Staff Profiles: Dr. Christian O'Connell

Dr. Christian O'Connell

Staff Profile: Dr. Christian O'Connell
Academic Course Leader in History

Dr. Christian O'Connell

Dr. Christian O'Connell

Academic Course Leader in History

History, Religion, Philosophy and Ethics

I am a Senior Lecturer in American history, teaching courses on democracy and slavery in the 19th century, reconstruction and the South after the Civil War, major themes in 20th century US history, and the long civil rights movement.

Telephone: +44 (0)1242 714713 Email:


I am responsible for teaching the modules in the history of the United States. These include the first year module as Democracy, Freedom & Slavery: the USA 1776-1865, ‘The American Century:’ Major themes in 20th c. US History; and the third year specialist module The Quest for Equality: Civil Rights in the USA, 1930-1970. I am currently also developing a new second year module on the US and the South after the Civil War.


Award Title Institution Date
BA (Hons) Geography University of Leeds 2001
MA American Studies Kings College London 2006
PhD History University of Gloucestershire 2012
PGCert PGCAP University of Gloucestershire 2015


Fulbright-Elon Scholar Award (Jan-May 2016)

BAAS/UCL Institute of the Americas Visiting Fellow, 2015

BAAS Short-Term Travel Award 2011

Eccles Centre Postgraduate Awards in North American Studies 2011

Membership of professional bodies

British Association of American Studies

American Studies Association

Historians of the Twentieth Century United States

Teaching and research


Christian's teaching focuses on US history from the Revolutionary era to the late twentieth century. His main areas of focus are the history and evolution of race relations in the US and how popular culture can be a means of understanding the past.


Undergraduate, Postgraduate


Primarily a cultural historian, he is interested in the diffusion of African American culture in Europe. As part of his Fulbright award, he is working a project that considers the adoption of black culture in Italy during the 1930s. He is also currently working on a project that considers the representations of the American South in British popular culture.


More publications from Dr. Christian O'Connell can be found in the Research Repository.

External responsibilities

Christian is also a semi-professional musician and often performs his musical documentary The Discovery of the Blues. He also teaches an online course entitled 'A History of the Blues.'

Subjects for media interviews

American and African American History

The Blues and African American Culture

Race Relations and Politics in the US

We kindly ask that media contacts wishing to speak to this member of staff do so through the University press office: