Over the years, my work has ranged over various subjects in modern political and cultural history. My first two books--"John Fielden and the Politics of Popular Radicalism" and "The Hammonds: A Marriage in History"--grew out of my interests in British industrial and labor history, political reform, and twentieth-century British liberalism. Lately my interests have turned toward environmental history, specifically the cultural history of nature, land, and landscapes. In collaboration with Maurice Isserman (UR PhD 1979), I recently completed "Fallen Giants," a comprehensive history of Himalayan exploration and mountaineering that won the National Outdoor Book Award. I am currently at work on a short history of exploration for Oxford University Press. I teach surveys of British, Irish, and South Asian history and seminars on Environmental History and the History of Exploration.
I offer the following fields for the PhD qualifying examination. For explanations of fields, see the "Program Formulation" page in the Graduate Handbook.
Teaching Fields: History of India and South Asia (Transnational); Modern British History; Modern European History (Transnational)
Research Fields: Environmental History (Transnational); History of Exploration (Transnational); Nature, Land, and Landscape (Transnational)
I will be accepting graduate students for admission in fall 2019.
Courses Offered (subject to change)
- HIS 100: Gateway to History: Exploration
- HIS 103: West and the World since 1492, Syllabus
- HIS 225: The First World War, Syllabus
- HIS 229: England and Ireland since 1500, Syllabus
- HIS 240: History of British India
- HIS 300W/400: History of Nature, Syllabus
- HIS 330: British Imperialism, Syllabus
Select Publication Covers
- Exploration: A Very Short Introduction (2015)
- Fallen Giants: A History of Himalayan Mountaineering from the Age of Empire to the Age of Extremes with Maurice Isserman (2008)
- "The Bleak Age: J. H. Clapham, the Hammonds, and the Standard of Living in Victorian Britain," in Miles Taylor and Michael Wolff, eds., The Victorians Since 1901 (2004)
- "Christopher Lasch and the Politics of the Plain Style," Introduction to Christopher Lasch, Plain Style: A Guide to Written English, edited by Stewart Weaver (2002)
- The Hammonds: A Marriage in History (1997).
- John Fielden and the Politics of Popular Radicalism 1832-1847 (1987).