Doctoral researcher, university of Birmingham
Duncan completed an MA dissertation on the rise and spread of literacy in eighteenth century Ireland, including an exploration of the sharp rise in revolutionary sentiments to be found in the popular press of Dublin. He is currently working on a PhD focusing on the significance of the Birmingham metals industry on a national and international level. The thesis heavily relies on local newspapers, such as the Aris’s Birmingham Gazette, as sources that include the coverage of parliamentary amendments of trade laws during wartime. The thesis will also incorporate the role of eighteenth century Birmingham print houses as an interface between enlightened savants and an increasingly literate working population of skilled fabricants, in an attempt to highlight the bonds between enlightened thought and the industrial revolution.