William Cavert

Fulbright-University of Sheffield Scholar Award (All Disciplines)

William Cavert is an environmental historian of early modern Britain, teaching at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. His first book The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City won several prizes and has been translated into Chinese. Related publications have explored early industrial coal consumption, literary representations of smoke pollution, and the politics of cold winters.  

His current project examines the widespread and killing of species like sparrows, foxes, polecats, and hedgehogs, all called “vermin” in early modern England. It tracks who participated in this prolonged hunt, and how such killing fit into evolving human-animal relations, programs of agricultural improvement, and the politics of local society. At Sheffield he will work with the Centre for Early Modern Studies and the Animal Studies Research Centre.