Our People



Dr Sian Barber is a Lecturer in Film Studies with specialist interests in British cinema, film censorship and the British Board of Film Classification. She is the author of Censoring the 1970s: The BBFC and the Decade that Taste Forgot (2011), The British Film Industry in the 1970s: Capital, Culture and Creativity(2013) and Using Film as a Source (2015). Her ongoing work on local film censorship draws on archival records to explore the complex ways in which cinema and film is regulated at local level through systems of council and authority control. Other work includes exploring RTE Archives to examine early film debates on television, and investigating how teen cinema can be used to explore issues for teen audiences.



Dr Conor Campbell completed his doctorate at Queen’s University Belfast, researching press control in Northern Ireland during the Second World War. He is currently on placement at BBC NI where he is creating an exhibition on wartime broadcasters and broadcasting. Previously he was the publicity co-ordinator for Queen’s Political Review as well as the publicist for the QUB History Research Seminars, and he is the web editor for the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland.



Dr Garrett Carr is a Lecturer in Creative Writing in Queen's Seamus Heaney Centre. Apart from fiction, his research interests include writing about place, history and memoir. He is also a map-maker, with maps in government and university collections, and publishes academically on the topic of cartography. The Rule of the Land: Walking Ireland's Border (Faber & Faber, 2017) is his most recent book. It is a tour and history of Ireland's border and has gained significant media attention, including selection as BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week during March 2017. Garrett is a frequent contributor to television and radio, for networks such as the BBC, and newspapers such as the Guardian


Dr Niamh Cullen specialises in the social history of twentieth-century Western Europe, and especially of post-1945 Italy. Her research draws on the history of the emotions, gender and sexuality, popular culture and personal testimony, to investigate how people made sense of social and cultural change during the Italian ‘economic miracle’ (1950s to 1970s). Her book, ‘Love, Honour and Jealousy: An Intimate History of the Italian Economic Miracle’, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press in 2019. In 2015 she organised an exhibition, “Love, Italian Style’, drawing on popular depictions of romance in 1950s and 1960s Italian film and magazines, in the Italian Cultural Institute, Dublin. Niamh is currently developing a new project on the history of motherhood and infant feeding in twentieth-century Europe. She has written for the Dublin Review of Books and for History Today and her work has featured in The Local (Italy).



Dr John Cunningham is a Lecturer in Early Modern Irish and British History at QUB. He has previously published on subjects including Oliver Cromwell and Ireland, the history and historiography of the seventeenth-century land settlements, and the 1641 Rebellion. His ongoing research relates to uses of the past in early modern Ireland and the history of medicine in Ireland, 1500-1800. Amongst other activities, he recently contributed to 'Was Oliver Cromwell Really all that bad?', a BBC Radio Ulster programme.



Dr John Curran's interests include the religious history of the ancient Mediterranean world and in particular in the origins of Christian ideas, their relationship to Judaism and their development in the polytheistic context of the Roman empire. Understanding the social, political and economic institutions is the necessary foundation upon which the study of religious thinking is based and in courses such as ‘The Jewish Background to Christianity’ and ‘The Rise of Christianity: Christianity in the Roman Empire’ he offers students an overview of influential methods of enquiry as well as important prevailing historical opinions on the subject. Recent published research papers have explored evidence for the historical Jesus beyond the New Testament and the transformation of Rome under early Christian emperors. More broadly, and in partnership with The Classical Association in Northern Ireland, he helps stage a programme of events for QUB students and the Queen’s scholarly community, local schools, and the general public. Part of our joint commitment to bringing our interest and research to the broadest public has seen us put on public readings of Classical texts, a summer language school in Greek and Latin and film-nights featuring influential cinematic depictions of antiquity, from The Life of Brian to Gladiator.



Dr Elaine Farrell is a historian of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Irish social history, with a specialism in gender history (particularly women’s history) and crime and punishment. She has been involved in a number of public history projects, including museum exhibitions ‘Research in Translation’ (University of Leicester) and ‘Mad or Bad’ (Armagh County Museum). Working with Leanne McCormick (Ulster University), she is currently preparing an exhibition based on their AHRC-funded project ‘“Bad Bridget”: Criminal and Deviant Irish Women in North America, 1838-1918’. She has contributed to a number of television programmes for BBC, Channel 4, RTÉ, and TG4. Along with Chris Marsh, she designed and delivers second-year module ‘Cabinets of Curiosity: Museums Past and Present’. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies (distinction) from the University of Leicester (2015-2017).



