Dr Emily Brady


I received my PhD in American and Canadian Studies from the University of Nottingham in 2021. My PhD thesis was entitled “I Didn’t Know She Took Pictures”: African American Women Photographers in the Long Civil Rights Movement. I joined the University of Leeds as a Teaching Fellow in American History in 2021.

As a cultural historian, I have specialised in the intersection of race and gender on photographic representations of activism. Specifically, I am interested in the way that space is documented and occupied in protest movements, and how photography can be read as an act of spatio-symbolic reclamation. My research has encompassed archival trips, original oral histories, and extensive dissemination through conferences and publications. 

For my research I was awarded the Heymann Research Scholarship, University Tri Campus Postgraduate Prize from the University of Nottingham. I have also worked with the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab as a Research Fellow in Antislavery Cultures, during which time I was a named researcher on the award-winning grant ‘Survivors’ Voices, Stories and Images.’ I am also the Events Editor of online journal United States Studies Online and the Early Career Representative of the British Association of American Studies.

Research interests

My primary research interest is the role of African American women photographers in the long Civil Rights Movement. Having completed my PhD in May 2021, I am currently transforming my thesis into several publications (pending peer review) and a book monograph. 

My future research will continue to interrogate the afterlives of photographic imagery of historical protests, and how they relate to constructions of intersectional identity. Future topics of interest to me include the afterlives of antislavery image cultures to the current modern antislavery momvent, and the role of gender and racial identity in the “iconicity” of civil rights media. I look forward to developing this research in preparation for my next project whilst working within the vibrant community of the University of Leeds.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, American Studies, The University of Nottingham
  • MRes, American Studies, The University of Nottingham
  • BA (Hons), American Studies (w/ International Year Abroad), the University of Nottingham

Professional memberships

  • British Association of American Studies
  • Historians of Twentieth Century United States
  • American Studies Association