Staff Profile


Dr Althea Legal-Miller

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Humanities & Educational Studies

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 923158

Profile summary

Dr Althea Legal-Miller is a Senior Lecturer in American History & Culture;

Route Lead for American Studies;

Programme Director for the North American Exchange and British Studies Semester Programmes.


Pronouns: She, Her, Hers

American Studies - A Virtual Open Day Introduction from Dr Althea Legal Miller:

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. Prior to joining the American Studies programme in January 2017, Dr Legal-Miller 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's teaching includes:

Year 1: Divided by A Common Language: Culture, Power, and Society in the UK and the USA

Year 1: Making Your Mark (Methods and Skills)

Year 1: The Making of the Modern World

Year 2: Race and Racism: Conquest, Colonisation and Categorisation in America

Year 2: Extended Essay

Year 3: Independent Study (Dissertation)

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, and served as 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 commentary for HuffPost Live, BBC The One Show, Channel 5, BBC Radio London and BBC Radio 3.


Dr Althea Legal-Miller commentary on A Big History of America, see Channel 5 at

African Americans (clip):

Native Americans (clip):

Publications and research outputs

Michael B. McCormack and Althea Legal-Miller, 'All Over the World Like a Fever: Martin Luther King Jr.’s World House and the Movement for Black Lives in the United States and United Kingdom' in Reclaiming the Great World House: The Global Vision of Martin Luther King Jr. (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2019), pp. 254-282.

Althea Legal-Miller, "Race, Policing, and Black Lives Matter" in Gillian Peele, Bruce Cain, Jon Herbert and Andrew Wroe (eds.), Developments in American Politics 9 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), pp. 33-48.

Althea Legal-Miller, "'One Thing We Could Do as Women': Campaigns Against Police Sexual Violence Amid Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter Movements" in Françoise Hamlin and Charles McKinney (eds.), Rights and Lives: Continuities in Black Freedom Struggles (Vanderbilt University Press, under contract).

Dr Legal-Miller is currently completing the manuscript for her first monograph, Made in Americus: Black Girlhood and the Southwest Georgia Movement for Civil Rights, 1960-1965. 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