Dr Darragh Gannon is a modern historian with research expertise in the Irish in Great Britain and the Irish revolution. Further research interests include museums, material culture and commemoration. He served as Curatorial Researcher to the National Museum of Ireland exhibition ‘Proclaiming a Republic: the 1916 Rising’ and authored its accompanying volume Proclaiming a Republic: Ireland, 1916 and the National Collection. Most recently he was appointed Historian-in-Residence to Dublin City Council’s commemorative project ‘Dublin Remembers’.

He is currently Research Fellow to the AHRC-funded project ‘A global history of Irish revolution, 1916-1923’. This Queen’s University Belfast research project, in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, will adopt a transnational focus to explore the global impacts of, and influences on, Ireland’s revolution between Rising and Civil War. Its original archival research in Ireland, Australia, Britain, Canada, the United States, and beyond, will produce the first ever global history of Irish nationalism, presented through publication and public engagement.



Dr James Greer is a Research Assistant for a public history engagement project centred upon the Connswater Community Greenway – working with Dr Olwen Purdue and Dr Leonie Hannan. The project explores the relationship between well-being and public engagement with heritage and history in east Belfast, and integrates survey data with focus groups and other forms of public engagement. The majority of his academic research and writing has explored the political history of Northern Ireland, in particular the development of Ulster unionism and the modern Northern conflict. His varied other research interests include the roles of women in early twentieth-century Ulster politics and society, and interwar Northern labour politics. He has also sought to integrate collaborative public engagement events within projects exploring Ulster-Scots history and culture, and the history of sport and popular culture in Ireland.



Professor Crawford Gribben is a cultural and literary historian of puritanism and evangelicalism, with a particular interest in contemporary manifestations of radical religion. He is the author of several books, including John Owen and English Puritanism: Experiences of defeat (Oxford University Press, 2016), Evangelical millennialism in the trans-Atlantic world, 1500-2000 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), Writing the rapture: Prophecy fiction in evangelical America (Oxford University Press, 2009), God's Irishmen: Theological debates in Cromwellian Ireland (Oxford University Press, 2007), and The puritan millennium: Literature and theology, 1550-1682 (Four Courts, 2000), and serves as co-editor of two series of monographs and edited collections entitled 'Christianities in the trans-Atlantic world, 1550-1800' (Palgrave Macmillan) and 'Scottish religious cultures: Historical perspectives' (Edinburgh University Press)He writes regularly for The Conversationand The American Interestas well as for knowledge exchange organisations such as the Foreign Policy Research Institute



Dr Leonie Hannan is a researcher at Queen's who works on eighteenth-century social and cultural history, gender and material culture studies, intellectual life and the history of home. She is a co-founder of The Heritage Project, an initiative that fosters collaborative partnership as a means of developing the positive role of built heritage in Northern Irish society and a member of the 100 Hours research group. Leonie has worked extensively in museums and heritage and is interested in the ways buildings and collections can provoke cross-disciplinary interaction and engage diverse publics in historical questions.


Dr Sue-Ann Harding is a Senior Lecturer in Translation Studies at Queen’s University Belfast. Her main research interests are in social-narrative theory as a mode of inquiry into translations and translated events, with a particular interest in sites of conflict and narrative contestation. This has led to a diverse research profile that includes the Beslan hostage disaster in 2004 and its subsequent anniversary commemorations; Qatar’s efforts to cultivate a literary and culturally-engaged population; the translation of police interviews in South Africa; the Arabic and Russian translations of Frantz Fanon, and the resonances between narrative and complexity theory. She is currently writing a book exploring ways in which historical and contemporary narratives translate the natural and urban landscapes of Qatar. Recent publications include The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Culture co-edited with Ovidi Carbonell Cortés (Routledge 2018); Translating Frantz Fanon Across Continents and Languages, coedited with Kathryn Batchelor (Routledge 2017); and Beslan: Six Stories of the Siege (Manchester University Press 2012). She is the Chair of the Executive Council for the International Association of Translation and Intercultural Studies (IATIS), Reviews Editor for The Translator (Taylor and Francis), a member of the Advisory Board for the Shanghai Jiao Tong Baker Centre for Translation & Intercultural Studies, and serves as an Associate of ARTIS (Advancing Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies).



Dr Tom Hulme is a lecturer in Modern British History, covering roughly the period of about 1880-1980. His primary interest is in the culture of cities, and the place of the past in British life. He also maintains a secondary focus on the cultural politics of urban heritage and regeneration in the 21st century. In the time since he completed his PhD at the University of Leicester (2013) he has been part of several projects that have a strong 'public history' focus: the creation of a mobile phone app, complete with photos, videos, and oral histories, that aimed to document the cultural history of a regenerated inner-city ward of Leicester (2013); a large project on historical pageants that focused on the ways in which people understood the place of the past across the 20th century, and which also included a public engagement programme (2013-2015); and, finally, in developing a project on the meaning of the Mayflower in British culture in the last 400 years (2016-present).



