Biography

Hello, I’m Dr Jonathan Singerton.

Originally from Wales, I went to study in Birmingham for my BA in German Studies and History. My fascination for the rich culture and history of the Habsburg Empire led me to do an exchange semester at the University of Vienna in 2011-2012. The classes on Austrian history and the American Revolution made me wonder what happened in Vienna during the American Revolution? What did the Habsburg Empire think of the Revolution? Nobody seemed to know the full answer. So I decided to find out for myself.

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At the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

I conducted further research on Habsburg-American relations during my MSc American History at the University of Edinburgh. My thesis entitled ‘A Story of Benign Neglect’? Relations Between America and Austria, 1776-1778 won the James V. Crompton Prize in American History.

Since Autumn/Fall 2014 I have continued my research as a PhD candidate, also at the University of Edinburgh. My project entitled Empires on the Edge – The Habsburg Monarchy and the American Revolution 1776-1789 is supervised by Prof. Frank Cogliano alongside the kind support of Dr. David Kaufman and Dr. David Silkenat. I submitted my dissertation in Spring 2018 and defended successfully in early June 2018.

During my three years so far I criss-crossed both sides of the Atlantic for research. In these endeavours I have been generously funded by the Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation and held fellowships from ICJS at Monticello and Austrian Academy of Sciences, among others. I spent a very enjoyable and enriching time at the Institut für Neuzeit- und Zeitgeschichtsforschung (INZ) in Vienna as an Ernst Mach fellow during the latter half of 2017.

My doctoral work has received multiple awards such as Peter Parish Prize in American History from the British Association of American Studies in 2016, the Jeremiah Dalziel Doctoral Prize in British History (2018) and James Crompton Prize for American History (2014) from the University of Edinburgh as well as the Otto Harpner Award from the Anglo-Austrian Society (2013). I also published the result of my work in several journals and edited volumes in both German and English. Aspects of my research have also featured in a number of American blogs. All of these are featured on this website.

In addition to my main focus on US-Habsburg connections during the American Revolution, I have also worked on many other projects alongside my dissertation, ranging from the extraordinary life of Maria von Born to Eighteenth-Century Scotland through Austrian Eyes. Outlines of these and more can be found on this website.

Since completing my PhD, I have been a short-term fellow at the Hagley Research Library in July 2018 and a Richard Plaschka fellow at the Institut für Neuzeit- und Zeitgeschichtsforschung (INZ) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, Austria, where I expanded research for my first book manuscript on the Habsburg Monarchy and the American Revolution 1763-1789.

In June 2019, I joined the FWF funded project ‘Changing Social Representations of Political Order ca. 1800 – Governmental Concepts in the Correspondence of Maria Carolina of Naples-Sicily‘ at the University of Innsbruck alongside Prof. Ellinor Forster, Giovanni Merola, and Anne-Sophie Denoue. As a research associate, I am constructing a digital edition of the correspondence of Queen Maria Carolina of Naples-Sicily, performing network analysis, and working towards a second book project based on our results drawn from ‘Social Representation’ theory.