Emily Webb

Emily Webb


PhD student, researching aspects of Anglo-Indian domestic, familial and intimate space c. 1770-1830.


I am a social and cultural historian interested in domestic and familial space within the British colonial context. While western domestic space and interiors have received much historical attention in recent years, this has not extended into the colonial domestic space. My work lies within an interdisciplinary field of domestic studies, with the aim of assessing the role played by private domestic environments, and more public interiors in the formation of individual and group identities amongst the British in India.


I completed my undergraduate degree in 2014 before beginning an MA in Social and Cultural History at the University of Leeds (completed in Sept 2015 with distinction). Having left academia for two years and worked within the education sector I returned to Leeds in October 2017 to begin reading for a PhD.

Conference Papers

'Nabob to Sahib: Creation of the Anglo-Indian Identity, 1780-1858', Perspectives Conference, University of Huddersfield, June 2016

'Imperially Minded Domesticity: Politicisation of Domestic Space in Nineteenth Century Calcutta', Annual BASAS Conference, April 2018

'The Absence of Men Within Colonial Domestic Narratives, 1850-1910', Man of the House Conference, St Andrews University, June 2018

'Sex, Sentiment, and Family in Eighteenth Century Calcutta: The Diaries of Richard Blechynden 1759-1800, Early Modern History Graduate Seminar (King's College, Cambridge), November 2018

'An Illicit Commodity: Smuggling and the Tea Trade in the Eighteenth Century', Across Colonial Lines: Empires, Commodities and Movement Conference (Univeristy of Leeds), September 2019. I was also co-organiser of the 'Across Colonial Lines: Empires, Commodities and Movement' Conference at the Univeristy of Leeds for which we recieved RHS and Past & Present funding. 

‘I must do my duty by these innocents’: Raising a Mixed-Race Family in Blechynden’s Calcutta, 1782-1822, British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies (BSECS), January 2020. This paper was nominated for the BSECS President’s Prize. 

Distant Parenting: Blechynden’s Calcutta Diaries, 1782-1822, International Postgraduate Conference for Studies of the Long Eighteenth Century (University of York & University of Melbourne), August 2020. 

Published Work

Webb, Emily, 'Reconsidering the Transition Narrartive: The Domiciled Britons of Company Rule, c.1760-1857', Postgraduate Perspectives on the Past, 3.1 (2018), https://doi.org/10.5920/ppp.544


I currently teach on a variety of modules, ranging from Historiography and Historical Skills, Merchants and Mercenaries during the Mughal Empire from 1600-1857, and the Modern World.

Widening Participation and Outreach

October 2018 – October 2020 – Education Outreach Fellow (EPQ and History)

April 2018 – April 2020 – Access to Leeds Intern, School of History, University of Leeds

'"Beneficial, Injurious, or Innocent"? Tea in Eighteenth Century Britain', Abby House Museum and Kirkstall Abbey, October 2018