In 2016 I started my current role at the Open University, as a Staff Tutor and Lecturer in History. This involves designing and writing new modules, coordinating existing provision and line managing Associate Lecturers, and publishing research which will inform future developments in the curriculum.
Previously I was a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University and before that I worked as a Lecturer at Cardiff University. Prior to that I held concurrent roles as a Research Associate at the University of South Wales and a Faculty Manager and Associate Lecturer at the OU. My doctorate in History was awarded by the University of Glasgow and I also hold an MA in History from Cardiff University.
My primary interests relate to the ways in which ideas about the past have helped to shape identities in Britain from the eighteenth century to the present day. My 2014 monograph, entitled Cosmo Innes and the Defence of Scotland's Past c.1825-1875, took a detailed look at that theme with regard to nineteenth-century Scotland. I have also published on modern views of Gerald of Wales, the development of medievalism studies, and representations of the old Scottish parliament in the devolution era.
I am currently working on the following research projects:
I am also convener for the research group 'Britain and Ireland: Connections and Contexts' in the OU's History Department.
I currently chair A329, the Making of Welsh History., and led on its creation in 2016 and 2017. This is an innovative online dissertation module which gives students the opportunity to use Wales as a microcosm through which to explore some of the big themes in European history over the past thousand years. I also supervise the UK-wide delivery of A327, Europe 1914-1989: War, Peace and Modernity.
In addition, I have taught or been a module team member on the following OU modules:
At Cardiff University and Cardiff Met I taught various topics related to British cultural and intellectual history in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These include modules on national identities, imperialism, medievalism, heritage studies and historical theory. Whilst at Cardiff University I also acted as pedagogic advisor on the institution’s first MOOC.
Over the last few years I have been involved in various research impact, community engagement and widening access activities. These include producing articles and courses for Openlearn, radio work, writing for newspapers, magazines and websites, and delivering public lectures, workshops and seminars. From 2012 to 2015 I ran the Exploring the Past pathway at Cardiff University, which provided a route through which adult learners without formal qualifications could progress directly onto degrees in History, Archaeology and Religious Studies. In the same period I convened the Exploring the Past Public Lecture Series and was involved with Cardiff University's CAER Heritage Project, winner of the 2014 Engage Prize from the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.