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Douglas Watson

School of Humanities and Performing Arts (Faculty of Arts & Humanities)


BA (Hons) History (University of Plymouth, 2009)
Master of Research (MRes) History (with Distinction) (University of Plymouth, 2012)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Humanities (University of Plymouth, 2018)

Teaching interests

Revolutionary History
History of the Non-European World
Nineteenth Century History
The History of Mechanics' Institutes
General Research Methodology
Data, Visuals and History

Research interests

The Political, Social and Cultural History of the British Working Classes,
The History of Mechanics' Institutes, Education, Science and Technology,
The History of Literacy, Language, Libraries and Print Culture,
The History of the Industrial Revolution, History of Scotland,
The History of Parliament & Law,
The History of Ideas and the History of the Internet,
The History of Social Policy, the Third Sector and the Welfare State,
Economic History,
The History of Fringe Beliefs, Alt-Beliefs, Pseudohistory and Conspiracy Theories,
General Research Methodology,
The Applications of Data Analysis and Visualisation Tools and Techniques to Historical Research

Other academic activities


“'What can be expected of the child of the slut, the gossip and the dram drinker': Mechanics' Institutes and the Victorian Ideal of the Working-Class Female”
(Paper Presented at Plymouth Soundings: Plymouth University Nineteenth Century Studies Conference. Plymouth, UK. 2015)

“’The Road to Learning’: Re-Evaluating the Mechanics’ Institutes Movement”
(Paper Presented at the History of Education Society Annual Conference. Exeter, UK. 2013)

“’The Daring Arm of Enterprise’: Devonport Mechanics’ Institute in a National Context”
(Paper Presented at the Devon and Cornwall Records Society AGM. Exeter, UK. 2013)

"The Battle of Plymouth Hoe: Victorian science, the Devonport Mechanics' Institute and a Flat Earth theorist."
(Paper Presented as Part of the Historical Association Lecture Series. Plymouth, UK. 2012)