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

Religious, Philosophical and Historical Studies

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.


I am Academic Course Leader in History, and Senior Lecturer in American social, cultural and political history. I focus on African American history from slavery to Black Power, but my interest in the subject began with the blues, which led to my first book Blues, How Do You Do? (Michigan, 2015). I’m also fascinated by the ways American culture has travelled and shaped societies and cultures beyond the nation’s borders.


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

Trustee of the European Blues Association

British Association of American Studies

Historians of the Twentieth Century United States

Teaching and research


Christian teaches American social, cultural and political history. His modules focus on the relationship between democracy and slavery from the Revolution to the Civil War; Reconstruction and the rise of the 'New South' after the war; conflict, capitalism and culture in the 'American Century;' and the long Civil Rights movement.


Undergraduate, Postgraduate


Primarily a cultural historian, Christian is interested in the transatlantic diffusion of American culture, particularly music. He has also published on the representations of the American South on British television, and now working on race relations in Italy during WWII. Christian is also an oral history specialist, and put together the local history project entitled Cheltenham’s Lower High Street: Past, Present & Future.???


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

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