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Dr Joe Street

Associate Professor in American History

Department: Humanities

Dr Street has worked at Northumbria since September 2009. He specialises in twentieth-century American and African American History.

Joe StreetJoe Street was educated at Sheffield University between 1996 and 2004. He joined Northumbria as Senior Lecturer in 2009 after stints in the History Departments at Sheffield University and the University of Kent. An enthusiastic but sadly limited footballer who specialised in pointing and shouting, Joe was forced to end his largely anonymous playing career in 2012 due to injury, an event that was met with universal indifference. He cycles regularly but slowly and thanks to an accident of birth has a lifelong devotion to West Bromwich Albion.

Campus Address

Northumbria University
Lipman 329, City Campus
Newcastle upon Tyne

0191 227 4182


PGCHE, University of Kent, 2007
PhD, University of Sheffield, 2004
MA, University of Sheffield, 1999
BA History, University of Sheffield, 1996

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Joe’s research focuses on the nexus between politics and culture in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the African American political struggle of the 1960s and 1970s and the San Francisco Bay Area after World War Two. His first monograph was a full length study of the impact of cultural forms such as theater and music on the African American civil rights movement during the 1960s. From the singing workshops of the Highlander Folk School to the Black Panther Party’s Ministry for Culture it argued that ‘cultural organizing’ was central to the movement’s operation.

Joe has also worked on the influence of the African American civil rights movement on racial politics in the UK during the 1960s. He published groundbreaking work on Malcolm X’s impact on racial politics in the West Midlands and two pieces which evaluate the impact and significance of African American soul music on British youth in the 1960s. This led to further study of Dave Godin, a legendary figure in the British soul scene. Chiefly remembered for coining the term ‘Northern Soul,’ Godin was central to the development of soul music culture in the UK. As this research strand suggests, Joe has a keen interest in the development of African American popular music in the late twentieth century.

Joe’s current and future work concentrates on the history and culture of the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s. He has published work on the representation of San Francisco in Clint Eastwood’s 1971 movie, Dirty Harry. This was expanded into Dirty Harry’s America: Clint Eastwood, Harry Callahan and the Conservative Backlash (University Press of Florida, 2016), a book-length study of the relationship between the Dirty Harry series and conservative politics in the 1970s and 1980s, which highlights the parallels between the political message of the movies and the political rhetoric of conservative leaders such as Ronald Reagan.

His current major research project is a full-length study of the history and legacy Black Panther Party. This builds on Joe’s scholarly articles that evaluate the historiography of the BPP and the impact of prison and solitary confinement on the BPP founder Huey P. Newton. 

Key Publications


  • The Black Panther Party (University of Georgia Press, forthcoming)
  • Dirty Harry’s America: Clint Eastwood, Harry Callahan and the Conservative Backlash (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2016)
  • The Culture War in the Civil Rights Movement (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2007)


Edited Collections:

  • (with Henry Knight Lozano), The Shadow of Selma: Selma and the Voting Rights Act, 1965-2015 (University Press of Florida, 2018)
  • (with Kevin Yuill), The Second Amendment and Gun Control: Freedom, Fear, and the American Constitution (Routledge, 2017)


Refereed Journal Articles:


Book Chapters:

  • ‘Dave Godin and the Politics of the British Soul Community’ in Nicola Smith, Sarah Raine, Tim Wall (eds.), The Northern Soul Scene (Equinox, forthcoming)
  • ‘The Stax/Volt Revue and Soul Music Fandom in 1960s Britain’ in The Subcultures Network (eds.), Subcultures, Popular Music, and Social Change (Cambridge Scholars, 2014) pp. 195-218.
  •  ‘Stax, Subcultures and Civil Rights: Young Britain and the Politics of Soul Music in the 1960s’ in Stephen Tuck and Robin D.G. Kelley (eds.), The Other Special Relationship: Race and Rights in Britain and America (Palgrave, 2015) pp. 173-195.
  • ‘From Beloved To Imagined Community: SNCC’s Intellectual Transformation’ in Iwan Morgan and Philip Davies (eds.), From Sit-Ins to SNCC: The Student Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012) pp.116-134.

Joe's NRL Link

Professional Activity

Joe sits on the Executive Committee of the British Association for American Studies, and currently chairs its Publications Committee. He is also a member of Historians of the Twentieth-Century United States and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  In the Department of Humanities Joe is a member of both the Histories of Activism and US History research groups, and is the UCU representative for History staff and UCU’s Membership Officer. Between 2010 and 2015 he was Programme Leader for History.

Current Teaching Activity

HI6018: The Black Panther Party

HI5030: Debating History

HI5005: America in the 1960s

AM5001: The San Francisco Bay Area

HI4005: From Sea to Shining Sea: US History from 1776 to 2008

HI4004: A Disunited Kingdom: The British and Irish Isles since 1689

Postgraduate Supervision

Joe is happy to supervise postgraduate students wishing to research and write on African American and American History in the post-1945 period; African American music; and the San Francisco Bay Area in the twentieth century


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