Catherine Stilwell Arnold

Catherine Stilwell Arnold's picture

Catherine Stilwell Arnold is a doctoral candidate in early modern history at Yale University. Her dissertation, “Affairs of Humanity: Sovereignty, Sentiment, and the Origins of Humanitarian Diplomacy in Britain and Europe,” examines Britain’s diplomacy to protect refugees and prisoners from across Europe during the first half of the eighteenth century. By investigating British diplomacy on behalf of Protestants in France and Savoy, Catholics in France, and Jews in Portugal and Bohemia, she traces how British politicians came to argue that the sentiment of humanity – specifically, the need to prevent innocent people, whatever their religion, from being unjustly punished by their governments – trumped state sovereignty and justified intervening in other states’ domestic affairs.

Her research has been generously supported by a Mellon Dissertation Fellowship from the Institute of Historical Research in London, an HSS Chateaubriand Fellowship from the French Embassy in the United States, and a John F. Enders Grant from Yale University, among others. In 2016-2017 she will be a Charlotte W. Newcombe Dissertation Fellow in Religion and Ethics.

She is also interested in the history of religion and early modern empires: her past research has examined charity, populationism, and immigration policy in the eighteenth-century British empire.