Sussex Centre for American Studies

Research degree successes in HAHP

You can study a wide range of PhD topics with our School, so we've listed some of the PhD topics that our previous students have been successful with, to give you an idea of the subjects we cover.

Read the example PhD thesis titles below to get an idea of the type of subjects that our previous students have researched, and the type of expertise that our faculty have.

Our alumni have successfully achieved research degrees in these areas, under the expert guidance of our lecturers and professors.

History PhD thesis titles
  • 'Capital domicide: home and murder in the mid-century metropolis'
    by Alexa Neale, History (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Claire Langhamer and Prof Ben Rogaly
  • 'The Folk-Song Society wax cylinder recordings in the English Folk Dance and Song Society wax cylinder collection. Context, history and reappraisal'
    by Andrew King, History (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Jim Endersby
  • 'Understanding rural migration in late nineteenth-century England: taking parish research to a new level'
    by Matthew Homewood, Contemporary History (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Ian Gazeley
  • 'Interpreting science: J G Crowther and the making of interwar British culture'
    by Oliver Hill-Andrews, History (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Jim Endersby
  • 'The Pope and the pill; exploring the sexual experiences of catholic women in 1960s Britain'
    by David Geiringer, Contemporary History (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Claire Langhamer and Dr Lucy Robinson
  • '"Rationing has not made me like margarine" food and second world war in Britain: a mass observation testimony'
    by Natacha Chevalier, Contemporary History (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Ian Gazeley
  • 'Ordinary men in another world: British other ranks in captivity in Asia during the Second World Warweir'
    by Dave Boyne, History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Ian Gazeley and Prof Saul Dubow
  • 'British attitudes to the aerial bombardment of German cities during the Second World War'
    by Paul Weir, History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Ian Gazeley
  • 'German Rabbis in British Exile and their Influence on Judaism'
    Astrid Zajdband, Modern European History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Vinita Damodaran and Dr Gideon Reuveni
  • 'The political thought of John Brown: religion, reform and international relations'
    Pervin Yigit, Intellectual History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Richard Whatmore
  • 'Contemporary History - A moral business: British Quaker work with refugees from fascism, 1933-39'
    by Rose Holmes, Contemporary History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Gideon Reuveni and Prof Paul Betts
  • 'Silence and shame? An oral history of the Portuguese colonial war (1961-1974)'
    by Angela Ferreira Campos, History (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Claire Langhamer
  • 'James Mill's common place books and their intellectual context, 1773-1836'
    by Kris Grint, History (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Richard Whatmore
  • 'At home in Prague: representations of home in the Czechoslovakian Interwar'
    by Michele Harrison, History (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Claire Langhamer and Dr Chris Warne
  • 'Troubled by life: the experiences of stress in twentieth century Britain'
    by Jill Kirby, History (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Claire Langhamer and Dr Lucy Robinson
  • 'Inter-generational diachronic study of the German-Jewish Fein family from Leipzig'
    by Rico Langeheine, History (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Gerhard Wolf and Prof Paul Betts
  • 'David Williams' Lessons to a Young Prince: publisher influence and reader response'
    by Peter Robinson, History (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Richard Whatmore
  • 'Everything Speaks: the Jewish Lithuanian experience through people, places and objects'
    by Shivaun Woolfson, History (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Claire Langhamer and Prof Christian Wiese
  • 'History Unwilling allies? Tommy-Poilu relations on the Western Front 1914-1918'
    by Chris Kempshall, History (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Ian Gazeley and Dr Chris Warne
  • 'Youth movements, citizenship and the English countryside, 1930-1960'
    by Sian Edwards, History (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Ian Gazeley and Prof Clare Langhamer
  • '"Seeking the bubble reputation": continuities in combat motivation in Western warfare during the twentieth century with particular emphasis on the Falklands War of 1982'
    by David Eyles, History (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Ian Gazeley and Dr Lucy Robinson
  • '"Lady Be Good": an exploration of women making music in the Ivy Benson Band 1940- c.1985'
    by Jenna E. Bailey, History (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Clare Langhamer and Dr Christopher Warne
