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Dr Adam Burns

Dr Adam Burns

Senior Lecturer in History

  • Email address
  • Phone number 01902 323517
  • Location MH124, Mary Seacole Building (MH)
  • Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Institute School of Social, Historical and Political Studies
  • Areas of expertise

    US foreign relations and imperialism; late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century US history; the history of race/ethnicity in the USA; history education.

Adam joined the University of Wolverhampton in 2017 and is currently the Course Leader for Undergraduate History. He previously taught at the universities of Edinburgh and Newcastle, as well as in secondary schools in Marlborough, Reading and Bristol.

Since joining Wolverhampton, Adam has received research funding from the Roosevelt Institute for American Studies in the Netherlands (2017) and the British Association for American Studies (2019). In August and September 2019, he was a Vacation Visiting Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford.

Adam is currently finishing work on a monograph for the University of Tennessee Press’s Legacies of War series scheduled for publication in 2020. His next major research project explores the rise and fall of rugby in North America in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. 

Follow him on Twitter: @ADBHist

Adam’s current areas of interest include: US foreign relations and imperialism, and sport/masculinity in nineteenth-century North America.

Fellowship of: 

  • Higher Education Academy
  • Royal Society of Arts

Membership of:

  • British Association for American Studies                                                                     
  • British American Nineteenth Century Historians                                                        
  • British Fulbright Scholars Association                                                                     
  • British Society of Sports History                                                                              
  • Historians of the Twentieth-Century United States                                                      
  • Royal Historical Society                                                                                            
  • Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era                                     
  • Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations                                                 
  • Southern Studies in the UK Network                                                                         


  • EdD in Education, University of Leicester (2017)
  • MEd in Education Studies (with distinction), University of Birmingham (2011)
  • PhD in History, University of Edinburgh (2010)
  • MSc in History (with distinction), University of Edinburgh (2006)
  • PGCE in History and Citizenship, University of Birmingham (2005)
  • BA (Hons) American and Canadian Studies (1st Class), University of Birmingham (2004)


Burns, Adam. William Howard Taft and the Philippines: A Blueprint for Empire. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press (forthcoming, 2020).

Burns, Adam. The United States, 1865-1920: Reuniting a Nation. Abingdon & New York: Routledge (forthcoming, 2020). 

Burns, Adam. American Imperialism: The Territorial Expansion of the United States, 1783-2013. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017. ISBN: 978-1-4744-0214-9.

Book Chapters 

Burns, Adam. “Race, Ethnicity and Diversity: British Imperial History and the Secondary School Curriculum,” pp. 59–77 in: P.Miller and C. Callender, eds., Race, Education and Educational Leadership in England: An Integrated Analysis. London: Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN: 978-1-3500-6859-9.

Burns, Adam. “Economic Imperialism in Cuba, 1898-2017: Hegemony and Embargo,” pp. 47–56 in: C. Grocott and J. Grady, eds., The Continuing Imperialism of Free Trade: Developments, Trends and the Role of Supranational Agents. London: Routledge, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-1383-0108-5.

Burns, Adam. “Half a Southerner: President Theodore Roosevelt, African Americans and the South,” pp. 198-215 in S. Ricard, ed., A Companion to Theodore Roosevelt. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. ISBN: 978-1-4443-3140-0.

Academic Articles

Burns, Adam. “Courting White Southerners: Theodore Roosevelt’s Quest for the Heart of the South,” American Nineteenth Century History, 20:1 (February 2019) 1-18. ISSN: 1466-4658.

Burns, Adam. “Hosting Teacher Development at Historical Sites: The Benefits for Classroom Teaching,” Teaching History, 169 (December 2017): 35-42. ISSN: 0040-06109. 

Burns, Adam. “My Empire is of the Imagination: History Student Perceptions of the British Empire in Secondary School,” International Journal of Historical Learning, Teaching and Research (now called the History Education Research Journal),14:1 (December 2016): 93-112. ISSN:1472-9474.

Burns, Adam. “The Jewel in the Curriculum: Teaching the History of the British Empire,” International Journal of Historical Learning, Teaching and Research (now called the History Education Research Journal), 12:2 (November 2014): 109-121. ISSN:1472-9474. 

