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American History

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All seminars are held on Mondays at 5:00 PM. Due to construction at Sidney Sussex College, the location of the seminar will move around more than usual. A majority of seminars will still be held in the Knox Shaw Room or the Old Library of Sidney Sussex College; a substantial minority will be held in the Boardroom, Faculty of History, West Road. Two seminars, jointly sponsored with Political Thought and Intellectual History, will be held at Trinity College venues. About half the seminars will be based on pre-circulated papers, which will be made available two weeks prior to the seminar date.

All inquiries should be directed to Jonathan Goodwin,, 01223 335317. 


Michaelmas Term


8 October (Knox Shaw Room, Sidney Sussex College):

Alex Goodall, Senior Lecturer in International History, University College London

Soot, Palm Trees, and Zinc: Modernization, Sensation and Hybridity in the American Tropical Port System During the First Age of Globalization


15 October (Boardroom, Faculty of History):

Jennifer Luff, Associate Professor of Modern American History, Durham University

Secrets, Lies, and the 'Special Relationship' in the Early Cold War

This paper will be pre-circulated - download (Raven password needed)

Commentator: John Thompson, University of Cambridge


22 October (Boardroom, Faculty of History): 

Anthony Badger, Emeritus Paul Mellon Professor of American History, and Emeritus Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge and Professor of American History, Northumbria University

Writing the Biography of Albert Gore Sr: Confessions of an Unlikely Biographer


29 October (Knox Shaw Room, Sidney Sussex College):

Katherine Carté Engel, Associate Professor of History, Southern Methodist University

Rebuilding Religion after Revolution

This paper will be pre-circulated

Commentator: Sarah Pearsall, University of Cambridge


5 November (Old Combination Room, Trinity College): 

Corey Robin, Professor of Political Science, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Race Man: The Jurisprudence of Clarence Thomas

This is a joint session with Political Thought and Intellectual History

This paper will be pre-circulated


12 November (Knox Shaw Room, Sidney Sussex College):  

Sarah Knott, Associate Professor of History and Research Fellow, Kinsey Institute, Indiana University and Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford

Mother is a Verb: North American Histories Since the Seventeenth Century


19 November (Boardroom, Faculty of History):

Robert Lee, Lecturer in American History, University of Cambridge and Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows, Harvard University

Indigenous Geopolitics, Settler Populations, and the Demographic Origins of the Missouri Compromise

This paper will be pre-circulated

Commentator: Pekka Hämäläinen, University of Oxford


26 November (Boardroom, Faculty of History): 

Jane Dinwoodie, Junior Research Fellow, Jesus College, University of Cambridge

Evading Indian Removal in the American South, 1812-1850

This paper will be pre-circulated


Lent Term


21 January (Knox Shaw Room, Sidney Sussex College):

Naomi Lamoreaux, 2018-19 Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions, University of Cambridge, and Stanley B. Resor Professor of Economics and History, Yale University

Voting Trusts and Antitrust: Rethinking the Role of State Corporation Law in Competition Policy in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century United States

This paper will be pre-circulated


28 January (Boardroom, Faculty of History): 

Tom Arnold-Forster, Junior Research Fellow, Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge

Democracy and Culture at the Scopes Trial


4 February (Knox Shaw Room, Sidney Sussex College):

Barbara Savage, 2018-19 Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History, University of Oxford and Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought, University of Pennsylvania

Race, War, and Imperialism:  Merze Tate's International Thought


11 February (Boardroom, Faculty of History):

Karine Walther, Associate Professor of History, Georgetown University, Qatar

Spreading the Faith: American Missionaries, ARAMCO and the Birth of the US-Saudi Special Relationship, 1889-1955


18 February (Old Combination Room, Trinity College):

Andrew Hartman, Professor of History, Illinois State University

Karl Marx and the Cycles of American Capitalism

This is a joint session with Political Thought and Intellectual History

25 February (Boardroom, Faculty of History):

Kate Masur, Associate Professor of History, Northwestern University 

Migration, Poor Laws, and Police Powers Before Reconstruction


4 March (Knox Shaw Room, Sidney Sussex College):

Susan L. Carruthers, Professor of American Studies, University of Warwick

“Dear John": Love, Letters, and Loss in Wartime America 

This paper will be pre-circulated


11 March (Knox Shaw Room, Sidney Sussex College):

David W. Blight, Class of 1954 Professor of American History, and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, Yale University

Book Launch: Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2018)


Easter Term 

29 April (Boardroom, Faculty of History):

Beverly Gage, Professor of History and American Studies, and Brady-Johnson Professor of Grand Strategy, Yale University

G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the American Century


6 May (Boardroom, Faculty of History):

Michell Chresfield, Lecturer in United States History, University of Birmingham

It's in the Blood: Physical Anthropology, Genetics, and the Making of America's Triracial Isolates, 1950-1960


13 May (Boardroom, Faculty of History):

Ari Kelman, Chancellor’s Leadership Professor of History, University of California, Davis

For Liberty and Empire: How the Civil War Bled Into the Indian Wars

This paper will be pre-circulated


20 May (Boardroom, Faculty of History):

Brooke L. Blower, Associate Professor of History, Boston University

Gibraltars of the Pacific: The Road to Pearl Harbor Retold

This paper will be pre-circulated


2018-2019 programme - print version 


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 Archive Seminars

2017-2018 programme - print version

Easter Term 2017 programme 

Lent term 2017 programme

Michaelmas term 2016 programme

Easter term 2016 programme 

Michaelmas and Lent term 2016

Easter Term 2015 programme 

Lent term 2015 programme

Michaelmas term 2014 programme

Easter term 2014 programme

Lent term 2014 programme

Michaelmas term 2013 programme

Easter term 2013 programme

Lent term 2013 programme

Michaelmas term 2012 revised programme

Michaelmas term 2012 programme