I've been here since 2000, teaching, supervising, and researching post-1914 British history. With degrees in each, I straddle, more or less comfortably, the disciplines of history and politics, being particularly interested in promoting contemporary history and its applications.
I'm also closely involved in outreach, widening participation, and engagement activities. For the School I’m Senior Tutor (concerned with overseeing pastoral care); for History I’m responsible for careers and alumni matters, and lead visit days and open days; for the University, I chair Insights Public Lectures, I'm vice chair of the student hardship committee, and I'm returning officer for NUSU elections.
Born and raised in north London, I proceeded via secondary education in the home counties, undergraduate study in the west country, doctoral research in east central Scotland, and varied, and increasingly desperate, short-term and hourly contracts and appointments in and around London, before I, gratefully, arrived in the North East.
B.A. (Politics), University of Exeter, 1993
Ph.D (History), University of Glasgow, 1998
Lecturer, Workers’ Educational Association, 1999-
Tutor, Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford, 1999-2000
Archivist, Records Management Department, Public Record Office, Kew, 1999
Ghost-writer and researcher, The Lord Henniker, 1998-2000
Private tutor, history and politics, 1996-2000
Tutor, Department of Politics, University of Glasgow, 1994-1997
Tutor, Department of History, University of Glasgow 1994-1997
Royal Historical Society
Workers' Educational Association
Cricket, football, music, books, travel, real ale, wine
POL1000 Theory and Method in Politics and History
HIS1029 Varieties of History
HIS1030 Evidence and Argument (Bombing Germany 1940-2013)
HIS2124 A History of Contemporary Britain
HIS3030 History and Society
HIS3010 Writing History
HIS8105 Reform and Resistance in British history
HIS8025 Pathway in British History
HIS8098 Dissertation Training
M.Litt, M.Phil, Ph.D supervision
Supervision in any aspects of British history since the First World War.
HIS3008 Reading History (Correlli Barnett, The Lost Victory; Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians)
HIS3120 British Foreign Policy since Suez
HIS8024 The Practice of History
HIS3082 British Politics in the First World War
HIS3088 Labour in Power 1974-79
ART8000 Faculty Research Training
HIS8000 Research Methods in History
Twentieth century and contemporary British politics
I welcome enquiries from prospective research students in any aspects of British politics and public life since 1914.
I've recently published articles on Liberal politics in the First World War, the 1918 General Election, and the Labour Party and strategic bombing in the Second World War, and have co-edited two volumes on the British Abroad which came out with Palgrave in October 2013: Travellers and Tourists and Experiencing Imperialism, in the former of which I've a chapter on British mass tourism.
I'm writing articles about the deaths of Hugh Gaitskell and John Smith, Labour leaders and religion since 1935, and the film Oh! What a Lovely War. I'm also preparing a project concerned with internationalising Thatcherism: Margaret Thatcher's World. In 2014 I wasprincipal investigator for the North East and Cumbria on the AHRC/BBC project 'Our Place in the First World War'. I also interview former MPs for the History of Parliament Oral History Project.
Bridget Plowden and broadcasting policy
The Labour Party since 1964
The McKenna Papers, and the hotly-anticipated second volume of the biography.
-TV: BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC News, ITN, UKTV History, Tyne Tees TV, Dene Films, Border TV, More4, Press TV (Iran), Al Jazeera (London), Nippon Hoso Kyokai (Japan), FNN News (Japan).
-Radio: BBC World Service, BBC Radio Four, BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Newcastle, BBC Radio Gloucester, BBC Three Counties Radio, BBC Radio Sunderland, BBC Radio Leeds, Metro Radio (Newcastle), Talksport, Newstalk (Ireland), Newstalk 93 FM (Jamaica), HOT102 FM (TODAY with Beverley Manley) (Jamaica), Polskie Radio PR1 (Poland), VIP Radio, SPARK FM, CityTalk FM.
-Contributor: BBC History Magazine, The Times, The Guardian, The Journal, The Northern Echo, The Evening Chronicle, MSN.
-Interviewee: New York Times, New York Daily News, Toronto Star, Christian Science Monitor, Sunday Sun, CSN News, The Independent, Daily Mirror, The Sun, News of the World, Sunday Express, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Sunday Herald, Yorkshire Post, Harpers, O Globo (Brazil), Netherlands Press Association, Dziennik (Poland), Wprost (Poland), Pravda, Associated Press, Bloomberg, International Herald Tribune, Folha de S.Paulo (Brazil), Rzeczpospolita (Poland), Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan), Mainichi Shimbun (Japan), To Vima (Greece).
