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American Studies at the University of Kent

About the Programme

The Centre for American Studies at the University of Kent offers a rich, interdisciplinary environment for studying and researching the Americas. We also support a wide range of high-level research in the literature, history, politics and arts of the Americas. The Centre includes approximately 20 academic members, whose work covers topics from twenty-first century U.S. culture to Native Americans, foreign policy and environmental history.

The Centre dates back to 1973 and over more than forty years we have developed a strong research culture that matches the commitment of the University to interdisciplinary study as well as the mandate of American Studies to explore the US experience in innovative, ground-breaking ways. Our team of scholars maintain close links with a number of US research institutions, and includes several alumni of the Fulbright programme. Kent University's Templeman Library features impressive collections on slavery, Native American culture, and photography/visual materials, as well as an extensive archive of historical newspapers.

In recent years, members of the Centre have received research funding from various bodies, including the Leverhulme Trust, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Wellcome Foundation and the Fulbright Commission. Our students have been funded through the AHRC by CHASE (Consortium for the Humanities and Arts, South-East England), and by internal studentships). We also offer the Christine and Ian Bolt Scholarship that covers the expenses of one year of research in the United States.

The Centre for American Studies is home to several journals, The European Journal of American Culture, edited by John Wills, and Transmotion, edited by David Stirrup.

The Centre offers PhD opportunities for candidates with interests in our areas of research expertise:
• U.S. Politics and Power
The research cluster addresses the domestic context for, and external projection of, US power. Experts' interests include, but are not limited to: partisanship and polarisation in US domestic politics, US foreign and national security policy in the 20th and 21st century as well as the interaction between domestic and international spheres.

• Migration, Borders and the Transnational
The Centre has become a major interdisciplinary hub for transnational American Studies, with many of our scholars examining the movement, circulation and exchange of people, objects and cultural practices across borders.

•Race, Gender, Indigeneity
The Centre has long been known for its scholarship on race and ethnicity in the Americas and it is also dedicated to exploring the cultural formation and politics of gender and sexuality.

• Cultural Forms, Cultural Politics
This cluster represents the wide variety of work in the centre that is focused on questions of cultural forms, aesthetic and politics in North and South America, from literature and film to music and video games.

For details of our academic members' research interests, publications and projects please see:

Find out more:
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Funding Notes

Some or all of the PhD opportunities in this programme have funding attached. Applications for this programme are welcome from suitably qualified candidates worldwide. Funding may only be available to a limited set of nationalities and you should read the full programme details for further information.

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