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About the Centre for History and Public Pasts

The Centre for History and Public Pasts benefits from a highly-respected group of international and interdisciplinary internal and external affiliates.

Internal Affiliates

Dr Mark Donnelly 

Mark Donnelly Co-Directs the Centre. He is an Associate Professor in History. He has published books, articles and essays in the fields of history theory, public history, memory and contemporary cultural politics. He recently contributed essays to two major international collections: What is Public History Globally? Working with the Past in the Present (2019) and Philosophy of History: Twenty-First Century Perspectives (2020). He co-edited Mad Dogs and Englishness: Popular Music and English Identities (2017). He also co-wrote Liberating Histories (2019) and Doing History (2021) with Claire Norton. 


Dr Claire Norton 

Claire Norton teaches and writes about the socio-political, cultural, and ethical functions that different forms of past-talk have in the context of heritage and educational institutions, urban spaces, archives and the media. Recently she has been writing about art as a form of past talk and how it has been used in anti-colonial strategies of resistance and as a means of emphasising structural inequalities implicit in attitudes towards migration. She is also interested in the roles narratives of cultural transfer, hostility and interaction play in identity formation and legitimisation between communities in early modern and modern-day Mediterranean border zones. In this context has written on Ottoman history, nationalism, the Renaissance and conversion to/from Islam.

Dr Judith Bourne

Judith Bourne’s book Gender and Law (with Caroline Derry) was published in 2018.  Her other research areas include Land Law and Equity and Trusts Law.  Judith's primary interest is the legal history of the first women lawyers.  She is also Director of the Centre for Law and Culture, which  is a hub for fostering and promoting research and scholarly activity related to law and culture. 


Mark Griffin

Mark Griffin has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work. He is currently developing projects in partnership with the National Trust which explores ways in which heritage sites can provide a stimulus for community focused storytelling and performance work.


Dr Stewart McCain

Stewart McCain works on the social and cultural history of Western Europe, with a particular focus on the relationships between linguistic diversify and state building in nineteenth century France.  His book The Language Question Under Napoleon (2017) explores the practical development and limits of this dimension of state power in Europe, as well as the responses of local elites and administrators to state demands for monolingualism in key institutions such as schools, the church and the law courts.


Dr Carole Murphy

Carole Murphy is a Senior lecturer in Criminology and Sociology and Deputy Director of the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery (CSMS). She established CSMS with the purpose of providing a comprehensive response to modern slavery and human trafficking across three main areas of activity: Evaluation and Applied Research; Education, Advocacy and Awareness Raising; Prevention, Policy and Practice. Her main research interests are: human trafficking and modern slavery; migration and representation; stigmatised identities; social problems, inequalities, addiction and health/mental health issues.


Prof. Glenn Richardson

Glenn Richardson is Professor of Early Modern History. He has published extensively on Tudor England's political and cultural relations with Continental Europe and on European Renaissance monarchy. His recent books include Wolsey (2020) and The Field of Cloth of Gold (2013).


Dr Neena Samota

Neena Samota is Programme Director for Criminology and Sociology. She has worked in criminal justice research, evaluation and policy development for 15 years. As Policy and Research Manager at Nacro (the crime reduction charity), Neena monitored ethnic disproportionality in the criminal justice process. She has written about stop and search, and race and the criminal justice system. She has given media interviews on policing and ethnic disproportionality in stop and search, as well as expert evidence to parliamentary committees, the GLA and other local authority committees on policing and race issues.


Visiting Research Fellows

Dr Michael Mecham

For many years Mike Mecham was a UK representative in various international bodies, including the EU and the UN. He also had lead responsibilities for promoting UK trade with Eastern European and Latin American countries. In the 1980s, Mike was a Principal Lecturer in Public Administration at the Civil Service Staff College. He lectured, ran courses and organised seminars for senior civil servants. Later he was a visiting lecturer on Latin America at Koç University, Istanbul. From 2014-2016 he lectured on Irish labour history on the MA (Irish Studies) programme at St Mary’s University. He has a number of publications to his name on Latin America and Irish labour history.

Prof. Lance Pettitt

Lance’s specialism is Irish cinema, TV and cultural history. Following a five year stint of University management at St Mary’s, he fashioned a portfolio career that’s allowed him to focus on teaching, research, writing and film curating. In the past few years, Lance has enjoyed periods as Visiting Professor in Anglophone Literatures and Cultural Studies at the University of Vienna, combined with being an Associate Tutor in English and Film at Birkbeck, University of London. He has published extensively and has a strong record of securing external research funding.  

