Past PhD students

Natalie Armitage: The Voodoo Doll as Historical and Cultural Artefact

PhD thesis title: 'The Voodoo Doll as Historical and Cultural Artefact'

Supervisor: Dr Natalie Zacek

Research project

My thesis explores the historical and cultural origins of the misconception that the figurative image magic practice that we commonly call the ‘voodoo doll’ was a practice of the Vodou religion.

My approach is multi-disciplinary, firstly looking at the actual historical origins of such practices, mainly in European witchcraft, through to representation in popular culture to the present day, as well as factors such as negative race stereotypes and the pervasiveness of the uncanny fear of dolls.


  • ‘European & African Figural Ritual Magic: The beginnings of the voodoo doll myth’ in The Materiality of Magic: An artifactual investigation into ritual practices and popular beliefs Natalie Armitage and Ceri Houlbrook, eds. 2015, Oxbow Books Ltd.

Conference papers

  • ‘Behind Glass: Magical and Religious Objects Out of Context’ The 36th Annual Conference of the Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG), The University of Manchester, 15-17 December 2014
  • ‘The Face/Race Behind the Mask: To what extent does reluctance for racial diversity in comic book adaptations reveal prejudicial attitudes in modern cultural forms?’ Marginalised Mainstream: Disguise, 28–29 November 2014 Senate House, University of London
  • ‘Public Images and Effigy: The Enduring Nature of the Human Effigy throughout European History’ Objects and Remembering, University of Manchester, 20 June 2014
  • ‘Nkisi Healing Statues’ Exploring African Medicinal and Religious Objects in Manchester Museum, Manchester Museum, 22 March 2014
  • ‘Witchcraft, Satanism & Voodoo Rites: the synonymous nature of Afro-Caribbean religion and the Occult in Popular Culture’ Divergences and Transformations in the Americas: exploring the reconfiguration of a region, University of Newcastle, 21 March 2014
  • ‘Wax Dolls, Poppets and Images of Infamy’ Emotional Objects: Touching Emotions in Europe 1600-1900, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, 11-12 October 2013
  • ‘Bonnie McCullough to Bonnie Bennett: The Complications of Fading Race and Emerging Witchcraft in The Vampire Diaries’ 2nd Annual Marginalised Mainstream Conference, Fading and Emerging: Tracing the Mainstream in Literature and Popular Culture, Institute of English Studies, University of London, 12-13 September 2013
  • ‘Tituba: “Black” Witch of Salem, A Case Study’ American Studies Postgraduate Conference, The University of Manchester, 16 May 2013
  • ‘Artefacts of European & African Figural Ritual Magic: The Beginnings of the Voodoo Doll Myth’ The 34th Annual Conference of the Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG), Panel: ‘The Materiality of Magic,’ Liverpool University, 17-19 December 2012

Emma Berg: Jewishness, Zakar, and Writing: Yiddishkait as a Textual Identity'

PhD Thesis Title: Jewishness, Zakar, and Writing: Yiddishkait as a Textual Identity

George Bickers: Children of the City': Protests, Counterculture, and Space in the City

PhD thesis title: ''Children of the City': Protests, Counterculture, and Space in the City'

Amy Bride: Unveiling the Finance that Haunts the Racial Ghosts of American Gothic Fiction

PhD thesis title: 'Unveiling the Finance that Haunts the Racial Ghosts of American Gothic Fiction'

Supervisor: Dr Douglas Field

Carys Crossen: Gender and Sexuality in Post-1800 Werewolf Fiction

PhD thesis title: '"There is God and the Devil in Them";' Gender and Sexuality in Post-1800 Werewolf Fiction and Film'

Supervisor: Professor Jacqueline Pearson

Research project

As the title suggests, this is an exploration of gender and sexuality in English and American novels and films featuring werewolves, and common themes and developments in this area since the revival/reinvention of the werewolf during the Gothic period of the 19th century. The werewolf has often been neglected by critical studies of horror and the Gothic, which is a shame as this is a very rich and rewarding area of research.

My particular interest is the figure of the female werewolf, her rarity in comparison to the male werewolf, her status in society, particularly with the recent trend to include werewolf packs in fictions, and her abject status and relation to the symbolic order.

