About Us

What is American Studies?

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier) once described the Manhattan skyline as ‘hot jazz in stone and steel.’ It has since been said that if someone understands this metaphor, then they ‘get’ the idea of American Studies. American Studies is a multi- and inter-disciplinary subject geographically focused on the United States (including mid-Pacific region with Hawaii), Canada, and the Caribbean, which is dynamic, creative, present, and relevant. The lenses that are employed make it not only an exciting academic subject for staff and students, but one that lends itself to innovative and collaborative research. American Studies offers a space in which to discuss, for instance, literature of the Deep South to American Indian boarding schools, from resistance to enslavement to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Primary Aim

The primary aim of the American Studies Research Group is to make Bristol a leader in academic publishing, postgraduate recruitment, grant capture, and impact on topics related to America. Our focus on building networks and international collaboration aligns with the University’s strategic priority to increase global impact and internationalisation. This attention to enhancing research and collaboration aligns with the University’s goal of creating strong alliances.

We nurture not only existing staff, but the next generation of researchers by strengthening the PGT, MPhil, and PGR experience through colloquia, workshops, and funding initiatives. Attention to PG development opportunities dovetails with the University’s attention to nurture talent and culture. Bristol is an excellent base for American Studies. Our group draws on a well-established academic community and programmes which will strengthen existing global networks. Bristol is also a gateway to the Atlantic with strong historical links to the triangle of trade to/from America.

We maintain a shared research agenda around a set of core themes: Race, Gender, Protest, Health and Medicine, and Decolonisation. These themes encourage and maximise opportunities for collaboration, impact, and grant capture, working together in creative ways, and alignment with university goals.

Our Goals

  • Strengthen the research community through events and training initiatives​
  • Improve the potential for grant capture
  • Strengthen collaboration across the Faculty and University​
  • Increase PG recruitment in topics related to American Studies​