The RIAS was very proud to host their fall PhD seminar on 7-9 December 2022.

The biannual PhD seminars are at the very center of the RIAS’ commitment to staying engaged with all the exciting research continuing to emerge from within the diverse field of American studies. They have long provided an invaluable opportunity for PhD candidates to present their ongoing research to fellow PhD students, expert scholars, and researchers in an engaging and collaborative format; one that aptly facilitates constructive feedback and additional insight.

The participants presented on a vast array of exciting topics that touched upon aspects of US history, culture, society, and politics. The four sessions of the seminar itself were chaired by Dr. Dario Fazzi (Leiden University), Dr. Kathryn Roberts (Groningen University), Dr. Tim Jelfs (Groningen University), and RIAS director Professor Damian Pargas (Leiden University). These four sessions saw the engaged discussion of the following papers:


Elizabeth Margaret Rees (University of Oxford), Separate Spheres? The East Wing and Contested Space, 1961-1976

Favian Mostura (Sorbonne Nouvelle University), The Effectiveness of Social Guidance Films in American High Schools (1945-1970)

Elisa Pesce (University of Glasgow), Fictional Maximalism in Leslie Marmon Silko’s Almanac of the Dead

Harrison Whitaker (University of Cambridge), The Hustler as Worker: Labor and Alienation in New Hollywood Cinema

Janine Schwarz (University of Tübingen), “Read This Diary Like It’s Some Sort of Gothic Tragedy”: Revising Genre and Gender Tropes in Gone Girl

Marcella Schute (RIAS/Leiden University), “The South Demands More Negro Labor:” Arguments to Reopen the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Antebellum Louisiana

Miles Stanley (University of Edinburgh), “We are Natives of the US” – The Colonization Movement in Delaware

David Carlson (University of Notre Dame), “Lest They Prove Troublesome and Dangerous Everywhere:” the End of the Transatlantic Slave Trade to Virginia

Heleen Blommers (Free University Amsterdam), A Mosaic of Participation in the War on Poverty on the Ground: Friction and Controversy in Two Programs in Georgia and Eastern Kentucky

Sarah Curry (Queen’s University Belfast), The Intersection of White Supremacy, Anticommunism, and Womanhood at the Height of the Cold War

Nicole Colaianni (Heidelberg University), Beyond the Dichotomy: Sexual Harassment and the U.S. Private Sector


This year’s winter seminar also saw the valuable contribution of our visiting Short Term Fellow Dr. Elizabeth Hameeteman (Boston University and founder of @envhistnow). Dr. Hameeteman presided over the rewarding workshop entitled Building Bridges in Academia: A Conversation on Representation, Engagement, and Belonging.