I was awarded my doctorate by the University of Manchester in 2005, the same year I began working at Oxford Brookes. Besides teaching and writing on the history of modern Britain, I also act as Postgraduate Research Tutor for the Department of History, Philosophy and Religion.
I am currently completing a book on Victorian and Edwardian public health, entitled Governing Systems: Modernity and the Making of Public Health in England, 1830-1910. The aim is to rethink the contested, contingent development of public health during this period by foregrounding its novel temporal (reflexive) and spatial (trans-local) dynamics, and the way it evolved—to put it crudely—through a dual empowerment of experts and members of the public.
My next project will be on secrecy and modernity in England, c. 1750 to 1950, and the inclusion within various systems of governance (political, legal, sexual and commercial in particular) of ‘corrupt’ elements, agents and practices – bribery, spying, prostitution and fraud, for instance. Paradoxically, it was elements of this sort, otherwise thought of as evil and pathological, which allowed these systems to function at all – that, at least, is the working hypothesis!