Sophie Pedder

Dr Cheryl Hudson, American Studies

I promise this will be the last American Studies faculty member you will hear from for a while.

I can’t promise forever, they are an interesting bunch of people (and I’m not at all biased because I take the subject!)

In this week’s ‘Academic Armchair’, I was talking to Dr. Cheryl Hudson.

She’s new to Sussex, after having started in September, as she previously taught at Oxford University (the people here have been very welcoming).

Her most recent work was actually on her dissertation.

The subject was the making of modern citizenship in America and this meant looking at a case study.

The case study was Chicago and how citizenship changed from the nineteenth to the twentieth century.

This also, coincidentally, is her favourite period of history; not specific to Chicago but to America as a whole.

Being a time of mass social upheaval, dramatic change, and a period which witnessed the development of mass society; it is certainly an exciting part of history to learn about!

On asked why she chose this career path, I got the most considered answer yet.

She is fascinated by America and the American experience, especially the African-American experience.

She believes that this group, more than any other,  demanded America to live up to its ideals; the ideals set out by the Declaration of Independence.

Talking of the DOI, Cheryl’s favourite president is Thomas Jefferson, as she believes he best articulated the American ideals.

It’s kind of my thing to end on the time travel question and when asked, Cheryl would like to travel to the field of Gettysburg in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln was giving his famous Gettysburg address.

It is the ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’ speech and arguably the most well known in American History.

It is short but definitely worth a read!

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Academic Armchair – Dr Cheryl Hudson

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