Dr Owen Walsh

Dr Owen Walsh
Dr Owen Walsh
Dr Owen Walsh



Email Address
Office Address
G.09 Crombie Annexe
Old Aberdeen Campus
College Bounds
AB24 3TS

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School of Divinity, History, Philosophy & Art History


After completing a BA in English and History and an MA in Race and Resistance, I undertook a doctoral project at the University of Leeds in 2016. My thesis, titled 'Remapping Black Internationalism during the 1930s', provides the basis for my first book manuscript. During my time at Leeds, I took on roles including postgraduate tutor in the School of History and Interconnections Rep for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Cultures. Following my PhD, I engaged in a period of further research activity as a LAHRI Postdoctoral Fellow and a Visiting Fellow at the Eccles Centre of the British Library. I took up my present post as Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Aberdeen in August 2021. 


Research Overview

My primary interests are in twentieth-century history. Thematically, my work focuses on race, radicalism, and globality. My area specialism is in the US.

Frontiers of Black Freedom: Cultures of Anti-Racist Solidarity during the 1930s (forthcoming, University of Illinois Press)

In the aftermath of the 2020 Black Lives Matter uprisings, anti-racism appears as a key dynamic in global politics. This book examines how, in the decade before the Second World War and the framing of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, African American activist-intellectuals confronted racial hierarchies at global and local levels by imagining and making alliances that stretched far beyond the transatlantic diaspora. Such efforts form part of the pre-history of later civil rights struggles, and ultimately lay groundwork for the present global resistance to white supremacy.

Frontiers of Black Freedom excavates Black participation in multiracial political cultures on the US West Coast and connects this with the world-spanning travel of figures including the poet Langston Hughes, activist Louise Thompson, travel writer Juanita Harrison, novelist William Attaway, and others. Throughout, the book attends to the ways that anti-racist concerns are necessarily connected to - though not always in harmony with - struggles against capital, patriarchy, empire, and nation. Frontiers of Black Freedom argues that global anti-racist solidarity has been produced historically through cosmopolitan cultural projects, universalist ethical commitments, and internationalist political organising. Drawing on a wide archival base, the book sets new terms for ongoing conversations about how to move anti-racist politics beyond ‘culture wars’, without neglecting the cultural front.

Other projects

I have various new research projects in development. I am working toward the publication of an article which considers the relationship between Cedric Robinson's 'Black radical tradition' and Marxism, as well as an essay on the ambiguous inter/nationalist politics of William Attaway's social realist novels. Finally, I am in the early stages of developing a book project with the working title Insurgent Americana: US Cultural Radicals and the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940, which explores how encounters with revolutionary Mexico shaped the US Left and were represented in the work of American intellectuals.

Research Areas

Research Specialisms

  • American Studies
  • American History
  • International History

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.


I am open to supervising projects on: the Black Radical Tradition; histories of protest, especially in the twentieth century US; African diasporic culture; internationalism.



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