I took my BA and PhD degrees at Trinity College Dublin, and was also a postdoctoral research fellow there between 2012 and 2015. I served as the Associate Director of TCD’s Centre for War Studies between 2012 and 2014 and was an adjunct lecturer at Maynooth University in 2015 before taking up the position of Lecturer in Modern History at Swansea University in September 2015.

My doctoral and postdoctoral research focused on the cultural history of the First World War and its impact upon universities and transnational intellectual communities and this formed the basis of my two monographs. My current research examines the role of intellectuals, intellect, and expertise in the conceptualisation of peace in inter-war Europe, with a particular focus on the work of the League of Nations. I am also researching the life of the Irish polymath, John Pentland Mahaffy.

I was an Ussher fellow at Trinity College from 2007-2010 and was awarded a Postgraduate Scholarship by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences for the year 2010-2011. In 2009 I was awarded a scholarship by the Historial de la Grande Guerre at Péronne (Somme). In 2013 I was a Craig C. Dobbin visiting research fellow at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. I was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2015.

Publications

  1. Scholarly identities in war and peace: the Paris Peace Conference and the mobilization of intellect. Journal of Global History 11(03), 365-386.
  2. National Survival and International Expansion: French Universities and the First World War. In Jahrbuch für Universitätsgeschichte. (pp. 143-162). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.
  3. A man called Mahaffy: an Irish cosmopolitan confronts crisis, 1899-1919. Historical Research 89(246), 846-865.
  4. From international to inter-allied: transatlantic university relations in the era of the First World War, 1905–1920.. Journal of Transatlantic Studies 13(4), 311-325.
  5. Trinity in War and Revolution 1912-23. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy Press.

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Teaching

  • HI-M80 Directed Reading in History

    Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.

  • HIH121 Europe of Extremes: 1789 - 1989

    The nineteenth century saw the rise of a western European civilization, characterized, as Eric Hobsbawm has noted, by capitalist economics, liberal politics, and the dominance of a middle class that celebrated morality and science. In the twentieth century this civilization faced unprecedented challenges from new political ideologies, and from a working class demanding the right to govern in its own name. The result was an eruption of violence not seen on the continent for centuries; in its wake, the Cold War divided the Europe with an Iron Curtain, and saw the continent become the client of two world superpowers ¿ the USA and the Soviet Union. This team-taught module relies on the specialist knowledge of its tutors to examine economic, political and social themes in the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century Europe.

  • HIH122 Making History

    History is an imprecise art and what historians say and write about the past is not the same as what actually happened in the past. Most people's knowledge about the past doesn't come from professional historians at all but rather from 'public history'. Public history is the collective understandings of the past that exist outside academic discipline of history. It is derived from a diverse range of sources including oral traditions, legends, literature, art, films and television. This module will introduce you to the study and presentation of the past. It will consider how the content, aims and methods of academic and public history compare and contrast and you will engage in your own small research project to investigate this. The module will also teach you about the fundamentals of studying and writing history at university. You will learn about essay writing, group work and critical analysis and employ these skills to understand and assess history today, both as an academic activity and as public knowledge.

  • HIH124 Modern British History

    This module explores the broad sweep of the history of the United Kingdom since its modern creation in 1801. It brings together different approaches from political, economic, social and cultural history to consider the different ways the history of a nation can be studied. At the module's heart are questions of what constitutes a nation and the extent to which British society can be considered to be unified.

  • HIH237 The Practice of History

    The purpose of the module is to encourage you to think more deeply about how historians work and, in particular, about how we as historians can locate and use primary historical sources effectively as a means of interpreting and understanding the past. During the module we will learn about the survival of historical evidence, how it is organised and made accessible to historians to undertake their research, and how to effectively locate and interpret it in your studies. We will consider how the process of doing historical research changes over time, in particular with the impact of recent developments like digitization. At the core of the module will be the work you undertake with others in your seminar group using a range of primary sources which your seminar tutor will introduce to you. As part of the module assessment you will also undertake your own primary source based research project using items from these collections. The module is designed strengthen your analytical skills and to help prepare you for the more extensive uses of primary evidence which you will encounter in final year special subjects and dissertation.

  • HIH274 Conflict & Memory: Europe in the Twentieth Century

    Collective memories of conflict and death were powerful historical forces in twentieth-century Europe. This module considers how popular and scholarly understandings of the past shaped debate, attitudes and decisions from the start of the First World War to the end of the Cold War. It addresses the pronouncements of politicians and the output of artists, as well as public debate about the work of historians. Co-taught by lecturers with expertise in comparative history, the module covers a range of countries and conflicts spanning Europe¿s turbulent twentieth century. Case studies to be examined in detail include the commemoration of conflict after 1918, the role of historical narratives in the articulation of ideologies of the interwar period, the development of a collective memory of the Holocaust, and the salience of memory and commemoration during the Cold War. Students will develop an appreciation of the different concepts, approaches and sources historians use to explore collective memories. The module will also explore cultural and political aspects of the current ¿commemorative fever¿ which has gripped Europe in the twenty-first century

  • HIH3300 History Dissertation

    The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.

