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Dr Zoe Colley works on twentieth century American history, with a focus upon race, crime, and political organizing. I am also interested in the policing of African American communities, and the struggle against racism within the criminal justice system. Before joining the University of Dundee un 2004, I worked as a Teaching Fellow at the University of St Andrews. I was a Scouloudi Doctoral Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research during 2002.


My current research examines the intersection between the criminal justice system and African American activism during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

  • I am close to completing a monograph, which has been provisionally titled Presumed Guilty: Black Power, Radical Politics, Crime, and Justice.  
  • I am also writing a journal article on the use of behavioural modification against politically active prisoners in the 1960s and 1970s, entitled “Erasing Minds: Behavioral Modification, Political Prisoners, and Psychological Experimentation in America’s Prisons, 1960-1974.”
  • I am working on a journal article on prison reform in Arkansas from the 1950s through to the 1980s.
View full research profile and publications



  • America: Land of the Free (HU22001, level 2)
  • America in the Sixties (HY32032, level 3)
  • Martin Luther King and the American Civil Rights Movement (HY42038, level 4)


  • Directed Reading in Historical Research (HY52025, level 5)
  • Documenting Dissent: Power, Protest, and Social Justice in the Twentieth Century (HY52031, level 5).
  • Historical Skills and Sources (HY52006, level 5).
  • History and Documentary (HY52029, level 5)
  • Public History (HY51045, level 5)

Media availability

I am available for media commentary on my research.

Contact Corporate Communications for media enquiries.

Areas of expertise

  • America
  • Black Lives Matter
  • History



To his detractors, he has ridden roughshod over human rights and set back the cause of women and minorities by decades. But to his tens of millions of supporters, Donald Trump is the plain-speaking everyman who will Make America Great Again.

Published on 16 November 2018