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Who's who

Who's who

Professor Keith Brown

Dean of the Faculty of Humanities

Professor Brown graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1979 with an MA in Modern and Scottish History, and was awarded a PhD also from Glasgow in 1983.

He was appointed Glenfiddich Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews in 1983 and went on to hold a number of fellowships there until becoming a Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Stirling in 1991.

In 1995 he returned to the University of St Andrews as Professor of Scottish History and was appointed Head of the School of History in 1997. He became Vice-Principal (Teaching) for the University in 2001 and in 2003 was appointed Master of the United College, managing the overall academic operation of the University. His remit was extended to include the role of Deputy Principal in 2006.

In 2010 he joined The University of Manchester as Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities. The Faculty of Humanities is the largest of the University’s four faculties with 17,000 students, around 2,000 academic and professional support staff and a diverse portfolio of disciplines organised around the Schools of Arts, Languages and Cultures, Environment, Education and Development, Law, Social Sciences, and Manchester Business School.

Professor Brown is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. His field of research is early modern Scottish and British History. He led the team that in 2007 launched the acclaimed online archive of the proceedings of the original Scottish Parliament, from its first surviving act of 1235 to its union with the English Parliament in 1707 (see In recent years he has published a three-volume edited history of the Scottish Parliament and a monograph entitled Noble Power in Scotland from the Reformation to the Revolution (Edinburgh University Press 2011). Currently he is working on Scottish migration to England in the sixteenth to eighteenth century for which he holds an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Network Grant.

Professor Keith Brown

Russell Ashworth

Director of Faculty Operations

Russell graduated from University of Central Lancashire in 1987 with a BA (Hons) Politics with History. He joined Liverpool John Moores University in 1988 as an Administrative Assistant in the Academic Quality Unit, progressing to Senior Administrator in 1992. He was appointed Head of Student Recruitment in 1994 and in 1996 he took up the new position of Head of Collaborative Partnerships.

In 1998 he joined UMIST and the Victoria University of Manchester to take up the post of Senior Administrator in the joint venture Federal School of Business and Management. This role involved further developing of the management infrastructure for the Federal School and he led on a number of collaborative projects including joint Masters programmes and a major research infrastructure funding award.

In 2002 Russell serviced the Project Unity Academic Group, which steered the merger of UMIST and the Victoria University of Manchester, before taking up the role of Assistant to the Interim Executive Dean for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences in May 2003. Russell was appointed Director of Faculty Operations for the Faculty of Humanities in February 2004.

Russell Ashworth

Professor Maja Zehfuss

Associate Dean (PG Research)

Maja Zehfuss is Professor of International Politics in the School of Social Sciences. She studied in Munich and Aberystwyth, received her doctorate from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Post-Compulsory Education (Higher Education) from the University of Warwick. Before coming to Manchester in 2006, she taught at the University of Warwick. She is the co-founder of the British International Studies Association Poststructural Politics Working Group, which she co-convened from 2001 to 2007, and a member of the editorial board of Manchester University Press.

Maja Zehfuss has published two research monographs with Cambridge University Press. Her current research examines how the problematic of ethics is produced, enacted and negotiated in contemporary war. She also works on the idea of humanity, vulnerability, memory and on poststructural thought. She co-edits Global Politics: A New Introduction (Routledge 2008, 2013).

Maja Zehfuss was PGR Director in Politics from 2008 to 2010. The PG researchers she supervises make an active contribution to the research environment at Manchester and beyond. Her former PhD students include a winner of the Political Studies Association Lord Bryce Prize for Best Dissertation in International Relations/Comparative Studies.

Professor Maja Zehfuss

Professor Colette Fagan

Deputy Dean, Research

Colette Fagan is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences and a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Manchester.  She holds degrees from the University of East Anglia, the London School of Economics and the Victoria University of Manchester (PhD).  She joined the University as a sociology lecturer in 1998 and became a professor in 2005. Previously she held positions at the University of Liverpool, UMIST and the Equal Opportunities Commission (now the Equality and Human Rights Commission).  She has held visiting positions at the University of Madison-Wisconsin USA; RMIT Australia and the WZB, Germany.  Professor Fagan is the UK academic expert to the European Commission's Expert Group on Gender and Employment.

