Originally from Washington, DC, Julia graduated from Harvard University in 2020 receiving an AB in History with a secondary field in Medieval Studies.
In her final year of undergraduate study, she completed a thesis on the late medieval English Court of Chancery. Inspired by historians such as Paul Hyams and Daniel Smail, she sought to re-examine the prevailing historiographical contention that litigants flocked to this court in order to circumvent the rigidity and corruptibility of the common law. Traversing legal anthropology, literary criticism, and social history, her thesis brought early Chancery petitions into conversation with parliamentary statutes, moralising poetry, additional court records, and family correspondences. This interdisciplinary approach revealed that Chancery’s image as a “court of conscience” was constructed by its users. At Oxford, she intends to address similar questions and themes in a new context: in relation to the diocesan courts of late fifteenth-century England. Amidst unrelenting socio-political upheaval and on the eve of sweeping religious reformation, the Church’s jurisdictional boundaries were in considerable flux. Against this backdrop of tension and transformation, she will examine what these courts meant to their users and how they were used. With good reason, scholars have tended to characterise ecclesiastical courts as regulative entities designed to control aberrant speech, behaviour, and social relations. She plans to parse how, in practice, engaging with these courts may have constituted not only an act of complicity in but also an act of resistance against this system of control
In her free time, Julia is passionate about museums, hiking, NBA basketball, and archaeology. She is extremely grateful for the Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Programme and the chance to spend a year studying at Oxford within the Ertegun community.