American Studies across Borders: International Opportunities for PhDs and Postdocs

International experience has become a prerequisite for success in academia – but depending on how you look at it, this can be exciting and terrifying in equal measure. In the second interview of this series, I talk to Dr. David Bosold of the John-F.-Kennedy-Institute Berlin about transatlantic relationships, career development, and dreams of meeting US footballers. Continue reading

Fault Lines in American Studies: Re-evaluating Academic Conference Models

In the first month of my PhD I read Barbara Tomlinson and George Lipsitz’s daring article on academic conferences in American Quarterly. “American Studies as Accompaniment” criticizes, amongst other things, the institutionalized, egotistical model of scholarship that prioritizes the scholar over the work or discussion:

“Because of the publications, presentations, positions, honors, and awards enumerated on it, the CV circulates out in the world as a strange surrogate for the person whose work it describes . . . The CV represents scholarly achievement largely as individual activity capable of being measured in quantitative terms. The work that scholars actually do, however, is innately collective and qualitative . . . scholarly conversations are cooperative creations, the product of collective communications in which all participants play a part.”

In writing this post I intend to expand on Tomlinson and Lipsitz’s reflections to make visible the flaws in our field with regards to conferences and, more importantly, offer feedback to postgraduates in the ways they can approach conference organizing. Continue reading

Review: ‘The Historical “Dispute of the New World”: European Historians of the United States and European History, Culture and Public Life’

The vast majority of speakers emphasized the importance of geographic location in writing U.S. history, albeit with different nuances. For example, diverse focuses included migration among Swedish Americanists, the state in France, and transatlantic relations in Italy, clearly showed the relevance of location in defining the different national contexts of U.S. historiography. Continue reading

US History as Myth-Busting

In the third post of the ‘Teaching America’ series Dr Andrew Hartman (Illinois State University), author of the forthcoming monograph A War for the Soul Of America: A History of the Culture Wars, discusses the ways in which graduate students can be encouraged to engage with ‘America as an idea’ in intellectual history modules. Continue reading

Teaching Radicalism

The second post in the ‘Teaching America’ series is by Dr Christopher Phelps (University of Nottingham), co-author of the new title Radicals in America: The U.S. Left since the Second World War, who reflects upon the intellectual advantages and challenges when faced with designing and teaching the history of U.S. radicalism. Continue reading

Teaching U.S Women’s History in British Universities: a Personal and Political History

The first post in our new HOTCUS-led ‘Teaching America’ series is by Dr Kate Dossett (University of Leeds) who reflects on her own experiences of designing a course on U.S. women’s history, and how she has encouraged British undergraduate students to consider how their own gender identity shapes their approach to the study of history. Continue reading

Surviving a Long-Distance Research Project

In SHAW’s second post in their series, Charlie Jeffries shares her experiences of embarking upon a PhD about the US in the UK and gives practical tips for others thinking of doing likewise. Continue reading

My Archival Adventure as an Academic Researcher across the Atlantic

When I began my PhD in January 2013, I knew that a significant part of my research requires archival materials that are mostly based in the USA, in particular the renowned Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. I will not lie; the opportunity to do archival work in the States and at Yale University was not only exciting and inspiring but also unbelievably unreal. Continue reading