Welcome to the Centre for American Studies at the University of Kent. The Centre draws on scholars from across the faculty of humanities and beyond to create a rich environment for studying and researching the Americas. We run taught programmes in American Studies at undergraduate and master's levels, in addition to providing supervision and training for PhD students. We also support a wide range of high-level research in the literature, history, politics and arts of the Americas.
The Centre for American Studies was founded in 1973 and draws on Kent’s proud history of interdisciplinary scholarship. The Centre now includes approximately 20 academic members, whose work covers topics from twenty-first century U.S. culture to Native Americans, foreign policy and environmental history. In 2016-17 alone, members of the Centre authored six books on topics ranging from the idea of Utopia in contemporary U.S. literature to the history of the silk trade in colonial America. In recent years our research has been supported by funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust, Fulbright Commission and Terra Foundation for American Art. We also host two academic journals, Transmotion, edited by Professor David Stirrup, and The European Journal of American Culture, edited by Dr John Wills.
As a place to study, the Centre for American Studies combines the experience of a small, friendly and attentive department with a wide range of topics to explore, tailored to suit all interests. Our students benefit from the first-rate teaching at Kent that led to our receiving a Gold award in the Government's 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Many of our undergraduates take the opportunity to spend a year or a semester studying in the United States at one of our partner institutions, and return enriched by their experience. Our postgraduate community, meanwhile, whether on our taught MA in American Studies or studying for a PhD, play a vibrant role in the Centre's research culture. Several of our current PhD students have won funding to support their work from CHASE (Consortium of the Arts and Humanities South-East England), while others hold internal Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships, which offer them valuable experience of teaching in a supportive environment while they conduct their research.
The Centre has a busy calendar of events running throughout the year. Whether we are hosting a visiting scholar for our annual Bolt lecture, running a postgraduate workshop or organizing a screening and discussion of a new film, there is always something going on. Many of these events are open to members of the public and prospective students, so please feel free to contact us if you'd like to join us and experience the Centre's work first-hand, or simply if you have any questions about us.
Dr Will Norman