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Dr Suzanne Forbes

Profile summary

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Professional biography

I joined The Open University in 2015. Before that, I lectured on a part-time basis at University College Dublin and also worked in further education as Assistant Co-ordinator of the National Print Museum Culture & Heritage Local Training Initiative. I am one of the editors of the journal Eighteenth-Century Ireland and co-lead of the project 'Our Shared Built Military Heritage: The online mapping, inventorying and recording of the Army Barracks of Ireland, 1690-1921' which is funded by a Higher Education Authority North South Research Programme award.

Research interests

I am interested in print and political culture in eighteenth-century Ireland, matters addressed in my first monograph Print and Party Politics in Ireland, 1689-1714. I am currently carrying out research on the representative system in eighteenth-century Ireland, focussing on evidence related to controverted elections. I am also engaged in research that involves identifying and mapping historic army barracks on the island of Ireland, 1690-1921.

Teaching interests

My teaching focusses on British and Irish history. At The Open University I have been on module teams for AA100, A105, A200, A825, A826, A223 and A225, and I have written units for A225, A111, A883 and A884. I am currently module team chair of A883, the new MA in History Part 1, which launched in 2022, and I am module team chair of A884, the MA in History Part 2, which is currently in production.  

I have been a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since 2016.

External collaborations

I am co-lead of the 'Our Shared Built Military Heritage' project which is being conducted in partnership with University College Dublin. Visit the project website for further information.  

I co-supervise an OOC-DTP PhD project in collaboration with the History of Parliament Trust.

Externally funded projects

Our Shared Built Military Heritage: The online mapping, inventorying and recording of the Army Barracks of Ireland, 1690-1921
RoleStart dateEnd dateFunding source
Lead01 Sep 202228 Feb 2024HEA Higher Education Authority

The commencement of the building of a countrywide network of army barracks in Ireland in the 1690s was a wholly new and innovative approach to dealing with the age-old problem of maintaining a standing army in both peace and wartime. The Irish model set the example for the rest of the British empire as the utility of residential military complexes became apparent. However, the impact of these barracks and their occupants upon Ireland at a local and national level have not been fully investigated. As sites of contested memory, there continues to be significant misunderstanding and misinterpretation of these buildings, both North and South, which in some cases leads to neglect and disharmony. This project will map all army barracks constructed in Ireland from the 1690s through to the end of a British Military presence in the Irish Free State in 1921-2. This work will build on a pilot project that has already identified 279 barracks sites for the period 1690-1822 and involved field work on County Armagh barrack sites, which in turn led to the development of a pilot map application as proof of concept ( Additional data will be gathered on individual barracks, including textual evidence, building plans and images, and a short summary description of each site will be prepared. This will constitute the first complete inventory of all barracks in Ireland built while the whole island was under British governance. This research will facilitate quantitative and qualitative analysis of military barracks sites in Ireland and provide the groundwork for comparisons with Britain and other countries. It will also facilitate the creation of a range of outputs for use by the general public, educators, and researchers, including a web app that can be used for exploring these sites remotely as well as during visits to barrack locations. Co-Lead HEI partner is University College Dublin


La « nationalité » dans les discours parlementaires britanniques au XIXe siècle (2021-01-01)
Plassart, Anna and Forbes, Suzanne
Mots: Les langages du politique, 121 (pp. 15-36)

A 'Lost' Quaker-Baptist Pamphlet Debate between William Penn and John Plimpton in 1698 (2018-02-28)
Forbes, Suzanne
Eighteenth-Century Ireland, 32 (pp. 44-64)

‘Publick and solemn acknowledgements’: occasional days of state-appointed worship in Ireland, 1689–1702 (2013-11)
Forbes, Suzanne
Irish Historical Studies, 38(152) (pp. 559-578)

Print and Party Politics in Ireland, 1689-1714 (2018-03-22)
Forbes, Suzanne
ISBN : 978-3-319-71585-8 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan