Photograph of Dr Martin Padget.Dr Martin Padget

Senior Lecturer
BA (Sussex), PhD (California)


Office: D15
Phone: +44 (0)1970 621948

Teaching Areas

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. 


Martin’s research is interdisciplinary and combines interests in literature, history and the visual arts. While most of his publications focus on American subject matter, he has also written on British literature, history and photography. He is currently writing a book and a series of articles on the life and career of the leading American photographer American Paul Strand, whose stunning portraits of Manhattan city life and pioneering studies of abstraction in the 1910s and 1920s demonstrated the capacity of photography to engage with the extraordinary dynamism of modern American culture. He has received three awards in association with this project: a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2011-12), an Obert C. & Grace A. Tanner Humanities Center Visiting Fellowship at the University of Utah (2015-16), and a further research fellowship in American Modernism at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico (summer 2016).

Martin continues to be fascinated by the literary, cultural and social history of the American West, a region of the United States that was his home for a number of years and 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 and 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 and photography and a photo-textual essay on the presentation of Cold War-era military history and the logic of nuclear deterrence at the Titan Missile Museum in Arizona.

Martin’s research into representations of travel, the relationship between centre and periphery and the dynamics of cultural encounter extends to British subject matter. His book Photographers of the Western Isles (2010) explains why the Hebrides and 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 and not least island residents to convey the distinctive natural landscapes, patterns of culture and linguistic attributes of this unique region of Scotland.

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. 


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
  • 1996 (two months), British Academy/ Newberry Library Exchange Fellowship, Newberry Library, Chicago, USA
  • 1996 (one month), Frederick Hanna Fellowship in American History, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, New Haven, USA
  • 1995 (two months), Wilbur Jacobs and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California, USA
  • 1993 (three months), Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California, USA


Staff Links

American Studies Links

Clements for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University

Huntington Library

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Newberry Library

Center for Creative Photography

Western Literature Association

Western History Association

Index of Native American Resources on the Internet

Resources for Indigenous Cultures around the World

Native American Sites

Journal of the Southwest Online

Additional Interests

Much of Martin’s work is based on extensive archival research conducted during various trips to the United States. He has held one- to three-month research fellowships at the Huntington Library (1993 and 1995), Yale University’s Beinecke Library (1996), the Newberry Library (1996), the University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography (2002) and the Autry National Center in Los Angeles (2007). He spent 2000-1 as the Clements Fellow in Southwest Studies at the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University.

Martin is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Journal of the Southwest, which is based at the Southwest Center, University of Arizona. He has also served on the Executive Committee of the British Association for American Studies.

Martin has appeared in newspapers and on television and film. He was an interviewee for Dileab Thormoid/Smile Please, a 60-minute documentary on the photographer Tormod Moireasdan (Norman Morrison) broadcast on BBC Alba in 2014. Interview features on his work have been published in American newspapers and he has participated in radio programmes on BBC radio. Thanks to the generosity of the filmmaker Roddy Bogawa (, he makes a brief appearance as an actor on the IMDB.


As well as being a historian and critic of photography, Martin has photographed the American West extensively. Some of these images have appeared in Dean Rader and Jonathan Silverman’s The World is a Text: Writing, Reading and Thinking About Visual and Popular Culture (4th edition), Journal of the Southwest, European Journal of American Culture and Planet



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


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


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.


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.


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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