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I have recently rejoined Durham as Associate Professor (Research), working with Richard Huzzey, Cristina Leston-Bandeira (Leeds) and Anna Bocking-Welch (Liverpool) on the AHRC-ESRC Petitioning and People Power in Twentieth-Century Britain project (2020-23, AH/T003847/1).

My main research interests are the political culture and social history of modern Britain. My work has been published in leading journals such as Past & PresentEnglish Historical ReviewHistorical JournalSocial Science HistoryHistorical Research, and Cultural and Social History, among others. My first book, Politics personified: portraiture, caricature and visual culture in Britain, 1830-1880 was published by Manchester University Press in 2015.

My next book, A Nation of Petitioners: Petitions and Petitioning in the United Kingdom, 1780-1918 will published by Cambridge University Press in 2023, as part of their Modern British Histories series. This monograph will be a path-breaking study of UK political culture framed within a comparative context that addresses major debates within social and political science about representation, democratisation and collective action. The book will show how the ancient practice of petitioning was transformed into a mighty mechanism for mass politics in an era of democratisation but not democracy. 

The book draws on research from the 'Re-thinking petitions, Parliament, and people in the long nineteenth century, 1780-1918', research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust (2016-19, £367,072), which I led alongside Richard Huzzey. 

Between 2018 and 2019, I was Principal Investigator for the AHRC Research Network on Petitions and Petitioning from the Medieval Period to the Present (£44,253). I led a collaborative network of over fifty scholars from the USA, Europe, Israel and Australia, drawn from across the humanities and social sciences. I am currently editing a book based on the network that will provide the first comparative study of petitions and petitioning from the medieval period to the emergence of e-petitions in the early twenty-first century.

Before joining Durham I was Research Fellow on the History of Parliament Trust’s 1832-1868 House of Commons project (2009-13), and Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century British History (2013-16) and Lecturer in Modern British History (2019-20) at the University of Manchester. I completed my doctoral research at Queen Mary, University of London. 

Research interests

  • Modern British History
  • Petitions in the United Kingdom, c. 1780-1918
  • Popular Politics and Social Movements
  • Print Culture
  • Visual Culture

Esteem Indicators

  • 2020: Winner, Excellence in Academic Research Award, Research Staff Awards, Durham University:
  • 2015: Fellow, Royal Historical Society:


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

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