Sara Norton Senior Prize 2022


Congratulations to Lewis Defrates this year's winner of the Sara Norton Senior Prize, for his dissertation “Performing American Identity in Great Britain, 1880-1914”.

The dissertation looks at the physical movement and work of a variety of cultural actors from the United States in the United Kingdom in the period between the Gilded Age and the start of the Great War.

In a period of ever-increasing global exchange, thousands of Americans crossed the Atlantic in pursuit of riches, fame or in search of support for their cause. In exploring the work of these Americans, the dissertation brings into conversation work on the early ‘Americanization’ of the world, transnational reform movements and studies of the Black Atlantic by exploring the role of the primacy of nationality and conceptions of national difference in their work. It demonstrates the centrality of transatlantic exhibition in formulating various iterations of ‘Americanness’, while also highlighting how these articulations were increasingly structured by class and racial formations.