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American Studies Research Group

American Studies Research Group Convenor: Ben Houston


The American Studies Research Group is devoted to nurturing research and teaching on US topics at the university, within the city and through our international links.

With an array of disciplines represented in our ranks, our focus on US history and culture takes added emphasis when parlayed into comparative events with fellow researchers in Labour and Society, the Newcastle Forum for Human Rights and Social Justice, the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Martin Luther King Peace Committee

Similarly, we maintain close links and share events with American Studies and American history colleagues at Northumbria colleagues at Northumbria, Durham, Queen’s Belfast and abroad. We also play key roles in facilitating the university’s international link with University of Pittsburgh, further enhanced by our work with Carnegie Mellon University.  Members are especially visible as part of the British Association of Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH), as editor of the journal American Nineteenth Century History, the British Association of American Studies (BAAS), and Newcastle’s Martin Luther King Commemoration Steering Committee, as well as associated US professional organisations.

We are particularly active in bringing the very best scholars of US history to campus for Public Lectures, campus talks, and often direct engagement with our undergraduate and postgraduate students.  These include Richard Blackett (Vanderbilt), David Blight (Yale/Cambridge), Paul Finkelman (Albany Law School), and Nell Irvin Painter (Princeton), each of whom lectured to hundreds of people from the university and community.  We have also sponsored symposia on “New Interdisciplinary Approaches to the American Civil Rights Movement” and (with Northumbria) “Religion in American History” (which will yield a roundtable publication in the Journal of American Studies), and the forthcoming “Two Centuries of Peacemaking Across Time and Space.” 

Other scholars visiting Newcastle from the US, the UK, and Europe have helped facilitate our various grant bids and consulted on individual research. Future manifestations of these networks will be of vital assistance to commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s honorary doctorate from Newcastle in 2017. 



Our staff and students are engaged in many national and international organizations including:


Past research projects:

Mónica Moreno Figueroa 'Interventions Project'

Rosaleen Howard 'Language and the performance of power in Bolivia under Evo Morales', British Academy Small Grant, 2008

Useful links: