Dr Christian O'Connell
Academic Course Leader in History
"I teach on courses covering democracy and slavery in the 19th century, the long Civil Rights movement, and major themes in the 20th century.
I am primarily a cultural historian and I am particularly interested in the diffusion of African American culture both in Europe and the US. I completed my PhD in 2012, which examined the emergence of transatlantic study of African American blues music through the work of Paul Oliver.
My passion for history actually originates with the blues. I've loved the blues since I was little, and through it I became aware of the issues surrounding African American history: slavery, civil rights, culture, and the influence this had on American society.
In my teaching I use culture as a new way of exploring the past, providing new and previously unheard interpretations.
I recently won a prestigious Fulbright scholarship, in which I spent four months teaching and researching at Elon University in North Carolina. While there I began a new project on the African American experience of WWII in Italy. This experience greatly influenced my teaching at Gloucestershire."
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