After studying Astrophysics at the University of Leicester, I gained a First Class MA in European Historical Archaeology at the University of Sheffield, and undertook my doctoral study at Keele under the supervision of Dr Philip Morgan, exploring the early medieval history and archaeology of the diocese of Lichfield and the cult of its patron saint, St Chad. I joined the full-time teaching staff at Keele in September 2014.
Research and scholarship
My research is characterised by an interdisciplinary focus on the synthesis of different sources of historical evidence, primarily documentary, archaeological and topographical, and on the theoretical implications of so doing. In particular, I explore the origins and developments of early medieval landscapes, where these are broadly conceived to comprise the social realms in which people and places are mutually constituted. My current focus concerns the Mercian kingdom and the Anglo-Welsh frontier region; in the future I aim to expand the geographical scope of my studies, with an emphasis on early medieval frontier societies.
I teach courses on medieval history in Britain and Europe, 400-1500, and on historical research and practice. These currently comprise first-year courses on Anglo-Saxon England (with Dr Nigel Tringham), Medieval Europe (with several others), and Histories of the extraordinary and the Everyday (with Professor Karen Hunt), and a third-year course on the Art of Dying (with Dr Ian Atherton). I also provide topics on Richard III for the first-year course Historical Research and Writing, and the Staffordshire Hoard for the second-year course Sources and Debates.
I am currently supervising a master's student working on the influence of the Danish dynasty of Cnut in eleventh-century politics and society.