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Professor Sylvia Ellis

Professor of International History

Contact details:
Department of Humanities
Northumbria University
Lipman Building, room 118
Newcastle upon Tyne
phone: +44 (0) 191 227 3736
fax: +44 (0) 191 227 3696  


Sylvia studied for her undergraduate History degree at the University of Newcastle, then moved to the United States to complete an MA in American History at the University of Rhode Island in 1992. She returned to Newcastle to work on her PhD on Anglo-American Relations during the Vietnam War. Before completing her doctorate Sylvia became a lecturer in American History at Sunderland University in 1995. In 2000 she moved to Northumbria University, becoming a Professor in International History in 2013.


PhD, University of Newcastle, 1999
MA, University of Rhode Island, 1992
BA (Hons), University of Newcastle,1989

Teaching Interests

HI0400 US History since 1865
HI0500 The African-American Freedom Struggle
HI0603 US Foreign Relations since 1914
HI0604 The Vietnam War 

Research Interests

Sylvia Ellis’s research interests lie in post-1945 British and American political and diplomatic history. She has recently completed a monograph on LBJ and Civil Rights (Freedom's Pragmatist: Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Right Movement, in press) and is also working on a critical edition on Harold Wilson and the Vietnam War. She is also working on a study of female activism on US campuses.   

Research Students

Alan Donkin, ‘Anglo-American Relations and Nuclear Decision-making, 1937-1948’

Anne Zetsche, 'Networking processes among German and American elites during the Cold War from the 1950s to the early 1970s'

Stephen Bowman, 'Anglo-Saxon Rapprochement: The Origin, Formation and Activities of the Early Pilgrims Society, 1890s to 1920s.'

Sylvia would welcome research students on British and American foreign policy, presidential history, and America in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Affiliations and Memberships

Fellow, Royal Historical Society
Member, AHRC Peer Review College
Treasurer, British Association of American Studies
Executive Committee Member, Transatlantic Studies Association
Member, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
Member, Organization of American Historians
Member, Women’s History Network
Member, Society for the Study of Labour History

Member of Northumbria University US History Research Group

Co-Convener of Northumbria University Histories of Activism Research Group

Select Publications

Freedom's Pragmatist: Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Right Movement  (University Press of Florida, 2013).

A Historical Dictionary of Anglo-American Relations (Scarecrow Press, 2009).

Britain, America and the Vietnam War (Praeger Publishers, 2004). *American Libraries Association, Outstanding Academic Title 2004

Chapters and Articles:
‘A foreign policy success? LBJ and transatlantic relations’, Journal of Transatlantic Studies, 8, 3 (2010), 247-57.

‘Enhancing the Quality of the Educational Experience: Females Activists and the US University and College Women’s Centers’, in Sarah Aiston (ed.), Women, Education, and Agency, 1600-2000 (Routledge, 2009).

‘The Historical Significance of President Kennedy’s Visit to Ireland in June 1963,’ Irish Studies Review, 16, 2 (May 2008).

‘Secrets, Lies, and Telephone Tapes: LBJ’, History Today,  56, 7 (July 2006).

Full List of Publications


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