Some information about me
My interests lie in the spatial analysis of historical and social change, and in particular in the possibilities (and limitations) of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for this type of research. Specifically, I am very interested in the geographies of socio-economic and ethno-religious exclusion and conflict.
To date, a great deal of my attention has focussed on the Irish context and I have co-authored a book which examines these issues called, Troubled Geographies: A Spatial History of Religion and Society in Ireland Since the Famine (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, In press). In addition to this other articles and book chapters relating to the spatial dimensions of religio-political conflict in Ireland during the twentieth century will appear in 2013.
While at CRESC I have also conducted research on the BBC's 'Great British Class Survey' (GBCS), a major web survey conducted in 2011 to examine the role and relevance of social class in the UK today. The idea was developed by Mike Savage (shortly of the LSE), and Fiona Devine (Manchester) in conjunction with the national broadcaster. The GBCS is extraordinary in two key respects. Firstly, with over 160,000 participants to date, it provides an unprecedented sample for class analysis in the social sciences. The availability of geographic data on participants means that it is possible to map contemporary attitudes towards, and metrics of social class with remarkable spatial granularity and to look at distributions not only across aggregate regions, but within and across our major cities. Secondly, the GBCS has been heavily influenced by the work of the French sociologist, Pierre Bourdieu, so that it is structured towards the development of a more nuanced understanding of class which sees it constructed and reflected not simply through economic metrics, but also in the cultural and social dimensions of our lives. A paper outlining work on the potential of the GBCS to provide a new model of social class will appear in the April 2013 edition of Sociology.
I am also developing a project on social and ethnic urban segregation in Manchester with Dr. Laurence Brown of the History Department here at Manchester University. Laurence has an expertise on Manchester and a methodological sympathy with regard to the potential of GIS for historical research. In April 2012 we organised an exploratory workshop with input from Angela Dale (CCSR, Manchester), Ludi Simpson (CCSR, Manchester), Ian Gregory (History, Lancaster) and Martin Dodge (Geography, Manchester) to look at the spatial and historical dynamics of ethnic segregation in Manchester's Moss Side. We are working with colleagues in the Research Department at Oldham Council using new datasets to explore these issues.
Publications and conference activities
- Ian Gregory, Niall Cunningham, Ian Shuttleworth, Chris Lloyd & Paul Ell. Troubled Geographies. The Spatial Humanities. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press (In press), 2013. eScholarID:157457
- Ian N. Gregory, Niall A. Cunningham & Ian Shuttleworth. "Geographical Information Systems as a research tool for Religious Studies." In How to Research Religion, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. eScholarID:175964
- Niall Cunningham. "‘Troubled Geographies’: An Historical GIS of Religion, Society and Conflict in Ireland Since the Great Famine." In Re-thinking Space and Place, ed. Andrew Geddes & Ian Gregory, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press (In press), 2013. eScholarID:157459
- M. Savage, F. Devine, N. Cunningham, M. Taylor, Y. Li, J. Hjellbrekke, B. Le Roux & S. Friedman. "A New Model of Social Class? Finding's from the BBC's Great British Class Survey Experiment." Sociology 47, no. 2(2013) . eScholarID:188667
- Niall Cunningham. "'The doctrine of vicarious punishment': space, religion and the Belfast Troubles of 1920-22." Journal of Historical Geography 40, no. 1(2013) : 52-66. eScholarID:185012 | DOI:10.1016/j.jhg.2013.01.001
- Niall Cunningham. ‘Ethnic Segregation, Urban Change and the Role of GIS’. In CRESC GIS & Ethnic Segregation workshop (organised with Laurence Brown)26 April 2012. University of Manchester. eScholarID:187034
- Ian Gregory & Niall Cunningham. ‘Geographies of division and conflict: Religious change in twentieth century Ireland’. In AHRC/ESRC New Forms of Public Religion: ‘Religion and Society’ end of grant awardees conference05 September 2012 - 07 September 2012. St. John's College, University of Cambridge, UK. eScholarID:187038
- Niall Cunningham. ‘Hard to Miss, Easy to Blame: Peacelines and Ethno-National Killings During the Troubles’. In Royal Geographical Society – Institute of British Geographers, Annual Conference 2012: Security of Geography/Geography of Security03 July 2012 - 05 July 2012. University of Edinburgh, UK. eScholarID:187036
- Niall Cunningham. ‘Israel or ‘Insula Sacra’? The role of ‘Religious’ territoriality during the Northern Ireland Troubles’. In American Association of Geographers (AAG): AAG Annual Conference 201224 February 2012 - 24 February 2012. New York Hilton, New York, NY, USA. eScholarID:187031
- Niall Cunningham. ‘The doctrine of ‘Vicarious Punishment’: Space, Religion and the Belfast ‘Troubles’ of 1920 – 22’. In International Institute for Social History: The European Social Science History Conference11 April 2012 - 14 April 2012. University of Glasgow, UK. eScholarID:187033
