About our staff
Dr Megan Hunt
BA (Hons), MA, PhD
Teaching Fellow in American History
Director of Honours Teaching (History)
Affiliated research centres
I studied American Studies at King’s College, London, before completing my MA at the University of Manchester. Continuing my journey north, I completed my PhD at Northumbria University, where I also taught modules in American history, British culture, and academic skills. I then taught American and Transatlantic history at Teesside University, before joining Edinburgh in January 2017.
Conference Secretary: HOTCUS, Historians of the Twentieth Century United States
Co-founder: The Precarity Project, funded by a British Association for American Studies/US Embassy Grant
Summary of research interestsPlaces:
- North America
- Twentieth Century & After
I teach late 19th and 20th century American history, with a focus on issues of race, class, gender, and religion.
My research mostly focuses on the African American civil rights movement and its intersections with cinema, both through representation of the movement onscreen and the physical space of the segregated cinema before 1964. My PhD research examined the representation of southern religion in civil rights cinema, and the implications this has for public memory of the movement and national understanding of the South. This research led to published chapters on Selma, The Help, and Mississippi Burning and a forthcoming monograph.
Current research activities
Beyond my immediate research areas, I have published an article exploring how Martin Luther King, Jr. is taught in British schools. This research contributes to a growing body of work about King as a global figure, and hopes to encourage a more detailed examination of Transatlantic exchange and solidarity during the long freedom struggle. A collaboration with colleagues from Newcastle and Northumbria Universities, this project has led to the publication of a free teaching resource pack. I have also developed school assembly plans for Black History Month 2019, that encourage teachers and students to reflect on links between American and British anti-racism movements. They can be accessed here.
More recent research explores segregated cinema-going in Birmingham, Alabama, during the civil rights campaigns of April 1963. In particular, I have examined intersecting events from April 1963, most notably, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s ‘Project C’ and the Alabama premiere of To Kill a Mockingbird. An article will be published in the Alabama Review in 2023.
Knowledge Exchange and Impact
Martin Luther King in the UK: https://research.ncl.ac.uk/martinlutherking/activities/mlkinuk/
History of the United States
Atticus Finch's America: White Liberals and Race in the United States, 1930-2008
The American Civil Rights Movement
The American South since the Civil War
Modern United States History
The Rights Revolution: The Supreme Court and American Society
Black Nationalism in the United States
The United States in the 1960s
Introduction to Historiography
Historical Skills and Methods I & II
Themes in the Historiography of the Americas
Race, Religion, and Ridicule: The American South from Reconstruction to World War II
MSc Dissertation (History; American History; Contemporary History)
Previously: The Civil Rights Movement
The Sixties in the United States
Historical Research: Skills and Sources
Historical Methodology: Approaches to the Past
I currently supervise three PhD students working across US history, from the Civil War era to the 1990s.
Currently accepting research student applications : Yes
Areas accepting Research Students in:
US history from the late 19th century to the present
Editor and Introduction: '2020 and the Urgent Past,' Comparative American Studies: An International Journal, Vol. 17, Iss. 3-4 (2020).
Chapters & Articles:
“Boutwell, Bull, and Birmingham: To Kill a Mockingbird and Racial Moderation in Alabama’s Magic City”, Alabama Review, Vol. 76, No. 1 (January 2023), 11-46.
'“He Was Shot because America Will Not Give Up on Racism”: Martin Luther King Jr. and the African American Civil Rights Movement in British Schools.' With Benjamin Houston, Brian Ward and Nick Megoran. Journal of American Studies, Volume 55 , Issue 2 , (May 2021), pp. 387 - 417. Open Access. Related op-ed in The Conversation.
'American Studies in Precarious Times: Reflecting on the Teaching Fellow Experience,' Roundtable with E. James West, Tom Bishop, Rebecca Stone, Kendrick Oliver. Journal of American Studies, Vol. 53 (Aug. 2019), pp. 819-836.
‘Hollywood’s southern strategy: portraying white Christianity in late-twentieth century civil rights melodramas.’ Chapter in Southern History on ScreenRace and Rights, 1976-2016, Bryan Jack (ed.), University Press of Kentucky, 2019
'"Men and women of God and goodwill everywhere": Selma and the role of religion in civil rights filmmaking.' Chapter in The Shadow of Selma: The Selma Campaign and the Voting Rights Act, 1965-2015, Joe Street & Henry Knight Lozano (eds.), University Press of Florida, 2018.
'"Fictional others": analyzing Hollywood’s relationship with evangelical Christianity,’ Journal of American Studies, Vol. 51, Iss. 1 (Feb. 2017), pp. 241-8. Contribution to ‘Getting Religion: A Forum on the Study of Religion and the US.’
“Segregation as southern anomaly: The Help and Hollywood’s deflection of American racism.” Chapter in Like One of the Family: Domestic Workers, Race and In/Visibility in The Help, Fiona Mills (ed.) Cambridge Scholars, 2016.
MLK/FBI (documentary), The Public Historian, Vol. 43, Iss. 4 (November 2021).
Justin Gomer, White Balance: How Hollywood Shaped Colorblind Ideology and Undermined Civil Rights (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2020) in Journal of Southern History, Vol. 87, Iss. 3 (August 2021).
Charles Cobb, Jr., This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016) in History: The Journal of the Historical Society, Vol. 102, Iss. 349 (2017), pp. 172-3.