Personal profile

Research overview

I began my PhD in September 2020, having graduated from the University of St Andrews with an MA (Geography and Modern History) in 2019 and MLitt (Environmental History) in 2020. 

My research seeks to establish a "history of spatial history", from the end of the Second World War to the present day. Fundamentally, my historiographical thesis aims to uncover insights into the interrelationship between the disciplines of Geography and History, using 'space' as a conceptual focus.

Definitions of "spatial history" have, since the "spatial turn" of the 1980s, become increasingly intertwined with the rise of GIS technologies as a means of integrating space-based concerns into historical research. However, these trends have been accepted uncritically, and the ways and means via which GIS and spatial history have come to be so closely associated have yet to be deconstructed. 

My project deploys the methodology of the history of science - which takes into account that even apparently "universalised" knowledge is inherently situated somewhere, and is received differently in a variety of national, social, political, and linguistic contexts - to explore the history of spatial history as an approach to studying the past. This involves critical analysis of journals and seminal texts (not least, Henri Lefebvre's La Production de l'espace, the translation of which has been considered something of a milestone in the scholarly "turn" towards space in the Anglophone world). I am also conducting a series of semi-structured interviews with scholars working in the 'borderlands' between geography and history (in sub-fields such as historical geography, environmental history, and the history of science) in order to ascertain what academic, political, and personal factors have driven waxing and waning scholarly engagement with questions of space and geography. Ultimately, my work seeks to emphasise that the history of spatial history is, in itself, inherently spatial, and can only be written as such. 

Alongside my doctoral research, I have tutored on the sub-honours module 'MO1008: Themes in Late Modern History'. I am also co-editor-in-chief of the St Andrews Historical Journal, and co-convenor of the Early Modern and Modern History (EMMH) Forum.