Mallory Hope is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at Yale University. Her research seeks to understand economic development and financial capitalism from the perspective of early-modern overseas trade. Mallory’s dissertation is a history of preindustrial insurance markets in France. She is building a large, original database of marine insurance rates that were charged during the eighteenth century to cover merchandise, ships, and African captives sent to sea. Her dissertation uses quantitative methods to probe merchants’ economic strategies as they organized voyages and coped with risk, confronting both environmental hazards and the risk of attack or capture. Her thesis is also a legal history that asks how strict proscriptions against life insurance in Catholic France were overcome so that insurance policies, even those sheltering investments in the slave trade, could gain a foothold in French courts.
Mallory’s research has been supported through an Exploratory Travel and Data Grant from the Economic History Association, and by research grants from the Western Society for French History and the European Studies Council in the Macmillan Center, among other organizations. At Yale, she participates in the Economic History Workshop and Early Modern Interdisciplinary Group.
During the academic year 2019-2020, Mallory presented her in-progress research at the Risk and the Insurance Business in History conference in Seville. She completed an essay, “Commercial networks, maritime law, and translation in a Spanish insurance claim on trial in France, 1783-1791,” to be published in Risk and Insurance Law in History (Duncker & Humblot).
In the upcoming year 2020-2021, her fifth year in the PhD program, Mallory will continue research in French archives from a base in Bordeaux, France.