Research Approach and Themes
The research carried out by the Department of American Studies, by and large, mirrors the main concentrations in our educational agenda. At the heart of our research efforts, and hence of our curriculum, are three separate themes:
- Early American culture and history
- Contemporary socio-political issues
- Popular culture and media studies
Given the nature of American Studies, the key distinguishing feature of our research as well as in our teaching is that it is truly interdisciplinary in approach in which the individual researchers actively work across different disciplines and methodologies as opposed to, for example, research on American topics carried out in the History Department, which would generally reflect historical approaches only.
The same is true for our teaching agenda: individual teachers are required to be versatile in more than one discipline as all major survey courses combine a range of disciplinary areas, approaches, methodologies, and data sets. Aligned with our teaching practices, our research is generally problem-driven as well as theory-driven. That is to say, we explore specific issues that are controversial, contested, or under-investigated, and then seek to resolve these issues through the generalization of our findings, incorporating elements associated with both the structure and the process of the phenomena we study. Among the themes we are currently exploring are:
- Contemporary migration and mobility issues in the Americas
- Alliance cultures in the modern media landscape
- Cultural memory and popular culture
- Circum-Atlantic reconstructions the era of the eighteenth-century Revolutions
- Transnational perspectives on the idea of “America” and the Americas (both in historical and contemporary contexts)
Research Team and Projects
Within the Department of American Studies, research is facilitated by four senior researchers, one Rosalind Franklin Fellow, and three PhD students. Please visit the Faculty Roster and the Faculty Projects sections of the Departmental website to view a listing of current American Studies faculty members and their individual research initiatives.