  • 'The light of conscience: Jean Barbeyrac on moral, civil and religious authority'
    by Sophie Bissett, Intellectual History (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Darrow Schecter
  • 'Religion and the Military in the Holy Roman Empire c.1500-1650'
    by Nikolas Funke, History (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Jim Livesey
  • 'A study of British diplomatic relations with the Habsburg Monarchy: Austria-Hungary and British attitudes towards it in the years 1885-1918'
    by Fred Shipton, History (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Paul Betts
  • 'Re-imagining South Africa: black consciousness, radical Christianity and the New Left, 1967-1977'
    by Ian MacQueen, History (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Saul Dubow and Prof Alan Lester
  • 'Andrew Michael Ramsay's Essay de Politique: Fenelon and Jacobitism'
    by Andrew Mansfield, History (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Richard Whatmore
  • 'Encountering the French: a new approach to national identity in England in the eighteenth century'
    by Mark Williams, History (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Peter Campbell
Art History PhD thesis titles
  • '"At home" in Standen: A study of the Beale family's lived experience of their late-nineteenth century Arts and Crafts home, 1890-1914'
    by Anne Stutchbury, Art History (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Meaghan Clarke
  • 'Depictions of power in the imperial art of the early Macedonian Emperors: Basil I, Leo VI and Alexander'
    by Neil Churchill, Art History (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Liz James
  • 'From commissions to commemoration: the re-creation of King Chulalongkorn and his court, and the Thai monarchy through westernised art and western art collection'
    by Eksuda Singhalampong, Art History (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Meaghan Clarke
  • 'Focusing the lens: the role of travel and photography in the personal and working lives of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant'
    by Claudia Field, Art History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Meaghan Clarke and Prof David Mellor
  • 'The creation and reception of William Westall's admiralty oil paintings derived from his voyage on HMS Investigator 1801-1803'
    by James Taylor, Art History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Geoff Quilley
  • 'The representation of the country house in individual books and guides 1720-1845'
    by Paula Riddy, Art History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Maurice Howard
  • 'Mosaics of power: superstition, magic and Christian power in early Byzantine floor mosaics'
    by Gavin Osbourne, Art History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Liz James
  • 'Elkington & Co. and the art of electro-metallurgy, circa 1840-1900'
    by Alistair Grant, Art History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Maurice Howard
  • 'Image Making: Representations of Women in the Art and Career of Safeya Binzagr'
    by Eiman Elgibreen, Art History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Meaghan Clarke
  • 'Portrait sets in Tudor and Jacobean England'
    by Catherine Daunt, Art History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Maurice Howard
  • 'The people in the pictures: an investigation of Fay Godwin's Archive, 1970-2005'
    by Geraldine Alexander, Art History (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof David Mellor
  • 'Issues of ethnicity and class in the paintings of Mark Gertler'
    by Trevor Parker, Art History (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Prof David Mellor
  • 'A Forest of Masts: the image of the River Thames in the long eighteenth century'
    by Geoffrey Snell, Art History (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Geoffrey Quilley and Dr Meaghan Clarke
  • 'The meaning of ice. Scientific scrutiny and the visual record obtained from the British Polar expeditions between 1772 and 1854'
    by Trevor Ware, Art History (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Geoff Quilley
  • 'The decorative scheme of the Royal Pavilion, Brighton: George IV's design ideas in the context of European colour theory, 1765-1845'
    by Alexandra Loske, Art History (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Meaghan Clarke
  • 'Colour and light in the seventeenth-century Churches of Arbanassi, Bulgaria'
    by Elza Tantcheva-Burdge, Art History (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Liz James
  • 'The art of personification in late antique silver: third to sixth century AD'
    by Wendy Watson, Art History (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Liz James
  • 'In the image of St Luke: the artist in early Byzantium'
    by Rebecca Raynor, Art History (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Liz James
  • 'The world on a plate: the impact of photography on travel imagery and its dissemination in Britain, 1839-1888'
    by Charlotte Mullins, Art History (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Geoff Quilley
