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The Team

Dr Elena (Ellie) Woodacre, Founder and Director

Dr Woodacre is Senior Lecturer in Early Modern European History. She began her undergraduate studies in her native USA and completed her BA in Humanities with Classical Studies with the OU after she moved to the UK. She received an MA in Medieval Studies (with Merit) from the University of Reading in 2006 and shortly thereafter began her doctoral studies at Bath Spa University. Her PhD thesis was titled 'The Queens of Navarre 1274-1512: Succession, Politics and Partnership’ and focussed on issues surrounding female rule, matrimonial politics and the relationship between reigning queens and consort kings. 

Her recent research has investigated the female kinship network between four queens who were all first cousins at the turn of the 16th century, the life of Joan of Navarre, consort queen of England and various aspects of queenship and royal studies. She joined the History Department at Winchester in 2012 and was until recently the Faculty Coordinator for Postgraduate Research Degrees.

Additionally, Elena is the Editor-in-Chief of the Royal Studies Journal, an academic open-access publication launched in 2014 and the organiser of the ‘Kings & Queens’ conference series. 

Her teaching interests include issues related to gender and power, the Renaissance and the political and cultural history of Early Modern Europe, particularly France, Spain and Italy. Her area of specialism is queenship and royal studies.

Dr Dustin M. Neighbors, Administrative Officer and Digital Content Manager

Dr Neighbors is a postdoctoral research fellow with the Centre for Privacy Studies at the University of Copenhagen. He began his undergraduate studies in the southern USA and earned his BA in History and Sociology from Georgia State University. He received his MA in Early Modern History from the University of East Anglia in 2012 and immediately began his doctoral research at the University of York. Dustin’s doctoral thesis, titled “‘With my rulinge’: Agency, Queenship, and Political Culture through Royal Progresses during the Reign of Elizabeth I”, focused on royal progresses as fundamental instruments used to negotiate power between the ruler and the ruled, and craft spectacles of authority, particularly through ceremony, ritual, and visual displays both in public and private spaces.

Dustin’s current research builds on the negotiation of power and the intersection of politics and culture that were central themes of his doctoral research. As a principal member of an interdisciplinary case team with the Centre for Privacy Studies, he is examining the private and public nature of early modern German courts through the exchanges, spectacles, and royal progresses (itinerant monarchies), Dustin aims to highlight how the public/private divide affected royal/electoral authority, shaped European political culture, and influenced foreign relations. 

Dustin previously served as a postdoctoral research assistant with Historic Royal Palaces researching the royal progresses of Henry VIII. His research was the basis for the successful AHRC Network Grant for “Henry VIII on Tour: Tudor Palaces and Royal Progresses.” Additionally, over the past three years, he served as Chief Layout Editor for the Royal Studies Journal.