Dr Lydia Plath
Room: FAB 3.12
In Person: Tuesdays 4-5pm or by appointment (usually Fridays) Please book via https://meetlydiaplath.youcanbook.me/
Virtual via phone or MS Teams: by appointment only (usually Fridays). Please book via https://meetlydiaplathonline.youcanbook.me/.
If you would like to meet at another time, please email me for an appointment.
I am an Associate Professor of US History, with a specialism in the history of racism and racial violence, considered from an interdisciplinary perspective. In 2022 I was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. My PhD considered the role of lynching during the era of slavery, and the intersections of race and manhood in the lives of white men in the American South. My second project investigated the representation of slavery in twentieth and twenty-first century American cinema. My current research has two separate strands: I am writing the history of an incident of sexual violence in a rural community in England and developing research into American Studies pedagogies.
I am a committed teacher and educator, and am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I teach African American history and the history of whiteness, and I am committed to anti-racist pedagogies. In 2020, my module 'America in Black and White?' won the inaugural HOTCUS Inclusive Curricula Prize. I am one of the facilitators of the Tackling Racial Inequality at Warwick Staff Development Programme, which in 2022 was both a Runner Up for the Warwick Social Inclusion Staff Award and Commended in the Warwick Awards for Teaching Excellence Collaborative Awards.
I am an Alumni Fellow of the Warwick International Higher Education Academy. I currently serve as the Chair of the Social Inclusion and Diversity Committee and Student Voice Lead for the History Department.
In 2022 I was elected as Chair of the British Association for American Studies (BAAS), after three years as Vice-Chair of the organisation and Chair of the Development and Education Subcommittee. I currently manage the BAAS/US Embassy Small Grants Programme. In 2019, I was the lead organiser of the first inaugural Teaching American Studies Conference held at Warwick and I now coordinate the BAAS Teaching American Studies Network.
From 2011 to 2018 I served on the committee for the Association of British American Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH), including as Secretary from 2012-2016. I also currently serve on the Memberships Committee for the Southern Historical Association.
I would be willing to discuss potential PhD supervision with students interested in the history of US slavery, whiteness and white supremacy, the American South, lynching or racial and sexual violence, or slavery on film and television.
- 2019 onwards: Associate Professor, University of Warwick
- 2017-2019: Senior Teaching Fellow, University of Warwick
- 2015-2016: Director of International, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Canterbury Christ Church University
- 2013-2016: Senior Lecturer in African American History, Canterbury Christ Church University
- 2012-2013: Lecturer in African American History, Canterbury Christ Church University
- 2010-2012: Lecturer in History, University of Glasgow
- 2009-2010: Teaching Fellow, University of Warwick
- 2006-2009: PhD in History, University of Warwick
- 2005-2006: MA by Research, University of Warwick
- 2002-2005: BA in History, University of Warwick
- HI111-30 A History of the United States
- HI2B7-15 African American History and Culture (not currently offered)
- HI2J9-15 Everyday People: Writing Nineteenth Century British and American Lives
- HI2B1-15 America in Black and White? Contemporary US Race and Racism in Historical Context
Winner of the HOTCUS Inclusive Curricula Prize (2020).
