School of Society and Culture digital repository of staff research

Staff research interests and projects

The School of Society and Culture is home to over 100 researchers working across a number of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and practice-based arts: Anthropology, Art History, Computer Music, Creative Writing, Criminology, English, Environmental Cultures, Heritage, History, International Relations, Law, Music, Politics, Sociology, Theatre and Performance.
Here we share some of their research interests and projects. Queries from the press, those interested in PhD study, and the general public alike are welcome. Link to individual staff profiles for further information and contact details.


Dr Brian Campbell

Dr Brian Campbell's primary research looks at the relationship between Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus in Ceuta, a small Spanish enclave-town in North Africa. He is particularly interested in the local concept of “convivencia”, the idea these religious groups should live together in harmony. He is also interested in conservation, focusing on the conflict between bird-hunters and environmental NGOs in Malta, where he is from. Of late, he has become interested in migration issues in the Mediterranean, on right-wing nationalism in Spain and Malta, and the fortification of Europe’s southern borders. 
Brian Campbell in Ceuta

Art history

Dr Péter Bokody

Dr Péter Bokody, Lecturer in Art History and a specialist of the Italian Renaissance, talks about his research in medieval and renaissance art.

Dr Jenny Graham

Dr Jenny Graham, Associate Professor of Art History, talks us through Plymouth’s rich artistic heritage, with reference to paintings of Napoleon Bonaparte by Sir Charles Eastlake and others.

Computer music

Professor Eduardo Miranda

Professor in Computer Music, Eduardo Miranda talks about RadioMe – a new Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-funded project to improve life for people living at home with dementia. 

Professor Eduardo Miranda

REF impact case study 2021: Professor Eduardo Miranda talks about making music with brain signals to improve the quality of life of severely motor-impaired individuals. 

Dr Edward Braund

Dr Edward Braund, Lecturer in Computing, Audio, and Music Technology, talks about his research into computer audio. 

Satvik Venkatesh

PhD student, Satvik Venkatesh, talks about his research in audio segmentation.  

Creative writing

Professor Anthony Caleshu

Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing, Anthony Caleshu talks about his writing, editing and research of contemporary poetry, as well as his teaching of creative writing in this short video. 

Professor Anthony Caleshu

Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing, Anthony Caleshu walks (and swims) in the Plymouth Hoe in this short video about poetry and Plymouth’s sea-faring history. 

Dr Miriam Darlington

REF impact case study 2021: Dr Miriam Darlington – Nature Connections: relational engagement with nature through (co) creative practice. 

Dr Miriam Darlington

Dr Miriam Darlington, Lecturer in English and Creative Writing, talks about her writing for The Nature Notebook column in The Times newspaper. 


Professor Zoë James

REF impact case study 2021: Associate Professor of Criminology Zoë James' research with Gypsies, Travellers and Roma regarding their social, economic and political inclusion has influenced provision, policy making and police training in the UK and Romania. 


Professor Annika Bautz

Professor Annika Bautz, 19th century specialist and Head of the School of Society and Culture, talks about the reception of Jane Austen. 

Professor Angela K Smith

Professor of Modern Literature, Angela Smith talks about her research and publications relating to women’s writing and experience of the first world war, women’s suffrage and war and memory.

Dr David Sergeant 

Professor David Sergeant, Associate Professor of 20th and 21st Century Literature, talks about his research into how fiction has developed. 

Dr Min Wild

Dr Min Wild, Lecturer in English, specialises in 18th century literature, language usage, and satire. Here, she talks about her work on the poet-journalist Christopher Smart.

Environmental Cultures

Dr Mandy Bloomfield

Associate Professor in Modern and Contemporary Literature, Dr Mandy Bloomfield describes how her research explores environmental questions through literary study.


Professor Dan Maudlin

Professor Daniel Maudlin, Researcher and Lecturer in History and Cultural Heritage, takes us on an historical tour of Powderham Castle. 


