Dr David Anderson

Dr David Anderson
Senior Lecturer
Political and Cultural Studies
Telephone: (01792) 604292

David Anderson is Programme Director for American Studies in the Department of Political and Cultural Studies. He graduated from the University of Dundee in 2001 with a First Class MA (Hons) degree in American Studies and History. He was awarded his AHRB-funded PhD in 2005, also from the University of Dundee, and taught in the Department of History. David joined Swansea University as a lecturer in 2008. In September 2015 David achieved professional recognition as a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

David’s teaching and research focuses on the socio-political history and culture of the American South. David is completing a research monograph on the Lost Cause and American Civil War memory and has published a number of book chapters and articles in a wide range of academic journals, including the Journal of Southern History and Civil War History. He has presented conference papers across the UK and U.S. and has written for BBC History Magazine.

David is engaged in research projects relating to the history and culture of the American South, including a book-length project on postbellum plantation memoirs. Based on extensive state and local archival research across the American South, this important study will restore almost forgotten writers to the history of the Lost Cause. David has published an article on the deployment of the plantation Christmas in the memoirs and reminiscences of elite white southerners, demonstrating not only that these nostalgic depictions provided an important frame of reference to formulations of the Lost Cause, but that such representations had a historically specific dimension to them.

Another area of interest is the American Civil War, with a particular focus on the internal lives of Union and Confederate soldiers. Funded by the British Association for American Studies and the Wellcome Trust, David’s research on clinical nostalgia – or homesickness – has involved research in the United States and collaboration with colleagues across several American universities.

Areas of Expertise

  • American Civil War; American South; Memory and Nostalgia

Publications

  1. Slave Narratives Review Article. Reviews in History
  2. (2015). Reading Between the Lines: Exploring Postbellum Plantation Memoirists through Digitized Newspaper Collections. (Readex Report No. 10).
  3. Civil War: Diaries and Reminiscences. In Kevin Hayes (Ed.), The History of Virginia Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  4. Nostalgia for Christmas in Postbellum Plantation Reminiscences. Southern Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of the South 21(2)
  5. The Lost Cause and the Politics of Nostalgia: Reconstructing White Male Southern Identity after the American Civil War. In Stephen McVeigh and Nicola Cooper (Ed.), Men After War. New York: Routledge.

See more...

Teaching

  • AM-214 Frontier Narratives

    This interdisciplinary module examines literary representations of the frontier.

  • AM-217 The Making of Transatlantic America

    This multidisciplinary module seeks to offer a re-appraisal of early American history from the period c. 1607 through c. 1783 as well as understand other elements ¿ geography, economics, philosophy, literature, and politics ¿ that helped determine the shape of early American society. Students will examine some of the most dynamic topics of current early American scholarship and issues as they developed in an emerging world: the roles of race and gender; the changing nature of the colonial family; the sexual practices of early colonists; emigration and the `peopling¿ of empire; the role of the `frontier;¿ backcountry violence; crime; the formation of provincial elites; and uneasy international rivalries.

  • AM-218 Re-Thinking the South: Southern Culture and History, 1865-1955

    What is the `South¿? Where is the `South¿? What makes someone a `southerner¿? Can the South ever be regarded as a single cultural or historical entity, or are there many `Souths¿? Does the `South¿ exist any longer? Much ink has been spilled over these questions amongst both historians and professional ¿South watchers.¿ Over the years, many ¿central themes¿ have been used to define and label the region: food, climate, folkways, music, popular culture, slavery, race relations, geography and even history itself. Questions of regional identity ¿ how southerners perceive themselves and their region (how others perceive both) and how this sense of regional identity has been molded by mythical interpretations of the past ¿ are some of the key themes in this interdisciplinary module. This module shall explore the history and culture of the American South from the end of the Civil War in 1865 through to the mid-1950s and the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement. The module shall consider the emergence of the ¿New¿ South; late C19th southern politics; the `Lost Cause;¿ the rise of `Jim Crow¿ and racial segregation; lynching; the Ku Klux Klan; the Scopes Trial; the South and the New Deal; the South and World War II; and the Brown Decision. We will also have opportunity examine aspects of southern literature and the representation of the South in film.

