Sussex Centre for American Studies

About American Studies

The University of Sussex has an illustrious history of research and teaching on the United States of America and the Americas. Our international faculty have published award-winning books and articles in the United States and Europe on the history, literature, and culture of the Americas.

The Sussex Centre for American Studies encompasses an interdisciplinary research centre, a historic undergraduate degree course, and, from 2019, a taught MA course.

Since the early 1960s, students have undertaken BA American Studies degrees at Sussex; this area of research and teaching encapsulates the core Sussex commitment to interdisciplinary approaches to research and teaching. The Sussex Centre for American Studies builds upon these excellent foundations. It serves as an epicentre for promoting and disseminating interdisciplinary and disciplinary research and enhances the transatlantic reputation already enjoyed by Sussex. It draws on strengths in American Studies and broader interests in the Americas across the University to build a distinctive position for Sussex in this area. It coordinates all teaching and research activities related to the study of the Americas, and delivers a coherent but diverse programme of public engagement. The latter advances Sussex’s leading reputation in the field through public lectures/debates, workshops, collaborative grants, publications, broadcast and social media, and by interacting with partner institutions in the Americas. We are located in the School of History, Art History, and Philosophy.

Our work is far-ranging, covering fields as diverse as the history of Louisiana sugar plantations and New York punk rock; Andy Warhol’s films and Walt Whitman’s poetry; Transcendental literature and the Harlem Renaissance; American modernism and postmodernism; the American Civil War and the Civil Rights movement.

Find out more about our research.

Find out about some of our research projects:

British Association for American Studies logo in white, superimposed over an image of Brighton Pier at dusk; portrait orientationThe Sussex Centre for American Studies hosted the annual British Association for American Studies Conference in April 2019. Visit the conference website here.

mending socksSAVAnT (Scholars of American Visual Arts and Text) is a research network that aims to foster dialogue between Americanists and Art Historians working on American art and visual culture.

NapsThe Network of American Periodical Studies is a research initiative that brings together scholars working on American periodicals (magazines, newspapers and other periodical publications) from any historical period.

Logo for Scholar Activism conference, June 2018. White sans serif text on a black field, framed by striped teal.Scholar Activism in the 21st Century is a research network and ongoing programme dedicated to seeking productive intersections between scholarship and activism, both within and outside the academy. Find out more at

TrumpwatchTrump Watch Sussex is a research-led podcast on the current US Presidency.