Dr Derek Johnston teaches on the broadcast media, with a particular focus on genre studies and on the history of broadcasting. His research to date has tended to look at genres and their development as aspects of cultural change, as expressions of the historical shifts and continuities in popular culture. This focus has been on science fiction on British television, particularly in the period of the BBC monopoly from 1936-1955, and on the seasonal horror story, which led to the publication of Haunted Seasons: Television Ghost Stories for Christmas and Horror for Halloween by Palgrave in 2015, which looked across radio, television and literature to provide a historical survey of seasonal horror. More broadly, he is interested in the uses of historical narratives, both factual and fictional and including history-made-fantastical, and the ways that they are used and form a part of personal and public history and so influence understanding and conceptualisation of history and its relation to the present.



Liam Kennedy is emeritus professor of economic history at Queen’s University Belfast and visiting professor of history at Ulster University. His research interests include the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s, living standards in Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries, social change in rural Ireland, and the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’. With a view to garnering further popularity, his forthcoming book is entitled Who Was Responsible for the Troubles in Northern Ireland? (2018).



Keith Lilley is Professor of Historical Geography in the School of Natural & Built Environment at Queen's University Belfast. His particular research interests lie in the history of cartography, urban morphology, and landscape history, and in using maps and mappings to explore past landscapes and geographies as well as visualise how the past connects with the present. He has more than ten years' experience of directing spatial humanities research projects, all using digital 'geospatial technologies' (e.g. GIS) to engage wider public audiences. He is director of an AHRC-funded public engagement centre, "Living Legacies 1914-18: From Past Conflict to Shared Future", which connects academic and community researchers through WW1 heritage projects - including 'citizen history' and community mapping projects. He is also Chair of the Historic Towns Trust, a UK charity that oversees the production of the British Historic Towns Atlas programme (see http://historictownsatlas.org.uk/). His books include, Mapping Medieval Geographies (Cambridge, 2013) and City and Cosmos (Reaktion, 2009). He is currently working on the 'landscapes legacies' of British surveyors in 19th-century Ireland and India.



Dr Sam Manning is a recent PhD graduate from Queen's University Belfast. His thesis assessed post-war cinema-going in the United Kingdom, examining the localised nature of cinema attendance, audience preferences, exhibition practices and the pattern of cinema closures. His first article was published in Cultural and Social History, which used oral history testimony to investigate the social practices of cinema-going in a Belfast community. A further article on television and the decline of cinema-going in Northern Ireland is forthcoming in Media History. His public history experience includes work with BBC Northern Ireland, the McClay Library Special Collections and Archives and QUOTE (Queen’s University Oral History, Technology and Ethics). 



Professor Christopher Marsh is a historian of culture and society in England during the period 1500-1700. He has a particular interest in the history of popular music, and is currently preparing a website featuring images and recordings of 100 hit songs from seventeenth-century England.  He has spoken at a series of public concerts in which some of these songs are performed by The Carnival Band as part of the project.  Working with Elaine Farrell, he also teaches an undergraduate module with a public history theme, entitled ‘Cabinets of Curiosity: Museums Past and Present’.



Fearghal McGarry is professor of modern Irish history at Queen’s University Belfast. He is interested in the theory and practice of public history, particularly in relation to commemoration and other forms of historical memory. Editor (with Jennie Carlsten) of Film, History and Memory (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), he led two AHRC research projects exploring the relationship between history and film. He acted as historical consultant on several projects marking the centenary of the Easter Rising, including the GPO Witness History interpretive centre. With Richard Grayson, he edited Remembering 1916. The Easter Rising, the Somme and the Politics of Memory in Ireland (Cambridge University Press. 2016). His current AHRC-funded project, A Global History of the Irish Revolution, will involve collaborations with public history partners to mark the centenary of partition and independence. He is also working with the Ulster Museum to redevelop its Troubles gallery.



Dr Margaret O’Callaghan MA (NUI) PhD (Cambridge) is an historian and political analyst at the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s University Belfast. A former Laski Research Scholar at St John’s College Cambridge and a former Fellow of Sidney Sussex, College, she has taught at the Universities of Cambridge and Notre Dame. She is the author of numerous works on aspects of British high politics and the state apparatus in Ireland from the late nineteenth century to the revolution, on the fringe-fenian press, the careers of Richard Pigott and Tom Kettle. She co-edited with Mary E. Daly 1916 in 1966; Commemorating the Easter Rising (Royal Irish Academy, 2007). Her most recent publications are on Irish government policy on commemorating the Easter Rising of 1916 in the 1970s, and on Roger Casement and the First World War. She is currently working on Alice Stopford Green, Roger Casement and their circles.



