My research focuses on various aspects of Black Country and West Midlands history. My PhD centred on a small neighbourhood in Wolverhampton which became the town's Irish Quarter. I drew on my interest in geography by using space as an analytical lens to seek to understand the lives of this poor, illiterate and stigmatised community, who left few historical records of their own. Chapters included particular reference to how Victorian perceptions of Irishness, race and urbanism affected social issues like sanitation, policing, religious practice, and associational culture, and used GIS mapping to attempt a spatial "history from below" methodology. I am continuing to research the subject and hope to publish elements of the research.
My work on the post-war Black Country is more general, but includes a similar focus on specific families, businesses, neighbourhoods and social worlds. My book Forging Ahead is a general history of this under-studied region in this period, and includes research on industrial, social and domestic worlds. In particular - and similarly to other research - it has a strong focus on telling the under-represented histories of migrant communities in the region. This work at the Black Country Living Museum is ongoing - I continue to work with Caribbean, Punjabi, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities to tell a fuller history of the West Midlands in the past seventy years. I am always interested in research and telling the histories of communities in a variety of ways.