Emma Folwell


Emma is Head of Introductory Programmes at Newman University. She completed an undergraduate degree in Contemporary History at the University of Leicester before studying for a Masters degree in American History at The Queen’s College, Oxford. Emma returned to the University of Leicester to complete her PhD, which explored massive resistance, gender and poverty in the US South. Her research has been supported by the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, the British Association for American Studies and the Royal Historical Society. In 2019, she was the recipient of a Fulbright Award and her book ‘The War on Poverty in Mississippi: from Massive Resistance to New Conservatism’ was published in 2020. She is a Senior Fellow of the HEA.


Research Interests

Emma’s research interests lie in twentieth century American history. Her research explores poverty and social welfare, massive resistance and conservatism, state-federal relations and the Deep South.


Emma co-developed BA Applied Humanities (accelerated degree) with her colleague Dr Charlotte Lewandowski in 2019. She currently teaches on the programme, particularly working with students in the creation of personal and professional development plans. In addition to this, she is also responsible for the Foundation Year and BA Youth and Community Work.

Other Activities

Membership of Professional Organisations

  • British Association for American Studies
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Historians of the Twentieth Century United States

Selected Conference Papers

The Evolution of Massive Resistance, Elon University, (April 2019)

Fighting the War on Poverty in Mississippi, 1965-1972, American Historical Association (January 2018)

The War on Poverty in southwest Mississippi, Southern Historical Association (November 2017)

Minority within a minority: Black Catholic activism in Mississippi 1964-7, BAAS Conference, Canterbury Christ Church University, April 2017

Black activism, white resistance and the quest for economic opportunity in Mississippi, HOTCUS Winter Symposium, Dundee University, February 2016

President Nixon and the War on Poverty: Mississippi’s Community Services Association, Rights and Justice in Nixon’s America, University of Nottingham, (September 2015)


  • (2020), The War on Poverty in Mississippi: Massive Resistance to New Conservatism (University of Mississippi Press)
  • (2019) Michael E. Staub, The Mismeasure of Minds: Debating Race and Intelligence between Brown and the Bell Curve, (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2019), Journal of Southern History.
  • (2019) Robert Daniel Rubin, Judicial Review and American Conservatism: Christianity, Public Education, and the Federal Courts in the Reagan Era, (University of Cambridge Press, 2017), English Historical Review, 134 (566) pp.264-266.
  • (2018) Brian Ward, Martin Luther King in Newcastle Upon Tyne: The African American Freedom Struggle and Race Relations in the North East of England, Newcastle, (Tyne Bridge Publishing, 2017) Patterns of Prejudice, 53 (2), pp.232-225.
  • (2017), Review of Teena F. Horn, Alan Huffman and John Griffin Jones (eds) Lines Were Drawn: Remembering Court-Ordered Integration at a Mississippi High School, (University of Mississippi Press, 2016), Journal of Southern History, 83 (2) May, pp.476-477.
  • (2015) Review of Christopher P. Lehman, Power, Politics, and the Decline of the Civil Rights Movement: A Fragile Coalition, 1967-1973, (Praeger, 2014) Reviews in History, October, http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/1845
  • (2014) ‘The legacy of the Child Development Group of Mississippi: White Opposition to Head Start, 1965-1972’ Journal of Mississippi History, 76 (1) Spring / Summer, pp.43-68.
  • (2015) Review of Glen Feldman (ed.), A Nation within a Nation: The American South and the Federal Government, (University of Florida Press, 2014), Journal of American Studies 49 (1), February.