I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Humanities at Sheffield Hallam University. The main focus of my research and publication has been Scottish emigration, including both settlement communities and those who remained in Scotland, and I am particularly interested in the role of newspapers in public perceptions of demography and migration. My current research project is Here and There, Us and Them: Migration and the Public Sphere before Telegraphy. Using newspapers, literary magazines and other public documents, this project explores public perceptions of identity at the start of the second British Empire and the relationship between demographic and economic pressures and cultural identity within the Anglophone world. Moreover, it aims to trace the composition, reprinting, abridgment and paraphrasing of newspaper content as it traveled along periodical dissemination networks. In my search for a more perfect understanding of past migrations, I have come to believe that those models that have been developed throughout the humanities and social sciences to describe modern globalisation can and should be used to understand the social, cultural and economic networks of the past. More importantly, should these models contradict historical evidence, this must be fed back to practitioners in other fields in order to better refine our collective knowledge. To promote a more collaborative research community, I am an ardent supporter of social media for academic purposes and am happy to discuss my research and teaching through the various networks with which I am affiliated.
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