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Professor John Howard

Emeritus Professor of Arts and Humanities

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John Howard was born, raised, and educated in the American South, culminating in a PhD from Emory University in 1997. After teaching in the history departments at Duke University and the University of York, he joined the English department at King’s in 2001.

He is interested in the historical production of human differences and their attendant inequalities. His work also assesses differences as productive mechanisms of affiliation, identity, coalition, and struggle. Informed by queer, feminist, materialist, critical race, and spatial theory, his research and teaching are engaged primarily with the categories we now know as sexuality, gender, class, race, and region.

He has received awards from the AHRC, British Academy, Delfina, Fulbright, Rockefeller, and King’s College London Students’ Union.

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • Visual culture studies: Documentary photography and film
  • Environmental humanities: Contamination, slow violence, reparations
  • Histories of gender and sexuality: Queer cultures
  • Critical race studies: Imperialism, migration, incarceration
  • Sectionalism and regionalism: American South, Global South

Prof Howard has supervised thirteen doctoral projects to completion, several of which now appear as university press monographs. He is unable to accept additional applications.

For more details, please see my full research profile.


For three decades, Prof Howard has designed and convened undergraduate and postgraduate modules in cultural studies, English, history, and photography. He has taught courses at a community college and at major universities in the US, UK, and Japan.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Collaborative partners have included the American Museum in Britain, BBC Radio, and British Museum. Recent mainstream media articles have appeared in Time and Vice.

With colleagues in the states, he was co-author of the Amici CuriaeBrief of Professors of History, US Supreme Court, Lawrence v. Texas,2003. For over fifteen years, he has been a member of the Queer@King’s collective.

He has participated in a variety of activist organizations though the years, including ACT UP, Queer Nation, CND, and Free Chelsea Manning.

In addition to two photobooks, his documentary photography has appeared in online and print journals and in solo and group exhibitions in the EU and US. As executive producer or academic consultant, he has helped produce three feature-length documentary films.