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Research expertise

Programme Leader for MLitt British Studies

Postgraduate Research Co-Ordinator

Lecturer in History

I am a social and cultural historian of modern Britain and my research focuses in particular on Irish and Scottish migration, diaspora and the British Empire.

I arrived at UHI's Centre for History in November 2011, following academic posts at University College Dublin, the University of Bristol, Leeds Trinity and All Saints College and the University of Sunderland. I completed my PhD at Birkbeck College, University of London in 2004 (supervised by Professor Joanna Bourke), where I researched women’s contribution to debate about Irish identity through print and associational culture at the beginning of the twentieth century.

I work closely with heritage bodies and local communities through our research network, The Hub for the Study of British Identities.

I am currently completing a major research project on Irish female associational culture in the diaspora, which focuses on women’s membership of the Orange Order in Scotland, England and Canada (to be published as a book by Manchester University press in 2016).

My new research on 'Highland Homecomings and the British Empire' will examine how key figures such as John Diefenbaker (Canadian Prime Minister, 1957-1963) and Peter Fraser (New Zealand Prime Minister, 1940-1949) returned to their roots in the far north of Scotland and what this tells us about the region's connection to the British Empire and the wider world. Future plans for research include investigating the role of Irish migrants in the early days of cricket in Australia.

I welcome research proposals from students interested in any aspect of modern British, Irish and Scottish social and cultural history, including gender, migration, diaspora, empire, associational culture, cricket and the Irish and Scottish abroad.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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