Professor Axel R. Schäfer

Title: Professor
Phone: (+44) 01782 733009
Email:
Location: CBB 1.057
Role: Study Abroad Tutor
Director of the David Bruce Centre
Contacting me: By appointment (email or phone)
Schaefer_Axel

I received my M.A. degree from the University of Oregon in 1989 and my Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 1994.  After teaching in the United States for a brief period I joined the Civic Education Project and worked as Visiting Assistant Professor at P. J. Šafarik University in Slovakia and J. E. Purkyn? University in the Czech Republic.  During this time I also taught intermittently in the Department of English and American Studies at Charles University in Prague and served as the programme's Director of American Studies.  

In 1997 I joined the Center for U.S. Studies at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) as American Studies Fellow.  During this time I also taught at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin.  In September 2000 I came to Keele to continue my career in the School of American Studies.  The main focus of my work at Keele over the past few years has been the directorship of the David Bruce Centre (DBC), an internationally recognized hub for the study of the United States and the largest centre in the Research Institute for the Humanities.  

In this role I have increased research support for faculty and postgraduate students and concentrated resources on establishing international contacts and organizing a wide range of academic events.  In addition, I helped set up a new organization of historians of the twentieth century U.S. (HOTCUS).  

I am also active in various committees of the Organization of American Historians (OAH) and in the American Studies Network (ASN).

My research focuses on nineteenth and twentieth-century US intellectual and cultural history, with a particular emphasis on religion and politics, transatlantic social thought, and the link between ideas and institutions in public policy.  I recently published two monographs on church-state relations in the United States.  Piety and Public Funding: Evangelicals and the State in Modern America (University of Pennsylvania Press) shows that evangelicals, though holding to the ideals of church-state separation, gradually took advantage of expanded public funding opportunities for religious aid, health care, education, and social welfare.  This was especially evident in the Sunbelt where the postwar Right would achieve its earliest success.  Contrary to evangelicals' own claims, liberal public policies were thus a boon for, not a threat to, their own institutions and values.  Countercultural Conservatives: From Postwar Neo-Evangelicalism to the New Christian Right (University of Wisconsin Press) traces the evolution of a diffuse and pluralistic movement into the modern conservative political force.  It suggests that evangelicals did not simply reject the countercultural ideas of the 1960s, but absorbed and extended key aspects of the insurgent worldview.  In my next research project I examine the development of transatlantic social visions beyond "states" and "markets" in the aftermath of the devastation of World War I.  In particular, I seek to explore the coalescence of art, design, technology, social reforms, and radical politics in areas such as urban planning, social housing, savings banks, and the cooperative movement.  Moreover, I am working on a transnational project on the role immigration policies and discourses have played in the formation of modern welfare states.

In my teaching I approach American Studies from an interdisciplinary perspective.  In many of my modules I explore the interaction of history and culture, combining, for example, analyses of the myth of the West with explorations of the region’s history; cultural images of poverty and social policy; religious imagery and political mobilization; and social ideas and social movements.  I have extensive experience teaching on both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in a number of different countries.  As an Instructor at the University of Washington I taught courses in the Comparative History of Ideas programme.  

While employed as a Visiting Assistant Professor in Slovakia and the Czech Republics I offered modules on American culture and society during the interwar period, film and media in the U.S., and turn-of-the-century historical thought in Europe.  As American Studies Fellow at Halle-Wittenberg and Instructor at the Kennedy Institute in Berlin I taught courses on sociology and social activism in the Progressive Era and the 1960s, and on the cultural history of the U.S. welfare state.  At Keele I recently offered modules on social movements and social thought since 1877, and on religion in American politics and culture.  

In addition I regularly teach a range of survey courses and modules on the history of the American West, Cold War culture, and twentieth-century policy history.  I have supervised numerous undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations in these fields, and have recently developed a new postgraduate research module with a strong emphasis on historiography.  I greatly enjoy teaching and have received consistently favourable evaluations.

Selected Publications

  • Schäfer AR. Schäfer, Axel R (Ed.). 2013. American Evangelicals and the 1960s. University of Wisconsin Pres. link>
  • Schäfer AR. 2012. Piety and Public Funding: Evangelicals and the State in Modern America. University of Pennsylvania Press. link>
  • Schäfer AR. 2011. Countercultural Conservatives: American Evangelicalism from the Postwar Revival to the New Christian Right. Univ of Wisconsin Pr. link>
  • Schäfer AR. 2001. W.E.B. Du Bois, German Social Thought, and the Racial Divide in American Progressivism, 1892-1909. Journal of American History, vol. 88(3), 925-949. doi>
  • Schäfer AR. 2000. American progressives and German social reform, 1875-1920. (vol. 12). Franz Steiner Verlag.

