Spotlight on Gillian Mitchell
November 8, 2013 Leave a comment
Gillian Mitchell is a lecturer in Modern American History in the School of History. She studied at the University of Glasgow (MA Hons in English Literature and History, MPhil in American Studies) and obtained her doctorate from the University of Toronto. She also has a licentiate diploma in piano recital from the London College of Music (LLCM). Her first teaching post was at the University of Wales Bangor where she gained her Teaching in Higher Education certificate. She joined the School of History at St Andrews in 2007.
Gillian’s research interest is post-war popular music in North America and Britain. Her first monograph, The North American Folk Music Revival: Nation and Identity in the United States and Canada, 1945-1980, was published by Ashgate in 2007. Since then she has developed a particular enthusiasm for rock ‘n’ roll music and its reception in Britain during the period 1955-1962. She has recently published articles on various aspects of this field, including an examination of the early career of pioneering British rock ‘n’ roll icon Tommy Steele, a reappraisal of the much-maligned popular music culture of Britain in the ‘pre-Beatles’ period of 1958-1962, and a study of American rock ‘n’ roller Bill Haley’s first British tour of 1957. She is currently undertaking research for a monograph on the subject of adult reactions to early rock ‘n’ roll music in Britain, and hopes that this work will challenge the commonly-held assumption that parents and authorities responded to such music with uniform and unstinting disapproval during the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the longer term, she aims to expand this research further to conduct a comparative study of reactions to rock ‘n’ roll in the United States and Britain.
Gillian currently offers two third-year Honours option modules – MO3422 (The United States in Depression and War, 1929-1945) and MO3421 (Making People’s Music: The Folk Music Revival and American Society, 1900-1970) – and the fourth-year Special Subject module MO4938 (Progress and Reform: The United States, 1880-1930). She also co-teaches the MLitt module MO5605 (Themes in American History) and co-ordinates MO1008 (Themes in Late Modern History).