Professor Martin Halliwell

Personal details | Publications | Research | Teaching | Supervision

Professor of American Studies

halliwell, martin

Department: English and Centre for American Studies

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2645


Office: Room 1302, Attenborough Tower

Address: School of Arts, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH

Personal details


I am a specialist in American cultural, intellectual and literary history of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and in the health humanities. I am Professor of American Studies in the Centre for American Studies. I served as Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor International (2013-16), the Director of International Strategy for the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities (2013-18), a Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership Site Director (2013-18), Head of the School of English (2008-13), and Director of American Studies (2005-8). I am the Co-Lead for Humanities and Social Sciences for the University’s Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund and a member of the Action on Communities on Health and Equality group.

Beyond Leicester, I am the President of the English Association, following four years as the Association’s Chair of Trustees. I was Chair of the British Association for American Studies (2010-13), after serving as Vice-Chair of BAAS and Chair of Publications. I am currently an Ambassador for Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers for the European Association for American Studies, after serving as the UK Ambassador for EAAS for five years.

I chaired the QAA Subject Benchmark Review Group in 2014-15 that produced the latest English Benchmark statement. I was a panel member of the English Language and Literature Subpanel for the Research Excellence Framework REF2014, and am a subpanel member in REF2021 for the criteria-setting and assessment stages, as well as being the named REF2021 interdisciplinary lead for Unit of Assessment 29.

I was an Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Peer Reviewer 2006-15 and a Strategic Reviewer 2011-15, and I sat on the AHRC’s postgraduate funding panel 2006-9. I currently sit on the AHRC’s Science in Culture Advisory Group and am a member of the cross-research council Mental Health Experts Group. In November 2016 I became Co-Chair the Arts and Humanities Alliance. In this role I sit on the British Academy’s Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Skills Advisory Group and the Strategic Forum for the Humanities.

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), the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Sociological Association. I am a regular member of the Intellectual History Group based at Jesus College, University of Cambridge since 2002.


  • BA English, University of Exeter
  • MA Critical Theory, University of Exeter
  • PhD American Studies, University of Nottingham
  • Senior Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy
  • ILM Award Level 7 in Strategic Leadership



  • American Health Crisis: Panic, Planning, and Politics, 1918–2018 (in preparation)
  • Voices of Mental Health: Medicine, Politics, and American Culture, 1970–2000 (Rutgers University Press, 2017)
  • Neil Young: American Traveller (Reaktion and University of Chicago Press, 2015)
  • Therapeutic Revolutions: Medicine, Psychiatry, and American Culture, 1945–1970 (Rutgers University Press, hbk 2013, pbk 2014)
  • Beyond and Before: Progressive Rock Since the 1960s (New York: Bloomsbury, 2011) [co-authored with Paul Hegarty]
  • American Culture in the 1950s (Edinburgh University, 2007)
  • The Constant Dialogue: Reinhold Niebuhr and American Intellectual Culture (American Intellectual Culture series, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005).
  • Images of Idiocy: The Idiot Figure in Modern Fiction and Film (Brookfield, VT: Ashgate, February 2004; reissued by Routledge in 2016).
  • Critical Humanisms: Humanist/Anti-Humanist Dialogues (Edinburgh University Press, 2003) [co-authored with Andrew Mousley]
  • Modernism and Morality: Ethical Devices in Transatlantic Fiction (London: Palgrave, 2001). Republished in an updated paperback edition as Transatlantic Modernism: Moral Dilemmas in Modernist Fiction (Edinburgh University Press, 2006).
  • Romantic Science and the Experience of Self: Transatlantic Crosscurrents from William James to Oliver Sacks (London: Ashgate, 1999; reissued by Routledge in hbk in 2016 and pbk in 2017).

Edited volumes

  • The Edinburgh Companion to the Politics of American Health (Edinburgh University Press, in preparation) [co-edited with Sophie Jones]
  • Reframing 1968: American Politics, Protest and Identity (Edinburgh University Press, 2018) [co-edited with Nick Witham]
  • William James and the Transatlantic Conversation: Pragmatism, Pluralism and the Philosophy of Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014) [co-edited with Joel Rasmussen]
  • American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century (Edinburgh UP and Columbia UP, October 2008) [co-edited with Catherine Morley]


My research interests span American cultural and intellectual history, the health humanities and disability studies, twentieth-century and contemporary American fiction, American film after 1945, the history of popular music, critical theory, psychoanalysis and the history of psychology, urban cultures, the avant-garde, and cultures of protest.

In October 2017 I published my tenth monograph, Voices of Mental Health: Medicine, Politics, and American Culture, 1970-2000 and in February 2018 the co-edited volume Reframing 1968: American Politics, Protest and Identity to mark 50 years since the most turbulent year in modern American history.

I am currently working on three projects:

  • an archival monograph project on American Health Crises
  • a co-edited companion on The Politics of American Health
  • a project on Biotechnology, Medicine and Contemporary Culture that will form the basis for the third book in a trilogy with Rutgers University Press, following Therapeutic Revolutions (2013) and Voices of Mental Health (2017).

I was Visiting Fellow in North American Studies at the Eccles Centre at the British Library in 2016-17 and Maynard Keynes Visiting Professor in United States Studies at University College London’s Institute of the Americas 2013-16. In 2007 I was Senior Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford.

I am an experienced academic Series Editor and have edited four academic series with Edinburgh University Press:


I teach across the range of American literature from the Revolutionary period to contemporary America, with a special interest in early twentieth-century literature, post-World War II American fiction, film and visual culture, critical theory and popular music.

I currently contribute to:

  • AM1002: Classic US Texts
  • AM1005: Modern American Literature
  • AM1006: The American West
  • AM2011: The American City (convener 2017-18)
  • AM2013: Ethnicity and Diversity in American Literature, 1950-2000

I have taught the following specialist modules:

  • EN3005: Containment and Resistance in 1950s & 1960s American Culture
  • AM3042: American Culture after 9/11
  • AM7132: Literature in Exile Americans in Paris


I have supervised 13 PhDs and 1 MPhil to completion and currently supervise 6 PhD students, three of whom have AHRC funding. I have externally examined 24 PhDs.

I am keen to supervise projects at PhD and MA level that fall within the following areas:

  • Twentieth-Century American Fiction
  • The History of Medicine and Psychology
  • Mental Health (History, Culture, Politics)
  • 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
  • American Ethnicity and Race
  • Cultures of Protest

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