Professor James Daybell

REF impact case study 2021: New technologies and changing lives: Histories of the Unexpected. Professor James Daybell

Professor James Daybell

Professor of Early Modern British History and Associate Dean for research of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business, James Daybell talks about his research on early modern British gender, political and material culture.

Dr James Gregory

Dr James Gregory, Associate Professor of Modern British History, talks about researching the history of mercy in British culture. 

Dr Harry Bennett

Dr Harry Bennett, Associate Professor of History, talks about his research into second world war coastal convoys. 

Dr Louis Halewood

Dr Louis Halewood, the Philip Nicholas Lecturer in Maritime History, discusses his current research on the First World War and ideas concerning international co-operation at sea in the early 20th century.

Professor Daniel Maudlin

Professor Daniel Maudlin, Researcher and Lecturer in History and Cultural Heritage, talks about the natural world experienced through early modern itineraries, travel maps and inns.

Dr Elaine Murphy

Dr Elaine Murphy, Associate Professor of Maritime and Naval History, talks about her research into the British Civil Wars in the 1640s and 1650s and the role of women in naval history.

Dr Simon Topping

Dr Simon Topping, Associate Professor of United States history, talks about his research into African American soldiers during the Second World War – a topic built into the third year module on African American history and civil rights.

Dr Jameson Tucker

Dr Jameson Tucker, Lecturer in Early Modern European History 1500–1700, bikes Drake’s Trail in West Devon, taking us from Plymouth to Tavistock.  

Dr Jameson Tucker 

Dr Jameson Tucker, Lecturer in Early Modern European History 1500–1700, talks about his research focusing on martyrology and the French reformation. 

International relations

Dr Patrick Holden

Dr Patrick Holden is a renowned expert in the field of International Relations. For the past 15 years, he has taught and conducted research at the University on topics including international political economy, the European Union in the world, international development policy, global governance and regional integration.  
Dr Patrick Holden


Jason Lowther

REF impact case study 2021:  Associate Professor of Law, Jason Lowther, discusses his work with Professor Mike Williams on the protection of marine cultural heritage. Their research works to enhance the legal and policy structures for underwater heritage protection. 


Dr Nuria Bonet

Dr Nuria Bonet, Lecturer in music, talks about her project on musification of data her composition Queen Canute, for seagulls and clarinet.  


James Goulbourn

James Goulbourn is an experienced lecturer in Politics and International Relations with over a decade of professional practice. His research interests focus on visual representations of political issues, particularly civil conflict. His teaching interests include the role of civil society in political life, developing employability through work based learning and the development of practical skills, theories of international relations, international political economy and international relations since 1945.  
James Goulbourn


Dr Julie Parsons

Finishing Time and Moving on: Life after punishment – for the last seven years, Dr Julie Parsons has been lucky enough to work on a series of funded research projects at Landworks, a resettlement and rehabilitation project that works with prisoners and people at risk of going to prison. 

Theatre and Performance

Dr Phil Smith

Dr Phil Smith, Associate Professor (Reader) in Theatre and Performance, specialises in the fields of site-specific and physical theatre, walking, mythogeographies and counter-tourism. 

Dr Phil Smith

Dr Phil Smith, Associate Professor (Reader) in Theatre and Performance talks about Coxside Smoke Signal, a research project conducted by Crab & Bee for the 2020 Being Human Festival. 

Dr John Matthews

Dr John Matthews, Associate Professor in Theatre, talks about his research on training into performance. 

Dr Alex Cahill

Dr Alex Cahill, Programme Lead for BA Directing and BA Drama and Theatre Practice degrees at the University of Plymouth. Here she talks about her research into theatre for good. 

Visiting Professor Roberta Mock

Visiting Professor of Performance Studies and Director of the Doctoral College, Roberta Mock’s research interests include genders, sexualities, and Jewishness in Theatre and Performance Studies. 
Screenshot of Dr Ruth Way, 
Associate Professor in Theatre and Performance

Dr Ruth Way

Dr Ruth Way is Associate Professor in Theatre and Performance and Associate Head of School Performing Arts. Find out more about her research into movement and dance

Contact information