Professor Sean O’Connell is a member of the editorial collective of the journal Oral History, which for almost fifty years has linked academic historians with public history in various guises. Sean’s current projects include working with the Ulster Museum to revamp its Troubles Gallery; and an ongoing partnership with the BBC to convert student oral history projects into radio documentaries. He also directs QUB History’s undergraduate internship scheme, which has seen students work with a variety of groups that include the Ulster Museum, ArtsEkta, Prisons Memory Archive, Belfast City Council, Historic Royal Palaces, the Linen Hall Library, the Sailortown Regeneration Group and the Holyland Reunion Group. Sean’s publications have used oral history to explore fresh questions in the social history of Belfast. His essay 'An age of conservative modernity: 1914-1968' in Sean Connolly (ed.), Belfast 400 (2012) is a good introduction to the approaches he takes. His current research includes a project on the history of ‘joyriding’ and a long term plan to write a social history of Belfast since 1945. Together with a number of other QUB colleagues with expertise in oral history Sean, has established QUOTE Hub to promote oral history inside and outside the university.



Dr Olwen Purdue specialises in the social and economic history of nineteenth and twentieth-century Ireland. Her research focuses on urban poverty, welfare and public health, and on Irish landed estates. She also has a strong interest in Public History, working closely with the cultural and heritage sectors across Northern Ireland in research, teaching and public engagement. She was specialist historical advisor for Titanic Belfast and a member of the advisory group for the Ulster Museum's Irish history exhibition as well as having been consultant on a number of historical documentaries for BBC, UTV and Channel 4. Dr Purdue convenes the MA in Public History at Queen's University.

Dr Purdue is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, member of the Royal Historical Society's Public History Prize panel and international editor for the Public Historian journal. She is a committee member of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland and Hon. Secretary of the Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland.



Dr Emma Reisz specialises in British imperialism in Asia and transnational history. Her research focuses on networks of trade, information and migration, with a particular interest in the production of knowledge. Her current research includes a joint project with Dr Aglaia De Angeli and with Special Collections at the McClay Library to digitise and explore the Hart Photograph Collection at Queen's University Belfast, a major collection of photography of late imperial China. The outputs of this (all with Dr De Angeli) include the 2017 Wiles Colloquium, a special issue of Chinese Historical Review in 2018, and an exhibition and book, China's Imperial Eye. She and Dr De Angeli have also developed this research into a second-year undergraduate module, 'Visualising China's Encounter with the West', which explores the use of photography to share Chinese history with broad audiences. 

Emma also has a particular interest in digital humanities, including the Hart Project to transcribe, edit and digitise the seventy-seven volumes of Sir Robert Hart's diaries.



Dr Neil Sadler is lecturer in Arabic Translation and Interpreting at the Centre for Translation and Interpreting at Queen’s University Belfast. His research centres on the uses and nature of multilingual narrative in digitally mediated contexts, particularly in the Arab world. He is currently writing a monograph on fragmented political storytelling in the contexts of the 2013 military intervention in Egypt, 2017 independence protests in Catalonia and Donald Trump’s Twitter use since becoming US president in 2017. This work explores the way in which narrative fragments can be used to imply detailed visions of the past and future, with frequently significant political implications. He has articles forthcoming in the journals New Media & Society and The Journal of North African Studies.



Dr Ramona Wray is Reader in Renaissance Literature at Queen’s University, Belfast. She is the editor of the Arden Early Modern Drama edition of Elizabeth Cary’s The Tragedy of Mariam (2012), the author of Women Writers in the Seventeenth Century (2004) and the co-author of Great Shakespeareans: Welles, Kurosawa, Kozintsev, Zeffirelli (2013). She is the co-editor of The Edinburgh Companion to Shakespeare and the Arts (2011), Screening Shakespeare in the Twenty-First Century (2006), Reconceiving the Renaissance: A Critical Reader (2005), Shakespeare, Film, Fin de Siècle (2000) and Shakespeare and Ireland: History, Politics, Culture (1997). Her articles on Shakespeare appropriation and early modern women’s writing have appeared in Early Theatre, Shakespeare Bulletin, Shakespeare Quarterly and Women’s Writing. Ramona has recently completed an AHRC funded project on ‘Memory and Community in Early Modern Britain’, the findings of which are to be published in a special issue of Memory Studies (in press).