Comparisons with other fictional monsters such as the vampire suggest that the werewolf, a monster that appears  throughout thousands of years Western culture, points backwards into our distant past and represents a deeply primal, animalistic aspect of humanity.

Other research interests

  • Monster theory in general
  • The horror film
  • The Gothic
  • Feminist theory
  • The graphic novel

Gwynne George: Postfeminism, Blackness and Authenticity

Research Project

Thesis title: Postfeminism, Blackness and Authenticity


Nicole Gipson: Makes Me Wanna Holler: Pathways to Understanding African American Adult Single Able-Bodied ...

PhD thesis title: 'Makes Me Wanna Holler: Pathways to Understanding African American Adult Single Able-Bodied Homelessness from 1980'

Supervisors: Dr David Brown and Dr Kerry Pimblott

Joshua Gulam: Hollywood Philanthropic: The Cultural Politics of Do-gooding Film Stars

PhD thesis title: 'The Cultural Politics of Do-gooding Film Stars'

Supervisors: Dr Eithne Quinn and Dr Ian Scott

Research project

My doctoral thesis examines the philanthropic activities of contemporary Hollywood film stars, and how these activities intersect with their onscreen representation in films.

The thesis contains chapters on Matt Damon, George Clooney, and Angelina Jolie. My research is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Other interests

My main research interests are in the intersection between Hollywood film and US politics; stardom and celebrity studies; and the production and reception of Hollywood “issue” films. I am currently a Graduate Teaching Assistant on American Film Studies, a second year American Studies module at The University of Manchester.

Jarrod Homer: Jewish American artists of the mid-20th Century

PhD title: "Jewish American artists of the mid-20th Century"

Research project

My research is concerned with examining the output of Jewish American artists working in a variety of cultural fields in the mid-20th Century in order to discover what they reveal of the complexities of American culture at-large during the 1940s and 1950s.

By examining cultural artefacts from a wide spectrum of artistic mediums, including literature, comic books, film, photography, radio and television, my research looks at how Jewish authorship within these fields was best adept at interpreting both the main streets and back roads of an era that encompassed the tail end of the depression, World War II, unprecedented economic prosperity, unfettered consumerism, the Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement, along with the coming of the teen-age, rock 'n' roll, the birth of television and the Atomic Age.

The project has four main facets; firstly it will examine the examples of Jewish art from this era to see whether they reinforce a commonly held reality, that is, whether they are evidence of a time in which a specifically Jewish character coincided with more general cultural feelings, and what these sentiments reveal of individual, parochial and national American character.

The second facet regards the issue of authorship during the creation, production and dissemination of these Jewish texts and how political, ideological and sociological factors influenced the essence and veracity of the art being produced.

These two facets, in turn, open up two other avenues to explore; firstly, the nature, character and importance of Jewish assimilation in mid-20th Century American culture and how this plays out and evolves in the relationship between that culture and Jewish artistic texts.

Secondly, yet complementary to the previous mode of enquiry, is the relationship between social reality and artistic representation, discussing the extent to which Jewish artefacts either sought to influence and alter their culture or tried to approximate an astute reflection of actuality, both contemporaneously as a form of artistic cultural reform and retrospectively, in an on-going mutation of perception through popular memory.

Other research interests

Running throughout these discussions will be the themes of assimilation, the American Dream, masculinity and, almost unavoidably, identity.

David Jones: Apart and a Part: Dissonance, Double Consciousness, and the Politics of Black Identity in African

PhD thesis title: 'Apart and a Part: Dissonance, Double Consciousness, and the Politics of Black Identity in African'

Research project

My thesis examines the politics of black identity in African American literature during what Leerom Medovoi has characterised as the ‘age of three worlds’. Across four chapters, I analyse texts by Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, and Lorraine Hansberry, exploring the way in which their writing plays out within and against the geopolitical exigencies of the Cold War and contemporaneous discourses of black (inter)nationalism. In doing so, I consider the contrasting ways in which each of them displaces the binary logic that characterised much of the cultural and political discourse of fifties America. Rejecting either/or identities, they all decentre received notions of both American-ness and blackness by juxtaposing them with alternative spaces and temporalities. What emerges, I argue, is a dual perspective that is simultaneously local and transnational.

