Dr Colin Reid
BA, MA, PhD, FRHistS, FHEA
Department of History
Lecturer in Modern British and Irish History
+44 114 22 22610
Full contact details
Department of History
1 Upper Hanover Street
I joined the Department of History in February 2017, having previously held positions at the University of Oxford (Irish Government Senior Scholar and, later, Lecturer in Irish History), Maynooth University (IRCHSS Postdoctoral Fellow), and Northumbria University (Senior Lecturer in History). My chief research interests are in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Irish political, cultural and intellectual history and, more broadly, the history of political thought. I have published a biography of the Irish polymath, Stephen Gwynn, who was active in the spheres of politics, literature and the Irish language during the first few decades of the twentieth century. I am currently writing a book on ideas of representative government in Ireland under the Union (c.1798-1922), which probes the political imagination of successive generations of thinkers and activists, and sets out how the so-called ‘Irish Question’ was understood at particular times. I am also becoming interested in British radical political culture between the French Revolution and the First World War, especially in the field of constitutional ideas and imperial thought.
BA, MA, PhD (Belfast)
- Research interests
My research and teaching interests lie in exploring the political, cultural and intellectual mentalities at the heart of the British-Irish dilemma from the French Revolution to the Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’. I have written on a range of subjects from this perspective, such as federalist political thought in the United Kingdom during the 1870s, constitutional nationalism and the Irish revolutionary period (c.1912-22), divisions within unionism in Northern Ireland, Irish Protestant literary figures in Britain, and legal arguments used to legitimise rebellion in nineteenth-century Ireland. My ongoing book project brings these interests together, examining the political languages and constitutional ideas within Irish public debate from the 1798 rising to the creation of an independent state in 1922.
- The Lost Ireland of Stephen Gwynn: Irish Constitutional Nationalism and Cultural Politics, 1864-1950. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
- From Parnell to Paisley: Constitutional and Revolutionary Politics in Modern Ireland. Dublin: Irish Academic Press.
- Imagining Alternative Irelands in 1912: Cultural Discourse in the Periodical Press, by Brian Ward. The English Historical Review, 135(573), 516-517.
- Democracy, Sovereignty and Unionist Political Thought during the Revolutionary Period in Ireland, c. 1912-1922. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 27, 211-232. View this article in WRRO
- Citizens of Nowhere: longing, belonging and exile among Irish Protestant writers in Britain,c.1830–1970. Irish Studies Review, 24(3), 255-274.
- 'An Experiment in Constructive Unionism': Isaac Butt, Home Rule and Federalist Political Thought during the 1870s. The English Historical Review, 129(537), 332-361.
- STEPHEN GWYNN AND THE FAILURE OF CONSTITUTIONAL NATIONALISM IN IRELAND, 1919–1921. The Historical Journal, 53(3), 723-745.
- Protestant Challenges to the 'Protestant State': Ulster Unionism and Independent Unionism in Northern Ireland, 1921-1939. Twentieth Century British History, 19(4), 419-445.
- Afterword, The Cato Street Conspiracy Manchester University Press
- "A voice for Ireland': Isaac Butt, environmental justice, and the dilemmas of the Irish land question' In Kelly M (Ed.), Nature and the Environment in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (pp. 55-74). Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
- Constitutional Rhetoric as Legal Defence: Irish Lawyers and the Languages of Political Dissent in 1848 In Hughes K & MacRaild D (Ed.), Crime, Violence and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century Liverpool University Press
- Between the Redmondite and Revolutionary Generations: Denis Gwynn in Old and New Ireland In Paseta S (Ed.), Uncertain Futures Essays about the Irish Past for Roy Foster (pp. 133-147). Oxford University Press, USA
- The irish Party and the Volunteers: Politics and the Home Rule Army, 1913-1916 In Reid CW & Nic Dhaibheid C (Ed.), From Parnell to Paisley: Constitutional and Revolutionary Politics in Modern Ireland (pp. 33-55). Dublin: Irish Academic Press.
- Research group
I’m very happy to supervise research projects in Irish and/or British history since 1789, particularly those with an interest in political, cultural or intellectual history
- Roger Baxter (second supervisor) - Crime, Innovation and Mobility: Transport Migration and Policing in England, 1750-1950.
- Patricia Brennan (second supervisor) - Working Together to Safeguard Children in Britain: Sheffield, 1870-1918.
- Joseph Diviney (second supervisor) - The 1984-5 Miners’ Strike and the Demise of the British Coal Mining Industry.
- Daniel Royle (second supervisor) - Spain in 1848: On the Edge of Revolution
- William Finley - Making an Impression: An Assessment of the Role of Print Surfaces within the Technological, Commercial, Intellectual and Cultural Trajectory of Book Illustration, c. 1780-c.1860.
Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellowship, 2020-21
- Teaching interests
I teach broadly across the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum, covering Irish, British and European history.
- Teaching activities
- HST112 - Paths from Antiquity to Modernity
- HST119 - The Transformation of the United Kingdom
- HST120 - History Workshop
- HST2046 - The Irish Republican Brotherhood
- HST2510 -The Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ and Peace Process
- HST3174/5 - Anarchy in the UK? Radicals, Revolutionaries and Democrats, 1830-1886
- HST6082 - Imagining the Republic: Irish Republicanism, 1798-1998
- Professional activities
- Public engagement
I have developed links with a number of community and non-university groups. I co-convened a two-part conference in 2012 on the centenary of the introduction of the Home Rule bill in association with the National Library of Ireland. More recently, I have worked with the Tyneside Irish Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne to stage history festivals and lectures.
In addition, I have written about a range of historical subjects for a number of blogs, including History Matters, the Conference of Irish Historians 'Alternative 1916' series and the Four Nations History Network.