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 Historical Advisor for the National Trust at Quarry Bank Mill. This placement with the National Trust is funded by an ESRC Impact Accelorator Account 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.