Welcome to the David Bruce Centre

A Portrait of David Bruce Research in matters relating to the United States is supported by The David Bruce Centre for American Studies, founded in 1969. In American Literature and Culture, recent scholarly publications and projects include studies of the works of Henry James, Ezra Pound, William Burroughs, Paul Auster, and Jonathan Lethem. They also explore the Beat movement, American film, Anglo-American Modernism, and literary geographies in Québécois and Canadian novels. In U.S. History, recent monographs, edited volumes, and journal articles explore issues in the country's nineteenth and twentieth-century social, political, and intellectual life. They include studies of plantation overseers in the antebellum South, religion and state-building during the Cold War, and U.S. foreign policy. The newest research in U.S. Politics explores the relationship between presidential policy-making and political strategy. It also examines morality and “lifestyle" politics, and compares education policy in Europe and the United States.

American Studies faculty are involved in a wide range of academic advisory committees, editorial boards, research networks, and scholarly organizations. These include the AHRC Peer Review College, the Organization of American History (OAH), the European Beat Studies Network, the American Politics Group, Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS), and British American Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH).

The Bruce Centre also regularly organizes international symposia and colloquia that frequently result in edited volumes. Among the newest books are American Evangelicals and the 1960s (http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/5141.htm), The Syndrome Syndrome: Diseases and Disorders in Contemporary Fiction (http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/catalogs/routledge_literature_research/1/11/), and America’s ‘Special Relationships’: Foreign and Domestic Aspects of the Politics of Alliance (http://www.tandf.net/books/details/9780415483759/). Upcoming events include a symposium on "The Organiser and the Victim: Power Relationships in the Colonial World". In addition, the Centre promotes wider understanding of the United States through an established seminar programme, visiting fellowships, postgraduate research grants, and sponsorship of American Studies events.

About the Centre

The David K. E. Bruce Centre for American Studies (DBC) was founded in 1969 to further and encourage research in matters relating to the United States. It is named for the distinguished American diplomat who was then nearing the end of his eight years as US ambassador in London.

The Centre is an internationally recognized centre for the study of the United States. It is funded by a substantial endowment which provides financial assistance to active researchers, supports seminars, conferences, colloquia, occasional lectures and small exhibits, and encourages postgraduate study by means of scholarships and research grants.

The DBC is housed in the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Office at Keele University in Staffordshire. Half-hourly trains from Stoke-on-Trent to London (c. 90 minutes) and similarly frequent train services to Manchester (45 minutes), Birmingham (60 minutes) and Nottingham (60 minutes) offer easy access to Keele and from here to other locations with significant American Studies resources. Keele is close to a number of international airports, such as Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool and Nottingham (East Midlands).

All academic staff and postgraduate students in American Studies at Keele University are members of the Bruce Centre. Others may seek membership by application to the Director. The Director chairs a Committee which has responsibility for managing the Centre.

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Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS)

In June 2007, Historians of the Twentieth-Century United States (HOTCUS) was established to facilitate and promote scholarship in the field of twentieth-century American history. Based in the United Kingdom, with strong links to the British Association of American Studies BAAS, British American Nineteenth Century Historians (BrANCH), the American Politics Group (APG) and many UK universities, the organization also welcomes members from Europe, the United States and the rest of the world. HOTCUS warmly encourages the participation of postgraduate members in its activities.


The Association of British American nineteenth century historians was established in 1993 in order to promote the study in Britain of the history of the United States between 1789 and 1917. Membership is open to anyone with a scholarly interest in this period of American history

North American History in Europe

This project of the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C. seeks to establish a picture of the state of the field of North American history and area studies in Europe today. The database, which is searchable according to a broad range of criteria, serves as a useful resource for both scholars and students seeking to familiarize themselves with the institutional landscape in Europe.

American Studies Network

The American Studies Network (ASN) is a group of European centres involved in the interdisciplinary study of the United States. Working in close association with the European Association for American Studies, ASN members are independent organizations with some of their own sources of funding, have some research facilities, and are committed to a role of public service to the community at large. As a member of ASN, the Bruce Centre thus enjoys close relations with numerous American Studies centres across Europe and is happy to help you make contact with partner institutions to facilitate your research there.