Personal profile


I recently joined Northumbria as Vice Chancellor's Fellow in the Department of Humanities. I was previously Associate Professor (Research) and Senior Research Fellow at Durham University, and held Lectureships in Modern British History and Nineteenth-Century British History at the University of Manchester. Prior to these posts I was a Research Fellow at the History of Parliament Trust. I completed my PhD at Queen Mary University of London.

Having over fifteen years experience of teaching modern British social, cultural, economic, political, and imperial history at Queen Mary, Manchester, and Durham, I’m excited about contributing to Northumbria’s excellent learning environment through teaching on existing new modules and developing new ones.

Research interests

My recent and current research revolves around the history of petitions and petitioning in modern Britain and beyond. Drawing on a Leverhulme Trust funded project (RPG-2016-097, 2016-19), which I jointly led, my second book, A Nation of Petitioners: Petitions and Petitioning in the United Kingdom, 1780-1918 was published earlier this year by Cambridge University Press in their Modern British Histories series. I have published articles on the social history and political culture of modern Britain in leading journals such as English Historical Review, Historical Journal, Past & Present, Journal of British Studies, History, Cultural and Social History, Historical Research, and Parliamentary History, among others. Much of my recent research has sought to address important questions within social and political science - concerning collective action, representation, and democratisation, to give just three examples - from a historical perspective. 

I am currently writing up a co-authored monograph, Petitioning and People Power in Twentieth-Century Britain, in collaboration with Cristina Leston-Bandeira (Leeds), Anna Bocking-Welch (Liverpool), and Richard Huzzey (Durham), which stems from our AHRC-ESRC research project of the same name (AH/T003847/1, 2020-23).

My broader interest in the comparative history of petitions and petitioning was developed through my role as Principal Investigator of an AHRC Research Network on the topic (AH/R008868/1, 2018-19). This drew together historians, social and political scientists, legal and literary scholars from across fourteen countries, as well as officials from the UK and Scottish Parliaments, as well as NGO professionals to consider the role of petitions and petitioning in Europe and North America from the late medieval period to the present era of e-petitions. An edited book based on the Network will be published as Petitions and Petitioning in Europe and North America: From the Late Medieval Period to the Present by Oxford University Press for the British Academy. I previously edited a special issue of Social Science History (2019) on the comparative history of petitioning in western Europe and North America in the long nineteenth century. 

As part of my future research plans I intend on developing collaborative projects concerning the role of petitions within imperial and post-colonial contexts, and the regional history of power and democracy in Britain over the last two centuries. I am looking forward to collaborating with colleagues on these themes and others.

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 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

History, PhD, History, Queen Mary University of London

25 Sept 200531 Mar 2009

Award Date: 31 Mar 2009

MA, Twentieth-Century British History, Queen Mary University of London

25 Sept 20041 Nov 2005

Award Date: 1 Nov 2005

BA (Hons), History and Politics, University of Nottingham

25 Sept 200031 Jul 2003

Award Date: 8 Jul 2003


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