Sharon Monteith

Sharon Monteith


School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
English, Culture and Media


Sharon Monteith is Professor of American Literature and Cultural History at Nottingham Trent University and is the recipient of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship writing The Civil Rights Movement: A Literary History, an archival and interdisciplinary study that will extend civil rights historiography to include the recovery of neglected activists, activist-writers and texts.

Career overview

Most recently, Monteith was at the University of Nottingham where she was Professor of American Studies and founding co-director of the Centre for Research in Race and Rights. From 2013-2016, she was founding Director of the Midlands3Cities-AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership (a consortium comprising of University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University, De Montfort University, University of Leicester, University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University and multiple creative industry partners). Prior to that she was Associate Dean of the University of Nottingham Graduate School with responsibility for the Faculty of Arts.

Research areas

Professor Monteith's interdisciplinary research focuses on the American South, the US civil rights movement and massive resistance in the 1950s and 1960s, African-American literature and Black British writing, American literature and culture, including feature film, documentary cinema, journalism and civil rights media cultures. Her book SNCC’s Stories: Narrative Culture and the African American Freedom Struggle in the US South is being published by the University of Georgia Press. She is currently writing The Civil Rights Movement: A Literary History for Cambridge University Press.

She has supervised some 30 PhD students to successful completion and is currently supervising students working on, for example, southern literary culture and the Reconstruction era-South, contemporary North American fiction, the emotional impact of racially segregated travel in the US; massive resistance to the US civil rights movement, practice-led documentary cinema with a focus on the East Midlands. Previous doctoral projects and topics supervised include, for example:

  • 2015 Madalina Stancileaneu  on the myth of postracialism and the racial controversies facing Barack Obama during his presidential campaign and first term (now assistant for the Public and Political Affairs Unit, University of Nottingham);
  • 2014 Rachel Sykes on The Quiet Contemporary American Novel (forthcoming  Manchester University Press in 2018); now Lecturer in English at University of Birmingham;
  • 2013 Nick Witham on U.S. cultural radicalism and the Central America Solidarity Movement, 1979-1992 (The Cultural Left and the Reagan Era: US Protest and Central American Revolution  published by I. B. Tauris, 2015), now Senior Lecturer in American History, University College London;
  • 2009 Donna Peberdy on Baby Boomers and aging in cinema (Masculinity and Film Performance: Male Angst in Contemporary American Cinema published by Palgrave Macmillan 2011), now Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at Southampton Solent University;
  • 2008 Ceri Gorton on contemporary US writer Kingsolver (formerly with Arts Council England, and Cultural Development Manager, Oxford City Council, now a freelance creative consultant (Bird and Gorton);
  • 2007 Yan Ying on contemporary Chinese and Chinese-American literature (now  Lecturer in Translation Studies, University of Leicester;
  • 2007 Sinead Moynihan on 21st century fiction, published as Passing into the Present: Contemporary American Fiction of Racial and Gender Passing by Manchester University Press, 2012, now Lecturer in American Literature, University of Exeter;
  • 2005 Karen McNally on Frank Sinatra in cinema (When Frankie Went to Hollywood: Frank Sinatra and American Male Identity published by U of Illinois Press, 2008, reprinted 2015), now Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, London Metropolitan University;
  • 2005 Champa Patel on Ralph Bunche and Malcolm X and their activism in Africa; formerly Director of Programmes for Amnesty International and now ‎Head of Asia at Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs);

Professor Monteith welcomes PhD applications from prospective students in any area that relates to her research. Further information may be obtained from the NTU Doctoral School.

External activity

Professor Monteith’s most recent and ongoing collaboration is with Nottingham Black Archive for the AHRC World War I Hidden Histories network.

She recently collaborated with the national charity Journey to Justice to brought its exhibition on US and UK civil rights to the city of Nottingham where it was held at the National Justice Museum and involved partnership with Midlands3Cities, Nottingham City Council, and multiple community partners and schools, as well as Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham to tell additional stories about the history of rights and justice in Nottingham.

Sponsors and collaborators

Professor Monteith's research has been supported by the Leverhulme Trust, the AHRC, the British Academy, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

In 2016 she was the PI for a British Academy Landmark Conference Grant and the BA held its first three-day conference on Civil Rights Documentary Cinema and the US 1960s: Transatlantic Conversations on US History, Race and Rights bringing together  civil rights activists, documentary filmmakers, and historians and cultural critics. It involved a public event to commemorate the life of former SNCC activist and head of the NAACP, Julian Bond.

Most recently, she was Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, University of Mississippi for The Radical South: Southern Activism, Past and Present.

She has supervised and is supervising a number of PhD students and welcomes applications from prospective candidates who would like to work with her (please see Research Areas).

Professor Nahem Yousaf (NTU) and Professor Monteith are co-editors of Manchester University Press series of monographs Contemporary American and Canadian Writers. This series publishes the work of established and emerging scholars to reflect the breadth and diversity of contemporary North American writing.

Examples include David Brauner, Philip Roth (2007); Mark Brown, Paul Auster (2007); Andrew Tate, Douglas Coupland (2008); Sinead Moynihan, Passing into the Present: Contemporary American Fiction of Racial and Gender Passing (2009); David Stirrup, Louise Erdrich (2010); Joe Bray and Alison Gibbons eds. Mark Z. Danielewski (2011); James Peacock, Jonathan Lethem (2011); Andrew Taylor and Simon Malpas, Thomas Pynchon (2013); Maria Holmgren Troy, Elizabeth Kella, Helena Wahlström, Making Home:Orphanhood, Kinship, and Cultural Memory in Contemporary American Novels (2014); Cindy Hamilton, Sarah Paretsky (2015). Other titles are forthcoming.  Please address and email proposals to both editors.