Simon Craig (PhD), R. A. Butler and Conservative Politics, 1939-1945
Stephen King (PhD), The Ministerial Career of Tony Crosland, 1964-1977
Collette McKenna (MLitt), A Prime Minister and her Foreign Secretaries, 1979-90
David Thom (PhD), The Military Service Tribunals of the First World War
Andrew Marriott (PhD), Trench Art of the North East: Material Culture, Memory and Perception from the First World War to the Present
Nick Cott (PhD), Liberal Recruits to the Conservative Party, 1918-31
Melinda Sutton (PhD), The Labour Party and Northern Ireland, 1969-97
David Thompson (MLitt), The Durham Light Infantry in the First World War
Gordon Beckwith (MLitt), British Defence Policy since 1945
Adam Gillett (MLitt), British Party Politics, 1910-24
Gordon Leigh (MLitt), Newcastle Jewry, 1900-2000
Dean Blackburn (MLitt), The centre-left of British party politics, 1972-87
Gordon Kell (MLitt), Manpower, Empire and Warfare, 1890-22
John Shackleton (MLitt), Trades Unions and the Labour Party, 1906-2009
Lisa Snoxell (MLitt), Women and British politics, 1901-18
Andriana Georgiou (MLitt), Fascism in Britain, 1932-40
Steven Bainbridge (MLitt), The Conservative Party and Thatcherism
Stephen Dippnall (MLitt), The Labour Party and the U.S.A., 1945-2010
David Linden (MLitt), The ‘New Right’ in Britain, 1970-90
Urban regeneration and the policy process, 1970-79, The Transformation of Urban Britain since 1945, Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester, 9 July 2013
John Smith and Hugh Gaitskell, Modern British History Conference, Edinburgh University, 11 June 2013
Death and Labour: the cases of Hugh Gaitskell and John Smith, British Scholar Conference, Austin Texas, 22 March 2013
'The Politics of Bombing: Harris, Sinclair and the RAF bomber offensive', Airpower and Archives Workshop, RAF Museum, Hendon, 22 March 2013
‘Margaret Thatcher’s World’, Leeds University, Department of History, research seminar, 31 October 2012.
Margaret Thatcher’s World, Conference on Modern British History, University of Stirling, 19 June 1012
‘Beyond the Grave: The Legacy of International Activists in a Transnational Context. The Case of Flora Tristan, Guido Miglioli, Ellen Wilkinson and Emile Pouget, European Social Science History Conference, Glasgow, 11-14 April 2012, chair and discussant
‘The Labour Party and Bombing in the Second World War’, British Scholar Conference, Austin, Texas, March 2011.
‘South Wales and the General Election of 1918’, University of Wales, Newport, research seminar, 23 March 2011.
‘Reginald McKenna and the 1918 Election’, Années de Gloire – Années de Déclin: le Parti Libéral Britannique, 1906-1924, Colloque International, Université de Rouen, 13-14 January 2011
‘Historicizing British Culture, Nostalgia, and Consciousness in the Twentieth Century’, Chair and Discusssant, British Scholar Conference, Austin, Texas, USA, 27 March 2010.
‘Barabbas chosen’: war and the cultural shift, 1916-1919; British Scholar Conference, University of Texas at Austin, Texas, USA, 20 February 2009.
‘Liberals, War and Peace, 1916-1919’, Southern Conference on British Studies, New Orleans, Louisiana, 10 October 2008.
‘Reginald McKenna: a Study in Ministerial Liberalism’, The 1906 Election and the legacy of the Last Liberal Governments, Colloquium, Institute of Historical Research, London, 1 July 2006.
‘Politicians at War: Crisis and Methodology’, Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies, 26 March 2006, University of California, Irvine, USA.
‘High Politics in an Age of Devolution’, Northeast Conference on British Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 22 October 2005, USA.
‘Bridget Plowden and the IBA’, The History of the Media, 19th Annual Summer Centre for Contemporary British History Conference, Senate House, University of London, 29 June-1 July 2005.
‘S.W.1 and Devolution: the Centre Circumscribing the Periphery’, New Directions in Modern British Political History, c. 1867-2005, Institute for Historical Research, London, 8 April 2005.
'Cann MacKenna in Edwardian Britain’, Fifth Australian Celtic Conference, University of Sydney, Australia, 22 July 2004.
‘The Wartime Career of Josiah Wedgwood’, (Discussant), Second European Conference in First World War Studies, Maison Française, University of Oxford, 23 & 24 June 2003.
‘Reginald McKenna: A Study in Historiography’, Western Conference on British Studies, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, 5 October 2002.
‘Politicians at War 1915-1916’, at Power, Personality and Persuasion: The Impact of the Individual on British Politics since 1867, University of Manchester, 26 June 2002.
‘The Bank and Midland: City politics between the wars’, at The Power to Influence: The British Government and the City of London, University of Durham, September 2001.
‘The Prism of British Strategy 1915-1916’, Mars in Ascendant: The Great War and the Twentieth Century, Imperial War Museum, August 2001.
‘Pomp and Circumstance: The Diamond Jubilee of 1897’, The 1890s, University of Newcastle, July 2001.
Associate Editor, British Scholar Society
Reader for Routledge, Blackwell, Cambridge University Press, Labour History Review, Journal of Historical Biography, Britain and the World
External Examiner, BA History, University of Wales, Newport
British, Britain, political history, politics, government, institutions, parties, media, foreign policy, monarchy