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News, Blogs & Upcoming Events

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'Party Balance, Partisan Polarization, and Policy Conflict: The Evolution of American Politics, 1932-2014' - the 2015 Winant Inaugural Lecture

Byron ShaferProfessor Byron Shafer will deliver the John G. Winant Inagural Lecture in American Government at the RAI at 5pm on Wednesday 28 January, on ‘Party Balance, Partisan Polarization, and Policy Conflict: The Evolution of American Politics, 1932-2014’. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception. The Winant Lecture is given annually in honour of John G. Winant, United States Ambassador to the Court of St James’s from 1941 to 1946, and an instrumental figure in forging the wartime alliance between the US and Great Britain.

What's on this Week

2nd Week Events (26-30 January)


Gold Rush Imperialism: 16-17 April 2015 - registration now open

RCalifornia, 1848egistration is now open for ‘Gold Rush Imperialism: Gold Mining and Global History in the Age of Imperialism, c.1848-1914’, a major international conference at the RAI on 16 and 17 April 2015. Featuring keynote speakers James Belich (Balliol, Oxford) and Mae Ngai (Columbia), the conference – hosted by the RAI in collaboration with the Oxford Centre for Global History – will explore the global, transnational and imperial dimensions of nineteenth and early twentieth century gold rushes.

Hilary Termcard published

The Institute's programme of lectures, seminars and special events for Hilary Term is now available to view and download from our website at

We look forward to welcoming you to the Institute this term!

RAI announces Academic Programme Awards

US MapThe RAI is pleased to announce the latest five winners of Academic Programme Awards at the Institute. Launched in 2014, the awards are made to projects which promote research events at the RAI in the politics, literature, and history of the United States. The five awards go to:

‘Reconfiguring The Age of Emancipation’: a one-day symposium led by Professors Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf on the tortured history of abolition and emancipation;

‘Black Electoral Politics in a ‘Colour-Blind’ Era: Re-examining the ‘deracialisation’ strategy’: a two-day conference to be held in December 2015;

‘The Atlantic World in the Long Eighteenth Century’: a seven-week seminar series to be held at the RAI between January and March 2015;

‘The Records of the Constitutional Convention’: a one-day symposium in April 2015 that will examine the historical and documentary problems posed by the surviving records of the 1787 Federal Convention.

‘The Frankfurt School of Social Theory’: a lecture, seminar, and workshop in April 2015 to explore the influence in the United States of the Frankfurt School of social theory.

Further details on each of these events will appears on the RAI's website and termcard.


Richard Nixon's Reputation: 40 Years After Watergate

NixonA video recording of RAI Director Nigel Bowles’s talk at the University of Oxford alumni weekend – ‘Richard Nixon’s Reputation: 40 Years After Watergate’ – is now available here. Richard Nixon thought of himself as the most resilient American President of the post-war period. Indeed he was. Defeated for the Presidency in 1960 and for the Governorship of California in 1962, he was elected President by a whisker in 1968 and re-elected by a landslide. Conceiving of his life as one of endless struggles against multiple enemies, consumed by anger at his and his parents’ disadvantages, unable to establish normal human friendships, he was never at ease with himself, his circumstances, or his achievements.

Sally Bayley launches 'The Private Life of the Diary: From Pepys to Tweets'

Sally BayleyThe RAI congratulates Sally Bayley, Research and Teaching Fellow at the Institute, on the publication of her latest book, ‘The Private Life of the Diary: From Pepys to Tweets’. The book tells the story of the diary as a coming of age story. Beginning with teenage diarists, it moves through significant moments of life from the teenage years when diary writing often begins, to the years of family, professional life, old age and death.

Tessa Roynon launches 'Fiction and Human Rights' network

Tessa RoynonDr Tessa Roynon, Supernumerary Teaching and Research Fellow in American Literature at the RAI, has set up a new interdisciplinary research network on ‘Fiction and Human Rights’. Her proposal, formulated in conjunction with Natasha Simonsen, a Lecturer in Law at New College, was one of three winners in the latest round of the TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) New Network competition.

'American Foreign Policy in the 21st Century': video now online

Chris BurnhamA video recording of The Hon. Christopher Burnham’s recent talk at the RAI – ‘American Foreign Policy in the 21st Century’ – is now available here. Christopher Burnham joined the Department of State in 2001, serving as Under Secretary of State for Management for Secretary Condoleezza Rice, and as Assistant Secretary of State for Resource Management and CFO of the State Department for Secretary Colin Powell.

What’s on…


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