UCL Institute of the Americas


Dr Joshua Hollands

Dr Joshua Hollands


Lecturer (Teaching) in United States History

director of education
chair of departmental staff student consultative committee
chair of departmental teaching committee


Josh is a Lecturer (Teaching) in United States History. He is a historian of the modern United States with particular focus on sexuality, political economy, and social movements. He joined UCL Institute of the Americas first as an MA student in US Studies, and later as a PhD student where his research was supported by a Wolfson Foundation Scholarship in the Humanities. He received his BA in American Studies from the University of Hull in 2014. During his BA Josh spent a year abroad at San Francisco State University which reinforced his interest in studying histories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people.

Josh teaches broadly in modern US history and more specifically on histories of the US South, sexuality, and the 1970s. In addition to teaching, Josh is also the tutor responsible for the year abroad, covering North America and the Caribbean.

Research Summary

Josh’s research interests lie at the intersection of sexuality, class, gender and race in the post-1945 United States. His recently completed PhD thesis examines histories of homophobic workplace discrimination in the US South and Southwest, and the movements that emerged to counter it.

Each chapter of his thesis, entitled: Work and Sexuality in the Sunbelt: Homophobic Workplace Discrimination in the US South and Southwest, 1970 to the present, examine episodes of discrimination in different Sunbelt cities and companies. Chapters focused on individual organisations such as Apple Computer, Cracker Barrel, Duke University and ExxonMobil shed light on mainstream LGBT strategies for equality within corporations, as well as the extent to which victories at these companies impacted wider rights for sexual minorities in southern cities. Similarly, case studies on organisations of business elites in Sunbelt cities including Houston and Williamson County, Texas, demonstrate how battles over workplace rights in both the private and public sectors informed conservative rhetoric in opposition to, and in some cases, acceptance of LGBT rights during the closing decades of the twentieth-century.

In 2017, Josh was awarded the Robert H. Zieger Prize for Southern Labor Studies for research on discrimination at the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain.

Teaching Summary


AMER0050: The Making of Modern America: The United States since 1920 (module convenor)

AMER0055: Intimate Matters: Histories of Sexuality in the U.S. and Beyond, 1945-present 

AMER0056: Pivotal Decade: The 1970s in US Political, Social, Cultural and Economic History 

AMER0038 Encountering the Americas: Key Themes and Concepts

Post Graduate Taught:

AMER0032: From the New South to the Modern South: The (Re)Making of an American Region

AMER0006 Researching the Americas: The United States 


Joshua Hollands, “Work and Sexuality in the Sunbelt: Homophobic Workplace Discrimination in the U.S. South and Southwest, 1970 to the Present.” Enterprise & Society 22, no. 4 (2021): 939–49. doi:10.1017/eso.2021.50. It can be accessed here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/enterprise-and-society/issue/9933E7536E55F87B778E4EB1D4DFEEB0 

“Animating America’s Anticommunism: Alice's Egg Plant and Disney's First Red Scare” in Discussing Disney, Amy M. Davis ed. (John Libbey & Co./University of Indiana Press, 2019). It can be accessed here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctvqc6k2q.6