I joined the University of Glasgow in 2020 where I contribute to teaching on both the Global Economy and GLOCAL masters programmes as well as the undergraduate Economic and Social History degree. I am presently developing projects based around understanding energy transitions, decarbonisation and connections between fuel sources, arguments for Scottish independence and economic justice. My monograph, Coal Country: The Meaning and Memory of Deindustrialization in Postwar Scotland, was published by the University of London Press as part of the Institute of Historical Research and the Royal Historical Society's ‘New Historical Perspectives’ series in 2021. It is available to read on an open access basis. I also recently published research on 'Scotland's faltering green industrial revolution', which critiques successes in renewable electricity generation and failures to achieve the anticipated industrial benefits this transformation promised.
My research has consistently focussed on the link between long-term economic developments and changes in politics and culture. I was awarded an MA (first class honours) in Economic and Social History from the University of Glasgow before completing a masters in Global Economy (with distinction) and then obtaining a doctorate. My PhD studied deindustrialization and working-class politics in the Scottish coalfields, including an emphasis on collective memory and the long-term consequences of colliery closures. Subsequently, I have developed interests in multinational subsidiaries and energy policy. Through these projects, I have gained expertise in archival research by using the records of government, industry, and the trade union movement as well as ad-hoc physical and digital collections compiled by social movements and campaigning organisations. I also have an established track record of using oral history interviews to understand the enduring significance accorded to work, labour, and industrial closures, and to analyse the construction of 'usable pasts' by heritage activists.
More recently, I have applied these skills to researching the connection between energy politics and arguments for Scottish independence. I am currently completing a project that involves interviewing key informants connected with arguments for Scottish independence since the 1960s alongside archival research on political parties, policymaking and relevant trade unions and social movements. As I complete this project I am starting to develop a larger research agenda on decarbonisation and the UK's long movement out of coal since the 1960s. I will engage in a multi-scalar assessment of how global changes in energy markets and UK-wide shifts in policy affected discrete nations and regions and localities, investigating major changes in energy infrastructure. The focus will be on the role of the state and business as well as how labour and environmental politics shaped those experiences and what we can learn from them as we face a renewed push towards decarbonisation and achieving a 'just transition' in the 2020s and 2030s.
My approach to teaching at all levels emphasises the value of incorporating authentic real-world experiences from diverse student bodies who hold dispersed knowledges and expertise. I also emphasise the value of inclusive group-working and using primary sources and data in teaching. I lectured in social science at the University of the West of Scotland from 2016 to 2020. Whilst there I developed commitments to both interdisciplinary teaching and research. These build on my experience of working with labour heritage groups and developing a secondary school history curriculum in collaboration with colleagues from the school of education. This experienced underlined the value of place-based learning and grounding experiences of global economic changes and questions of economic justice and injustice in case studies that underline international connections to seemingly localised stories.