  • 'Paintings of the future: photography in the digital age with particular reference to Andreas Gursky, Jeff Wall and their contemporaries'
    by Katia Mai, Art History (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof David Mellor
  • '"Archi-Texts" for contemplation in sixth-century Byzantium: the case of the Church of Hagia Sophia, Constantinople'
    by Iuliana Gavril, Art History (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Liz James
  • 'The role of rare and exotic animals in the self-fashioning of the early modern court: the Medici court in Florence as a case study'
    by Angelica Groom, Art History (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Michelle O’Malley
  • 'Books in Art: the symbolic meaning and significance of images of books in Italian Religious Painting 1250-1400'
    by Anthony McGrath, Art History (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Michelle O’Malley
  • 'Strategies for celebration: realising the ideal celebratory city in London and Paris 1660 - 1715'
    by Elaine Tierney, Art History (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Maurice Howard
  • 'Middle Eastern contemporary art'
    by Andrew Withey, Art History (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Prof David Mellor
  • 'Collectors and collecting in England c. 1600-1660'
    by Susan Bracken, Art History (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Maurice Howard
  • 'The state apartment in the Jacobean country house, 1603-1625'
    by Emily Cole, Art History (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Maurice Howard
  • 'Knole: an architectural and social history of the Archbishop of Canterbury's house, 1456-1538'
    by Alden Gregory, Art History (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Maurice Howard
  • 'A house 're-edified' - Thomas Sackville and the transformation of Knole 1605-1608'
    by Edward Town, Art History (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Maurice Howard
Philosophy PhD thesis titles
  • 'Emergent emotion'
    by Elaine O’Connell, Philosophy (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Sarah Sawyer
  • 'Husserl and Derrida - the origins of history'
    by Noah Martin, Philosophy (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Tanja Staehler
  • 'Self-comprehension and personhood: an examination of the normative basis of Hegel's political philosophy'
    by Timothy Carter, Philosophy (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Katerina Deligiorgi and Dr Andrew Chitty
  • 'Plural bodily subjects: a radical account of thinking and acting together'
    by Richard Weir, Social and Political Thought (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Andrew Chitty
  • 'The motif of the Messianic: law, life and writing in Agamben's reading of Derrida'
    by Arthur Willemse, Social and Political Thought (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Paul Davies
  • 'The emergence of mood in Heidegger's phenomenology'
    by Christos Hadjioannou, Philosophy (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Tanja Staehler
  • 'Generative knowledge: a pragamatist logic of inquiry articulated by the classical Indian philosopher Bhatta Kumarila'
    by Peter Sahota, Philosophy (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Sarah Sawyer
  • 'Community of singularities: being-with in the work of Heidegger, Levinas and Derrida'
    by Maria Popescu, Philosophy (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Tanja Staehler and Dr Paul Davies
  • 'The unclarity of the notion "object" in the Tractatus'
    by Andreas Georgallides, Philosophy (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Michael Morris
  • 'Truth as an evaluative, semantic property: a defence of the linguistic priority thesis'
    by Jacob Berkson, Philosophy (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Sarah Sawyer and Prof Michael Morris
  • 'Translating the sacred: religion and postsecularism in the recent work of Jurgen Habermas'
    by Huw Rees, Social and Political Thought (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Gordon Finlayson
  • 'Cosmopolitanism and critical theory: an analysis of the ethics, methodology and practice of critical cosmopolitanism'
    by Spela Mocnik, Social and Political Thought (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Gerard Delanty and Dr Andrew Chitty
  • 'Rationality under fire: the inclusion of emotion into rational choice theory'
    by Scott King, Social and Political Thought (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Gerard Delanty
  • 'Self and agency: a defence of Prasastapadas's differential naturalism'
    by Shalini Sinha, Philosophy (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Jonardon Ganeri
  • 'A study in metaphysics for free-will: Using models of causality, determinism and supervenience in the search for free will'
    by David Robson, Philosophy (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Michael Morris
  • 'Nietzsche and Levinas on the ethics of subjectivity'
    by Basak Keki, Philosophy (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Tanja Staehler
  • 'How valuable is the notion of artist's intentions in the interpretation of painting?'
