Nicholas Grant

Nicholas Grant


  • 2.08 Arts and Humanities Building

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile


I joined UEA in 2013 after completing my doctoral research at the University of Leeds. I'm a historian of the twentieth century United States, researching race, internationalism and transnational activism. My work has appeared in the Radical History Review, Modern American History, the Journal of American Studies, Safundi and Palimpsest: A Journal of Women, Gender and the Black International

My first monograph, Winning Our Freedoms Together: African Americans and Apartheid, 1945-1960, was published as part of the University of North Carolina Press' Justice, Power and Politics series in 2017. Rooted in research in archives in the US and South Africa, the manuscript draws on previously untapped sources, including government records, newspapers, correspondence, magazines, film, novels and musical performances, to provide a transnational account of the development of anti-apartheid activism between the United States and South Africa.

I'm currently working on two new research projects. The first will assess how aviation shaped debates about race and citizenship during the era of decolonization, with a specific emphasis on the global efforts to restrict the operation of South African Airways in the second half of the twentieth century. I'm also working on a project that examines the NAACP's Task Force Africa and African American engagements with decolonization and human rights in the 1970s.

Areas of Expertise

I am a scholar of race and internationalism. I specialise in the history and politics of social movements in the United States and South Africa.

Specifically, I research how social movements for racial justice have challenged state power across national borders, engaging with the politics of the African diaspora, Black internationalism and decolonisation. I also teach on issues relating to the power of narrative and the politics of storytelling.

Key Research Interests

I welcome research students interested in the history and politics of race and black activism in the U.S., African diaspora and Africa. 

I currently serve as the co-editor of the open-access Radical Americas journal, published through UCL Press.



Winning Our Freedoms Together: African Americans and Apartheid, 1945-1960. University of North Carolina Press, (2017).


"Patriotism and Black Internationalism," Modern American History, (July, 2023).

“Dora Tamana: Travel, Home and the Transnational Politics of African Motherhood,” Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies. (2023).

"The Negro Digest: Race, Exceptionalism and the Second World War," Journal of American Studies (May, 2018).

"Going South: Tracing Race and Region in the Post-Emancipation Black Atlantic" with Elisabeth Engel, Journal of American Studies (May, 2018).

“The National Council of Negro Women and South Africa: Black Internationalism, Motherhood and the Cold War”, Palimpsest: A Journal of Women, Gender and the Black International (Spring, 2016). Runner-up 2017 Arthur Miller Essay Prize, British Association of American Studies. 

“Crossing the Black Atlantic: The Global Anti-Apartheid Movement and the Racial Politics of the Early Cold War”. Radical History Review Special Issue on The Global Antiapartheid Era: 1946-1994 (Spring, 2014).


“Confronting Apartheid: Black Women’s Internationalism in South Africa and the United States,” in The Routledge Companion to Black Women’s Cultural Histories, ed. Janell Hobson, (New York, NY: Routledge, 2021).


Book Review. Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire. By Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel. Women and Social Movements in the United States (Fall, 2021)

Book Review. White Supremacy Confronted: U.S. Imperialism and Anti-Communism vs. the Liberation of Southern Africa, from Rhodes to Mandela. By Gerald Horne. American Historical Review (June, 2021).

Essay. “Crafting a Global Message of Anti-Racism,” Black Perspectives (November, 2020).

Book Review. Rhodes Must Fall: The Struggle to Decolonise the Racist Heart of Empire. Edited by Roseanne Chantiluke, Brian Kwoba and Athinagamso Nkopo. Black Perspectives(October, 2019). 

Essay. "Nelson Mandela and the Racial Politics of US Imperialism", Africa is a Country. (September, 2018) 

Book Review. Set The World On Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom. By Keisha N. Blain. H-Diplo (September, 2018)

Book Review. The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland. By Robyn C. Spencer. Radical Americas Journal. (Summer, 2017).

‘‘Impact’ as a Second Project?’, Second Project Roundtable, Journal of American Studies, (2017).

Book Review. Bourgeois Radicals: The NAACP and the Struggle for Colonial Liberation, 1941-1960. By Carol Anderson. Radical America Journal. (Winter, 2016).

‘Teaching America: African Americans and Anticolonialism’. U.S. Studies Online. British Association of American Studies, (16th September 2015).

‘The Global Anti-Apartheid Movement, 1946-1994’, Imperial & Global Forum, University of Exeter, (15th July 2014).

Book Review. An Army of Lions: The Civil Rights Struggle Before the NAACP. By Shawn Leigh Alexander. Journal of American Studies. (February, 2014).

Website Review. Digital Harlem: Everyday Life 1915-1930. Reviews in History. Institute for Historical Research, London (29th August 2013).

Book Review. The Americans Are Coming!: Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa. By Robert Tent Vinson. Journal of American Studies. November, 2012.

Biographical Entry. Lilian Masediba Ngoyi Biography, Women’s History Network Blog. Black History Month, (17th October 2010).


Teaching Interests

I have developed the following research-led modules for the American Studies and and American History programmes at UEA:

  • Black Freedom Struggles: The Civil Rights Movement
  • African Americans and Empire
  • The Politics of Storytelling
  • American Radicals
  • Thinking Through American History I


Administrative Posts

Director of Learning and Teaching, School of Art, Media and American Studies, July 2018 to July 2021.

Course Director American Studies, 2016 to 2017.

Chair of Staff-Student Liaison Committee, 2014 to 2016

External positions

Project Advisory Group, Anti-Apartheid Legacy: Centre of Memory and Learning

2023 → …

Executive Committee Member, British Association of American Studies

Apr 2017Apr 2020

Board Member, Anti-Apartheid Archives Committee

2015 → …