- Primary position:
- Professor of American History
- Other positions:
- Director, Centre for Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies, History Combined Honours coordinator (inc. Modern History and Politics)
I specialise in the history of the United States from 1945 to 1980. In particular, I am interested in exploring modern American political, social and cultural responses to some of the larger questions of human existence. This theme links my doctoral work on nuclear diplomacy with subsequent studies of memory and catastrophe, wartime atrocities, crime and punishment, religion and space exploration, and with my current research into the cultural history of the ‘big bang’ theory.
I co-convene the Institute of Historical Research US History Seminar in London. From 2007 to 2011, I served as a founding member of the steering committee of Historians of the Twentieth-Century United States (HOTCUS). I currently serve as Director of the Centre for Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies.
The University of Southampton's electronic library (e-prints)
My third book, To Touch the Face of God: the Sacred, the Profane and the American Space Program, 1957-75, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in January 2013. Research for the book was facilitated by a British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship (2007-8).
I am now developing a project exploring the cultural history of the ‘big bang' theory of the universe's origins. This project has received generous financial support from the American Philosophical Society, the American Institute of Physics and the Dibner History of Science Program at the Huntington Library.
I also have a strong interest in the history of American evangelicalism, with particular emphasis upon evangelicals and prison ministry at home and abroad. The Centre for Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies will be hosting a conference - ‘Towards the Ends of the Earth: Exploring the Global History of American Evangelicalism 1840-2010' - in April 2014.
- HIST1015: McCarthyism
- HIST2064: The Space Age
- HIST3069: The Vietnam War in American History and Memory
- HIST6071: Religion and Public Life in Cold War America
Areas where I can offer postgraduate supervision:
Modern U.S. history, particularly the Vietnam War, the history of the American space programme, the history of cosmology, and post-war religion.