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Dr Steven Gray

Senior Lecturer

Steven Gray


Dr Steven Gray joined the department in 2015, having previously lectured at Swansea University. He completed his doctoral thesis at the University of Warwick, with the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

He is part of the Port Towns and Urban Cultures research group which is dedicated to furthering our understanding of the social and cultural impact of life in port towns from the eighteenth century to the modern period.

Steven welcomes PhD applicants interested in navy and empire, particularly social and cultural aspects, c.1800-1914


Research Interests

Steven is interested in British imperial, maritime, transnational, global and transoceanic history. He is particularly interested in the material infrastructures of global networks, and how these facilitated the mobility of goods, people, militaries and empires.

He has published several journal articles which looked at how the expansion of a steam-powered Royal Navy in the second half of the nineteenth century had wider ramifications across the British empire. Steam Power and Sea Power Coal, the Royal Navy, and the British Empire, c. 1870-1914  (Palgrave, 2017) examined how steam propulsion made vessels less subject to the vagaries of tides, winds and currents, but it also made them utterly dependent on a particular resource – coal – and its distribution around the world. The book assesses how this created geopolitical tensions, required large infrastructures, as well as labour forces, and also engendered cultural connections around the globe.

He is currently working on naval imperial mobility, interactions with animals, and the exotic imagination.

He is also editing, with Prof. Louise Miskell, New Perspectives on Welsh Industrial History (University of Wales Press), and, with Prof. Joanne Begiato and Dr Karen Downing, Negotiating Masculinities and Modernity in the Maritime World, 1815-1940 (Palgrave). 


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