Dr Martin Padget BA (Sussex), PhD (California)

Dr Martin Padget

Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing

Contact Details


He earned his undergraduate degree in American Studies at the University of Sussex and his MA and PhD in English and American literature at the University of California, San Diego.

He spent the 2000-2001 academic year as Clements Fellow in Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University in the United States and has held shorter term fellowships at the Huntington Library, Beinecke Library, Newberry Library and Center for Creative Photography.

Academic Prizes

Arthur Miller Centre Prize, awarded in 2010 by the British Association for American Studies to the best article of 2009 on an American subject, for 'Native Americans, the Photobook and the Southwest: Ansel Adams's and Mary Austin's Taos Pueblo', which appears in Mick Gidley, ed., Writing with Light: Words and Photographs in American Texts (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2009)

Indian Country: Travels in the American Southwest, 1840-1935 named runner-up for the Southwest Books of the Year Competition for 2004 - 250 books entered for competition

Bolton-Kinnaird Prize, awarded in 1996 by the Western History Association to the best article of 1995 on Spanish Borderlands history, for 'Travel, Exoticism, and the Writing of Region: Charles Fletcher Lummis and the "Creation" of the Southwest," Journal of the Southwest 37, no. 3 (1995): 421-49

Externally Funded Fellowships (selected)

  • 2007 (one month), Autry National Center, Los Angeles, USA
  • 2005 (four months), Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Leave Award
  • 2002 (one month), Ansel Adams Fellowship, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson, USA
  • 2000-2001 (nine months), Clements Fellow in Southwest Studies, William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA


Module Coordinator

Martin's main teaching areas are in American literature and culture from the nineteenth century to the present day. He regularly teaches undergraduate and postgraduate modules on the American novel, American film and ethnic American literature. He also teaches contemporary Anglophone world literature and various aspects of British literature.

He has supervised Masters dissertations and PhD theses on a wide range of subjects. He especially welcomes MA and PhD applications from students with interests in American literature broadly construed, the American West/Southwest, Native American and Indigenous studies, ethnic American literature, American film, travel writing, photography, visual culture, and Scottish literary and cultural history.


Martin's research is interdisciplinary & combines interests in literature, history & the visual arts. While most of his publications focus on American subject matter, he has also written on British literature, history & photography. He is currently writing a book & a series of articles on the life & career of the leading American photographer American Paul Strand, whose stunning portraits of Manhattan city life & pioneering studies of abstraction in the 1910s & 1920s demonstrated the capacity of photography to engage with the extraordinary dynamism of modern American culture.

Martin continues to be fascinated by the literary, cultural & social history of the American West, a region of the United States that was his home for a number of years & through which he has travelled extensively since spending an undergraduate year abroad at the University of California Davis. His book Indian Country: Travels in the American Southwest, 1840-1935 (2004) examines the ways in which Anglo writers & artists represented the Native Americans they encountered in the course of their travels through the region. Recent publications in this area include articles on Native American film & photography & a photo-textual essay on the presentation of Cold War-era military history & the logic of nuclear deterrence at the Titan Missile Museum in Arizona.

Martin's research into representations of travel, the relationship between centre & periphery & the dynamics of cultural encounter extends to British subject matter. His book Photographers of the Western Isles (2010) explains why the Hebrides & St Kilda became such a source of interest to travellers from the Victorian period onward. It examines how the camera was employed by commercial photographers, tourists, archaeologists, folklorists, documentarians, art photographers & not least island residents to convey the distinctive natural landscapes, patterns of culture & linguistic attributes of this unique region of Scotland.



Padget, M. 2013. Hopi Film, the Indigenous Aesthetic and Environmental Justice: Victor Masayesva, Jr.'s Paatuwaqatsi Water, Land and Life. Journal of American Studies 47 (2) pp. 363-384. 10.1017/S0021875813000674 Cadair


Padget, M. 2010. Photographers of the Western Isles. Birlinn, Edinburgh Cadair


Padget, M. 2009. Native Americans, the Photobook and the Southwest: Ansel Adams' and Mary Austin's Taos Pueblo. In M. Gidley. (ed) Writing with Light: Words and Photographs in American Texts. Peter Lang pp. 19-42. Cadair


Padget, M. 2008. The Southwest and Travel Writing. In A. Bendixter., J. Hamera. (eds) The Cambridge Companion to American Travel Writing. Cambridge University Press pp. 78-99. Cadair


Padget, M. 2007. Women in the West. The Making of the American West: People and Perspectives. Greenwood Publishing Group pp. 239-258. Cadair Other

Padget, M. 2007. Poverty, Piety and Newsprint. New Welsh Reader 77 pp. 8-16. Cadair


Padget, M. 2004. Travels in the American Southwest. Journal of the Southwest 44 (2) pp. 413-440. Cadair

Padget, M. 2004. Indian Country: Travels in the American Southwest. University of New Mexico Press Cadair


Grice, H., Hepworth, C., Lauret, M., Padget, M. 2001. Beginning Ethnic American Literatures. Beginnings Manchester University Press Cadair Other


Padget, M. 2000. Desert Wanderings. European Journal of American Culture 19 (3) pp. 167-183. 10.1386/ejac.19.3.167/1 Cadair

Padget, M. 2000. Travel Writing Sentimental Romance, and Indian Rights Advocacy: The Politics of Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona. Journal of the Southwest 42 (4) pp. 833-876. Other Cadair

Padget, M. 2000. Mourning and Reconciliation. Leviathan Quarterly 1 (2) pp. 55-68. Cadair


Padget, M. 1998. Claiming, Corrupting, Contesting: Reconsidering "The West" in Western American Literature. American Literary History 10 (2) pp. 378-392. 10.1093/alh/10.2.378 Other Cadair


Padget, M. 1996. Film, Ethnography and the Scene of History: Dances With Wolves and Participant Observation. Borderlines: Studies in American Culture. pp. 396-412. Cadair


Padget, M. 1995. Travel, Exoticism, and the Writing of Region: Charles Fletcher Lummis and the "Creation" of the Southwest. Journal of the Southwest 37 (3) pp. 421-449. Other Cadair


Padget, M. 1993. An Iconography of Difference: Internal Colonialism, Photography, and the Crofters of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. College Literature 20 (2) pp. 177-195. Other Cadair