Professor Kevern Verney

Associate Dean (Research) & Professor of History

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Profile

Kevern began his academic career at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge, where he was awarded a BA in History. He gained an MA in ‘U.S. History and Institutions’ at the Department of American Studies, University of Keele, where he also completed his PhD on ‘“Black” Reconstruction in South Carolina and Mississippi, 1861-1877’.

After working in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London for two years he joined Edge Hill in 1989. He was appointed a Reader in 2003 and a Professor in 2006. In 2005-2006 he was a historical advisor and contributor to the BBC Radio Two documentary series The Harry Belafonte Story.

He has numerous publications on African American history, including Black Civil Rights in America (London and New York: Routledge, 2000), The Art of the Possible: Booker T. Washington and Black Leadership in the United States, 1881-1925 (New York and London: Routledge, 2001), The Debate on Black Civil Rights in America(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006). He also co-edited a collection of essays with Dr Lee Sartain (University of Portsmouth), Long Is the Way and Hard: One Hundred Years of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2009)

Since 2011 he has been a co-organizer of the Barack Obama Research Network, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Other Network partners included the University of Manchester, the University of Warwick and the University of Middleburg in the Netherlands. He was a commentator on the 2012 U.S elections for BBC Radio Lancashire and gave a public lecture at Edge Hill, ‘Barack Obama and the Polarization of American Politics’, to mark the President’s re-inauguration in January 2013:

https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/news/2013/01/obama-and-a-hostile-america/

His latest book, a co-edited essay collection, Barack Obama and the Myth of a Post-Racial America (New York: Routledge) with Professor Inderjeet Parmar (City University, London) and Dr Mark Ledwidge (Canterbury, Christ Church University) was published in October 2013.

Research Interests

  • The Presidency of Barack Obama
  • The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in particular its role in the twentieth century civil rights struggle in Alabama.
  • African Americans and U.S. Popular Culture
  • Representations of slavery and the African American freedom struggle in museums and the heritage industry in the UK and the United States.

Publications

For more details on these publications please visit the Edge Hill Research Archive.

Books

  • Black Civil Rights in America (London and New York: Routledge, 2000).
  • The Art of the Possible: Booker T. Washington and Black Leadership in the United States, 1881-1925 (New York and London: Routledge, 2001)
  • African Americans and U.S. Popular Culture (London and New York: Routledge, 2003)
  • The Debate on Black Civil Rights in America (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006).
  • With Lee Sartain (co-ed), Long is the Way and Hard: One Hundred Years of the NAACP (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2009)
  • With Mark Ledwidge and Inderjeet Parmar (co-eds), Barack Obama and the Myth of a Post-Racial America (Routledge: New York and London, 2013)

Articles and chapters

  • ‘Roads Not Taken: Booker T. Washington and Black Leadership in the United States, 1895-1915’, Borderlines 3, No.2 (Winter 1996-7).
  • ‘Doing the Right Thing: Harry Belafonte as a Political and Civil Rights Activist’, in Alyson Brown and Roger Spalding (eds.), Entertainment, Leisure and Identities (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007).
  • ‘“Double V”: Walter White, the NAACP and the Second World War, 1939-1945’, in Cornelis A. van Minnen and Sylvia L. Hilton (eds.), Political Repression in U.S. History (Amsterdam: VU University Press, 2009).
  • ‘Change We Can Believe In? Barack Obama, Race and the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election’, International Politics, 48, 2-3 (March-May 2011).
  • ‘“Every Man Should Try”: John L. LeFlore and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Alabama, 1919-1956’, The Alabama Review, 66, No. 3 (July 2013)
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