    by Angela Kyriakou, Philosophy (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Kathleen Stock
  • 'Agency, structure and realism in language and linguistics'
    by Craig Jordan-Baker, Philosophy (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Katerina Deligiorgi
  • 'Fetishism and social domination in Marx, Lukacs, Adorno and Lefebvre'
    by Chris O’Kane, Social and Political Thought (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Gordon Finlayson and Dr Darrow Schecter
  • 'Hegel's logic of freedom'
    by Charlotte Baumann, Philosophy (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Andrew Chitty
  • 'Self-reprentationalism and the Russellian ignorance hypothesis: a hybrid response to the problem of consciousness'
    by Tom McClelland, Philosophy (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Sarah Sawyer
  • 'A phenomenology of conceptual art'
    by Zoe Sutherland, Philosophy (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Kathleen Stock and Tanja Staehler
  • 'Beyond the social and political: a synthesis of the political theories of Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault'
    by Claire Edwards, Social and Political Thought (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Darrow Schecter
  • 'A history of terrorism in the age of freedom'
    by Verena Erlenbusch, Social and Political Thought (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Gordon Finlayson and Dr Darrow Schecter
  • 'Remapping Athens: an analysis of cosmopolitan milieus'
    by Myrto Tsililmponidi, Social and Political Thought (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Gerard Delanty
  • 'On genealogy and ideology criticism'
    by Chris Allsobrook, Philosophy (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Gordon Finlayson
  • 'Theology in Aristotle's Metaphysics'
    by Volkan Aytemiz, Philosophy (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Michael Morris
  • 'The concept of political representation from Hobbes to Marx'
    by Georgios Daremas, Philosophy (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Andrew Chitty
  • 'Labour, knowledge and communication: rethinking the practical content of critical social theory'
    by Charles Masquelier, Social and Political Thought (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Darrow Schecter
  • 'Constellations of Adornian theory and film: readings of Adorno with Tarkovsky and Haneke'
    by Simon Mussell, Social and Political Thought (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Darrow Schecter
American Studies PhD thesis titles
  • 'Unreconstructed: slavery and emancipation on Louisiana's Red River, 1820-1880'
    by Carin Peller-Semmens, American Studies (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Richard Follett
  • 'A Creole melting pot: the politics of language, race and identity in southwest Louisiana, 1918-45'
    by Christophe Landry, American Studies (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Richard Follett
  • 'Becoming American in Creole New Orleans: family, community, labor and schooling, 1896-1949'
    by Darryl Barthe, American Studies (2016)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Richard Follett
  • '"A black play can take you there": the question of embodiment in African American women's drama'
    by Maria Khuzam, American Studies (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Maria Lauret
  • 'Cormac McCarthy's cold pastoral: the overturning of a national allegory'
    by James O’Sullivan, American Studies (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Doug Haynes
  • 'Modernism and state power in the pre-war poetry and prose of Ezra Pound, 1911 - 1914'
    by David Hull, American Studies (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Keston Sutherland and Dr Daniel Kane
  • 'Symbolic utopias: Herbert, Asimov and Dick'
    by Joao Felix, American Studies (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Sue Currell and Dr Doug Haynes
  • 'Dismemberment in the Fiction of Toni Morrison'
    by Jaleel Akhtar, American Studies (2015)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Maria Lauret and Dr Doug Haynes
  • 'The Union Party and the 1936 Presidential Election'
    by Paul Marshall, American Studies (2014)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Richard Follett
  • 'Never stationary: examining the influence of creative destruction in the work of Jack Kerouac and Gary Snyder'
    by Freya Madsen, American Studies (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Daniel Kane
  • 'Imagining Brotherhood: the comics of the American Jewish Committee, 1941-1948'
    by Elena Hristova, American Studies (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Jarod Roll
  • 'How to be an American: community anticommunism and the grassroots right, 1948-1956'
    by Matthew Glazebrook, American Studies (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Clive Webb and Prof Robert Cook
  • '"The Rising Sun of Empire": William H Seward's Mexican Policy 1861-1865'
    by Alys Beverton, American Studies (2013)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Robert Cook and Dr Jarod Roll
  • 'The poetry of female radicalism in depression-era America'
    by Karen Veitch, American Literature (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Maria Lauret
  • 'Race, recreation, and the American South: Georgia's Black State Fair, 1906-1930'
    by Kate Nowicki, American History (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Clive Webb and Dr Sue Currell
  • 'American segregationist ideology and white southern Africa, 1948-1975'
    by Zoe Hyman, American History (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Saul Dubow and Prof Clive Webb
  • 'The life and times of Charles Henri Ford, blues, and the belated renovation of modernism'
    by Alexander Howard, American Literature (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Daniel Kane
  • 'A "little parenthesis of light": Pynchon and the counterculture'
    by Joanna Freer, American Literature (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Doug Haynes
  • 'Hiding and seeking: form, vision, and history in William Faulkner and John Dos Passos'
    by James Harding, American Literature (2012)
    main supervisor(s): Dr Sue Currell
  • 'Randolph Blackwell and the economics of civil rights'
    by Alec Hickmott, American Studies (2011)
    main supervisor(s): Prof Robert Cook