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Distinguished Professor becomes NTU’s first elected to the British Academy

A Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Cultural History has become Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) first academic to be elected to the British Academy.

Sharon Monteith

Distinguished Professor becomes NTU’s first elected to the British Academy

A Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Cultural History has become Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) first academic to be elected to the British Academy.

Distinguished Professor Sharon Monteith, of the School of Arts and Humanities, was elected to the prestigious organisation following its annual general meeting yesterday (Thursday 20 July).

Founded in 1902, the British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. It is a Fellowship of 1,600 of the leading minds in the UK and overseas in Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts for People and the Economy (SHAPE) disciplines. It is a funding body for high-quality research and a forum for debate and public engagement.

Current Fellows include classicist Professor Dame Mary Beard, historian Professor Sir Simon Schama and philosopher Professor Baroness Onora O’Neill. Previous Fellows include Dame Frances Yates, Sir Winston Churchill, Seamus Heaney and Beatrice Webb.

Professor Monteith is among 86 new Fellows of which 52 are academics based at 29 UK universities. A further 30 Corresponding Fellows elected are from universities in South Africa, Germany, Australia and India, as well as four Honorary Fellows.

Professor Monteith’s interdisciplinary research focuses primarily on activism, including literary activism in the long African American freedom struggle and the civil rights movement. Much of her work has been focused on the US South where she has held fellowships.

Her research in US culture encompasses history and literature, cinema, journalism and media and visual cultures, print and periodicals through which she explores the materiality of racism and class and ethnicity. The methodologies she deploys include archival work, memory studies, and oral history. She has supervised 40 PhD students to successful completion across the subject areas that interlink across her research and publications.

Her most recent book on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, SNCC's Stories: The African American Freedom Movement in the Civil Rights South (2020), published during the pandemic, won the 2021 C. Hugh Holman Book Award judged by The Society for the Study of Southern Literature (SSSL) and the American Studies Network Book Prize awarded by the European Association of American Studies (EAAS) in 2022.

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor and President of NTU, said: “We are delighted to see Sharon elected to the British Academy. It is further recognition that she is one of the outstanding experts in her field of her generation, and we are proud that her world-leading research is being undertaken here at NTU.”

Professor Monteith said: “I am very happy to have been elected a Fellow. It is an honour to have my research recognised in this way by the British Academy.”

Welcoming this year’s elected Fellows, British Academy President Professor Julia Black said: “It is with great pleasure that we welcome yet another outstanding cohort to the Academy’s Fellowship. The scope of research and expertise on display across our newly elected UK, Corresponding and Honorary Fellows shows the breadth and depth of knowledge and insight held by the British Academy and which we work hard to harness to help shape the world.

“With the vast expertise and wide-ranging insights brought by our new Fellows, the Academy continues to showcase the importance of the SHAPE disciplines in opening fresh seams of knowledge and understanding, while simultaneously advancing the well-being and prosperity of societies worldwide. I wholeheartedly congratulate each of our new Fellows on this achievement and look forward to working together.”

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Chris Birkle, Public Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 2310, or via email.

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    The Research Excellence Framework (2021) classed 83% of NTU’s research activity as either world-leading or internationally excellent. 86% of NTU’s research impact was assessed to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

    NTU was awarded The Times and The Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2023 and ranked University of the Year in the Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023. It was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards), University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is the 5th largest UK institution by student numbers, with approximately 40,000 students and more than 4,400 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 7,000 and an NTU community representing over 160 countries.

    Since 2000, NTU has invested £570 million in tools, technology, buildings and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2021 UCAS UG acceptance data). It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was the first UK university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge.

    NTU is ranked 2nd most sustainable university in the world in the 2022 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

Published on 21 July 2023
  • Category: Press office; Research; School of Arts and Humanities