Mairead Costello

PhD Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant

Department of International History

Room No
Office Hours
Friday, 2pm to 3pm
Key Expertise
British Imperial History

About me

Mairead is currently working under the supervision of Dr David Motadel. She holds a BA in History and an MA in Historical Research from the University of Sheffield.

She is co-convener of the HY509 International History Research Seminar.

Provisional thesis title:

Global Pilgrims: Christians, Jews, and Muslims in the British Empire, c. 1869-1914

My research is a comparative study of British involvement in Christian, Jewish, and Muslim pilgrimage between c. 1869-1914. I will explore the treatment of these various pilgrims within several local spaces as they travelled from the British to the Ottoman empire, including, the offices of travel agents like Thomas Cook, aboard steamships on the Indian Ocean, to interactions with the British consulates in Palestine and the Hejaz. Through this research, I hope to understand how British foreign policy towards the Ottoman empire affected day-to-day administration of pilgrimage, how cultural and racial perceptions of different religious groups affected their treatment by British workers, and how different groups of people crossed imperial borders. Overall, I hope to reveal the continuities and discontinuities that existed across disparate but comparable spaces in the British and Ottoman empires, while improving our understanding of how the British empire functioned.

Expertise Details

British Imperialism; Imperialism; Pilgrimage; Religion and Empire; Global History; Transimperial History


Mairead teaches the following courses at undergraduate level:

HY120 - Historical Approaches to the Modern World

Honours and awards

  • 2020 - LSE PhD Studentship