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BA Humanities (University of Ulster)
PG Diploma in American Studies (University of Ulster)
MA in American Studies (University of Ulster)
PhD in American Studies (University of Hawaii)


I am a cultural historian, with a particular interest in public history, museums, memorials, and heritage. I am also interested in representations of history and culture in various mediums including movies, comic books, television programmes, music and literature. My current research interests include the Hippie Trail (c.1955-1979) (with Prof. Sharif Gemie) and festivals and pilgrimage.

Awards and Recognition

- 2003 Carl Bode Journal Award (for the outstanding article published by the Journal of American Culture).
- 2003 Access to College Excellence Award (University of Hawaii).
- 2004 Center for Asia-Pacific Exchange (CAPE) scholarship (Honolulu).
- 2014 Fellow of the Higher Education Academy


I taught for a number of years at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and I’ve been teaching at USW (formerly University of Glamorgan) since 2005.

Classes taught 2001-2015 (except where stated, all USW)

- American Experience: Institutions & Movements (University of Hawaii)
- American Experience: Culture and the Arts (University of Hawaii)
- From Independence to Empire: USA, 1776-1898
- From Slavery to Freedom: Black America, 1619-1940
- The Making of Modern America, c.1900-1980
- Early Modern Societies
- Violence in America
- On the Road: Migration, Exploration and Movement in America
- Empires, Colonies and National Liberation
- Introduction to American Studies
- Britain and America in the Sixties
- America in the Sixties
- MA in Social & Cultural History: The American Road Genre
- MA in Social & Cultural History: The American Dream
- American Violence, Crime and Warfare
- Public History


- ASIST Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, March 2017


I am the Award Leader for the American Studies minor award.
I have also been Award Leader for the MA in Social and Cultural History.
From 01 July 2014 I have been the Academic Manager of History.


Sharif Gemie & Brian Ireland, The Hippie Trail: a history, (1957—78) (forthcoming in Nov 2017 from Manchester University Press)

Brian Ireland, The US Military in Hawai’i: Colonialism, Memory and Resistance. (Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series) Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

  • “Ireland’s book makes a unique and needed contribution” — Hawaiian Journal of History 45 (2011).

  • “[A]n engaging and passionately written study that should interest scholars in numerous fields.” — Journal of American Studies 45 (2011).
  • “Ireland makes a credible and systematic presentation that the last state admitted to the union, Hawai‘i, is arguably the most militarised of all” — Journal of Pacific History 47.4 (2012).
  • “successfully illuminates the US military’s long overlooked (and often negative) influence on Hawai’i’s broader cultural identity” — CHOICE 49.01 (Sept 2011)

‘American Highways: Recurring Images and Themes of the Road Genre’, Journal of American Culture 26.4 (2003): 474-484.

‘Remembering and Forgetting at the Waikiki War Memorial Park and Natatorium’, Hawaiian Journal of History 39 (2005): 53-74.

‘Errand into the Wilderness: The Cursed Earth as Apocalyptic Road Narrative’, Journal of American Studies 43.3 (Dec 2009): 497-534.

Brian Ireland and Sharif Gemie, ‘From Kerouac to the Hippy Trail: Some Notes on the Attraction of On the Road to British Hippies’, Studies in Travel Writing 19.1 (2015): 66-82.

Sharif Gemie & Brian Ireland, ‘The Consul and the Beatnik: the Establishment, Youth Culture and the Beginnings of the Hippy Trail (1966—68)’, forthcoming in Twentieth Century British History journal.

Brian Ireland & Sharif Gemie, ‘Raga Rock: Popular Music and the Turn to the East in the 1960s’ forthcoming in Journal of American Studies, (Cambridge, UK).

‘Enchanted Island: Hawaii, and other American Fantasies’ in Reel Histories: Studies in American Film by Melissa Croteau (Editor) Press Americana: Hollywood Ca, 2008: 21-50.

“‘The Wretched Refuse of Your Teeming Shore’: Overpopulation and Social Breakdown in Harry Harrison’s Make Room! Make Room!” in Dystopia. Ed. M. Keith Booker. Critical Insights Series. Salem Press. September 2012.

