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Prof Adam Smith
History Department
UCL, Gower Street
  • Professor of United States History
  • Dept of History
  • Faculty of S&HS

I joined the department in 2002. Before coming to UCL, I was a Junior Research Fellow at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, a Visiting Fellow at Harvard and a lecturer in American history at Queen Mary, University of London. I have a BA in Modern History from Oxford, an MA from Sheffield and my PhD is from Cambridge. In 2009, I was a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania. I am currently serving as the Honorary Secretary of the Royal Historical Society.

I have contributed to various programmes on BBC Radio and have presented a series of documentaries about the American Civil War on Radio 3. 

Research Summary

Most of my published work has addressed  the nature of politics and political change in the United States in the mid-nineteenth century, but I’ve also published a few things on aspects of British history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My book, No Party Now: Politics in the Civil War North (Oxford University Press, 2006) explores the impact of the Civil War on partisanship and political mobilisation. You can read more about it and watch a video of me giving a lecture about that book here.  I’ve also written The American Civil War (Palgrave, 2007),  an overview of the war which emphasises the importance of home front public opinion in determining the outcome. I have recently contributed to the department’s AHRC-funded Images of America project and to a book on the global image of Abraham Lincoln. My book reviews and essays have appeared regularly in the Times Literary Supplement and other journals.

For more information see my Personal website

Teaching Summary

I contribute to teaching on two broad US history survey courses: Building the American Nation and the Making of Modern America. My final year special subject is Abraham Lincoln and the Crisis of the Union and I have contributed two MA options, on Abraham Lincoln and on American historical writing.

I have supervised a completed PhD on political mobilisation in the 1820s and was the second supervisor for students working on Anglo-American relations, American philanthropic organisations in the inter-war period and aspects of US foreign policy in the Cold War. I am currently first or second supervisor for students working on music in nineteenth-century American politics, on the Continental Army and the development of American national identity, and on the folk revival in Britain and the US in the postwar period. If you are interested in pursuing doctoral research in any period of American political history or in any aspect of the Civil War or antebellum era, please get in touch with me.

Academic Background
2017 SFHEA ATQ04 - Recognised by the HEA as a Senior Fellow – Teaching and Learning in Higher Education University College London
2001 PGCAP Postgraduate Certificate of Academic Practice  – Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Queen Mary College, University of London
1999 PhD Doctor of Philosophy University of Cambridge
1995 MA Master of Arts – American studies University of Sheffield
1994 BA Hons Bachelor of Arts (Honours) – Modern History University of Oxford
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