With an international reputation for our research, American studies faculty at Sussex span a wide range of interdisciplinary research expertise: we have specialists of 19th to 21st Century literature, history and culture with strength in visual culture, civil rights, historical memory, transnational foreign policy, modernism, migration and poetry. You can find details of some of our current research projects in our profiles below.
is Lecturer of the US in International History. Her research examines interactions between American and global racial formations. Her book manuscript, ‘Global Freedom Trade: Black Power and American Racial Formations Abroad’, examines the British and Israeli Black Panthers alongside elite efforts to paint racism as a purely American problem. Dr. Angelo has held fellowships in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies from the US Department of Education; in digital humanities from the Humanities, Arts, Science & Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC); and in transnational history from the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University. Her work has appeared in the Dr. Anne-Marie Angelo Radical History Review.
is Lecturer in English & American Literature. She specialize in American literature since 1880 and the theory of minor knowledges. Her research interests include history of science, poetics, gender and sexuality, childhood, media, and visual culture. Dr Cecire’s current book project, Experimental: American Literature and the Aesthetics of Knowledge, draws on history of science to theorize U.S. "experimental" literature. Together with Daniel Kane and Katharina Rietzler, she co-directs the Paris as an American City research network. Dr. Natalia Cecire
is Professor of American History. He specialises in the history of the United States in the Civil War era, Civil War memory and the civil rights movement. He is the author of several books including Troubled Commemoration: The American Civil War Centennial, 1961–1965 (LSU, 2007) which was a Lincoln Prize finalist in 2008, and Civil War Senator: William Pitt Fessenden and the Fight to Save the American Republic (LSU, 2011). He is currently on British Academy-funded research leave working on a project entitled Contested Realm, a history of American Civil War memory since 1865. Robert Cook
is Reader in American Literature and Chair of the British Association for American Studies. Her research interests include American literature, culture and modernism in the first half of the twentieth century as well as eugenics and popular culture and narratives of self-help. Among her publications are The March of Spare Time: The Problem of Leisure in the Great Depression (Pennsylvania, 2005) and American Culture in the 1920s (Edinburgh, 2009). She is currently writing a history of New Masses magazine, published in New York between 1926-48. Dr. Sue Currell
is Lecturer in American History. His current research focuses primarily on the relationship between the black freedom struggle and liberal and conservative politics during the second half of the twentieth century, and on challenging conventional analyses of Black Power and its impact on African American society and American political culture more broadly. His essay ‘Black power in action: the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Robert F. Kennedy, and the politics of the urban crisis’ appeared in the Journal of American History (Dec. 2013). Dr. Tom Adam Davies
is Professor of American History. He has published widely on American slavery and emancipation, including the multiple-award-winning The Sugar Masters: Planters and Slaves in Louisiana’s Cane World, 1820–1860 (LSU, 2005). He co-authored (with Eric Foner and Walter Johnson) Slavery’s Ghost: The Problem of Freedom in the Age of Emancipation (Johns Hopkins, 2011), and additionally works on Richard Follett digital history, Caribbean slavery, and Afro-Brazilian culture. He is currently completing White Fright: Slave Revolts in American Memory, a major study of every U.S. slave conspiracy and rebellion, and the co-authored Plantation Kingdom: The American South and its Global Commodities.
is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in History. His research interests lie at the intersection of history, philosophy, and literature, and address topics including the American war in Vietnam, moral history, the moral philosophy of war and violence, applied ethics, representations of war (particularly in poetry and film), and modern American literature. He is currently working on a three-year research project entitled ‘A Moral History of the American War in Vietnam’. Dr. Adam Gilbert
is Lecturer in American Literature. His research areas are American and transnational modernist, postmodernist and avant-garde writing and visual art, particularly as they interface with Critical Theory. He has written in journals like Dr. Doug Haynes Modern Fiction Studies, Critique, Textual Practice, The Modern Language Review, and Papers of Surrealism. He is currently writing a book on Black Humour. Doug founded research network SAVAnT (Scholars of American Visual Art and Text) with Joanna Pawlik (Sussex). He is co-editor with Tara Stubbs (Oxford) of Navigating the Transnational in Modern American Literature and Culture (Routledge, 2015).
is Lecturer in English and American Studies. His research focuses on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American and transatlantic literature, continental philosophy, and the history of science. He has published essays on Emerson, Thoreau, Melville, and Charles Olson. Currently, he is completing two book projects: Melville’s Uncemented Stones: Character, Impersonality, and the Politics of Singularity and A Natural History of the Mind: Science, Form, and Perception from Cotton Mather to William James. He is a founding member of The British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists (BrANCA). Dr. Michael Jonik
is Reader in English and American Literature and serves as Director of the Centre for American Studies. He works on modern and contemporary American poetry and avant-garde writing, film and culture. He has written extensively on poets affiliated with the New York schools. His books include ‘All Poets Welcome’: The Lower East Side Poetry Scene in the 1960s (California, 2003) and ‘We Saw the Light’: Conversations Between the New American Cinema and Poetry (Iowa, 2009). He is currently working on a study of the relationship between the New York punk scene and avant-garde poetry and poetics. Dr. Daniel Kane
is Reader in American Literature. A specialist in so-called ‘minority literatures’, she works at the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, class and sexuality. Her publications include Liberating Literature: Feminist Fiction in America (Routledge, 1994), Beginning Ethnic American Literatures (Manchester, 2001) and Alice Walker (2nd edn., Macmillan, 2011). She has recently completed a book on immigrant autobiography, essays and fiction entitled Wanderwords: Language Migration in American Literature, published by Bloomsbury Press in 2014. Dr. Maria Lauret
is Lecturer in American History. She specialises in the international history of the twentieth-century United States. Her work explores the transnational history of U.S. philanthropic foundations and their support for new conceptions of global security from the 1910s to 1950s. She has published numerous articles on this topic, most recently in the journal Dr. Katharina Rietzler Diplomatic History. Her new project analyses the entangled legacy of race and empire in twentieth-century international law.
is Professor of Modern American History. He specialises in race and ethnicity in the United States and Britain. His books include Fight Against Fear: Southern Jews and Black Civil Rights (2001), Rabble Rousers: The American Far Right in the Civil Rights Era (2010) and, with William D. Carrigan, Forgotten Dead: Mob Violence against Mexicans in the United States, 1848-1928 (2013). His current research focuses on Anglo-American relations, including the transnational dynamics of civil rights protest. Clive Webb
is a specialist in the literary and cultural history of nineteenth century America. His areas of research include media history, public speech and orality, rhetoric, non-fiction, and transatlantic studies. He is author and editor of two books on public speaking in early America. First, a collection of essays, 'The Cosmopolitan Lyceum: Lecture Culture and the Globe in Nineteenth-Century America' (Umass Press, 2013). Second, a monograph, 'Lecturing the Atlantic: Anglo-America on the Antebellum Platform' (forthcoming). He is a founding member of The British Association of Nineteenth-Century Americanists (BrANCA) Dr. Tom F. Wright