I loved my time as an undergraduate in the Department of American and Canadian Studies (2009-2013) so much that it compelled me to stay on and take an MRes (2014-2015). Eight years later, I’m into the third year of my PhD. I’ve always had an interest in African American cultural history, and taking a PhD at Nottingham means I can delve into all aspects of a field of study that I have a real passion for, such as the Black Power Movement, African American art, the Civil Rights Movement, the Harlem Renaissance, and slavery and emancipation.
One of the things that inspired me to do a PhD in American and Canadian Studies was the staff. The department at Nottingham is fantastic and has such high-achieving staff members who are interested in a multitude of fields and disciplines. American and Canadian Studies is such an interdisciplinary field that it quite literally allows you to study anything. There is such a broad range of PhD topics in the department—from Puerto Rican activism in New York’s East Village to women’s prison magazines, and from the life of Frederick Douglass in Britain to Cold War foreign policy.
The ACS postgraduate community is second to none, and from what I’ve heard from people at other universities, we are one of the biggest and friendliest! We all support each other, do social things weekly, and work in the same office space together.
One of the great things about the ACS Department at Nottingham is how many opportunities it provides students. In the last two and a half years, my CV has grown from two pages to seven pages, purely from helping organise conferences, running Black History Month, getting involved in local projects, such as creating Nottingham’s first black history mural, and curating a couple of exhibitions. I am certain that I wouldn’t have achieved these things if it wasn’t for Nottingham and the staff making these opportunities available.