Dr Bernard Regan

Bernard’s PhD research at St Mary’s focused on Palestine and the British Mandate between 1917 and 1948.  His book “The Balfour Declaration: Empire, Mandate and Resistance in Palestine” was published by Verso in Autumn 2017.  He is currently researching the 1936 - 1939 uprising in Palestine. He is interested in the interrelationship between the economic, social and the political developments shaping Palestinian society during the Mandate period.

External Adviser

Prof Marnie Hughes-Warrington - Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of South Australia

Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington has a strong global profile as a philosopher and as an historian who seeks to explain why histories and historical thinking play an important role in making a good, fair and just world. The impact of her work has been broad: her writing has been translated into five languages, over 26,000 copies of her books have been sold, and her theories are taught across the world. She has led or been an investigator on a total of $18 million in grants. Her most recent book is History as Wonder (2018), and her current research investigates the connections between the scales of history and ethics, and the logic at play in machine-made histories. She serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Global History, which is published by Cambridge University Press.

External Affiliates

Dr Patrick Finney - University of Aberystwyth

Patrick Finney is a Reader in International Politics at Aberystwyth University. His core current research interests relate to the collective memory of the Second World War. His monograph Remembering the Road to World War Two (Routledge, 2010) is a large scale comparative survey of the historiography of the origins of that conflict, exploring the inter-connections between historical writing and wider discourses of national identity and collective memory. His current project How the Second World War Still Shapes our Lives (OUP, forthcoming) is a panoramic survey of transnational trends in the memory of that conflict since the end of the Cold War. He is involved in several international collaborative networks seeking to develop global and comparative approaches to the collective memory of the war. Otherwise, he has written extensively on the cultural turn in international history - exploring, for example, the relevance of the work of Hayden White - and on issues of theory and method in history more widely; he is also an editorial board member of the journal Rethinking History.

Prof Keith Jenkins 

Professor Keith Jenkins retired from Chichester University in 2008. He remains the most widely read history theorist from the U.K. Although no longer writing (his last book, At the Limits of History: Essays on Theory and Practice, was published in 2009) he is still a regular attender at research seminars and conferences and he remains on the Editorial Board of the journal Rethinking History.

Dr Mark Mason - Chichester University

Mark Mason is Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Chichester (UK) where he also teaches in the History department. His current research draws upon the conceptual resources of the (re)turn to religion in contemporary theory/cultural criticism and, specifically, the messianic motif in Derrida's work to reflect on the current and future state/status of historical representation. His work has been published in Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice (Routledge) and, most recently, as part of the edited collection Derrida and the Future of the Liberal Arts: Professions of Faith (2013).

Dr Kalle Pihlainen - Åbo Akademi University/Academy of Finland

Kalle Pihlainen works as an Academy of Finland Research Fellow, based at the Department of Philosophy, Åbo Akademi University/Academy of Finland. He is also Adjunct Professor of Historical Theory at the Department of Contemporary History, University of Turku, Finland. His most recent major book is The Work of History: Constructivism and a Politics of the Past (2017). He has published articles on narrative theory and the philosophy of history in various anthologies and in journals including Rethinking History, New Literary History, Clio, Historein and Storia della Storiografia. His research and teaching has primarily focused on historical theory, narrative theory, embodiment, existential phenomenology and the ethics of narrative representation particularly in relation to Hayden White and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Dr Beverley Southgate 

Beverley Southgate is Reader Emeritus in History of Ideas at the University of Hertfordshire. His publications particularly relevant to the work of the Research Centre include: History: What & Why? (2001); Why Bother with History?(2000); Postmodernism in History: Fear or Freedom? (2003); and What is History For? (2005). Most recently he has published Contentment in Contention: Acceptance versus Aspiration (2012). His current research is on fiction and historiography and themes indicated in History Meets Fiction (2009).

Prof Dan Stone - Royal Holloway, University of London

Dan Stone is Professor of Modern History at Royal Holloway, University of London.

He is a historian of modern Europe with a particular interest in the history and historiography of the Holocaust. His research interests are broad, covering the history of fascism from the perspective of history of ideas; the history of genocide; the history of anthropology, especially the idea of ‘race’; and theory of history. He has published some 90 scholarly articles and 17 books. He has recently completed a book on the International Tracing Service for OUP and is writing a book on the Holocaust for Penguin’s revived Pelican series.