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Lewis Defrates

Lewis Defrates

PhD Candidate in American History


I received my BA in History from the University of Warwick, placing an emphasis on modern social, cultural and intellectual history. I then studied for an MA at Durham University, where my dissertation focused on a series of association football tours from British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean to the metropole in the 1950’s. I received the Michie Prize for the best MA Dissertation in my department for this piece of work. 

My PhD looks to explore the physical movement of a variety of performers, public speakers and a wide variety of cultural actors from the United States to the United Kingdom in the period between Reconstruction and the start of the Great War. As well as challenging the broad theme of ‘Americanization’, I am particularly interested in how intersections of race, gender and class affected these movements, their transmission and subsequent reception as 'American' in Britain. I am supervised by Gary Gerstle

Research Interests

More broadly, I am interested in transnational space and discourses of the body, and want to explore the role of these concepts in developing understandings of the world around us. I am also interested in histories of food, sport and the body, as well as working class and radical politics. I am passionate about accessibility to history and academia in general. I also like Millwall Football Club.


  • American History
  • American and British film and cultural history