My research so far has covered the history of sexuality, identity politics and the Left throughout the twentieth century. I also work on the history of youth and youth culture (particularly counter-culture) as well as on popular culture, the theatre and literature. Specific research areas are: Homosexual law reform, Gay Liberation, activism and terrorism, the 'Loony Left', Punk, Anti-Nazism and Rock against Racism, Paedophile organisations and the campaigns around AIDS.  I am now working on the relationship between popular culture and politics in 1980s Britain and contemporaray protest.

I have more recently been exploring a number of ways in which historians can connect with outside communities particulary through popular cultural representation.  For example I have been working with Falklands veteran writers and artists in  a research project that brings together Life History, History and Neuroscience in a project called Translate Trauma and the Jisc funded digitisation project Observing the Eighties.


I was jointco-ordinator of Morality and the Representation of Suffering (MARS).   MARS works with veterans and war photographers to explore the ethics of shared narratives of war.

I co-ran musicDOC11 a collaborative project with documentary makers, broadcasters, archivists and musicians on music documentary history and practice  You can find out more about musicDOC11 in this interview for MusicFilmWeb

I am also one of the organisers of the new  Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change which has recently been awarded an AHRC network grant.


I am academic lead on the innovative JISC funded project Observing the Eighties which will create a digital archive of the 1980s, including holdings of the Mass Observation Project, British Library Oral History Collection and the Sussex University Documents Collection.  We are producing an open access education resource.

There is recent coverage of the project here

A further development of this project has been SCARLET+ to explore the use of augmented realities in university teaching.

I recently acted as historical consultant for Jersey Heritage's exhibition 'Bergerac's Island' and the 2017 documentary Queerama. 

I am currently writing a book on the relationship between popular culture and politics in the 1980s.

You can find out more about all my research on my blog 'Now That's What I Call History'