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William Cavert

Associate Professor


Dr. Cavert is a historian of Britain during the early modern period, c. 1500-1800, with research interests in urban and environmental history. He is the author of The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City, as well as other studies of coal consumption and London air pollution which have appeared in The Journal of British Studies, Urban History, and The Global Environment. His work on the politics of cold winters during the Little Ice Age has appeared in Governing the Environment in the Early Modern World. He joined UST from The University of Cambridge where he was a post-doctoral fellow at Clare College, having taken a Ph.D. at Northwestern University in 2011 and an M.A. at Loyola University Chicago. Before that he completed his undergraduate studies at Carleton College, and is a native Minnesotan. He regularly teaches classes on The Modern World Since 1550 (HIST 112) and early modern Britain and Europe, as well as courses on the history of science, climate history, the history of environmentalism, and natural disasters.

The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016, paperback 2017. It was awarded:

  • The Turku Book Award from the European Society for Environmental History and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, for best environmental history book.
  • The Whitfield Prize from the Royal Historical Society for best first book on British history.
  • The John Ben Snow Prize from the North American Conference on British Studies for best book on British history before 1800.