The Centre for American Studies dates back to 1973 and over more than forty years we have developed a strong research culture that matches the commitment of the University of Kent 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.
The Centre for American Studies has long been known for its scholarship on race and ethnicity in the Americas, a tradition currently evident in Stella Bolaki’s co-edited volume on the black feminist Audre Lorde, Audre Lorde’s Transnational Legacies, and in Natalia Sobrevilla Perea’s recent work on racial and ethnic identities in twentieth-century South America. The Centre carries strong interests in questions of indigeneity, and is host to the journal Transmotion, which is dedicated to the study of Native and First Nations writing. It is also dedicated to exploring the cultural formation and politics of gender and sexuality, for example in Tamar Jeffers Macdonald’s work on Doris Day as cultural icon, and Sean Grattan’s scholarship on queer theory. In addition Erik Mathisen’s work has examined questions of race and citizenship in the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction periods.