“‘All I saw was evil’: Supernatural’s Reactionary Road Trip” in American Studies Today 22 (2013). A different version of this essay appeared in A History of Evil in Popular Culture: What Hannibal Lecter, Stephen King, and Vampires Reveal About America. Volume 1: Evil in Film, Television, and Music. Eds. Sharon Packer & Jody Pennington. Praeger/ABC-CLIO, 2014: pp. 125-38.

Forthcoming Nov 2017: “William Golding’s Lord of the Flies in Historical Context” in Lord of the Flies. Salem Press Critical Insights series.


‘Native Hawaiians in the US Armed Forces’ in Alex Bielakowski (Ed.) Ethnic and Racial Minorities in the US Military. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. August 2012.

‘A champion boxer who won his fight against racial hatred’.Western Mail 31 Jan, 2012: p.18.

‘Road to Hell’ in 2000AD 1659 (October, 2009)

Sharif Gemie & Brian Ireland, ‘The Hippy Trail’, in the exhibition catalogue for ‘The Sixties: A worldwide happening’ at the National Museum of World Cultures, Netherlands, 16 October 2015 until 13 March 2016.

Review of A Time for Peace: The Legacy of the Vietnam War by Robert D. Schulzinger, in American Studies Today 17 (2008) and American Studies Today Online (

Review of The Sixties Unplugged: A Kaleidoscopic History of a Disorderly Decade by Gerard J. DeGroot. Harvard University Press, 2008, in The Canadian Journal of History 44.1 (Spring/Summer 2009): 193-4.

Review of Plague and Fire: Battling Black Death and the 1900 Burning of Honolulu’s Chinatown by James C. Mohr. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005, in American Studies Today 19 (Sep. 2010): 50. Also in American Studies Today Online (

Review of Portraying 9/11: Essays on Representations in Com-ics, Literature, Film and Theatre. Edited by Veronique Bragard, Christophe Dony and Warren Rosenberg. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co, 2011 in American Studies Today 22 (2013)

Review of We Ain’t What We Ought To Be: The Black Freedom Struggle from Emancipation to Obama by Stephen Tuck. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010. The Canadian Journal of History 46.1 (Spring/Summer 2011): 181-2.

Review of Iain Borden, Drive: Journeys through Film, Cities and Landscapes. London: Reaktion, 2013. ISBN: 978-1-78023-026-9. Viewfinder (British Universities Film & Video Council), June 2013.


British Association of American Studies



‘Consolidating Empire: U.S. Imperialism and the Waikiki War Memorial Park and Natatorium’. University of Hawaii East-West Center Conference, Honolulu. February 2002.

‘Errand into the Wilderness: The Cursed Earth as Apocalyptic Road Narrative’. British Association of American Studies Annual Conference. 27-30 March 2008 at the University of Edinburgh.

‘Journeys to the East: the Hippie Trail c.1957-1979’. British Association of American Studies Annual Conference. 18-21 April 2013 at the University of Exeter.

‘Hollywood and the Hippie Trail’. Touch the Sky: the Hippie Trail and other forms of alternative tourism. University of South Wales History Conference. 11-12 October 2013 at the Cardiff Story Museum.

‘Further! How ’Magic Bus’ imagery has been deployed from The Who to the Hippy Trail’. 61st British Association of American Studies Annual Conference. 7-9 April 2016 at Queen’s University Belfast.

‘Raga Rock: The Musical Turn to the East in the Long 1960s’. Festivals, Performing Arts and the Sacred, 11 Nov 2016, University of South Wales, Treforest.

‘On the Hippie Trail’ panel, featuring Tony Wheeler, Alan Edwards, Rory MacLean, Sharif Gemie & Brian Ireland. 27 Nov 2016. Part of the exhibition ‘You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum (10 Sep 2016 – 26 Feb 2017).


I’m currently writing a book about the Hippie Trail (c.1955-1979). Enquiries from students and researchers are welcome. More details can be found here

In the near future I will begin work on a new research project on the 1969 Woodstock and Altamont festivals.

If you are a journalist on deadline and you need to speak with a member of university staff with particular expertise, please contact the Press Office.