Emma J. Wells
Historian, author, consultant, and award-winning academic.
Emma J. Wells is currently Associate Lecturer and Programme Director at the University of York specializing in all-things related to late medieval/early modern Britain. She is especially interested in the intersection of religion, art, architecture and culture during this period, and everything weird and wonderful in-between.
This has led her to write about the great cathedrals, medieval pilgrimage and the saints, the architectural history of country houses, and the commemoration of past monarchs.
Her first book, Pilgrim Routes of the British Isles, was praised by BBC broadcaster and Oxford historian, Dr Janina Ramirez as a beautifully written and hugely useful book. Further particular interests are the senses and attempting to sensorially experience the past, on which she is currently writing (and based her PhD thesis upon), and has additionally published on heritage and public history, writing for magazines such as BBC History, History Today, Listed Heritage and is a regular reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement.
Emma is also a consultant for museum and gallery exhibitions, including the British Museums Treasures of Heaven exhibition and the Lindisfarne Gospels Durham project, is a tour guide for Historical Trips unravelling the history of architectural sites to parties across the UK, a member Durham Universitys Castle Society executive committee and sits on the editorial board of Royal Studies Journal.
Emma was educated at the universities of York (where she now lectures) and University College, Durham (where she was Vice-President of the University College Middle Common Room). After receiving a Distinction in an MA in Buildings Archaeology, which followed a BA (Hons) in History of Art, in 2013 Emma was awarded a PhD from Durham University for which she was the 2011-12 British Archaeological Association Ochs Scholar and a recipient of the Society for Church Archaeology Research Grant.
Emma is an engaging public speaker and has given many talks and lectures, including distinguished speeches, at literary festivals, businesses, universities, museums, galleries, history societies, and schools. She has been invited to present talks at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Oxford University, the Listed Property Show, Who Do You Think You Are?, the Durham Cathedral World Heritage Site and the Institute for Historical Research.
Her television work has included appearances on Viral History, Time Team, the BBC1 history documentary From the Dales to the Sea A Great British Story (presented by Helen Skelton) in conjunction with Michael Woods series The Great British Story A Peoples History, with many additional research and consultancy credits. She also regularly appears on radio and podcasts most recently on Dr Janina Ramirezs Art Detective podcast, and as a Don on BBC Radio 4s The 3rd Degree.