Dr John Munro

Dr John Munro

Department of History
Lecturer in United States History
Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of North America

Contact details

Arts Building, 439a
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

My research and teaching considers what the history of the United States might tell us about colonialism, racial capitalism, and social movements in a global context.


  • PhD (University of California, Santa Barbara)
  • MA (Simon Fraser University)
  • BA (Simon Fraser University)


I joined the University of Birmingham in 2019. I have previously taught in the History Department at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada, and have held fellowships at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, and, through the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, at the American Studies Institute at the University of Rostock.


  • United States Survey
  • The United States and the World
  • Indigenous and Settler Histories
  • North America in Crisis

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome postgraduate interest in US empire, African American history, social movements, and the cold war.

Find out more - our PhD History  page has information about doctoral research at the University of Birmingham.


I have published articles and book chapters on the knowledge production of social movements, the intersectional aspects of US empire, as well as race and US imperial culture. My first book, The Anticolonial Front: The African American Freedom Movement and Global Decolonization, 1945-1960, which was a finalist for the African American Intellectual History Society’s 2018 Pauli Murray Prize, took up the topics of anticommunism, the continuities of colonialism, the intricacies of popular front politics, and the limitations of liberalism.

More recently, I am editor of a forthcoming collection of essays entitled Reading the Postwar Future: Textual Turning Points from 1944, which ranges across history, literature, film, and philosophy to consider a diverse array of texts that were produced within one fateful year and which sought to shape the postwar order. I am also working on a new project that examines the consolidation of the idea of US empire amid the decline of the idea of the cold war.

Other activities


Recent publications


Munro, J 2017, The anticolonial front: the African American freedom struggle and global decolonialization, 1945-1960. Critical Perspectives on Empire, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316946350


Munro, J 2015, 'Imperial Anticommunism and the African American Freedom Movement in the Early Cold War', History Workshop Journal, vol. 79, no. 1, pp. 52-75. https://doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbu040

Munro, J 2014, 'Interwoven colonial histories: indigenous agency and academic historiography in North America', Canadian Review of American Studies, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 402-425. https://doi.org/10.3138/cras.2013.037

Munro, J 2014, 'US Foreign Policy, Intersectional Totality, and the Structure of Empire', Third World Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 9, pp. 1566-1581. https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2014.970865


Munro, J 2022, A Tale of Two Periodicities: Indigenous and Settler Continuities amid Neoliberal Transformation at the St. Alice Hotel. in K Freeman & J Munro (eds), Reading the New Global Order: Textual Transformations of 1989. 1 edn, Bloomsbury Academic, London, pp. 203-226. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781350268203.ch-10

Munro, J 2022, Black Reconstruction and Black Power: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Radical Roots of 1968. in W Raussert & M Steinitz (eds), Black Power in Hemispheric Perspective: Movements and Cultures of Resistance in the Black Americas. 1 edn, Inter-American Studies, University of New Orleans Press, New Orleans, pp. 71-85. <https://www.uno.edu/unopress/black-power-in-hemispheric-perspective>

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