Professor Martin Halliwell

halliwell, martinBA, MA (Exeter), PhD (Nottingham), FRSA

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International)

Professor of American Studies

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Research Interests

Martin Halliwell is Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) and Director of International Strategy for the College of Arts, Humanities and Law at the University of Leicester. He is Professor of American Studies in the Centre for American Studies and the School of English and has been head of both of these academic departments.

He is also John Maynard Keynes Visiting Professor in US Studies at the Institute of the Americas, University College London from October 2013 to December 2014. During this time he will be working on his current monograph project, entitled Voices of Health and Illness: Medicine, Psychiatry, and American Culture, 1970-2000.

This is a follow-up project to his recently published Therapeutic Revolutions: Medicine, Psychiatry and American Culture, 1945-1970 (Rutgers University Press, 2013). This project began when Martin Halliwell was Senior Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford in 2007 and involved extensive archive work in North America over six years.

His research interests span US cultural and intellectual history, twentieth-century and contemporary American literature, American film after 1945, the history of medicine and psychology, critical theory, and avant-garde culture. He has published work on the history of ideas, transatlantic literature and culture, American and European modernism, religion, psychoanalysis, medicine and psychiatry, film, and popular music. He is the author of eight books and two edited collections.

He has a new co-edited volume, William James and the Transatlantic Conversation: Pragmatism, Pluralism, and Philosophy of Religion, which will be published by Oxford University Press in January 2014 and will include essays by David Hollinger, Richard King, Leslie Butler, David Lamberth and Jeremy Carrette, among others. This volume stems from an international conference he co-organized with Joel Rasmussen (University of Oxford) to commemorate the William James Centenary at the Rothermere American Institute in 2010.

His history of progressive rock Beyond and Before: Progressive Rock since the 1960s (with Paul Hegarty) was published in summer 2011. It was reviewed in The Wire, Record Collector, Classic Rock and Jazzwise, and Record Collector named it one of the music books of the year. In the field of music studies, he has been contracted to write Neil Young: American Traveller for Reaktion's Reverb series, which will be published in 2015.

He is Series Editor of three major acadmic book series with Edinburgh University Press: the nine-volume Twentieth-Century American Culture, Edinburgh Critical Guides to Literature (with Andy Mousley, now 18 volumes), and the BAAS Paperbacks Series (with Emily West).

He was co-organiser (with George Lewis) of the 52nd British Association for American Studies Conference hosted by the Centre for American Studies at the University of Leicester in April 2007, and he organised the 50 Years In Space colloquium (in collaboration with the Leicester Space Research Centre) held at the National Space Centre in Leicester, in spring 2007.

Martin Halliwell was the 18th Chair of the British Association for American Studies (2010-13), after serving as Vice-Chair of BAAS and Chair of the Publications Subcommittee for two years (2008-10). He is now the UK Representative for the European Association for American Studies.

He is a panel member of the English Language and Literature Subpanel for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014; the current Chair of the English Association's Higher Education Committee (2012-15); a board member of the International American Studies Association; a member of the Council for Area Studies Association (UKCASA); an active member of Council for College and University English (CCUE), and a regular member of the Intellectual History Group based at Jesus College Cambridge since 2002, as well as holding Guest Professorships from the College of English Language and Literature, Shanghai International Studies University and the College of Foreign Languages at Tongji University.

He actively engages with research council policy. He has been a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Peer Review College since 2006 and an AHRC Strategic Reviewer since 2011 (with an emphasis on international applications and knowledge transfer). He sat on the AHRC's postgraduate funding panel (2006-9) and recently contributed to a cross-council focus group on interdisciplinarity. He attends Economic and Social Research Council events and attends the Academy of Social Sciences meetings.

Professional membership includes the Organization of American Historians (OAH), the Modernist Studies Association (MSA), the American Studies Association (ASA), and the Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA).

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the English Association, he is also Associate Fellow of the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, Associate Fellow of the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, and a council member of the UCL Institute of the Americas.


Postgraduate Supervision

Martin Halliwell teaches on the MA Modern Literature, MA English Studies and MA Humanities/MA Medical Humanities. He has supervised PhD, MPhil and MA dissertations on Literary Adaptations, Alfred Hitchcock, Michel Foucault, John Updike, Henry James, Tennessee Williams, Henry Miller, Philip K. Dick, Don DeLillo, William Burroughs, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Disability and Literature, Avant-Garde Writing, Cult Fiction, Beat Fiction, Paris and American Modernism, and American Ethnicities.

He has externally examined twenty PhDs, he has supervised seven research students to completion, and currently has six PhD students (one holds an AHRC studentship, two have departmental scholarships, and two have national scholarships). He is keen to supervise projects at PhD and MA level that fall within the following areas:

  • Postwar American Writing
  • American Film 1945-2000
  • 1950s and 1960s American Culture
  • American and European Modernism
  • American Intellectual History
  • Transatlantic Literature and Culture
  • The History of American Medicine, Psychology and Psychoanalysis
  • The Avant-Garde
  • American Visual Culture
  • Literary Adaptations
  • Disability and Modern/Contemporary Culture
  • American Ethnicity and Race
  • American Pragmatism
  • Cultures of Protest


Martin Halliwell teaches across the range of American literature from the Revolutionary period through to contemporary America, with a special interest in early twentieth-century literature and post-World War II American fiction. He teaches American film, visual culture, critical theory and popular music, and offers the MA module Literature and Exile: American Writers in Paris.

  • AM1006: The West (American Studies students)
  • AM2011: The City (American Studies students)
  • AM2013 Ethnicity and Diversity in American Literature 1950-2000 (American Studies and English & American Studies students)
  • EN3005 & AM3040: Containment and Resistance in 1950s and 1960s American Culture (English, American Studies and Film Studies)
  • AM3042: American Culture after 9/11 (American Studies and Film Studies)

Recent Publications

  • Therapeutic Revolutions: Medicine, Psychiatry, and American Culture, 1945-1970 (Rutgers University Press, 2013), xiv + 383 pp.
  • 'American Psychiatry, World War II and the Cold War', in The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century British and American War Literature, ed. Adam Piette and Mark Rawlinson (Edinburgh UP, 2012), 294-303
  • Beyond and Before: Progressive Rock since the 1960s, with Paul Hegarty (Continuum, 2011), 318 pp.
  • 'The Modernist Atlantic: New York, Chicago, and Europe', in The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms, ed. Peter Brooker et al (Oxford UP, 2010)
  • 'Cold War Ground Zero: Medicine, Psyops and the Bomb', Journal of American Studies, 43.3 (2010), 313-32
  • 'Modernist Triangulations: Transnational, International, National', in American Modernism: Cultural Transactions, ed. Morley and Goody (2009), 26-45
  • 'No Place to Go, See': Blindness and World War II Demobilization Narratives', Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability, 3.2 (2009), 163-82
  • American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century, with Catherine Morley (Edinburgh & Columbia University Press, 2008), 324 pp.

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