John A. Kirk is George W. Donaghey Distinguished Professor of History and Department Chair. He was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, in the United Kingdom, and holds an undergraduate degree in American Studies from the University of Nottingham and a PhD in American History from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He taught at the University of Wales, Lampeter (1994-99) and Royal Holloway, University of London (1999-2010) before coming to UALR in the summer of 2010.
Dr. Kirk’s research focuses on the history of the civil rights movement in the United States, the South, and Arkansas, and the history of post-New Deal southern politics, society and culture. He has published eight books and written in a wide variety of journals, edited book collections, and popular history magazines including BBC History, History Today and Historically Speaking.
Kirk has won a number of awards for his research including the F. Hampton Roy Award from the Pulaski County Historical Association, and the Walter L. Brown Award, the J. G. Ragsdale Book Award, and the Lucille Westbrook Award from the Arkansas Historical Association. He has held grants from the British Academy, the British Association of American Studies, the Roosevelt Study Center (Middleburg, the Netherlands), the Rockefeller Archive Center (New York) and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library (Boston).
· Race and Ethnicity in Arkansas: New Perspectives. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2014. Editor.
· Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. London and New York: Pearson Seminar Studies in History series, 2013.
· Arsnick: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Arkansas. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2011. Co-editor with Jennifer Jensen Wallach (University of North Texas).
· An Epitaph for Little Rock: A Fiftieth Anniversary Retrospective on the Central High Crisis. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2008. Foreword by Juan Williams.
· Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement: Controversies and Debates. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007. Editor.
· Beyond Little Rock: The Origins and Legacies of the Central High Crisis. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2007. Foreword by Minnijean Brown Trickey.
· Martin Luther King, Jr. London and New York: Pearson Profiles in Power series, 2005.
· Redefining the Color Line: Black Activism in Little Rock, Arkansas, 1940-1970. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2002.