Colette's research focus is on work and employment, with particular interests in gender relations and inequalities in the workplace and domestic life; in international comparisons of employment and living conditions in industrialised economies; and the topic of 'time'.

Professor Colette Fagan

Chris Davies

Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning)

Chris Davies is Senior Lecturer in GIS in the School of Environment and Development. After completing a BSc in Geography and Geology at the Victoria University of Manchester, he moved to UMIST where he was awarded an MSc in GIS and a PhD in Software Engineering. He is also a Chartered Engineer, information technology professional and geographer.

His main research interests are applications of Geographical Information Systems and their development and utilisation, especially in the fields of Socal Exclusion in HE and in Disaster Management. His undergraduate and postgraduate teaching is in areas of Geographical Information Science.

At UMIST he was a Lecturer in Software Engineering before becoming Dean of Undergraduate Studies then Dean of Students. He also served as Head of the Department of Textiles, Director of Foundations Studies and Senior Warden of UMIST's Halls of Residence. On the creation of the new University he moved to Geography and was Head of Discipline for Geography from 2006 to 2008.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Member of the British Computer Society and Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

He became Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Humanities at Manchester in February 2008.

Professor James Thompson

Associate Dean (External Relations)

James Thompson is Professor of Applied and Social Theatre in the School of Arts Histories and Cultures. He is a director of 'In Place of War' - a research and practice-based project exploring performance and theatre in war zones, a director of the Centre for Applied Theatre Research and on the leadership team of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute.

Prior to becoming the Associate Dean for External Relations he was the Director of Research for the School of Arts Histories and Culture.

He is author of a number of books on different aspects of Applied Theatre and performance in war and disaster zones.  His latest book called Humanitarian Performance is due out in 2012.  James set up the Theatre in Prisons and Probation Centre (TiPP) in 1992 and worked as its director before joining Drama full time in 1999.  He has run projects with refugee communities in the UK as well as working on projects in eastern DR Congo, Indonesia, Rwanda and Sri Lanka.

Professor James Thompson

Professor Jeremy Gregory

Head, School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Jeremy Gregory is Professor of the History of Christianity. He has a BA in Modern History and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. He was appointed Lecturer in History at what is now the University of Northumbria in 1985, becoming Head of History and Principal Lecturer in 1995. He moved to the Victoria University of Manchester in 2000, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2001, and to Professor in 2010. He was the first Director of Undergraduate Education in the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures from 2004-2007 and took up the headship of the School in August 2011.  He was appointed as Head of the new School of Arts, Languages and Cultures in 2012.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and has held visiting fellowships at Brown University, Magdalen College, Oxford, and The Boston Athenaeum. 

Jeremy's research and publications have shaped and contributed to the debates concerning the role of the Church of England in particular, and religion in general, in English social, cultural, political and intellectual history from the mid seventeenth to the mid nineteenth centuries. He has also published on the relationship between religion and gender, religion and the wider artistic and literary culture, and on the relationship between conformity and dissent. Since moving to Manchester he has developed an interest in the history of early Methodism, using the world-class archives at The John Rylands Library. His current project is on the Church of England in New England. He has been a co-editor of Studies in Church History and is currently an editor of Literature & History. He is Vice-President of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Professor Jeremy Gregory

Professor Simon Guy

Head, School of Environment, Education and Development

Simon was appointed as Professor of Architecture and Director of the Manchester Architecture Research Centre (MARC) in November 2005, joining from the University of Newcastle where he held the positions of Chair of Urban Development and Dean of Research in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Drawing upon graduate and post-graduate studies in urban sociology, and previous professional experience as an engineer, Simon's research aims to explore the co-evolution of design and development strategies and socio-economic-ecological processes shaping cities. This approach involves analysis and integration of often disconnected research fields - architecture and urban planning, the property sector and utilities industry, and the stimulation of a collaborative, inter-disciplinary methodological approach with academic colleagues with specialism's in architecture, planning, humanities, social sciences and engineering and with partners from the professions and industry.