By extricating themselves, whether physically or intellectually, from a monolithic representational framework, Ellison, Wright, Baldwin, and Hansberry recast the idea of double consciousness famously articulated by W. E. B. Du Bois in The Souls of Black Folk (1903). Instead, of being a self-negating non-identity that serves as the psychological corollary to African Americans’ marginalised status, ‘two-ness’ is transmuted into a privileged vantage point that allows them to both intervene on the world historical stage as empowered modern subjects and renegotiate their relationship with the United States.

What this two-ness amounts to, I suggest, is a kind of dissonance. ‘Dissonance’, Duke Ellington claimed in 1941, names black people’s ‘way of life in America. We are something apart, yet an integral part’. The principle of introducing a ‘wrong’ note into a piece of music in order to generate new modalities of expression found in jazz finds a literary and social counterpart in the work of my chosen writers. Each of them embodies and mobilises the socially grounded sense of being apart and a part alluded to by Ellington as a means of defamiliarising normative notions of race, gender, and sexuality as they pertain to American-ness. In their place, they posit alternative forms of knowledge and politicised identity that set about transforming what it means to be both black and American in the middle of the twentieth century.

Conference presentations

  • David Jones. (2014). James Baldwin and the Uncloseting of American History. Presented at James Baldwin: Transatlantic Commuter. Universite Paul Valery, Montpellier, France
  • David Jones. (2013). Review of The Art of Nick Cave: New Critical Essays. J M T E, 6(2), 221-227 DOI: 10.1386/jmte.6.2.221_5
  •  David Jones. (2013). 'It makes me think of Africa': Decolonisation Meets Suburbanisation in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. Presented at PG BAAS/IAAS 2013 conference Homeward Bound: Nation, Belonging and the American Home. University of Nottingham, UK.
  • David Jones. (2012). "Transatlantic Identity Politics in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun'. Presented at Transatlantic Studies Association Annual Conference. University of Cork, Ireland.
  • David Jones. (2012). '[T]he past [...] can now be put to the uses of power': Reframing African American History Transnationally in James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time. Presented at BAAS Postgraduate Conference 2012. University of Leicester.

Helen Kilburn: Black serfs

PhD thesis title: 'Black serfs: The influence of feudalism, religious conflict and Englishness on the institutionalisation of slavery in Maryland under the proprietorship of the Lords Baltimore, 1634-1689'

Patrick Massey: New Orleans Exceptionalism in the Cultural Response to Hurricane Katrina

PhD thesis title: 'New Orleans Exceptionalism in the Cultural Response to Hurricane Katrina'

Olga Michael:Pastiche and Family Strife in Contemporary American Women’s Graphic Memoirs

PhD thesis title: 'Pastiche and Family Strife in Contemporary American Women’s Graphic Memoirs: Phoebe Gloeckner, Lynda Barry and Alison Bechdel'

Research project

My thesis examines the role of intertextual references in the form of pastiche in contemporary American women’s graphic memoirs. It investigates how the visual/verbal combination of the genre performs the contemporary women artists’ engagement with the male literary and artistic canon towards feminist reparative ends.

Taking Phoebe Gloeckner, Lynda Barry and Alison Bechdel’s works as representative works, I argue that pastiche reacts against the injuries inflicted on their autobiographical subjects by abusive parents, and against the injuries inflicted on women artists by the marginalisation of their art. Academic criticism on contemporary graphic memoirs largely focuses on how public, large-scale traumatic events are mediated through the form of comics.My research sheds light on how private, repeated, everyday forms of trauma are negotiated and ultimately repaired in Gloeckner, Barry and Bechdel’s graphic memoirs through the use of pastiche, which functions, as I argue, to make amends.

In so doing, it foregrounds the availability of comics for performances of complex subject formations beyond trauma, and for a productive feminist engagement with canonical male traditions that establishes the cultural significance of American women’s graphic memoirs.

