I joined The University of Manchester in 2000. Before that I lectured at the University of Keele and Worcester College, Oxford.
I am currently Director of the John Rylands Research Institute and a Historical Advisor for the National Trust at Quarry Bank Mill, funded by an ESRC Impact Accelorator Account placement grant.
I am a member of the ESRC Peer Review College and a member of the History Peer Review College for the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
I am involved in local history and heritage initiatives outside academia. I am chair of Manchester Histories, a charity based at the University of Manchester which works to transform lives through histories and heritage. I am a feoffee at Chetham's and member of the Chetham's Library committee.
Industrial revolution, urban development, small businesses and families, especially in NW England. Eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain; print culture, gender relations.