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About me

I studied History and Politics at the London School of Economics, the Queen's University of Belfast, the Polytechnic of Central London and the University of Kent at Canterbury. After a career in industry, I joined the University of Westminster's teaching staff in 1993. I was formerly course leader on the BA (Hons) History degree and Regent Campus Principal Lecturer in Teaching and Learning.  From 2011 to 2018, I was Head of the Department of History, Sociology and Criminology.  I am now Principal Lecturer in History.

Media queries

I am able to speak to media queries on William Joyce, C19th Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Troubles.

Teaching

I currently teach the following modules:

Modern Ireland: 1868-1922 (2nd year BA (hons) History: This module considers the major developments in Irish history from the failure of the Fenian movement in the 1860s, through the rise of constitutional and cultural nationalism in the later part of the nineteenth-century and the response to those forces of an aggressive Ulster unionism. It seeks to explain the failure of successive British administrations to secure a workable solution to the 'Irish Question' and to help students understand the processes by which the derided extremists of Easter 1916 laid the foundations for a largely independent but divided Ireland by 1922.

The Cinema as a Source for Historians: The aim of this module is to introduce students to the concept of cinema as a source for historians. The intention is not to provide a history of the cinema, but rather to explore the ways in which the cinema may be used by historians to gain insights into the nature of past societies. Cinema has been widely used as a means of entertainment but also of political indoctrination, and in both these guises it may provide important evidence to be utilised in historical analysis. The module gives due emphasis to the particular strengths, but also the methodological difficulties associated with the use to be made by historians of this uniquely fascinating source.

Research

I was one of the original graduates of David Welch's Centre for the Study of Propaganda at the University of Kent.  My PhD was on British public opinion during the last war and in particular on the attempt by the Nazis to subvert British morale via radio propaganda.  My book, 'Nazi Wireless Propaganda' was developed out of it.

I continued to work subsequently on wartime propaganda, but as my teaching interests became more specialised, I began working on Irish history also.  I have published on nineteenth-century sectarian grievances (particularly around street preaching) and propaganda in the Irish War of Independence.  I published a controversial study on anti-terrorist policy in Northern Ireland  and an article on television coverage of civil rights march in Derry in October 1968.  My next publication (currently under review) focuses on British reactions to the 1979 visit to Ireland of Pope John Paul II.  I am now working on behind-the-scenes relationships between the Northern Ireland Office and the 'Peace People'.

Publications

For details of all my research outputs, visit my WestminsterResearch profile.