Emma Long

Emma Long


  • 2.08 Arts and Humanities Building

Personal profile

Teaching Interests

First Year:

American History 1

American History 2

America Now, America Then


Second Year:

The American Revolution

American Justice: The US Supreme Court

Politics in the USA


Final Year:

American Freedoms: A History of the Bill of Rights

Crime and Punishment: A History of American Criminal Justice

The US Supreme Court



American Freedoms: The Bill of Rights and the Battles That Shaped It


Emma Long joined American Studies at UEA in January 2013 having taken her undergraduate degree (American Studies) and PhD (History) at the University of Kent. Emma was first attracted to American Studies as a subject by the idea of a year abroad and has since found many, many reasons to stay. Emma has fond memories of her year at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (go Packers!) and can’t quite believe it was as long ago as it was!

Emma has two areas of research interests.  The first is the history of the US Constitution and the Supreme Court. Although interested in all aspects of this history, her particular focus is on the period since 1945 and on the rights contained in the Bill of Rights, especially matters relating to religion and to the debate about gun ownership. Emma also has an interest in the interaction of religion and politics in American history, particularly issues related to the idea of the “separation of church and state” that emerge from the First Amendment. 

Second, Emma has an interest in white American evangelicalism, particularly its engagement with American politics since the 1940s.  She was the holder of the 2018-2020 AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellowship, “An (Evangelical) Voice in the Wilderness: The Modern Roots of Evangelical Engagement with American Politics” which explored evangelical politcs in the 1940s and 1950s.  Out of this project comes her forthcoming book, Lobbying for the Lord: The National Association of Evangelicals and the Growth of Post-war Evangelical Political Activism and an edited collection, Minority Religions in American History and Society.  

Emma currently teaches courses on American politics and government, and a history of American criminal justice.  She also teaches courses on the American Revolution, the history of the Supreme Court, and the history of the Bill of Rights (see under 'Teaching'). In the past Emma has taught courses on nineteenth and twentieth century African-American history, the American South in the nineteenth Century, 1960s America, the Cold War, the history of the US from the Revolution to the present day, and contemporary US government and politics. Emma is happy to supervise students who wish to write dissertations on any of the subjects above, and would love to hear from any students with an interest in US constitutional history (there must be some of you out there somewhere …).

Key Research Interests

Emma's research interests focus on US constitutional and legal history, particularly the post-World War Two history of the First Amendment. She is interested in the role of the Supreme Court in interpreting the Constitution and the way in which this has shaped, and continues to shape, American society. Emma has a particular interest in the historical relationship between church and state in the US and how that has been shaped by decisions from the Supreme Court.

Between 2018 and 2020, Emma directed the AHRC-funded project, "An (Evangelical) Voice in the Wilderness: The Modern Roots of Evangelical Engagement with American Politics" which explores the nature, extent, and significance of evangelical engagement with law and government in the middle of the 20th Century.

Research and teaching interests:  The US Supreme Court; the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights; history of the First Amendment, particularly church-state relations; US legal history, with a particular focus on the post-1945 period; religion and politics in the US since 1945.

Areas of Expertise

US legal and constitutional history; US Supreme Court, historically and today; the US Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights; gun control/gun ownership and the Second Amendment; First Amendment, "separation of church and state" and religious liberty; white American evangelicals; religion and politics in the US since the 1940s; contamporary American politics debates.