Centres, networks and clusters

Find out more about the work of the centres, networks and clusters the American Studies department are involved in.


Research interests

As a programme we have particular research strengths in the following areas: 

  • African-American History and Culture
  • Mass Media, Popular Culture, and the Culture Industries
  • Gender and Sexuality in the modern United States
  • The American South
  • History of Sport, Leisure and Work
  • Long Nineteenth Century US Culture
  • Food Studies

Academic staff research interests 

  • David Brown - The historical development of slavery; race and whiteness in North America; the American South (particularly the history of non-slaveholding whites); the American Civil War (especially in an Atlantic context).
  • J Michelle Coghlan - 19th and early 20th Century American literature and culture; transatlantic print and visual culture in the long nineteenth century; radical memory and protest culture from the Paris Commune to Occupy Wall Street; food studies.
  • Andrew Fearnley - Concepts of race and the history of racial thought; African American intellectual history; the history of medicine (especially psychiatry); histories of modern sport, especially the cultures of spectatorship.
  • Douglas Field - Twentieth-century African American literature and culture; African-American intellectual history; Trans-Atlantic American literature and culture; Beat Writing.
  • Molly Geidel - 20th and 21st Century US culture, US imperialism, post-WWII modernization and development, social movements in the Americas, gender and sexuality, film, popular music
  • Peter Knight - Nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature and culture; conspiracy theories; the Kennedy assassination; the culture of the market; the history of capitalism.
  • Monica Pearl - Twentieth-century American literature and film; cultural representations of AIDS (especially in relation to sexuality); the development of personal and cultural identities through narrative; the work of mourning, primarily in late twentieth-century American culture.
  • Eithne Quinn - African American popular culture; American race politics in film and culture; American cultural industries from 1965 to the present; hip-hop culture; rap music and criminal cases; popular culture and climate change risk communication; popular culture and social change.
  • Ian Scott - Hollywood screenwriting and film history; the representations of politics and political institutions on film; the history, politics and visual representation of California; the social, cultural and historic links in football culture between the United States and Britain.
  • Natalie Zacek - Early American history; social and political culture among early white settlements; the history of thoroughbred horse-racing in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America; popular memory, public history, and popular culture in relation to the plantations in the American South and the Caribbean.
  • Dr Gordon FraserThe study of nineteenth-century literature, print culture, and the history of science.