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Dr Kevin Yuill

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Assistant Professor of American History

My primary interests are in the intellectual history of the United States. I am interested in fundamental alterations between citizen and state in American history and their expressions in policy. I have explored issues including race and equality in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, attitudes to suicide and death, and attitudes to the possession of firearms.

Teaching and supervision

I teach undergraduate modules in American History, American Studies, Methodology of History, and current issues in American culture and society. I also teach methodology and the history of suicide on MA History.

I currently supervise one PhD student. David Vaina, began his PhD in October 2016 with a project currently entitled ‘An Analysis of the Singularity of Florida's Political Consciousness in the 1960s’.

Previously, I supervised two students who have completed their PhDs: 

  • Dr. Mark Beachill, "The Shifting Meaning of Race in the Political Culture of the USA", awarded 25/10/2016.
  • Dr. Daniel Crew, “Published Sheet Music as a Political Research Tool in American Politics”, awarded 11/2/2015.

Research interests for potential research students

I am happy to consider topics related to American history - particularly those of race and civil rights - of the late nineteenth or twentieth centuries.


My research interests are broad but generally involve the shifting relationship of the citizen to the state as expressed by certain issues at various times. Most recently, I have looked at popular and cultural representation of suicide in the 1890s.

I am currently completing a book about the 1924 Immigration Act and its impact upon racial identity in the twentieth century. In the past, I have researched the Nixon administration's recasting of race relations, how gun controls affected African-Americans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and how the issue changed from a liberal/radical cause to a conservative cause between 1968 and 1980.

I have also researched the movement for assisted dying.


Number of items: 24.


Yuill, Kevin (2016) From his warm, tear-stained hands...Obama’s plan to Do Something about guns threatens ordinary Americans. Spiked-online.

Yuill, Kevin (2015) NO ONE SHOULD NEED PERMISSION TO DIE: The right to refuse treatment is not the same as the right to demand death. Spiked-online.

Yuill, Kevin (2015) The Unfreedom of Assisted Suicide: How the right to die undermines autonomy. Ethics, Medicine, and Public Health, 2015 (1). pp. 494-502. ISSN 2352-5525

Yuill, Kevin (2015) BEWARE THE ASSISTED-SUICIDE BOMBER: Right-to-die campaigners are now using death to promote their cause. Spiked-online.


Yuill, Kevin (2015) The spectre of Japan: the influence of foreign relations on race relations theory, 1905–24. Patterns of Prejudice, 49 (4). pp. 317-342. ISSN 0031-322X

Yuill, Kevin (2015) VIRGINIA: THE CULTURE OF COMPLAINT TURNS LETHAL The most striking thing about Vester Flanagan was his self-pity. Spiked-online.

Yuill, Kevin (2015) The narcissism of assisted suicide: A shocking case shows that assisted suicide is about more than alleviating suffering. Spiked-online.

Yuill, Kevin (2015) CONTROLLING GUNS, CONTROLLING BLACKS: Those demanding gun control post-Charleston need a history lesson. Spiked-online.

Yuill, Kevin (2015) Book Review: David Scott FitzGerald and David Cook-Martín . Culling the Masses: The Democratic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2014. American Historical Review.

Yuill, Kevin (2015) The death penalty is wrong – even for terrorists. Spiked-online.

Yuill, Kevin (2015) The case of Tom Mortier shows how euthanasia advocates will never stop at the terminally ill. The Daily Telegraph newspaper. ISSN 0307-1235

Yuill, Kevin (2015) We cannot have "zero suicides" if we allow euthanasia. Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235

Yuill, Kevin (2014) In the Shadow of the 1924 Immigration Act: FDR, Immigration, and Race. Immigrants and Minorities, 32 (3). pp. 183-205. ISSN 0261-9288

Yuill, Kevin (2009) Another Take on the Nixon Presidency: Richard Nixon, Drugs, Affirmative Action and the Silent Majority,. Journal of Policy History (Spring 2009).

Yuill, Kevin (2008) Constructing Country: Fakery and "Strictly American" Music; Part 2. Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture, 8 (4). ISSN 1547-4348

Yuill, Kevin (2008) Creating an American Music: A Critical View of the Origins of Country; Part 1: The UnCountry Beginnings of Country Music. Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture, 8 (4). ISSN 1547-4348

Book Section

Yuill, Kevin (2017) From Virtuous Armed Citizen to "Cramped Little Risk-Fearing Man": The Meaning of Firearms in an Insecure Era. In: The Second Amendment and Gun Control: Freedom, Fear, and the American Constitution. Routledge, Abingdon, Oxfordshire. ISBN 9780367887476

Yuill, Kevin (2013) "Better Die Fighting for Justice Than to Die Like a Dog": African Americans and Guns, 1866-1941. In: A Cultural History of Firearms in the Age of Empire. Ashgate. ISBN 1409447529

Yuill, Kevin (2013) Better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog: African-Americans and guns 1866-1941. In: A Cultural History of Firearms in an Age of Empire. Ashgate Press, pp. 211-230. ISBN 978-1-4094-4752-8


Yuill, Kevin and Street, Joe (2017) The Second Amendment and Gun Control: Freedom, Fear, and the American Constitution. Controversies in American Constitutional Law . Routledge, Abingdon, OX. ISBN 9781138706286

Yuill, Kevin (2013) Assisted Suicide: The Liberal, Humanist Case against Legalization. Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN 978-1-137-28629-1

Yuill, Kevin (2013) Assisted Suicide: the Liberal, Humanist Case Against Legalization. Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN 978-1-137-28630-7


Yuill, Kevin (2015) Views on the News - GUN CONTROLS. [Video]

This list was generated on Tue Sep 29 22:19:42 2020 BST.
  • Suicide and assisted suicide
  • The history of firearms and firearms controls
  • American race relations in the twentieth century
  • The civil rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s
  • The Nixon and Johnson presidencies
  • Capital punishment
I am a member (for more than 10 years!) of Durham Choral Society and sing second tenor parts. I enjoy canoeing, fishing and other outdoor pursuits.

Last updated 26 June 2020

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