- HI2G9-15 Indigenous North America (Alliance Intensive Study Programme)
- HI3J9-30 Whiteness: An American History
- HI3S2-30 History Dissertation
Edited Collections and Journal Forums
- ‘Forum: Slavery and Landscape’ (with Lawrence Aje and Catherine Armstrong) Slavery & Abolition 38:1 (2017)
- ‘Forum: Poor White Slave Ownership’ (with Lawrence Aje and Catherine Armstrong), Slavery & Abolition 38:3 (2017)
- Black and White Masculinity in the American South, 1800-2000 (with Sergio Lussana, Cambridge Scholars Publishing: 2009)
Articles and Book Chapters
- 'Introduction' to Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave (Macmillan, 2022)
- 'A Rope with Two Ends: Nate Parker, D. W. Griffith, and the Tangled Legacies of The Birth of a Nation', in Jenny Barrett, Douglas Field and Ian Scott (eds), D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation: Art: Culture and Ethics in Black and White (Manchester University Press, 2022)
- '"The lynching had to be the best it could be done": Slavery, Suffering and Spectacle in Recent American Cinema,' in Andrew Dix & Peter Templeton (eds), Violence from Slavery to #BlackLivesMatter: African American History and Representation (Routledge: 2019)
- ‘“My master and Miss… warn’t nothing but poor white trash”: Poor White Slaveholders and their Slaves in the Antebellum South,’ Slavery & Abolition 38:3 (2017)
- ‘Mammy, Mandingo, Django and Solomon: A Century of American Slavery in Cinema from Uncle Tom's Cabin to 12 Years a Slave,’ in Sam Edwards, Faye Sayer & Michael Dolski (eds), Histories on Screen: The Past and Present in Anglo-American Cinema and Television (Bloomsbury Academic: 2018)
- ‘North Carolina and Nat Turner: Honour and Violence in a Slave Insurrection Scare’, in Lydia Plath & Sergio Lussana (eds), Black and White Masculinity in the American South, 1800-2000 (Cambridge Scholars Publishing: 2009)
- ‘Exchange: American Studies Signature Pedagogy’ (with Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello, Hilary Emmett, Nicole King, Rebecca Stone, Gyorgy Toth and Jon Ward), Journal of American Studies (forthcoming)
- 'Teaching American Studies Roundtable' (with Kim Lockwood, Katherine Parker-Hay, Tom Cutterham, Ed Clough, and Lynn Itagaki) Journal of American Studies, 54:3 (2020)
- 'Variable Assessment Format', ‘Guidance and Warnings’, and ‘Negotiated Curriculum’ in Warwick Wellbeing Pedagogies Library (2020)
- 'Student-Designed Digital Projects for Public Engagement', 'Exploring Race & Racism in American History with Group Podcast Project', and 'Using Mentimeter to Encourage Student Participation in Lectures and Seminars' in Warwick Digital Pedagogy Library
- 'Exchange: Teaching African American Studies in the US and the UK' (with Kate Dossett, Annette Joseph-Gabriel, Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Nicole King, Alan Rice and Karen Salt), Journal of American Studies, 52:2 (2018)
- ‘Looking at Lynching: Ethical and Practical Issues when using Lynching Photographs in the Classroom,’ in Catherine Armstrong (ed.), Historical Insights: Teaching North American History using Images and Material Culture (Higher Education Academy: 2013)
- ‘The Nat Turner Rebellion, in Tim Lockley (ed.) Routledge Encyclopaedia of Race and Racism (forthcoming, Routledge)
- 'Next Steps: Technology' Modern History Review, 23:1 (September 2020)
- 'Next Steps: Study Abroad' Modern History Review, 20: 3 (February 2018)
- ‘Slaves on Screen: Depictions of Slavery in American Film’ Modern History Review, 19:1 (September 2016)
- ‘Slavery is Dead! Fighting for freedom after the American Civil War,’ Modern History Review, 17:2 (November 2014)
- ‘White Mob Violence’, in Leslie Alexander and Walter Rucker (eds), Encyclopedia of African American History (ABC-CLIO: 2010)
- Interviewee in Hannah Sherwood, 'Women's History Month' (February 2021)
- Interviewee in Adaugo Uko, '(Un)American: Racial Infrastructure', Orders in Decay Podcast (December 2020)
- Black Lives Matter: A Reading List
- 'I Can't Breathe: Expert Comment on the Minneapolis Protests' (May 2020)
- 'The International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade', British Online Archives Blog (March 2018)
- Interviewed by Inspire FM; BirGün Gazetesi; Voice of Islam Radio; UniLAD