I studied as an undergraduate and postgraduate student at the University of Wales Aberystwyth and subsequently held a three-year postdoctoral research post at the University of Dundee. I joined Swansea’s History Department (now History and Classics) in September 2000, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2007, and became Head of Department at the beginning of 2009. I am a member of the Richard Burton Centre for the Study of Wales.

Publications

  1. Intelligent Town. An Urban History of Swansea, 1780-1855. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  2. Doing it for themselves: The Steel Company of Wales and the study of American Industrial Productivity, 1945-1955. Enterprise and Society
  3. Meeting Places: scientific congresses and urban identity in Victorian Britain. Farnham: Ashgate.
  4. (Eds.). The Origins of an industrial region: Robert Morris and the first Swansea copperworks, c.1727-1730. Newport: South Wales Record Society.
  5. From Copperopolis to Coquimbo: international knowledge networks in the copper industry of the 1820s. Welsh History Review 27(1), 92-111.

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Teaching

  • HI-M62 Swansea and the Sea, 1791-1898

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  • 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.

  • HIH253 The Welsh Century: Politics, Nationality and Religion, 1847-1947

    This survey of modern Welsh history from the 1847 report on the state of education in Wales, to the social reforms of the Attlee government at the end of the Second World War, traces the emergence of Welsh identity through key developments such as temperance and the Sunday Closing Act, religion and the disestablishment of the church and the emergence of Welsh national institutions. It considers how Welshness adapted to and intersected with other loyalties, defined by race, gender, class and empire, and it deals with the changing social and cultural scene which saw anglicizing influences alter demographic and linguistic patterns in Wales.

  • 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.

  • HIH3359 Towns and Cities in Modern Britain Part 1

    This two-part special subject examines how economic, cultural, social and demographic changes have played out in urban Britain from the Victorian period to the 1980s. In part 1, we look at the rise of the Victorian town and examine how provincial urban centres became the powerhouses of Britain¿s economic and cultural life. The relationship between towns and industry, class, ethnic and social divides in town life, urban health, civic architecture, science in the city and the uses of urban space are all considered and extensive use will be made of the British Library database `nineteenth century newspapers online¿ to provide primary source material for our studies.

  • HIH3360 Towns and Cities in Modern Britain part 2

    This two-part special subject examines how economic, cultural, social and demographic changes have played out in urban Britain from the Victorian period to the 1980s. In part two of the module, we will trace the fate of towns and cities in twentieth-century Britain. We will assess the impact of war and economic depression on town life and examine the impact of house-building and reconstruction after 1945. We will evaluate how towns were re-shaped around the needs of the motor-car and the rise of new manufacturing industries in the post war-period and, in the latter decades of the twentieth century, the part played by cultural and heritage-led regeneration schemes in urban rejuvenation. Primary sources will include photographic material, town plans, publicity brochures and local government publications.

  • 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.

Supervision

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

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Tomas Irish
  • The history and heritage of Swansea's copper industry and the development of interpretation of the Hafod-Morfa copperworks through the application of mobile digital technology. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Leighton James
  • The Social and Economic Changes in the Pontardawe Area in the 19th and 20th Centruries with specific reference to the Lloyd and Gilbertson families. (current)

    Student name:
    MPhil
    Other supervisor: Dr Martin Johnes
  • Correcting Vision in Nineteenth Century Britain (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof David Turner
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Martin Johnes
  • The effect of the campaign for the disestablishment of the Church in Wales upon the development of national feeling in Wales (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Richard Parry
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Martin Johnes
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Martin Johnes