Other interests

My research interests include autobiographical performances in verbal/visual media beyond that of comics, the relationship between trauma and the visual, the effect of visual representations of trauma on viewers, and the reparative function of literature and art. In addition, I am interested in how contemporary women’s art undoes and rewrites pre-existing, male-dominated cultural formations of the girl and the woman, and how it deconstructs the boundaries between high and low art.

Joseph Morton - 'Reconsidering the Dream: A Critical Examination of California Historiography and Literature'

PhD thesis title: 'Reconsidering the Dream: A Critical Examination of California Historiography and Literature'

My research focuses on the culture and mythology of California, with particular reference to Southern California in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Looking across literature, historiography and criticism, I examine the mythology and imaginative representations of California and how such representations affect cultural, social and physical constructions within Southern California.

I am interested in how California has been historically defined and my research attempts to trace understandings of California through texts and discursive networks.

Considering more finely how California has been defined and how these definitions move through literary, visual and spatial texts should help to better our understanding of a region which has often been presented as exceptional and distinct from the rest of the United States.

In tracing this intellectual history, my research examines definitions and representations of California through the lenses of nationality, race, class and gender and how the meaning of California is contested between different groups.

In this thesis' wider context, it contributes to discussions on the American West and American regionalism.

Conference papers

I have presented papers on California at the British Association of American Studies annual conference, a number of postgraduate conferences, and the Western Literature Association annual conference.


Gemma Moss: Modernist Literature and Musical Form: James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Sylvia Townsend Warner

PhD thesis title: 'Modernist Literature and Musical Form: James Joyce, Ezra Pound and Sylvia Townsend Warner'

Research project

My research examines the use of musical form in the novels of James Joyce and Sylvia Townsend Warner, and the poetry of Ezra Pound.

I investigate how the use of musical form facilitated the changes in meaning and obscurity of form through which writers responded to urbanisation and alienation.

I explore how Joyce and Warner use music's non-referentiality to replicate and engender inclusive cosmopolitan communities and democratise their texts' reception.

By contrast, Pound uses music to foster communities of exclusion and further doctrines of political and cultural hierarchy. My research investigates these authors' uses of music as a form of politicisation, rather than retreat into 'high art'.

Katie Myerscough : Progressive Plans and Urban Realities in St. Louis, 1890-1930

I am interested in how and why Progressives tried to shape and control city space. This has led to a wider consideration of city planning and the City Beautiful movement at the turn of the 20th century, particularly in the city of St. Louis, Missouri.

I have focused on St. Louis because situated in the border state of Missouri it is home to contradictions concerning race, gender, ethnicity and class. I investigate how these concepts are determined by, and can also determine, urban space and place.

Community clashes over and within urban space were often at odds with Progressive plans. I look at various controversies in the city’s history to understand how space and place are used and abused, and reflect on what this suggests about the Progressive movement and the developing planning agenda in America. The work is supervised by Dr David Brown and Dr Natalie Zacek.

Chapters of my thesis include:

  • an investigation of the ideal and the real use of city space as conveyed in St. Louis’s World’s Fair of 1904;
  • African-American women’s community clubs and neighbourhood organisations; and
  • white supremacists early attempts to implement segregated ordinances for housing and neighbourhoods.

Janet Rogerson: As obvious as an ear: Frank O'Hara's sound

PhD thesis title: 'As obvious as an ear: Frank O'Hara's sound'

Research project

My discipline is poetry and I am currently working on a collection of poems called Leopard. Over the course of the PhD I have written many poems, though my goal is to incorporate only work that is consistent with my beliefs about the non-negotiable features of a poem. Each poet will have a different idea of what these are, for me it is the poem's relationship to the imagination (a mandatory one) and the imagination's relationship to the sound of the poem.

My ideas about poetics are linked to the research element of the PhD, the title of which is: 'As obvious as an ear: Frank O'Hara's sound'. This project examines the New York poet Frank O'Hara, whose critical reception has been unusual in its avoidance of any significant consideration of the poet's sound. Since all poetry has sound at its core, this omission is curious in relation to O'Hara who has otherwise been extensively written about. My research also considers how O'Hara's own writings, which dismiss the value of criticism, have brought about a reluctance in critics to apply the usual critical thumbscrews in terms of technique.

