David Isserman

Graduate Teaching Assistant in History

I joined the history faculty at Edge Hill University as a GTA in the fall of 2019. My Ph.D is a comparative study of syndicalism and industrial unionism among maritime workers in Liverpool and Glasgow between 1905 and 1926. Both port towns were major centers of international trade and commerce and were often seen as “second cities of Empire” due to their importance to the British economy. The trade union movement of each city was very much reflected the maritime nature of the local economy and were often influenced by a variety of local political and cultural factors. However, precisely because of the globalized nature of maritime trade a number of transnational influencers, such as the Industrial Workers of the World, Irish nationalism, European anarcho-syndicalism, and white labourism, would also have a profound influence on the character of labour radicalism in each city. My thesis also explores how labour radicalism in the maritime proletariat possibly created a separate consciousness within this sector of the British working class, and whether these port-towns acted as “frontier cities” representing the political and cultural edge of British society.

Before moving to Britain I have previously lived, worked, and studied in the United States and Canada. I completed my undergraduate education at Queens University in Kingston Ontario and my Masters degree in history at McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario. I also took part in the City University of New York’s “Union Semester Program” in the spring of 2017 where I interned at the Transport Workers Union Local 100, working as an education officer.

Research interests:

  • Modern Britain
  • Imperial and Commonwealth history
  • Trade unionism and left-wing politics
  • The Irish Diaspora
  • Race, ethnicity, and transnational politics
  • Maritime radicalism and sailor town culture.


  • B.A Queens University
  • M.A McMaster University
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