- Niall Cunningham. ‘“A sort of whirlwind”: Political Violence and Changing Patterns of Presbyterian Religious Observance in Ireland’. In EUREL with CRESC Colloquium 2012: Religion and Territory25 October 2012 - 26 October 2012. Chancellor's Hotel, University of Manchester, UK. eScholarID:187039
- Niall Cunningham. ‘“Frightfully Hard to Explain…”: Religious Geography, Deprivation and Political Deaths During the Northern Ireland Troubles, 1969-2001’. In 15th Annual Conference of Historical Geographers06 August 2012 - 10 August 2012. Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. eScholarID:187037
- Niall Cunningham. 'Mapping Social Change in Manchester and Beyond at CRESC'. In MMXII (Mapping Manchester 2012)12 December 2011. People's History Museum, Manchester, UK. eScholarID:187043
- Mike Savage & Niall Cunningham. ‘Preliminary findings from the Great British Class Survey’. In CRESC: The Sociology/Social History of Class in Contemporary Britain: Conversations with Anthropology26 May 2011. University of Manchester. eScholarID:187030
- Niall Cunningham. ‘The Potential of e-Resource Collaboration in Irish and Celtic Studies: a Micro-Study of Edwardian Belfast’. In Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis (CDDA), Queen’s University of Belfast: Irish and Celtic Studies e-Resource Workshop08 April 2011. Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), Belfast, UK. eScholarID:187042
- Ian Gregory & Niall Cunningham. ‘An HGIS of Religious Change in Ireland’. In National Centre for Geocomputation (NCG): Research Seminar Series12 February 2009. National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA), National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland. eScholarID:187041
- Niall Cunningham. ‘Harnessing digital technologies for spatio-temporal analysis in historical research: A GIS approach to long-term religious division in Ireland’. In Network of Expert Centres in Digital Arts and Humanities: Research Methodologies in the Humanities and Arts11 December 2008. Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis, School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast, UK. eScholarID:187040
- Niall Cunningham, Ian Gregory & Paul Ell. 2008. ‘New approaches to the Troubles in Northern Ireland’. In Social Science History Association: ‘It’s About Time’ - Temporality and Interdisciplinary Research: 33rd Annual Meeting23 November 2008 - 26 November 2008. Miami Intercontinental, Miami, FL, USA. eScholarID:187025
- Niall Cunningham. -07. ‘Troubled Geographies: Two Centuries of Religious Division in Ireland’ – Preliminary analysis. In Religion, Diaspora and Ethnicities Conference: Religion and Society grant awardees conference09 July 2008 - 11 July 2008. St. Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, UK. eScholarID:187023
- Niall Cunningham. ‘Mapping long-term religious change in Ireland: A methodological and contextual introduction’. In Historical GIS Research Network: HGIS 2008 Conference21 August 2008 - 22 August 2008. University of Essex. eScholarID:187024
- Niall Cunningham. ‘Mapping the Frontiers of Modernity: A Spatial Analysis of Religious Change and Conflict in Ireland since the Famine’. In Ireland and Modernity – An Interdisciplinary Conference11 November 2010 - 13 November 2010. Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland. eScholarID:187029
- Niall Cunningham. ‘'Religion has its Place': An HGIS of Religious Change and Conflict in Ireland Since the Famine’. In Geographical Society of Ireland: Prospect and Retrospect: Conference of Irish Geographers 200914 May 2009 - 16 May 2009. University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. eScholarID:187027
- Ian Gregory, Paul Ell & Niall Cunningham. ‘Towards an Irish Historical GIS: Long-term change in Irish religion, 1861-2001’. In Social Science History Association: ‘It’s About Time’ - Temporality and Interdisciplinary Research: 33rd Annual Meeting23 November 2008 - 26 November 2008. Miami Intercontinental, Miami, FL, USA. eScholarID:187026
- Niall Cunningham. ‘‘Maimed at the start’’: Belfast During the Troubles’. In Social Science History Association: Agency and Action 34th Annual Meeting12 November 2009 - 15 November 2009. Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA, USA. eScholarID:187028
- 'A sort of whirlwind': Political Violence and Changing Patterns of Presbyterian Religious Observance in Ireland. eScholarID:187873
Refereed Journal Papers
Niall Cunningham (2013), 'The Social Geography of Violence During the Belfast Troubles, 1920-22', CRESC Working Paper 122.
Thu, Oct 25th 2012 - Fri, Oct 26th 2012
Eurel Conference 2012, Religion and Territory - 25 & 26th October
Thu, Apr 26th 2012
An afternoon workshop which explores the potential of Geographical Information Systems technology in the analysis of ethnic segregation, with input fron leading scholars in the field including Angela Dale (CCSR, Manchester), Martin Dodge (Geography, Manchester), Ian Gregory (Digital Humanities, Lancaster) and Ludi Simpson (CCSR, Manchester). Please reserve a place with CRESC Secretary Bussie Awosanya (Olubusola.Awosanya@manchester.ac.uk). Places are limited.
Wed, May 8th 2013
A one-day symposium of talks on post-war urban transformations in Manchester.