  • HIH3339 Internationalism, War and Peace: Europe 1900-1933, Part I

    The twin issues of war and peace dominated Europe from the turn of the twentieth century. The threat of war has traditionally been presented as the result of rising national rivalries. However, this period was also one in which the world became increasingly inter-connected and modern internationalism was born, which was, in turn, seen as a guarantor of peace. This module examines how internationalist ideas evolved in the early 1900s, how they were undermined in 1914 with the outbreak of the First World War, how they were reborn again in the 1920s through the work of the League of Nations, before failing once more in the mid-to-late 1930s. The module encourages students to think critically about terms such as nationalism and internationalism and the relationship between them, as well as how war and peace have been understood and justified at different points in history.

  • HIH3340 Internationalism, War and Peace: Europe, 1900-1933, Part II

    The twin issues of war and peace dominated Europe from the turn of the twentieth century. The threat of war has traditionally been presented as the result of rising national rivalries. However, this period was also one in which the world became increasingly inter-connected and modern internationalism was born, which was, in turn, seen as a guarantor of peace. This module examines how internationalist ideas evolved in the early 1900s, how they were undermined in 1914 with the outbreak of the First World War, how they were reborn again in the 1920s through the work of the League of Nations, before failing once more in the mid-to-late 1930s. The module encourages students to think critically about terms such as nationalism and internationalism and the relationship between them, as well as how war and peace have been understood and justified at different points in history.

  • HIH3358 Changed Utterly? The Irish Revolution, 1912-23

    In 1912 Ireland was an integral part of the British Empire and the Union which bound the United Kingdom together. By 1923, the island of Ireland had been partitioned, with 26 southern counties now constituting an independent Free State, while six northern counties now formed a new entity known as Northern Ireland. In the intervening years, the island of Ireland had experienced the trauma of the First World War, the shock of a nationalist rebellion in Dublin in 1916, the outbreak of a War of Independence between 1919 and 1921, and a bitter Civil War between 1922 and 1923. In the words of W.B. Yeats all was `changed, changed utterly.¿ This module will explore the political, cultural, and social changes of this period in Irish and British history. Looking at primary source accounts of the period, it will examine issues such as how the future of Ireland was imagined in 1912; different forms of nationalism and unionism; Irish involvement in the First World War; the righteousness of the Easter Rising; the role of women in political activism; the contentious events of the War of Independence and Civil War; the consequences of Irish independence for Britain and the British Empire. It will also encourage students to think about how divisive historical events should be remembered. This module will be 40% political history, 30% cultural history, and 30% social history.

  • HIHD00 Heritage Dissertation (Practice-Based)

    This module affords students the opportunity to complete their MA in Heritage by undertaking a practical heritage project. The project, worth 67% of the marks, may be undertaken independently, or via a placement with a heritage project or organisation. It will be accompanied by a reflective commentary worth 33% of the marks.

  • HIHD01 Heritage Dissertation (Written)

    Students produce a dissertation on a heritage topic, chosen and developed in conjunction with their supervisor in line with the standard College MA requirements.

  • HIHM04 Heritage Work Placement

    This module enables students to gain practical experience of working with a heritage organisation or project in a graduate-level role. Placements may involve the acquisition of skills in museum work, community projects, heritage interpretation and policy (but are not restricted to these areas). Group discussion and individual tutorials will support students in preparing an extended essay reflecting on their work experience in the context of literature on heritage and public history.

  • HIHX202 Lingnan University, Hong Kong

    This module is delivered at Lingnan University Hong Kong, for those students who partipate in an Exchange Programme

  • HIHX213 City University, Hong Kong

    This Module is delivered at City University Hong Kong, for those students who participate in an Exchange Programme.

  • HIHX220 Hong Kong Baptist University

    This module is delivered at Hong Kong Baptist University, for those students who partipate in an Exchange Programme

  • HIHX221 Hong Kong Baptist University

    This module is delivered at Hong Kong Baptist University, for those students who partipate in an Exchange Programme

  • HIHX222 Hong Kong Baptist University

    This module is delivered at Hong Kong Baptist University, for those students who partipate in an Exchange Programme

  • HIHX223 Hong Kong Baptist University

    This module is delivered at Hong Kong Baptist University, for those students who partipate in an Exchange Programme

  • HIHX230 University of New Brunswick

    This module is delivered at University of New Brunswick, for those students who partipate in an Exchange Programme

  • HIHX231 University of New Brunswick

    This module is delivered at University of New Brunswick, for those students who partipate in an Exchange Programme

  • HIHX232 University of New Brunswick

    This module is delivered at University of New Brunswick, for those students who partipate in an Exchange Programme

Supervision

  • Student experience at Swansea University, 1920-1990 (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Louise Miskell
    Other supervisor: Dr Tomas Irish
  • Science and Universities Swansea 1920-2020 (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Christoph Laucht
    Other supervisor: Dr Tomas Irish
    Other supervisor: Dr Adam Mosley