisis of legitimacy. The thesis situates these interpretations of Indian religion within the context of the Enlightenment, relating their contents to debates about religious toleration, deism and empire. I am currently revising this thesis into a book.


 “An Eighteenth-Century Account of Sati: John Zephaniah Holwell's ‘Religious Tenets of the Gentoos’ and ‘Voluntary Sacrifice’ (1767)”,South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies,40:1 (2017).