Staff Profile


Dr Althea Legal-Miller

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Humanities

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 923158

Profile summary

Dr Althea Legal-Miller joined the American Studies (AS) programme as a Lecturer in American History and Culture in January 2017.

Dr Legal-Miller received her BA in American Studies with Year Abroad (University of California, Berkeley), MA in Contemporary Cinema Cultures and PhD in American Studies all from King’s College London.  She has taught American Visual Culture at King’s College London and was a Teaching Fellow in African American Studies at UCL - Institute of the Americas from 2013-2016.  She has received a number of prestigious scholarships and awards, including a 2016 AHRC British Research Council Fellowship at the John W. Kluge Center in the Library of Congress (Washington, DC), and the Mae C. King Distinguished Paper Award on Women, Gender and Black Politics from the Association for the Study of Black Women in Politics (ASBWP).

Dr Legal-Miller has been Module Convenor for:

AS Year 1: Divided by a Common Language: Culture and Society in Britain and the USA

AS Year 1: A Story of American Freedom 1? The History of the United States from Pre-Contact to the Civil War

AS Year 2: Race and Racism in the United States, 1607 to the Present

AS Year 3: The Modern Black Freedom Movement

Teaching and subject expertise

Dr Legal-Miller teaches courses on American History and Culture for the American Studies programme, and has the following research interests:

Histories of gender and sexuality: African American cultures
Visual culture studies: documentary photography and film
Critical race studies: racism, policing and incarceration
Social movements: racial justice and protest
Regionalism: The American South

External activities

Dr Legal-Miller has presented at conferences in the UK, US and Ghana, and invitations to speak have been extended from the US Embassy in London, University of Oxford, The British Library (BL), The British Film Institute (BFI), The Prince’s Teaching Institute, and the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) in Washington, DC.

Dr Legal-Miller is an Associate Fellow at UCL-Institute of the Americas, the Equality and Diversity Representative on the Executive Committee of the British Association for American Studies (BAAS), and a member of the Society for the History of Women in the Americas (SHAW).

Dr Legal-Miller's expert media appearances have included HuffPost Live, BBC The One Show, BBC Radio London and BBC Radio 3.

Publications and research outputs

 “‘What kind of police do you call on the police?’: Police Sexual Brutality and the Usable Past for the Black Lives Matter Movement” in Zoe Trodd, Karen Salt, Rosemary Pearce, and Timo Schrader (eds.), Black Lives Matter: The Past, Present, and Future of an International Movement for Rights and Justice (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2018).

Dr Legal-Miller is currently completing the manuscript for her first monograph, Made in Americus: Black Girls, Incarceration and the Civil Rights Movement in Southwest Georgia. The monograph is a detailed and localised study confirming that black girls were so much more than mere foot soldiers, but central actors in Black Freedom movements in the 1960s. Alongside the records of numerous civil rights organisations, the monograph utilises oral histories Dr Legal-Miller conducted with former activist girls who grew up in Americus, southwest Georgia, which was the home of a vibrant girl-centric local movement.

Dr Legal-Miller's second monograph project, provisionally titled, Unmentionable Ugliness: Police Brutality, Sexual Violence and the Civil Rights Movement, explores myriad forms of sexual violence that have been embedded in jail and prison practices in the United States since the colonial period, and utilised during the civil rights revolution of the 1960s as a method to subjugate activists and black freedom struggles.


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Last edited: 13/12/2018 21:16:00