  • AM-219 Re-Thinking the South: Southern Culture and History, 1865-1955

    What is the `South¿? Where is the `South¿? What makes someone a `southerner¿? Can the South ever be regarded as a single cultural or historical entity, or are there many `Souths¿? Does the `South¿ exist any longer? Much ink has been spilled over these questions among both historians and professional ¿South watchers.¿ Over the years, many ¿central themes¿ have been used to define and label the region: food, climate, folkways, music, popular culture, slavery, race relations, geography and even history itself. Questions of regional identity ¿ how southerners perceive themselves and their region (how others perceive both) and how this sense of regional identity has been molded by mythical interpretations of the past ¿ is one of the key themes in this interdisciplinary module. This module, then, shall explore the history and culture of the American South from the end of the Civil War in 1865 through to the mid-1950s. The module shall consider the emergence of the ¿New¿ South, late C19th southern politics, the `Lost Cause,¿ the rise of `Jim Crow¿ and racial segregation, lynching, the Ku Klux Klan, the Scopes Trial, the South and the New Deal, the South and World War II, and the Brown Decision. We will also have opportunity examine aspects of southern literature and the representation of the South in film.

  • AM-335 The American Civil War in History and Memory

    This interdisciplinary module shall examine some of the key issues and incidents pertinent to the singular event in American history that continues, some 150 years after its momentous conclusion, to hold considerable appeal for scholars and the general public alike: namely, the American Civil War. The armies of the Union and the Confederacy, formidable political statesmen such as Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, and the redoubtable military figures of Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee shall be examined alongside other issues that are on the vanguard of recent research in Civil War studies. Through an examination of material from a wide variety of sources ¿ soldiers¿ diaries, letters, speeches, newspaper accounts, magazines, post-Civil War memoirs and reminiscences, novels, documentaries, and film ¿ this course will showcase social, political, economic, racial, gender and military history in ways that shall encourage students to draw their own conclusions as to the true legacy of the conflict and the vast human cost of war. Moreover, a suitably broad range of secondary interpretations on the subject from leading Civil War scholars shall also be examined in lectures and seminars to highlight changing interpretations of the conflict in the years following Lee¿s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse in 1865.

  • AM-336 American Studies Dissertation

    The American Studies dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module for American Studies students only, which runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching on the American Studies degree. The topic must fall within staff research and teaching interests.

  • AM-337 "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall": America in the 1960s

    This interdisciplinary, team-taught module offers students the opportunity to study the 1960s, widely regarded as one of the most complex, contradictory, and controversial decades in twentieth century American life, as reflected in the prevailing historical, political, literary and cultural climate. The decade began with high hopes for a more democratic United States under John F. Kennedy, with liberal triumphs and civil rights gains, yet ended in discord and disillusionment, as many Americans, shaken by urban unrest and assassinations, and divided by the escalation of the war in Vietnam, believed the fate of the nation¿s institutions and ideology hung in the balance. Starting by analysing the consensus that existed in the 1950s, the module will contour America¿s break with cultural conformity during the 1960s, examining such topics as the major domestic achievements of Kennedy¿s New Frontier and Lyndon B. Johnson¿s Great Society; Cold War politics and the Cuban Missile Crisis; the Civil Rights movement from sit-ins to voting rights activism to Black Power; Vietnam and the anti-war and youth countercultural movements; liberalism and the revival of conservative partisanship; the roles of intellectuals and artists, and literary and cultural responses to the changes and challenges of the decade. Drawing on the central developments of the decade, and the competing uses to which 60s narratives have been put, this module will offer students the opportunity to study many hotly debated issues, critically engaging their nature and their significance, and making ample use of a fantastic variety of original sources and visual material, including works of history, literature, art, photography, media, popular music, and cinema.

  • AM-R01 American Studies - USA Year Abroad

    Compulsory Intercalary Year for American Studies degree students.

