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RAI Fellow Donald Ratcliffe launches 'The One-Party Presidential Contest', Tuesday 9 February

Ratcliffe bookDonald Ratcliffe, RAI Teaching and Research Fellow and Reader Emeritus in History at Durham University will launch his new book The One-Party Presidential Contest: Adams, Jackson, and 1824’s Five-Horse Race at the RAI at 2pm on Tuesday 9 February. The election of 1824 is commonly viewed as an interesting contest involving several colourful personalities – John Quincy Adams, Andrew ‘Old Hickory’ Jackson, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and William H. Crawford – that established ‘Old Hickory’ as the people's choice and yet, through ‘bargain and corruption’, deprived him of the presidency. The One-Party Presidential Contest reveals that Jackson was not the most popular candidate and that corrupt bargaining was a myth.

What's on this Week

4th Week Events (8-12 February)


RAI Fellow Tom Packer discusses Iowa caucus on BBC Radio's 'Sunday Supplement'

Tom PackerDr Tom Packer, Teaching and Research Fellow at the RAI, recently appeared on BBC Radio’s ‘Sunday Supplement’ to discuss the Iowa presidential caucuses. The programme can be heard here (with Packer appearing from 39.30 on the clock). Packer, an expert on American conservatism in the second half of the twentieth century, described the process of caucusing, Iowa’s significance as a swing state in presidential elections, and the state’s demographics.

RAI announces creation of Carwardine Prize

Richard CarwardineThe RAI is delighted to announce the establishment of the Carwardine Prize in Master’s level U.S. history at Oxford. Named in honour of Professor Richard J. Carwardine, FBA, Rhodes Professor Emeritus of American History at Oxford and President of Corpus Christi College, the prize will be awarded annually to the Master’s student in U.S. history who is judged by the course convenors to be the outstanding overall student of the year. In selecting the awardee, the convenors will consider not only final marks and ranking, but also the energy, enthusiasm, and enterprise that candidates brought to their research, studies, and seminar discussions over the course of the year.

Gary Gerstle to launch 'Liberty and Coercion'

On Tuesday 26 January at 4pm, Gary Gerstle (Mellon Professor of American History at Cambridge) will launch his latest book, Liberty and Coercion: The Paradox of American Government from the Founding to the Present (Princeton UP) at the American History Research Seminar.

Peter Thompson discusses Thomas Paine's 'Common Sense' on BBC Radio 4

Peter ThompsonPeter Thompson, Associate Professor of American History at Oxford University and Fellow of St Cross College, appeared yesterday on BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’ to discuss Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, widely regarded as the most influential pamphlet in American history. Joining Thompson and presenter Melvyn Bragg for the programme were Nicholas Guyatt, former Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the RAI and now University Lecturer in American History at the University of Cambridge, and Kathleen Burk, Professor Emerita of Modern and Contemporary History at University College, London. Listen to the programme here.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, former U.S. State Department Director of Policy Planning, to speak in Oxford

Dr Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of the New America Foundation and Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, will speak at the Examination Schools on 26 January at 1.30pm as part of the Oxford Women in Politics (OxWiP) speaker series. Professor Slaughter received her M.Phil. and D.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Oxford and was the first woman to be Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. Department of State, from 2009-2011. Previously, she served as Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton from 2002-2009.

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 student wins American Politics Group postgraduate prize

Louisa HotsonThe RAI congratulates Louisa Hotson, a doctoral student in American history, for winning the  postgraduate prize at the American Politics Group (APG) annual conference for her paper ‘Professional Pessimism: The Growth and Fragmentation of American Political Science in the 1960s’. Founded in 1974, the APG is the major professional organisation for the researchers and teachers in the UK whose work concentrates on the government and politics of the USA. Its three-day annual conference was held this year at the University of Reading.

RAI Fellow Tessa Roynon discusses Toni Morrison on Radio 4's 'Woman's Hour'

Tessa RoynonDr Tessa Roynon took part in a discussion about Toni Morrison and black writing on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ today (from 25m 30s). The conversation focused on Morrison’s 1987 novel Beloved which has been adapted by Patricia Cumper as the BBC Radio 4 drama, airing this week and next. Dr Roynon talks about the novel, about the fact that black writing is not ‘niche’ or ‘marginal’, and about the role of the Civil Rights Movement in Black American literature.

What’s on…


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