My research and teaching focus on British history since 1750, with particular interest in:
- heroes, heroism, gender & masculinity;
- monarchy, empire & nation;
- the cultural history of modern war;
- the Arctic and Antarctic, exploration & technology.
Although my primary expertise is in British history, I am interested in analysing the networks - European, Imperial, Transatlantic, Global - in which Britons were entangled.
My early career research focused on the explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott, RN, who died while returning from the South Pole in 1912. In a number of publications,I have analysed how heroic reputations are constructed and disseminated in order to offer insights into a range of research questions regarding empire, gender, sexuality, the media and the state.
I am currently working on four related research projects:
1. A new book for Oxford University Press on the changing forms and functions of British heroes over the last three centuries;
2. An article on the networks which constructed the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen as an explorer-hero after his Fram expedition, 1893-96, paying particular attention to commercial circuits;
3. Research networks investigating the 'debunking' of heroes in different national contexts, arising from a SALC-funded workshop, and on aspects of the heroic with the Heroes Centre at the University of Freiburg;
4. A research project on the history of regional geographical societies and changing cultures of exploration.