Each semester the Bruce Centre hosts a series of seminars given by distinguished national and international scholars. These events are central to the maintenance of a research culture at Keele. Bruce Centre Seminars provide a means to meet and debate with some of the leading scholars of American history, culture, literature, and politics. The seminars also provide a valuable opportunity to hear voices from outside the Keele community.

Unfolding Our Shared Future - Keele Hall 8 May 2024

On 8 May 2024, from 4.30 p.m. UK time, the David Bruce Centre for the Study of the Americas, in collaboration with the American Politics Group (and with the support of a special award from the US Embassy/BAAS grants programme) is excited to invite you to "Unfolding Our Shared Future: Challenge, Possibility and Potential in the 21st Century." This is part of a travelling festival which addresses issues affecting the US and UK in domestic, trans-Atlantic and global contexts. The theme for Keele's event is "Urban Regeneration," and we are pleased to welcome two internationally-renowned researchers in the field - Professor Loretta Lees (Boston) and Professor Ray Bromley (Emeritus, Albany).

Loretta Lees has worked in New Zealand, Canada and the UK (at King's College, and Leicester), and is one of the world's leading urban geographers and a committed scholar-activist. She has published 17 books and 77 journal articles and has been a key driver of research into "planetary gentrification," exploring gentrification around the globe, and not just in "world cities" such as New York and London. She was awarded the 2022 Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Award by the Urban Affairs Association for her work with low-income, marginalized communities fighting gentrification and displacement.

Ray Bromley served from 1981-85 as Advisor on Regional Planning to the Peruvian Prime Minister’s Office, sponsored by USAID, and in 1985 he accepted a Professorship in Albany.  At SUNY-Albany he served for five years as Chair of Geography and Planning, and for almost a decade as Vice Provost for International Education.  He has held Visiting Fulbright Professorships in Peru (1997) and India (2016). Ray’s research has focused on national, regional and urban planning, on informality, casual work and self-help housing, and on the 20th century history of ideas in urban studies and planning.  He is a fluent Spanish speaker with nine years of field experience in Latin America, and he has travelled widely in other world areas.

This is a free event, and you can sign up for the live streaming here:

loretta-lees ray-bromley

David Bruce Centre for the Study of the Americas seminar programme

Seminars will be held at 2.15pm in the David Bruce Centre (CBB 1.030).  Online seminars will be held on Teams.  Please follow public health advice, and do not attend in-person if you are feeling unwell or experiencing any COVID symptoms.

Please direct queries to the DBC director Dr James Peacock (

Seminar programme 2016/2017 | Seminar programme 2017/2018 | Seminar programme 2018/2019 |Seminar programme 2019/2020 | Seminar programme 2020/2021

Semester 1, 2022/23

November 23 (in-person)
Dr David Brown (Manchester)
Duet with John Bull: The Black Abolitionist Mission to the British Isles during the Civil War

November 30, 2022 (in-person)
Dr Jenny Woodley (Nottingham Trent)
Ghosts, Mourning and Death at Louisiana's Plantations

December 14, 2022 (online)
Professor Maria Sulimma (Freiburg)
Microscripts of Gentrification: Leisure and Urban Transformations in Contemporary Literature

Seminar programme 2021/22

October 27, 2021 at 3.15pm
Dr Sam McBean (Queen Mary, University of London)
Queer Enumeration

December 8, 2021 at 2.15pm
Dr Megan Hunt (University of Edinburgh)
‘When things made sense, when we were the good guys’: representing the white South in late-twentieth century American cinema'.