Professor Martin Halliwell


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

Head of the School of Arts

Professor of American Studies

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I am a specialist in American cultural, intellectual and literary history and the medical humanities. I am Professor of American Studies in the Centre for American Studies and the Head of the School of Arts. I am also International Director for the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities and Site Director for the Midlands3Cities AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership. I served as Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor International for three years (2013-16) and I'm a former Head of the School of English (2008-13).

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

I was also a panel member of the English Subpanel for the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Elsewhere, I was an Arts and Humanities Research Council's Peer Reviewer between 2006 and 2015 and an AHRC Strategic Reviewer since 2011. I also sat on the AHRC's postgraduate funding panel (2006-9), and I currently sit on the AHRC's Science in Culture Advisory Group and a member of the cross-research council Mental Health Experts Group. From November 2016 I began to Co-Chair the Arts and Humanities Alliance.

I am 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). I am a regular member of the Intellectual History Group based at Jesus College, University of Cambridge since 2002.


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.


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

His tenth monograph, Voices of Mental Health: Medicine, Politics, and American Culture, 1970-2000, is to be published by Rutgers University Press in 2017. This research has been supported by the Wellcome Trust, University College London 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 mark 50 years since the most turbulent year in modern American history.

His most recent monograph is in the field of popular music, 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 currently working on two projects in the fields of (1) American Health Crises and (2) Biotechnology, Medicine and Contemporary Culture, the second of which will form the basis for the third book in a trilogy, following Therapeutic Revolutions (2013) and Voices of Mental Health (2017).

He an experienced Series Editor with Edinburgh University Press and has edited four academic series: the 9-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 launched a new monograph series Modern American Literature and the New Twentieth Century, co-edited with Mark Whalan at the University of Oregon.



I teach on the MA Modern Literature, MA English Studies and MA Humanities/MA Medical Humanities. I have supervised PhD, MPhil and MA dissertations on Literary Adaptations, American Modernism, Americans in Paris, Medicine and Disability, War Cultures, 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.

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

  • Twentieth-Century American Fiction
  • The History of American Medicine and Psychology
  • Mental Health
  • 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

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