The test of a poem is publication and performance. It has been argued that a poem does not exist until it has been read or heard by someone else (unfortunately supervisors don't count). During the course of a PhD in poetry, considerable efforts are made to ensure people other than your supervisors read and hear your work. There have been various opportunities to perform my poems and present aspects of my critical work in front of both small and large audiences, most significantly at the British and Irish Contemporary Poetry Conference, which was hosted by the Centre for New Writing in 2013. Perpetual journal submissions and publication concerns, a large number of rejections, and a reasonable number of acceptances are the usual by-products of a Creative Writing PhD.

Alicia Rouverol

"The Narrative Now: A Study of the Use of Time in Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad and Ali Smith's The Accidental'"

My PhD research explores the work of Egan and Smith, examining the notion of ‘fluid conceptualization of time’ as well as experimental uses of narrative structures in this ‘contemporary literary moment’.

How do these authors use time within their books, in narrative form and in content? And how is the concept of linear, universal time challenged—or ‘disintegrate[d]’, according to J. L. Borges—in the process? My interest stems from my own experiments with time in fiction writing.

I aim to:

  • develop effective use of time in narrative; and
  • contribute to a growing body of literature on time by contemporary UK and US writers Smith and Egan, whose work has yet to be explored critically, and examine this nascent interest in hypertext and art theory as it intersects with contemporary literature.

My creative dissertation is a novel-in-progress, The Other Side of Darwin, set in a fictionalised Northern California town, and follows a company meltdown from the perspective of both workers and owners. The book grows out of my long-time interest in workers and work culture. Like Egan’s and Smith’s work, it is also about time and will include experimental forms of metanarratives, PowerPoint, and hypertext.

Other interests

For many years I worked in folklore, traipsing around North America documenting worker culture. Out of this research came my first co-authored book, I Was Content and Not Content The Story of Linda Lord and the Closing of Penobscot Poultry, called ‘compassionate and sorely needed’ by The New York Times.

Several academic articles in Oral History Review, Oral History (UK), and Journal of Applied Folklore, among others, have been used in US teaching curricula and translated.

Current fiction includes The Other Side of Darwin and Dry River; literary publications, fiction and nonfiction, are featured in Dandelion Review, The Puckerbrush Review, Island Journal and The Independent.

I’ve been a contributing reviewer for The Monitor and a reader for Narrative. A recipient of an Elizabeth George Foundation writing grant, I came to Manchester on the NAFUM and Albert Baker Fund awards and stayed on as a Presidential Doctoral Scholar.

I spend any spare time chasing my girls and gardening, when it’s not raining.


Matthew Stallard: "The State of Society is Awful"

PhD thesis title:'"The State of Society is Awful": Poor Whites, Class, Mobility, and the Mixed-Labour Economy of New Orleans, 1820-1835' 

Research project

My thesis focuses on the growth, composition, lived experience, and economic and social position of the poor white population of New Orleans during the period.

The main focus of my project has been the compilation of a an innovative and unique database of New Orleans residents based on census returns, city directories, immigration records, apprenticeship indentures, slave purchasing contracts, and other material. The database has allowed me to track the lives of thousands of individuals during the period, as well as the overall demographic, occupational, and social changes in the city.

The project demonstrates that economic and social class played a determining role in whether white men formed households, found wives, and had children in a demographic situation where white men significantly outnumbered white women. It also allows us to show that the lives of poorer individuals were marked by itinerant lifestyles, a lack of voting rights, communal male-dominated living and working places, high levels of morbidity, and outbreaks of ethnic, racial, and sporadic violence.

I have also described how the mixed-labour economy of enslaved labourers for purchase, hire, or self-hire, free black and white waged labourers, and apprenticeship allowed the capital-owning classes of the city to drive remuneration for working people down to its lowest possible level, undermining racial solidarity along class lines in the white supremacist South, leading to widespread class-based anxieties, protest, and oppression.