Burns, Adam. “Adapting to Empire: William H. Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Philippines, 1900-08,” Comparative American Studies, 11:4 (December 2013): 418-433.  ISSN: 1477-5700.

Burns, Adam. “Negotiating Feedback: Lecturer Perceptions of Feedback Dissatisfaction,” Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, 6 (November 2013): 1-15. ISSN: 1759-667X. 

Burns, Adam. “Retentionist in Chief: William Howard Taft and the Question of Philippine Independence, 1912-1916,” Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, 61:2 (June 2013): 163-192. ISSN: 2244-1093. 

Burns, Adam. “A New Pacific Border: William H. Taft, the Philippines, and Chinese Immigration, 1898-1903,” Comparative American Studies, 9:4 (December 2011): 309-324. ISSN: 1477-5700.

Burns, Adam. “Winning ‘Hearts and Minds’: American Imperial Designs of the Early Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries,” History & Policy (October 2011).

Burns, Adam. “Without Due Process: Albert E. Pillsbury and the Hoar Anti-Lynching Bill,” American Nineteenth Century History, 11:2 (June 2010): 233-252. ISSN: 1466-4658.

Recent Shorter Pieces

Burns, Adam. “Farmers’ Alliance and People’s Party,” “NAACP,” “Niagara Movement,” “Progressive ‘Bull Moose’ Party,” and “Socialist Party of America,” in: B. Harward & S. Ainsworth eds., PoliticalGroups, Parties, and Organizations that Shaped America: An Encyclopedia and Document Collection. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO (forthcoming, 2019). ISBN: 978-1-4408-5196-4.

Burns, Adam. “Crown Colonies” pp. 82–84, “Chartered Companies” pp. 151–153, “Greater Britain” pp. 33–35, and “Social Darwinism” pp. 61–63 in: M. Doyle ed., The British Empire: A Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-4408-4197-2.

Burns, Adam and Gallimore, Robert. “Duplicated Debacles? Comparing the 1895-96 Jameson Raid and the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion,” The Historian, 132 (February 2017): 22-27. ISSN: 0265-1076.

Burns, Adam. “Taft, William Howard” pp. 850–851 in: C. Magoc & D. Bernstein, eds., Imperialism and Expansionism in American History: A Social, Political, and Cultural Encyclopedia and Document Collection, Volume 3. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2015. ISBN: 978-1-61069-429-2.

Recent Books Reviews

Book Review: Leia Castañeda Anastacio, The Foundations of the Modern Philippine State: Imperial Rule and the American Constitutional Tradition in the Philippine Islands, 1898–1935 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016), reviewed for: Journal of American History, 106:1 (June 2019): 216. ISSN: 0021-8723.

Book Review: Michael Krenn, The History of United States Cultural Diplomacy (London: Bloomsbury, 2017), reviewed for: European Journal of American Culture, 38:1 (March 2019): 97-99. ISSN: 1466-0407.

Book Review: Ira Berlin, The Long Emancipation: The Demise of Slavery in the United States (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2015), reviewed for: Journal of American Studies, 53:1 (February 2019): 298-299. ISSN: 0021-8758.

Book Review: W.E.B. Du Bois, edited by Nahum Dimitri Chandler, The Problem of the Color Line at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: The Essential Early Essays (New York: Fordham University Press, 2015) reviewed for: European Journal of American Studies, 12:3 (November 2017). ISSN: 1991-9336.  

Book Review: Zeese Papanikolas, An American Cakewalk: Ten Syncopators of the Modern World (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015), reviewed for: History: The Journal of the Historical Association, 102:350 (April 2017): 346-348.ISSN: 1468-229X.

Recent External Academic Roles

  • US-UK Fulbright Award Reading Panellist (2018)
  • Editorial Board Member and Opinions Editor for Management in Education (2016-present)
  • Congress to Campus Schools’ Liaison, BAAS/British Library (2015-2017)
  • Article peer reviewer for the Journal of American History, European Journal of American Studies, Cambridge Journal of Education, and Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints (2014-present)