Full Publications List show

Books

  • Schäfer AR. Schäfer, Axel R (Ed.). 2013. American Evangelicals and the 1960s. University of Wisconsin Pres. link>
  • Schäfer AR. 2012. Piety and Public Funding: Evangelicals and the State in Modern America. University of Pennsylvania Press. link>
  • Schäfer AR. 2011. Countercultural Conservatives: American Evangelicalism from the Postwar Revival to the New Christian Right. Univ of Wisconsin Pr. link>
  • Dumbrell J and Schäfer AR. Schäfer, AR, Dumbrell, J (Ed.). 2009. America's 'special relationships': Foreign and domestic aspects of the politics of alliance. link>
  • Schäfer AR. 2000. American progressives and German social reform, 1875-1920. (vol. 12). Franz Steiner Verlag.

Journal Articles

  • Schäfer AR. 2010. Review of "Buying Respectability: Philanthropy and Urban Society in Transnational Perspective" by Thomas Adam. American Historical Review, vol. 115(3), 817-818.
  • Schäfer AR. 2010. Review of "From Slavery to Poverty: The Racial Origins of Welfare in New York" by Gunja SenGupta. Reviews in History, Article 905. link>
  • Schäfer AR. 2010. Review of "Radical Ambition: C. Wright Mills, the Left, and American Social Thought" by Daniel Geary. Journal of American Studies, vol. 44(2).
  • Schäfer AR. 2008. Review of "The Last Freedom" by Joseph Viteritti and "Christianity and Democracy" by Hugh Heclo. Journal of American Studies, vol. 42(3).
  • Schäfer AR. 2007. 'The Cold War State and the Resurgence of Evangelicalism: A Study of the Public Funding of Religion Since 1945'. Radical History Review, vol. 99(99), 19-50. link> doi>
  • Schäfer AR. 2007. Review of "Civic Engagement: Social Science and Progressive-Era Reform in New York City" by John Louis Recchiuti. Journal of American History, vol. 94(2), 604-605.
  • Schäfer AR. 2007. Review of "Knocking on Heaven's Door" by Mark Oppenheimer. Journal of American Studies, vol. 41(1), 228-229.
  • Schäfer AR. 2006. Review of "Quest for Identity" by Randall Bennett Woods. International Affairs, vol. 82(3), 539-540.
  • Schäfer AR. 2006. Review of "Representative Americans: Populists and Progressives" by Norman Risjord. American Nineteenth Century History, vol. 7(3).
  • Schäfer AR. 2005. Review of "Philanthropy and Civility in American History" by Lawrence Friedman and Mark McGarvie. Reviews in History, Article 483. link>
  • Schäfer AR. 2004. Review of "Klio macht Karriere" by Gabriele Lingelbach. American Nineteenth Century History 5, vol. 5(Summer 04), 109-111.
  • Schäfer AR. 2004. Review of "The Transformation of American Religion" by Amanda Porterfield. Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol. 55(April 04), 440-442.
  • Schaefer AR. 2003. Review of "Canaan Land: A Religious History of African Americans" by Albert J Raboteau. Journal of American Studies, vol. 37(02 Aug 03), 355.
  • Schäfer AR. 2003. Review of "The Soul's Economy" by Jeffrey Sklansky. Journal of American Studies, vol. 37(3), 514-515.
  • Schäfer AR. 2003. The Study of Americanization after German Reunification: Institutional Transfer, Popular Culture and the East. Contemporary European History, vol. 12(1 Feb 03), 129-144. doi>
  • Schäfer AR. 2001. W.E.B. Du Bois, German Social Thought, and the Racial Divide in American Progressivism, 1892-1909. Journal of American History, vol. 88(3), 925-949. doi>
  • Schäfer AR. 2001. Review of "Race Woman: The Lives of Shirley Graham Du Bois" by Gerald Horne. Journal of American Studies, vol. 88(3), 1132-1133. doi>
  • Schäfer AR. 2000. Social Policy and Welfare Reform in the United States — An Introduction. American Studies Journal, vol. 44. link>
  • SCHAEFER A. 1990. The Intellectual Dilemma of Socialist Communitarian Thought: The Communal Settlements of Equality and Burley in Washington. Communal Societies, vol. 10, 24-38.
  • Schäfer AR. The Cold War State and the Resurgence of Evangelicalism: A Study of the Public Funding of Religion Since 1945. Radical History Review, vol. 99, 19-50. doi>

