I studied at the Universities of Kiel (Germany), Arizona and New Mexico (both in the United States), and Liverpool. Before coming to Swansea, I taught at Liverpool and Leeds Universities.

Current Research

I am currently working on two projects relating to the last decade of the Cold War.

(1) The first area of my current research concerns professional activism in the Cold War, and combines my long-standing interests in the histories of the Cold War, nuclear culture, transnationalism, and science and technology with a new investigation into the social history of medicine. This project explores medical activism against nuclear weapons in Britain, West Germany and the United States, during the 1980s, through the lens of the key transnational organization of the medical anti-nuclear-weapons movement – the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) – and its affiliates in Britain, the United States and West Germany. This new study of transnational networks of medical activists will provide urgently-needed critical insight into professional activism and its cultural and social impacts in different national contexts. I am currently completing a first pilot study on the British part of the project that received generous support from the Wellcome Trust.

(2) My second area of research addresses uncertainty about the anticipated effects of nuclear war in Britain during the period of the so-called Second Cold War from 1979 to 1985. At present, I am working on a micro history that examines the epistemological uses of this uncertainty by a range of different actors, including the government, political and extra-parliamentary groups, as well as experts from a range of different disciplines and popular media.
In addition, I continue with my research in the area of film, television and history and have recently started to develop a new interest in the role of canals in global and maritime history.

Areas of Expertise

  • Modern Britain, Germany and the United States
  • The Cold War
  • The Nuclear Age
  • Transnational History
  • The History of Science, Technology and Medicine
  • Film, TV and History
  • Historical Peace Research
  • British-German Relations

Publications

  1. Transnational Professional Activism and the Prevention of Nuclear War in Britain. Journal of Social History
  2. SCIENTISTS, THE PUBLIC, THE STATE, AND THE DEBATE OVER THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN HEALTH EFFECTS OF NUCLEAR TESTING IN BRITAIN, 1950–1958. The Historical Journal 59(01), 221-251.
  3. & ‘Geschichtsdarstellung – Geschichtsaneignung: Emotionale Gedächtnisaktivierung am Beispiel des TV-Eventfilms Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter (ZDF 2013)’ [‘Representing History – Appropriating History: Emotional Memory Activation in the TV Historical Event Film Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter (ZDF 2013)’]. Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 46(2/3), 179-204.
  4. Elemental Germans. Klaus Fuchs, Rudolf Peierls and the Making of British Nuclear Culture, 1939-1959. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  5. & (Eds.). British Nuclear Culture.

See more...

Teaching

  • HI-M39 Research Folder

    This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • HIH272 The Cold War

    The Cold War dominated much of the second half of the twentieth century. While tensions between the two superpowers over the status of Berlin or during the Cuban missile crisis bore the potential of escalating into a nuclear war, the Cold War did not turn hot with the exception of proxy wars in Korea, Vietnam or Afghanistan. Instead, it remained by and large an `imaginary war¿ (Mary Kaldor). This second year option examines this crucial period in twentieth-century history within a global perspective, shedding light on different arenas in which the Cold War was fought, including its origins, its impact on the `Third World¿, science and technology, sports, popular culture, gender, consumerism and lifestyle as well as its manifold legacies that can be felt to the present day (e.g. political and environmental). The course introduces students to chief debates and key secondary literature as well as a wide range of primary sources, including government documents, newspapers and magazines as well as popular culture and visual arts.

  • 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.

  • HIH3326 Britain since 1945

    While Britain emerged from the Second World War as one of the victor powers, the conflict left a deep mark on the country. By the end of the war, the British government was virtually bankrupt, and in foreign affairs Whitehall faced Britain¿s relegation into the second division of world powers within the emerging bi-polar world order of the Cold War. Despite the difficult economic situation, consecutive British governments pushed an ambitious programme for social reform at home and attempted to regain power in international relations through the acquisition of nuclear weapons. This third year option examines society, culture and politics in Britain since 1945. Through a variety of primary and secondary sources, we will be studying key events and developments in postwar Britain, in particular changes in the role of the state and the success or failure of social and economic policies, the Cold War and the wider international relationships ¿ either European or transatlantic ¿ within which Britain has pursued its interests, aspects of social change in the 1950s and 1960s (e.g. gender roles, postwar affluence and student protests), the impact of decolonization and immigration on postwar British society, the Irish question and devolution as well as Thatcherism.

  • 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.

Supervision

  • Battles for Breath: A comparative historical analysis of responses to coal workers' pneumoconiosis in South Wales and Central Appalachia, 1968-1985 (current)

    Student name:
    MA
    Other supervisor: Prof David Turner
    Other supervisor: Dr Christoph Laucht
  • 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

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Director of MA in History - College of Arts and Humanities

    2015 - Present

  • Unfair Practice Officer - Department of History and Classics

    2013 - 2015

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2015 Present Senior Lecturer in Modern History Swansea University
2013 2015 Lecturer in Modern History Swansea University
2011 2013 Lecturer in 20th Century History British History University of Leeds
2010 2011 Lecturer in History University of Liverpool

External Responsibilities

  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society

    2014 - Present

  • Book Review Editor, H-Soz-und-Kult

    2013 - Present

  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy

    2016 - Present

Key Grants and Projects

Research Groups