Dr Stephen Robinson

Lecturer: American Studies

School of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy

E: s.robinson@yorksj.ac.uk

T: +44 (0)1904 876269

A picture of Stephen Robinson

BA Hons (Southampton), MPhil (Cambridge), PhD (Southampton)

Dr Stephen Robinson was appointed Lecturer in American Studies in September 2015, having previously taught at the University of Southampton, Royal Holloway, University of London, and the University of Winchester. €‹

He specialise in the social and cultural history of the United States between 1865 and 1920. His doctoral thesis focused on local black leadership in the late nineteenth century US South. It explored how these leaders sought to maintain their voice within the Republican Party, in order to protect the advances made in civil and political rights during the Reconstruction era. This research has informed a number of articles, as well as a student-focused biography of Booker T. Washington, the leading black spokesman at the turn of the twentieth century (under contract, ABC-CLIO). A future project will be the development of his doctoral thesis into a monograph.

In recent years Stephen have become increasingly interested in the cultural changes that took place in America at the turn of the twentieth century. This interest has led him to think about the emergence of the modern American celebrity as a cultural response to a society undergoing rapid transformation. He is currently working on an article that considers Booker T. Washington as an early black celebrity, which forms part a larger project on American visual culture and the making of modern America between 1880 and 1915.



Stephen teaches on a range of modules, which include: American Foundations (Level 1); Cinema and Society (Level 1); Making of Modern America: 1877-1929 (Level 2); From Slavery to Freedom: The Black Experience in America (Level 2); The Age of Anxiety: Culture and Society in the USA, 1929-1960 (Level 2); Cinema of Conflict: Trauma and American Film and TV (Level 3).

Publications and Conferences

Journal Articles

‘African American Citizenship, the 1883 Civil Rights Cases, and the Creation of the Jim Crow South’, History: The Journal of the Historical Association, 102 (April 2017), pp. 225-241.

‘The New Career of Jim Crow’, Reviews in American History, 44 (September 2016), pp. 457-464.

“To think, act, vote, and speak for ourselves’: Black Democrats and Black ‘agency’ in the American South after Reconstruction’, Journal of Social History, 48 (Winter 2014), pp. 363-382.

‘Rethinking Black Urban Politics in the 1880s: The Case of William Gaston in Post-Reconstruction Alabama’, Alabama Review, 66 (January 2013), pp. 3-29.

Conference and Seminar Papers

‘The (Re) Presentation of Fannie Lou Hamer: Race, Gender and Celebrity in the Civil Rights Movement’, IHR Gender and History in the Americas Seminar, June 2016 [available as podcast via IHR website]

‘Henry Watterson, White Manhood and the Creation of the New South’, IHR North American History Seminar, January 2016

‘Revisiting the 1883 Civil Rights Cases: Civil Rights, the Supreme Court and the American South in the 1880s’, British Association of American Nineteenth Century Historians (Br-ANCH) Conference, Rice University, Houston, Texas, April 2014

Recent Book Reviews

Review: Enduring Truths: Sojourner’s Shadows and Substance, by Darcy Grimaldo Grigsby, Journal of Southern History, 83 (May 2017), pp. 171-173.


Research interests: Black leadership, US South, voting rights, media, celebrity culture, visual culture.