I am a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus.
After graduating with a double first class BA (Hons) degree in 2002, I continued to develop my interdisciplinary interest with an MSc in International Relations at the London School of Economics (2002-2003). The draw of history, however, remained strong and I returned to Trinity in October 2003 to begin my PhD under the supervision of Professor John Horne. I was awarded two major scholarships – the R.B. McDowell-Ussher Fellowship from Trinity College, Dublin (2003-2006) and the R.H.S. Centenary Fellowship from the Institute of Historical Research (2006-2007). My thesis examined popular responses to the outbreak of the First World War in Britain and Ireland in order to challenge over simplifications such as ‘war enthusiasm’ in the British case and ‘war disenchantment’ in the Irish case. In 2008 I was appointed Lecturer in Modern History at Cardiff University. In September 2009 I took up my current position as Lecturer in History at the University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus. I am currently the 2011 An Foras Feasa Visiting Fellow at NUI Maynooth, Ireland. In April 2013, I was promoted to the position of Senior Lecturer.
My research focuses on the cultural history of war, particularly the First World War. I am interested in how familial and local experiences of the war can help us understand the broader framework of this unprecedented global conflict. My first monograph based on my doctoral research examines popular responses in Britain and Ireland to the outbreak of the First World War and is due out with Oxford University Press in March 2012. In my next project, funded by the British Academy, I continue my interest in the Irish participation in the war by examining the home and fighting front experiences of the 36th (Ulster) and 16th (Irish) divisions during the Somme offensives of 1916 and March 1918, as well as the 1918 Conscription Crisis. Moving beyond the First World War, I would like to develop my interest in the post-war Middle East, particularly the British mandate period in Palestine, Iraq and Transjordan, to examine imperial control in practice and the question of ‘power’ behind the mandated thrones.