Simon has close working relationships with academic researchers in Europe, North America and Asia, holding visiting Research Fellowships in leading research institutes in Tokyo, Paris, Berlin, Graz, Texas, Leuven, California and Singapore. This research agenda has been funded by Research Council, European and Industry Funds spread across the social sciences (ESRC) and engineering (EPSRC), and across environmental (Global Environmental Change) and economic themes (Cities and Economic Competitiveness).

Professor Simon Guy

Professor Geraint Howells

Head, School of Law

Geraint Howells is Professor of Commercial Law in the School of Law.  He joined the University of Manchester in 2008 having previously been a Professor at the Universities of Lancaster and Sheffield.  He became Head of School of Law at the start of the 2011/12 academic year.

He is a founder member and previous President of the International Association for Consumer Law; and is a practising Barrister in London.

He is General Editor of the Markets and Law Series and previously general editor of European Business Law library, European Consumer Law Journal and Yearbook of Consumer Law.

He has published widely and his books include Comparative Product LiabilityConsumer Product SafetyConsumer Protection LawEC Consumer LawProduct LiabilityEuropean Fair Trading Law, Handbook of Research on International Consumer Law and The Tobacco Challenge.

Geraint has held visiting appointments at Würzburg and Münster Universities (Germany), Paris XI (France), Helsinki University (Finland), Tennessee, Washburn and Nova Universities (USA), and  University of Sydney (Australia) and  Waikato Law School (New Zealand).

His current research interests are

  • Consumer Law
  • Product Liability
  • European Private Law
  • E-Commerce
Professor Geraint Howells

Professor Fiona Devine

Head, Manchester Business School

Fiona Devine is Professor of Sociology and was previously Head of Sociology (2004-7) and Head of the School of Social Sciences (2009-13). She joined the University of Manchester in 1994 and was promoted to Professor in 2001.  Prior to joining Manchester, she worked at the University of Liverpool, the Policy Studies Institute and the (then) Department of Employment HQ in London.  She studied Sociology and Government as an undergraduate degree at the University of Essex where she also completed an MA and PhD.

Fiona's research interests are in the fields of social stratification and mobility, work and employment and politics and participation from a comparative US/UK perspective. Much of her research has been funded by grants from the ESRC and the Leverhulme Trust. She is currently working on the BBC's Great British Class Survey with Professor Mike Savage at the LSE and a team based at Manchester, LSE and York. 

Fiona was a member of Council of the Economic and Social Research Council and Chair of its International Advisory Committee (2003-7).  She was on the Board of NORFACE and was a member of the Governing Council of the European Science Foundation. She has held visiting positions at the University at Chicago, Harvard University and the University of Queensland. She is currently an Honorary Professor in the Institute of Social Science Research at UQ. 

She was awarded an OBE for Services to Social Sciences in 2010 and elected to the Academy of Social Sciences in 2011. 

Professor Fiona Devine

Professor Chris Orme

Head, School of Social Sciences

Chris Orme studied at York (BSc in Mathematics and Economics) and LSE (MSC Mathematical Economics and Econometrics) and obtained his DPhil from York in 1989 (Misspecification and Inference in Microeconometrics. He held Lectureships at the Universities of Hull (1984/5) and York (1985/7) before moving to the University of Nottingham in 1987. Returned to York in 1989 and then took the Chair in Econometrics at Manchester in 1995.

Honorary Visiting Professor, University of York, 1997-date. Member of the ESRC Strategic Research Board (2005-2009). Advisory Panel Chair, World Economy and Finance Programme (2006-2010). Advisory Panel Member, CeMMAP (2008-date). Managing Editor of The Manchester School journal from 1996-2005, 2008-date. Research Director in Economics (1997-2000). Research Dean in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law (2000-2004). Head of Economics (2004-2007 & 2011-13) and School of Social Sciences Research Director (2011-13).

He has published widely in the leading economics, econometrics and statistics journals (Econometrica, Journal of Econometrics, Econometric Theory, Econometrics Journal, Econometrics Review, International Economic Review, Biometrika), principally in the area of econometric misspecification theory and testing although his collaborative work addresses issues in labour economics (Economic Journal, Journal of Applied Econometrics).

Professor Chris Orme