I am a Yorkshire-based writer, independent academic, tutor and musician, who campaigns on transport, the environment and the rights of refugees. For many years I taught Sociology and Media and Cultural Studies in Higher Education where I specialized in environmental protest history, and alternative lifestyles. Many of my ideas and early writings evolved out of my doctoral work with the Earth First! direct action network. I gave up my formal academic career to care for my parents who both had Parkinson’s disease and to help bring up my son. While I was doing this, I began researching and writing about the history of hitchhiking - detailed in my forthcoming book Driving with strangers: what hitchhiking tells us about humanity - which was my own main form of mobility from my teens until my late thirties (and even occasionally still!).
As a writer I have worked on everything from editing international journals and book collections, writing public policy documents, to reviewing house concerts, penning my own songs and supporting fellow authors.
Writing is a highly personal activity but has collective responsibilities. I believe that how we communicate what we know is important for breaking down the barriers within society through the sharing of knowledge and experience.
Whether you are writing poetry, sociological theory or a novel which you think no one will read, do it with passion, do it for yourself, do it believing that someone somewhere will read and be moved by it. Write like your life depends on it.