Dr Colin Reid


School of History, Philosophy and Digital Humanities

Senior Lecturer in Modern British and Irish History

Director of Postgraduate Studies

Colin Reid
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+44 114 222 2610

Full contact details

Dr Colin Reid
School of History, Philosophy and Digital Humanities (nee Department of History)
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

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.  



  • Reid CW (2011) The Lost Ireland of Stephen Gwynn: Irish Constitutional Nationalism and Cultural Politics, 1864-1950. Manchester: Manchester University Press. RIS download Bibtex download

Edited books

  • Nic Dhaibheid C & Reid C (Ed.) (2010) From Parnell to Paisley: Constitutional and Revolutionary Politics in Modern Ireland. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


  • Reid C (2024) Isaac Butt's Legacy: The Irish Parliamentary Party, 1879-1919 In O'Donoghue M & Purcell E (Ed.), John Redmond and Irish Parliamentary Traditions (pp. 20-31). Dublin: UCD Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Reid C (2023) The Canon of Irish Republicanism: Constructing a Separatist 'Tradition' In Roberts M (Ed.), Memory and Modern British Politics: Commemoration, Tradition, Legacy Bloomsbury Academic RIS download Bibtex download
  • Barillé C, Lenk K, Reid C & Szívós E (2023) The European Experience. A Multiperspective History of Modern Europe, 1500-2000 In Hansen J & Hung J (Ed.), The European Experience. A Multiperspective History of Modern Europe, 1500-2000 (pp. 405-414). Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Barillé C, Lenk K, Reid C & Szívós E (2023) 3.5.2 Protest and Social Movements in Modern History (ca. 1800–1900), The European Experience (pp. 405-414). Open Book Publishers RIS download Bibtex download
  • Dhaibheid CN & Reid CW (2020) The Cato Street Conspiracy Plotting, counter-intelligence and the revolutionary tradition in Britain and Ireland Afterword, CATO STREET CONSPIRACY: PLOTTING, COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE AND THE REVOLUTIONARY TRADITION IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND (pp. 186-192). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Nic Dháibhéid C & Reid CW (2019) Afterword, The Cato Street Conspiracy Manchester University Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Reid C (2019) "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. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Reid CW (2017) 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 RIS download Bibtex download
  • Reid CW (2016) 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 RIS download Bibtex download
  • Reid CW (2010) 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. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

I am involved in two Departmental research hubs: Political Engagement and the Transmission of Ideas

Research supervision

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.

Current Students

Primary Supervisor

Second Supervisor

All current students

Completed Students
  • 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.


Find out more about PhD study in History


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 and memberships
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.