My interest spans the contemporary history of the German-speaking countries, with a particular focus on sepulchral cultures, regional and national memorialisation, as well as the link between landscape and identity.
PhD, University of York (2006)
MA by Research (Dissertation), University of York (2001)
BA (hons.) in History, University of Kent at Canterbury (1996-1999)
In the past I have taught at Lancaster University, the University of York, and Sunderland University.
Director of Excellence in Learning and Teaching and PGT Director for the School of History, Archaeology and Classics;
My first monograph explores East German sepulchral culture (i.e. cemeteries and their design, organisation of disposal, private and public burial ceremonies, propagation of cremation, communal areas for the internment of urns, gravestone design, etc.) in the second half of the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on the effects of modernisation, secularisation, and the policies of a socialist state, whose regulatory approaches oscillated between administrative disinterest and grand schemes that in turn were regularly resisted and contested by individuals and institutions.
However, my interest is not limited to the GDR or Germany as the field of death, dying, and disposal allows for, indeed necessitates a deeply comparative approach.
I am continuing my research into death after 1945. I am currently working on Socialist thanatology, tragic deaths and accidents in the GDR, as well as the changes to cemeteries in Germany after 1990. In addition, I have for the last four years pursued a second research strand that focuses on the Alps. This work reflects my interest in the relationship between spaces and identities in Central Europe, and the intricate and fascinating relationship between the German-speaking peoples.
I welcome proposals from postgraduates who are interested in any aspect of the political, cultural and social history of Modern Germany, the history of death in Modern Europe and the role of place, space and landscapes in history and identity formation.
HIS1027 Themes in European History
HIS2126 The difficult Fatherland: Remembering Germany's Pasts
HIS3020 Writing History
In postgraduate teaching I generally concentrate on the following three fields:
- "Streetfighting in inter-war Central Europe"
- "Death, Rape and Suicide in Germany in 1945"
- "Poitical Violence in Germany, 1968-1977".