Research by American Studies staff currently occurs within four (often overlapping) subject areas listed in the tabs below. Please note this represents a recent sample, not a complete picture, of recent research and publications.

Further details of the research of individual staff members can be viewed on their profile pages.

  • History
  • Film
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Impact


Staff publications in this area (in date order):

  • Simon Willmetts, 'Reconceiving Realism: Intelligence Historians and the Fact/Fiction Dichotomy' in Christopher Moran and Christopher J. Murphy (eds.), Intelligence Studies in Britain and the US: Historiography Since 1945 (Edinburgh University Press, 2013).
  • Josephine Metcalf, 'Willie Brown' in Steven Danver (ed.), The Encyclopaedia of the Politics of the American West (CQ Press, 2013).
  • Jenel Virden, 'United States Army Chaplains and Magazines: Censorship in World War II' in Athina Karatzogianniu (ed.), Violence and War in Culture and the Media: Five Disciplinary Lenses (Routledge, 2012). 
  • Simon Willmetts with Chris Moran, 'Secrecy, Censorship, and Beltway Books: The CIA's Publications Review Board' in International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, 24:2 (2011), 239-52. 
  • Jenel Virden, America in the Wars of the Twentieth Century (Palgrave, 2008).
  • Jenel Virden (ed.), America in the Course of Human Events: Presentations and Interpretations (VU University Press, 2007). 
  • David Eldridge, Hollywood's History Films (I.B. Tauris, 2006).
  • David Eldridge, 'Hollywood Censors History', 49th Parallel 20 (Winter 2006-07).


Staff publications in this area (in date order):

  • Simon Willmetts, In Secrecy's Shadow: The OSS and the CIA in Hollywood Cinema, 1941-1979 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2016).
  • David Eldridge, 'Screening Our Town (1940)' in R. Barton Palmer (ed.), Modern American Drama on Screen (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
  • Simon Willmetts with Chris Moran, 'Filming Treachery: British Cinema and Television's Fascination with the Cambridge Five', Journal of British Cinema and Television, 10:1 (2013): 49-70.
  • David Eldridge, 'Some Like It Hot (1959) and the Virtues of Not Taking History Too Seriously' in Jennifer Smyth (ed.), Hollywood and the American Historical Film (Palgrave, 2012).
  • David Eldridge, 'Britain Finds Andy Hardy: British Cinema Audiences and the American Way of Life in the Second World War', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television (Dec 2011).
  • Barnaby Haran, ‘Machine, Montage, and Myth: Experimental Cinema and the Politics of Modernism during the Great Depression', Textual Practice, 5 (3), 2011.
  • David Eldridge, 'There is Hope for the Future: Retrospective Visions of the Bomb in 1950s Hollywood', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 26.3 (August 2006).
  • David Eldridge, 'Dear Owen: The CIA, Luigi Luraschi and Hollywood, 1953', Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television 20.2 (2000).

Literary and Cultural Studies

Staff publications in this area (in date order):

  • Barnaby Haran, Watching the Red Dawn: The American Avant-Garde and the Soviet Union, 1922-33 (Manchester University Press,  2016).
  • Barnaby Haran, 'Tractor Factory Facts: Margaret Bourke-White's Eyes on Russia and the Romance of Industry in the Five-Year Plan', Oxford Art Journal, 38/1, 2015.
  • Josephine Metcalf, 'White Lies and Black Consequences: the memoir of Margaret B Jones', in Claire Garcia & Vershawn Ashanti Young (eds.), When White Writes Black: Critical Perspectives on White-Authored Narratives of Black Life from Uncle Tom's Cabin to The Help (under consideration, 2014).
  • Josephine Metcalf and Will Turner (eds.), Rapper, Writer, Pop-Cultural Player: Ice-T and the Politics of Black Cultural Production (Ashgate, 2014).
  • Barnaby Haran, '"Red Hashar": Louis Lozowick's Lithographs of Soviet Tajikistan', Warren Carter, Barnaby Haran, and Frederic J. Schwartz (eds.), Re/New Marxist Art History (Art Books, 2013).
  • Simon Willmetts, 'Quiet Americans: The CIA in Early Cold War Culture', Journal of American Studies, 47:1 (2013): 127-147.
  • Barnaby Haran, 'Magic Windows: Friedrich Kiesler and Department Store Constructivism', John Welchman, ed., Sculpture and the Vitrine  (Ashgate, 2013).
  • Josephine Metcalf, The Culture and Politics of Contemporary Street Gang Memoirs (University Press of Mississippi, 2012).
  • Josephine Metcalf, 'Reviewing "Monsters"; the Press Reception and Media Constructions of Contemporary Street Gang Memoirs', Crime, Media, Culture Journal 8, no.3 (December 2012).
  • Barnaby Haran, 'Homeless Houses: Classifying Walker Evans’s Photographs of Victorian Architecture', Oxford Art Journal, 33/ 3, 2010.
  • David Eldridge, American Culture in the 1930s (Edinburgh University Press, 2008).
  • Josephine Metcalf, 'From Rage to Rap and Prison to Print; Social, Cultural and Commercial Contexts of Emergence of Gang Memoirs,' European Journal for American Studies 2 (2009): document 5.
  • David Eldridge, 'P.C. Doherty' and 'Michael Clynes' in Ray Browne (ed.), The Detective as Historian: History and Art in Historical Fiction (Popular Press, 2000).


Sample impact by staff in American Studies includes (in date order):

  • Barnaby Haran is a member of the Fountain 17 project, set up by Hull School of Art as part of City of Culture, with funding from the Arts Council and City of Culture, which will take shape as a series of exhibitions in April 2017 in Hull.
  • Josephine Metcalf leads a British Academy funded project called 'Prison, Pop-Culture, and Transatlantic Perspectives: How Former UK Prisoners Interpret American (Penal) Culture' in collaboration with Russ Litten, which involves publishing the output of writing workshops with prisoners at Hull Prison.
  • Simon Willmetts is a partner in 'The Common Good: Ethics and Rights in Cyber Security', an ESRC project, which started in November 2014 (Grant Ref: ES/L013177/1), which will involve several public events during the 2017 City of Culture.
  • Barnaby Haran won a Terra Foundation Travel Grant to conduct research in the United States in 2016 for a project entitled 'Skyscrapers and Scrapheaps: Photography in the Early Years of the Great Depression'.
  • Barnaby Haran delivered a paper on 'The Lost City of the Future: New York's Skyscrapers in the Great Depression' for the Ferens Art Gallery Lecture Series on 'Cities of Culture' in February 2015.
  • The team organisation of a conference “The African American Experience Since 1992” in September 2012 (see events page for more details).
  • David Eldridge won a BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant to explore Classical Hollywood and the Censoring of History (July 2013). 
  • Simon Willmetts spoke at the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) in London on “Intelligence and the Film Industry: Policy Guidelines” (February 2013). This talk has also been delivered by Simon to the Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) in Geneva, Switzerland; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague, Netherlands; and, the Ministry of Defence in London (all 2012).
  • David Eldridge contributed to “There Is Business Like Show Business”, BBC Radio 4 programme on Industrial Musicals (March 2012).
  • Josephine Metcalf worked a researcher on the Guardian / LSE project “Reading the Riots” (2011-2012).

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