Personal profile

Personal profile

I joined Royal Holloway in September 2014 as Lecturer in Modern American History. I completed my PhD at the University of Manchester, where I also obtained an MA in American Studies. My undergraduate education was completed at the University of Southampton, where I studied for a BA in History. 

I am a convenor for the North American History seminar hosted by the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) and was a committee member of British American Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH) from 2012 to 2014. I remain a member of BrANCH, and I am currently serving as book reviews editor for American Nineteenth Century History, a Routledge/Taylor & Francis journal that is affiliated with BrANCH. I'm also a member of the British Association for American Studies (BAAS), the Society of Civil War Historians and the Southern Historical Association. 

Research interests

I am a historian of nineteenth-century America with specific research interests in the Civil War era and the society and culture of the U.S. South.

My current project, which is an extension of my Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded doctoral research, is a monograph exploring the interconnected issues of family, community and loyalty in Confederate South Carolina. In particular, my research endeavours to understand the fluid nature of political loyalty, the idiosyncratic ways in which individuals prioritise their respective allegiances to family, community, state and nation within the crucible of war. By using the upcountry region of South Carolina as a case study, a locale which avoided military invasion for virtually the entirety of the Civil War, my research also sheds light on how occupation (or the lack of it) impinged upon Confederate loyalty and identity. I spent three months in the spring of 2018 as a visiting Fulbright American Studies Scholar at the University of South Carolina conducting additional research for this project.

I envision my future research exploring the complex relationships between military service, ideas about citizenship and political status in Civil War America. It will do so by evaluating the responses to and debates surrounding draft and conscription legislation in the Union and Confederacy, as well as by weighing up what it meant to avoid military service both during the war and in the years following it. Some of my early thoughts on this subject, as they relate to the Confederacy's substitution exemption and its ultimate repeal, can be found in my 2018 Journal of the Civil War Era article. I will be working on this research project as an AHRC placement scholar at the Library of Congress's John W. Kluge Center during the summer of 2020.

My other research and teaching interests include -

* Antebellum slavery and slave culture.
* Historical memory (particularly in relation to the American Civil War).
* The history of race, racial ideologies and whiteness.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions