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Professor in English and American Studies, University of Central Lancashire

Alan has published widely in African American Studies, Transatlantic Cultural Studies and also in Ethnic Studies. His latest monograph project Creating Memorials, Building Identities: The Politics of Memory in the Black Atlantic (Liverpool University Press) was published in 2010 and was written with the help of an AHRC research grant. The paperback edition was launched in April 2012 at the International Slavery Museum and the event with live jazz can be viewed here.

His first interdisciplinary monograph Radical Narratives of the Black Atlantic was published by Continuum Press in 2003 and garnered significant praise. Owen Robinson in the Journal of American Studies praised a “finely drawn, persuasive and continually fascinating” study “at once intellectually rigorous and appropriately moving”. He was academic advisor to and board member of the Slave Trade Arts Memorial Project (STAMP) in Lancaster which was responsible for the commissioning and building of the first British quayside monument to the victims of the slave trade unveiled in Lancaster in October 2005. He has given public lectures and keynote presentations in Britain, Irelands, Germany, the United State and France and contributed to documentaries for the BBC, Border Television and public broadcasting in America. He is an advisor to museums in Liverpool, Lancaster and Manchester. He co-curated an exhibition Trade and Empire: Remembering Slavery at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester which opened in June 2007.

Most recently he appeared on BBC's The One Show in February 2013 where he discussed Abraham Lincoln and the Lancashire Cotton Famine. Alan has organised a number of significant academic events over the years the latest being a June 2013 symposium on the 1943 black American GI mutiny at Bamber Bridge, just outside Preston. This event featured a new hour long version of the film Choc'late Soldiers from the USA (2009) on which Alan was consultant and talking head.

Alan was a key advisor and commentator for the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Britain's Black Past: An Invisible Presence’, broadcast in October 2016. He talked about Lancaster and Sambo's Grave as well as the importance of Robert Wedderburn.


  • –present
    Professor in English American Studies, University of Central Lancashire