Chapters

  • Schaefer AR. 2013. Transnationalism and Its Dilemmas: An Analysis of Immigration and Social Policy in the U.S. from World War I to the New Deal. In Beyond the Nation: Pushing the Boundaries of U.S. History from a Transatlantic Perspective. Fasce F, Vaudagna M, Baritono R (Eds.). Turin: Otto Editore.
  • Schäfer AR. 2011. The Public Funding of Religious Organizations and the Resurgence of Evangelicalism in the United States during the Cold War. In Religion in the United States. Cortiel J, Freitag K, Gerhardt, C, Wala M (Eds.). (vol. 196). Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter. link>
  • Schäfer AR. 2009. 'What Marx, Lenin, and Stalin needed was…to be "born again"': U.S. Foreign Policy, Church-State Relations and Evangelicals during the Cold War. In America's 'special relationships': Foreign and domestic aspects of the politics of alliance. Dumbrell J and Schäfer AR (Eds.).
  • Schäfer AR. 2009. The Liberal State and Conservative Social Policy: The Politics of Growth, Subsidiarity, and Moral Categorizing in the US After 1945. In Democracy and social rights in the "two Wests". Kessler-Harris A and Vaudagna M (Eds.). Otto Editore.
  • Schäfer AR. 2008. Die USA im Zweiten Weltkrieg und im Kalten Krieg. In Nordamerika: Geschichte und Gesellschaft seit dem 18. Jahrhundert. Grandner M and Gräser M (Eds.).
  • Schaefer AR. 2008. Du Bois on Race: Economic and Cultural Perspectives. In The Cambridge Companion to W.E.B. Du Bois. Zamir S (Ed.). (2008th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  • Schäfer AR. 2006. Religious Nonprofit Organizations, the Cold War State, and Resurgent Evangelicalism, 1945-1990. In The US Government, Citizen Groups and the Cold War: The State-Private Network. Laville H and Wilford H (Eds.). Routledge.
  • Schäfer AR. 2006. Du Bois on Race: Economic and Cultural Prospectives. In The Cambridge Companion to W.E.B. Du Bois. Zamir S (Ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  • Schäfer AR. 2005. Immigration. In Introduction to American Studies. Bigsby C and Temperley H (Eds.). Longman.
  • Schäfer AR. 2004. 'German Historicism, Progressive Social Thought, and the Interventionist State in the US Since the 1880s'. In Markets in Historical Contexts. Bevir M and Trentmann F (Eds.). Cambridge University Press.
  • Schäfer AR. 2002. Britain, Europe and the Critique of Capitalism in American Reform, 1880-1920. In Critiques of Capital in Modern Britain and America: Transatlantic exchanges 1800 to the present day. Bevir M and Trentmann F (Eds.). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
  • Schäfer A. 2001. 'Neo-Evangelikalismus, amerikanische Auβenpolitik und die NATO, 1941-1961'. In Religion und Zivilreligion im atlantischen Bündnis. Meyer B and Kremp W (Eds.). Trier: Westdeutscher Verlag.
  • Schaefer AR. 1999. Evangelicalism, Social Reform and the US Welfare State, 1970-1996. In Religious and secular reform in America. Adams DK and Minnen CAV (Eds.).
  • Schäfer AR. 1999. W.E.B. Du Bois und die transatlantische Dimension des Progressivismus, 1892-1909. In Macht und Moral. Berg M (Ed.). Lit Verlag.
  • Schaefer AR. 1997. World War I, the Campaign for Compulsory Health Insurance, and the Transformation of Progressive Social Thought. In Aspects of war in American history. Adams DK and Minnen CAV (Eds.).

Other

  • Schafer A. 2007. Knocking on Heavens Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture. doi>
  • Schäfer AR. 2006. Religion, the Cold War State, and the Resurgence of Evangelicalism in the US, 1942-1990. link>

My main teaching fields are:

  • Twentieth Century U.S. Political and Cultural History
  • Nineteenth and Twentieth Century U.S. Intellectual History
  • Religion and Politics in the United States
  • History of the American West
  • Cultural History of U.S. Social Policy
  • Transatlantic Social Thought and Reform