Other projects

  • Project Researcher – Derby Museums and Fifth Word Theatre – 'This Is Normanton' Project 
    An HLF-funded project recording the changing landscape of the diverse Normanton and Pear Tree areas of Derby, coordinating a team of volunteers conducting archival research, recording oral history interviews, leading to an exhibition in Spring 2018 and a live theatre performance.
  • JISC Student Innovation Award Winner 2016 – mappademia
    Secured full development funding for mobile mapping project creation and management application aimed at academic, heritage, community, and environment sectors.
  • Researcher in Residence – Stockport Museums – Bramall Hall
    Conducted research, created content, and completed digital design for two interactive public exhibits for the new Visitor Centre at the hall as part of HLF refurbishment project, reopened in July 2016. Consultant Researcher – Museum of Science and Industry Winner of 1st Prize in 2015 REALab consultation programme for creation of report into incorporating diverse stories and representing underrepresented groups with the museum’s permanent galleries.

Henry Thompson: Censorship in Hollywood: 1960 - present day

PhD title: "Censorship in Hollywood: 1960 - present day"

Research project

For anyone interested in issues of censorship and political influence on film making in Hollywood, the early decades of the industry provide a natural starting point for study. Key landmarks which have been extensively researched include the Production Code Administration in the classical era, the establishment of the Office of War Information in 1942, the hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1947 and the subsequent witch hunts and blacklists of the McCarthy era.

However, for those interested in questions of censorship, political influence and cultural signification in more recent decades the landscape is much less well marked. The 1960s saw the beginnings of a number of trends that have complicated efforts to untangle issues of censorship and political influence from other business drivers in Hollywood.

One key trend has been the increasing intermingling of the worlds (and common interests) of entertainment and national politics- the elections of Ronald Reagan as President in 1980 and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Governor of California in 2003 being two notable milestones. The close relationship between Hollywood and Washington did not begin in the post-1960 era. However the extensive use of celebrity in support of political fundraising has been a significant development, a development driven in part by the growing penetration of television and the associated costs of advertising.

Hollywood has benefited as a consequence of this collaboration, not least through having access to the highest levels of Congress and the Executive. A second key trend in the post-1960 era has been the decline of the Production Code and the introduction in 1968 of the now familiar ratings system, a system administered by the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA) on behalf of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

In its pursuit of the joint objectives of encouraging artistic expression while remaining sensitive to the standards of the larger society, and in particular parents, CARA has found itself in the centre of the sometimes heated debates about acceptable mainstream cinematic tastes. A third trend is the increasingly complex and globalised ownership and operating structures within Hollywood. Commercial packaging requirements have become both multi-media and multi-national as video games, theme parks and the movies themselves become co-dependent components of global brands. These developments bring their own sensitivities and constraints on cinematic content. 

Not all of Hollywood's influences emerged in the post-1960 era. From the Supreme Court to national Church organisations, elements of Government and civil society have exerted an influence on Hollywood throughout its history. The focus of my research is to ask firstly how all of these influences have ultimately affected the content and ideological sub-texts of Hollywood's post-1960 output, and then secondly what role Hollywood cinema plays in cultural signification and social control.

Immediate interests

The influence exerted by the studios on CARA and the rating system and the effects this has had on the amount of explicit content (aka sex and violence) offered to teenage audiences. The role and influence of the national church organisations in the set up and on-going operation of the ratings system. The relationship between Hollywood and the United States Information Agency (USIA). Personal background.

After qualifying in organisational psychology I worked in the telecommunications industry firstly in training and change management, and more recently in commercial and operational management. I returned to The University of Manchester for part time study in the Department of American Studies in 2004, and commenced doctoral research in the autumn of 2006.

James West: Ebony Magazine and the Making and Selling of Modern Black History

PhD thesis title: 'Ebony Magazine and the Making and Selling of Modern Black History'

Research project

My doctoral project examines the role played by Ebony Magazine and Johnson Publishing Company in the production and dissemination of popular black history during the 1960s and 1970s.

Focusing on figures such as Lerone Bennett Jr., the magazine's senior editor and in-house historian, I explore how Ebony provided in-depth historical articles and series for its millions of readers, seeking to contextualise shifts in civil rights activism during the 1960s through the lens of black history.

