Professor Martin Halliwell

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

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International)

Professor of American Studies

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Professional Profile

Martin Halliwell is Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) and Director of International Strategy for the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities 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 (2005-13).

He is a member of the Centre for Medical Humanities at Leicester and the first John Maynard Keynes Visiting Professor in US Studies at the Institute of the Americas, University College London from October 2013 to December 2016. He also holds Guest Professorships at Shanghai International Studies University and at Tongji University.

He is the current Chair of the English Association, after serving as the Association's Higher Education Chair for three years (2012-15). He 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), and he is now the UK Ambassador for the European Association for American Studies and an Executive Member of the International American Studies Association. He chaired the QAA Subject Benchmark Review Group in 2014-15 that produced the latest English Benchmark statement.

He was a panel member of the English Language and Literature Subpanel for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. He actively engages with research council policy. He was an Arts and Humanities Research Council's Peer Reviewer between 2006 and 2015 and an AHRC Strategic Reviewer since 2011. He sat on the AHRC's postgraduate funding panel (2006-9), currently sits on the AHRC's Science in Culture Advisory Group, and is Leicester's Site Director for the Midlands3Cities AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership

He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the English Association, and a member of BAAS, EAAS, the Organization of American Historians (OAH), the International Association of University Professors of English (IAUPE), the Modernist Studies Association (MSA), the American Studies Association (ASA), and the Modern Language Association (MLA). He is a regular member of the Intellectual History Group based at Jesus College, University of Cambridge since 2002.

Research Interests

His research interests span US cultural and intellectual history, the medical humanities, twentieth-century and contemporary American literature, American film after 1945, popular music, critical theory, psychoanalysis, the history of religion, and avant-garde culture. He is the author of nine books and two edited collections.

He is finishing his current monograph, Voices of Mental Health: Medicine, Politics, and American Culture, 1970-2000, to be published by Rutgers University Press in 2017. This research has been supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Eccles Centre at the British Library, where he is a 2016-17 Visiting Fellow in North American Studies.

Voices of Mental Health is a follow-up project to 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 over six years.

His other work-in-progress is an edited volume with Dr Nick Witham of UCL. Entitled Reframing 1968: American Politics, Protest and Identity, the collection will be published in early 2018 by Edinburgh University Press to commemorate fifty years since the most turbulent year in modern American history. 

His most recent monograph is in the field of music studies, Neil Young: American Traveller, for Reaktion and University of Chicago Press. The book's publication in North America coincided with Neil Young's 70th birthday in November 2015 and was marked by author talks in Toronto and Nashville. This work consolidates the author's history of progressive rock Beyond and Before: Progressive Rock since the 1960s (with Paul Hegarty), which 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.

He is Series Editor of four academic series with Edinburgh University Press: the nine-volume Twentieth-Century American Culture (2007-10), Edinburgh Critical Guides to Literature (with Andy Mousley, 2008-16), and the BAAS Paperbacks Series (with Emily West). In early 2016 he is launching a new monograph series Modern American Literature and the New Twentieth Century, co-edited with Mark Whalan at the University of Oregon.


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, American Modernism, Medicine and Disability, War Culture, Alfred Hitchcock, Michel Foucault, John Updike, Henry James, Tennessee Williams, Henry Miller, Philip K. Dick, Don DeLillo, William Burroughs, F. Scott Fitzgerald, H.D., Avant-Garde Writing, Cult Fiction, Beat Fiction, Ethnicities.

He has externally examined twenty-four PhDs, he has supervised ten research students to completion, and currently has six PhD students (two hold AHRC studentships). He is keen to supervise projects at PhD and MA level that fall within the following areas:

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


Martin Halliwell teaches across the range of American literature from the Revolutionary period 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.

Recent Publications

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