My formal training as a historian began at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, gaining my doctorate on Irish political identity in Victorian Glasgow in 2003. I began working with the Open University in 2000 as an Associate Lecturer on module A221: State, Economy and Nation in 19th Century Europe, then from 2007 to 2017 on module A200: Exploring History: Medieval to Modern, 1400-1900. I am now currently teaching on module A225 The British Isles and the Modern World, 1789-1914. I am a member of the British Association for Irish Studies and Economic History Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (FRHist).
I have continued to develop my research expertise in Irishness in Scotland, publishing a number of articles on associational culture among Irish migrants in mid-Victorian Scotland and a monograph, The Experience of Irish Migrants to Glasgow, Scotland, 1863-1891: A New Way of Being Irish in June 2007.
Since 2008, I have also developed a research interest in comparative approaches to the study of migrants generally in 19/20thC Scotland, organising a conference in 2009, a follow-up journal special issue on ‘Migrants in Modern Scotland’ in 2013 and , in 2015, secured funding for a pilot project on ‘State Institutions and Migrants in Scotland, 1880-1914’. Recent publications include:' Scottishness and "Foreigners": The Role of a Developing Scottish "Machinery of Government" before 1939', Historical Research (2019) [Online], DOI 10.1111/1468-2281.12263.
Currently, I am an teaching on A225 The British Isles and the Modern World, 1789-1914.
The pressing reality of migration as a characteristic feature of modernity has motivated my attempts to stimulate debate among fellow historians, students and the public. Organising a ‘Migrants in Modern Scotland’ conference in 2009, initiating and editing a follow-up Immigrants and Minorities special issue in 2013, and presenting to a variety of conferences, workshops and public events such as a 2016 AHRC-funded study weekend,I've endeavoured to further an interest in Scotland’s connections with the wider world.
Recent Conference/Seminar Papers include :
Awards and Scholarships
2008 Carnegie Research Grant, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, Project: Irish Associational Culture in Mid-Nineteenth Century Glasgow.
2015 Scouloudi Trust Award, Institute of Historical Research, UCL. Project: State Institutions and Migrants in Scotland, 1885-1939