In turn, these endeavours led to the establishment of a dedicated book press which converted many of Bennett's black history series into full-length studies such as 'Before the Mayflower' which became best-selling history texts.

However, while the magazine looked to popularize black history for a national and international audience, it also used the black past as a strategic device which helped to reinforce underlying editorial biases. In addition, Ebony became a key staging ground for American advertisers to stake their own claim on the black past through the guise of corporate responsibility and a celebration of multiracial consumerism - often in ways that were ideologically distant from Bennett's own writing.


  • ‘No Place Like Home: Black Chicago and Johnson Publishing Company, 1942-1975’ in Damaris B. Hill ed. Freedom and Frontiers. Lexington Books. (Forthcoming).
  • ‘A Double Edged Sword?: Ebony Magazine and the 2008 Obama Campaign’ in J. Metcalf and C. Spaulding ed. African American Culture and Society Post Rodney King: Provocations and Protests, Progression and ‘Post-Racialism’. Ashgate, 2015. 
  • ‘We Were All Pioneers: a discussion with Simeon Booker’, Southern Quarterly: A Journal of Arts and Letters in the South 52:1 (2014): 215-223
  • ‘Civil Rights Summer: 50 years after the Freedom Summer and Civil Rights Act of 1964’, American Historian (2014).
  • ‘Rethinking Representations of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence: A Case Study of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission’, Journal of International Women’s Studies 14.4 (2013): 109-123.
  • Article shortlisted for Feminist and Women’s Studies Association Annual Essay prize: Spring 2013.
  • ‘James Brown, Stokely Carmichael and acceptable forms of black power activism’, Black Diaspora Review 4.1 (2013): 36-75.

Recent conference presentations (2014—)

  • Writing Across the Color Line: Ethics, Problems and Productive Possibilities (occasion: MELUS 2015 Annual Conference, Athens, USA) (9-12 April 2015).
  • Power was Changing Colors’: Lerone Bennett Jr., Stokely Carmichael and Black Power Past and Present (occasion: Media & Civil Rights History Symposium, University of South Carolina, USA) (2-4 April 2015).
  • The Books You’ve Waited For: The JPC Book Division and the Recovery of Black History (occasion: University Of Cambridge History Postgraduate Seminar, University of Cambridge, UK) (10 March 2015).
  • Answering the ‘so what’ question: a case study of the University of Manchester Researcher-in-Residence Project (occasion: Travelling Beyond: Academia’s Place in the Wider World: University of Manchester PDS Conference 2014, University of Manchester, UK) (10 December 2014).
  • Translating Research into Action: A Case Study of a Researcher-in-Residence Role at the Ahmed Iqbal Race Relations Resource Centre (occasion: 7th MMU Postgraduate Research Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) (4 November 2014).
  • This issue is a history book in itself: Ebony magazine and the pedagogy of black history (occasion: African American Expression in Print and Digital Culture, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) (19-21 September 2014).
  • Listen to the Blood: Ebony, Advertisers and African American Cultural Politics from King to Reagan (occasion: Research Luncheon, Kluge Center Library of Congress, Washington D.C, USA) (21 July 2014).
  • Postgraduate Outreach Opportunities and Research Impact (occasion: Annual American Studies Postgraduate Conference, University of Manchester, UK) (23 May 2014).
  • His Light Still Shines: Ebony Magazine, American Advertisers and King’s Rhetorical Legacy (occasion: BAAS 59thAnnual Conference, University of Birmingham, UK) (10-13 April 2014).
  • Let’s get it together: Ebony, Greyhound and African American Corporate Citizenship in the Post-Civil Rights Era (occasion: Cutting Edge Postgraduate Conference, Edge Hill University, UK) (22 March 2014).

Selected awards, fellowships and prizes (2014—)


  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation BMRC Fellowship: University of Chicago
  • Royal Historical Society Conference Award
  • Carter G. Woodson Fellowship: Emory University
  • Eccles Centre Award in North American Studies: British Library


  • AHRC Conference Award
  • BAAS Ambassador’s Award
  • IPS John W. Kluge Center Fellowship: Library of Congress
  • HOTCUS Doctoral and Early Career Travel Award
  • Researcher-in-Residence Award