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Reader in Modern History, University of East Anglia

I am Reader in Modern History here at UEA, and I research and write on minorities, migration and the state. As Britain’s leading historian of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, my work contributes directly to histories of state expansion, migration, ideologies and violence as well as histories of empire, xenophobia and identity. As a social and medical historian I explore intersections between national, imperial and international structures in the regulation of migration, refugee movements, public health and welfare. My books, A Minority and the State: Travellers in Britain in the Twentieth Century (Manchester: MUP, 2008) and Another Darkness, Another Dawn: A History of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers (Reaktion: London, 2014), both construct a history of these communities and set them within wider historical trends and processes. With Ben Rogaly I was part of the ESRC Identities and Social Action programme with our project ‘Deprived white community? Social action in three Norwich estates, 1940-2000’, which resulted in the jointly authored Moving Histories of Class and Community: Identity, Place and Belonging in Contemporary England (Basingstoke, 2009), republished in paperback in April 2011. A Wellcome Institute Research Fellowship for my project ‘Public Health and Outsiders: British responses to refugees in the twentieth century’ has supported my growing interest in refugee histories. and how their reception in Britain sheds light onto broader historical trends, and I am currently writing a book, entitled The Britain they Entered: Refugees to Britain in the Twentieth Century, stemming from this research. This charts the arrival of different cohorts of refugees to Britain, and considers what their arrival can tell us about fundamental changes in British society over the period.

I have an interest in different methodological approaches to history, particularly combining oral histories and archival methodologies and of collaborative interdisciplinary research. I have an established track record of working with policy makers, third sector organisations and community groups and extensive online, radio, television and print media experience communicating the importance of history to general audiences.

I welcome applications from post-graduate students interested in researching histories of the modern state, and minorities, marginalised and vulnerable peoples, including Roma/ Gypsy/ Traveller populations, refugees and migrants.


  • –present
    Reader in Modern History, University of East Anglia