Examples of publications include:


The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American South (New York: CUP, 2013);

Peter Ling and Sharon Monteith eds., Gender and the Civil Rights Movement (New York: Garland, 1999/reprinted Rutgers University Press, 2004; Routledge (New York), 2017;

Sharon Monteith, Grzegorz Kosc, Clara Juncker, Britta Waldschmidt-Nelson eds. The Transatlantic Sixties: Europe and the United States in the Counterculture Decade (Munich: Transcript, 2013);

American Culture in the 1960s (Edinburgh University Press, 2008) repr.2014;

Film Histories (with Mark Jancovich and Paul Grainge) (Edinburgh University Press/University of Toronto Press 2007; Edinburgh Scholarship Online 2012);

Sharon Monteith, Margaretta Jolly, Nahem Yousaf, Ronald Paul eds., Critical Perspectives on Pat Barker (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2005);

Sharon Monteith, Jenny Newman, Pat Wheeler (Hertfordshire), eds., Contemporary British and Irish Fiction: Novelists in Interview (London: Arnold, 2004/ New York: Oxford University Press, 2004);

Suzanne Jones and Sharon Monteith eds., South to a New Place: Region, Literature, Culture (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2002)

Pat Barker (Northcote House and the British Council, 2002);

Advancing Sisterhood? Interracial Friendships in Contemporary Southern Fiction (Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 2000)

Articles and essays

“1968 and the screen” in Reframing 1968: American Politics, Protest and Identity eds. Martin Halliwell and Nick Witham (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2018).

“"Who was William Faulkner to them?" Racial Liberals and Civil Rights Workers in the Civil Rights Era,” in Fifty Years After Faulkner ed. Jay Watson and Ann Abadie (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2016), 222-235.

‘“I second that emotion”: a case for using imaginative sources in writing civil rights history’, Patterns of Prejudice (Vol. 49, No. 4, 2015), 440-465.

“Civil Rights Fiction Film” in The Cambridge Companion to American Civil Rights Literature ed. Julie Armstrong (CUP, 2015), 123-142.

“Civil Rights Fiction” in The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American South ed. Monteith (2013), 159-173.

“A Tale of Three Bridges: Pont Saint-Michel, Paris 1961, Trefechan Bridge, Aberystwyth, Wales, 1963, and the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma Alabama, 1965” in The Transatlantic Sixties (2013),  283-312.

“SNCC’s Stories at the Barricades” in Philip Davies and Iwan Morgan eds. From Sit-Ins to SNCC: Student Civil Rights Protest in the 1960s (Gainesville: University of Florida Press (2012), 97-115.

“Exploiting Civil Rights: Pulp Movies in the 1960s,” in Kathryn McKee and Deborah Barker eds., American Cinema and the Southern Imaginary (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011), 194-217.

“Hurricane Katrina: Five Years After”, Journal of American Studies 44: 3 (2010): 475-82.

“Sally Hemings in Visual Culture: A Radical Act of the Imagination?” Slavery and Abolition, (2008): 233-246.

“Emmett Till’s Murder in the Melodramatic Imagination: William Bradford Huie and Vin Packer” in Christopher Metress and Harriet Pollack eds., Emmett Till in Literary Memory and Imagination (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2008), 31-52.

“Southern Like US?” The Global South (January 2007) Vol 1 No. 1.

Nahem Yousaf and Sharon Monteith, “Making an Impression: New Immigrant Fiction in the Post-War South”, in Modern Language Forum 2004, Vol. 60. No. 2 (Spring 2004), special issue on “Rethinking the American South,” 214-224.

Nahem Yousaf and Sharon Monteith, ‘“I was Pearl and my last name was Harbor”: Monique Truong’s “Kelly” and Ethnic Southern Memory’ North Carolina Literary Review (2004), 113-122.

“The Movie-Made Movement: Civil Rites of Passage” in Paul Grainge ed. Memory and Popular Film (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003), 120-143.

“Between Girls: Kaye Gibbons's Ellen Foster and Friendship as a Monologic Formulation,” Journal of American Studies Vol. 33. No. 1 (1999), 45-64.

'"The 1960s echo on": Images of Martin Luther King as deployed by white writers of contemporary fiction' in Brian Ward ed., Media, Culture and the Modern African Freedom Struggle (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001), 255-272.

“America's domestic aliens: African Americans and the issue of citizenship in the Thomas Jefferson/Sally Hemings story,” Alien Identities: Exploring Difference in Film and Fiction Imelda Whelehan et al eds. (London: Pluto Press, 1999), 31-48.

Sharon Monteith and Richard H. King, “Jurisgenerative Narratives: Talking to Patricia J. Williams after the Reith Lectures” Critical Survey Vol. 9 No. 2, 1997, 4-14.

“On the streets and in the tower blocks: Ravinder Randhawa's A Wicked Old Woman and Livi Michael's Under a Thin Moon” Critical Survey Diverse Communities Issue Vol. 8. No. 1, 1996, 26-36.

See all of Sharon Monteith's publications...

Press expertise

  • The American South
  • The US civil rights movement
  • The American 1960s
  • Race, rights and social justice
  • The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)