Dr Rachel Williams

Lecturer in American History

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education


01482 465578

Dr Rachel Williams teaches American history, with a particular focus on the social history of the 19th century.

She is currently completing a monograph on civilian relief agencies during the American Civil War, exploring the role of philanthropy, evangelical postmillennialism, and bureaucratisation in the Union war effort.


Research Interests

  • Antebellum reform

  • The social and cultural impact of evangelicalism

  • The social history of American medicine

Research groups

  • Active member of the British Association of American Studies (BAAS) and British American Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH)


Williams R and Brill K, Women in the American Civil War: Lived Experiences in the Nineteenth Century, New York: Routledge (2018, forthcoming)

Williams R, 'Response to Deborah Willis, “The Black Civil War Soldier: Conflict and Citizenship”', Journal of American Studies, vol. 51, no. 2, pp 339-347 (2017)

Williams R, 'The United States Christian Commission and the Civil War Dead', United States Studies Online (2015)

Williams R, 'Civil War Relief Agencies, the Union Soldier, and Healing the Union', in Meldan Tanrisal and Tanfer Emin Tunç, eds., The Health of the Nation: European Views of the United States vol. 5, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter (2014)


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • American History: Birth of a Nation

  • American History: the American Century

  • American Film and Society

  • Contemporary America in Context

  • The Fire Next Time: from Slavery to Civil Rights

  • The American Civil War in History and Culture

Research PhDs

Dr Williams welcomes applications for supervision in the social and cultural history of 19th-century America, American reform and philanthropy, and American Christianity.

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • MA Hons History (Cantab)

  • MRes American and Canadian Studies (Nottingham)

  • PhD American and Canadian Studies (Nottingham)

External roles

  • Early Career Representative, British Association of American Studies

Professional highlights

Being quoted in Daily Express article: 'Ivanka Trump: Could she ever become President?', 15 May 2017.