School of Social and Political Science

Celebrated U.S. history scholar delivers Munro Lecture on the history of American fascism


Robin D G Kelley, Professor of American History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and author and activist for black lives and human justice, delivered the first of this semester’s two University of Edinburgh Munro Lectures.

Professor Kelley presented a schematic history, or genealogy, of American fascism from the 19th century to the present, asking 'is fascism an export or is it native to America?'

The video of the lecture is now available.

The lecture was part of the University of Edinburgh’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CAHSS) Munro Lecture series. It was introduced and chaired by members of the Social Anthropology team at the University’s School of Social and Political Science, Dr Maya Mayblin and Dr Lotte Segal, and the vote of thanks was given by Professor Jonathan Spencer, also of SPS.

Watch the recording:


About the lecture

Introducing the lecture, Professor Kelley said: "Ever since the right-wing insurrection on the U.S. Capitol building, there has been a tendency to compare the U.S. with the rise of the Third Reich. It’s been called our Weimar moment, or America’s Kristallnacht. The potential of fascism emerging in the U.S. I argue that these analogies are misguided, not because there is no fascism in the U.S. but, on the contrary, fascism is native to this country and its roots are much longer and deeper.

“Building on the insights of Black intellectuals in the 1930s and ‘40s who argued that fascism’s European roots are in the colonial order (an argument they made before Hannah Arendt), I will present a kind of schematic history or genealogy of American fascism from the 19th century to the present."

More about Professor Kelley

Robin Kelley is Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA. He was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2014. 

Professor Robin D G Kelley's staff profile at UCLA

More on the Munro Lecture series

View the event in the Munro Lecture archive

More on the Munro Lectures at the University of Edinburgh