  • AM-R02 University of New Mexico (UNM) at Albuquerque

    This module is delivered at University of New Mexico (UNM) at Albuquerque, for those students who participate in an intercalary year

  • AM-R03 Washington State University (WSU)

    This module is delivered by Washington State University (WSU), for those students who participate in an intercalary year

  • AM-R04 University of Maryland at Baltimore County (UMBC)

    This module is delivered at California State University System, for those students who participate in an intercalary year

  • AM-R05 University of Massachusetts at Amherst

    This module is delivered at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, for those students who participate in an intercalary year

  • AM-R06 University of North Carolina (UNCW)

    This module is delivered at University of North Carolina (UNCW), for those students who participate in an intercalary year

  • AM-R07 Colorado State University (CSU) at Fort Collins

    This module is delivered at Colorado State University (CSU) at Fort Collins, for those students who participate in an intercalary year

  • AM-R08 The State University of New York (SUNY)

    This module is delivered at The State University of New York (SUNY), for those students who participate in an intercalary year

  • AM-R09 Ohio University

    This module is delivered at Ohio University, for those students who participate in an intercalary year

  • AM-R10 University of Tennessee (UTK)

    This module is delivered at University of Tennessee (UTK), for those students who participate in an intercalary year

  • AM-R11 University of South Carolina

    This module is delivered at University of South Carolina, for those students on an intercalary year

  • AM-R12 University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    This module is delivered at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for those students who participate in an intercalary year

  • AM-R13 University of Utah

    This module is delivered at University of Utah, for those students who participate in an intercalary year

  • AM-R15 California State University System

    This module is delivered at California State University System, for those students who participate in an intercalary year

  • HUAM09 Ghosts of the Confederacy: The Politics of Memory in the Post-Civil War American South

    After the fall of the Confederacy in 1865 and through the final decades of the nineteenth century, one can see materialize the beginnings and locate the eventual maturation of white southern memory that would ultimately dictate the South¿s understanding of its past well into the twentieth century. For black southerners, Confederate defeat meant the end of slavery and the celebration of freedom and citizenship, encouraged black uplift and racial advancement, and provided an opportunity to evolve alternative interpretations of plantation slavery, the Civil War, and the legacy of Emancipation in appropriate commemorative observances. Conversely, those southern whites who faced the immediacy of the wars¿ conclusion possessed a strong sense of what was past and what was lost. The vigor behind the assertion of white southern identity after the Civil War found expression in the Lost Cause, at once an explanation for Confederate defeat propagated in the years following the conflict and an important emotional salve for white southerners through the Reconstruction era and beyond. Understanding these ¿ and other, related ¿ themes and issues will form the core of this interdisciplinary module.

Supervision

  • Southern White Women in Kentucky during the American Civil War (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • British Space Policy in the Twenty First Century: Maintaining global political influence through the application of scientific authority. (current)

    Student name:
    MA
    Other supervisor: Prof Michael Sheehan
  • The Social and Political Implications of American Prisoners of the War of 1812 in Britain. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • Duty, Community and God: Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Her Antebellum Southern Women 1941-2007 (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • The invisible history of the Oneida Indians and the American Revolution (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • Doing more good than Harm: Conscientious Objectors in the American Civil War (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • '''''"Every thought may be brought into subjection and obedience to Christ": A Case Study of Puritan Liberty and Slavery in Colonial Massachusetts.''''' (awarded 2015)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof John Spurr

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Programme Director, American Studies - Department of Political and Cultural Studies

    2013 - Present

  • Member, Learning and Teaching Committee - Department of Political and Cultural Studies

    2013 - Present

  • Member, PCS Programme Committee - Department of Political and Cultural Studies

    2012 - Present

  • Academic Mentor to College of Arts and Humanities Visiting Prof - Department of Political and Cultural Studies

    2012 - 2013

External Responsibilities

  • Member, British Association for American Studies (BAAS)

    2004 - Present

  • Member, Centre for the Study of the American South, UNC-Chapel Hill (CSA

    2008 - Present

  • Member, British American Nineteenth Century Historians (Br-ANCH)

    2012 - Present

  • Member, Organization of American Historians (OAH)

    2003 - Present

  • Member, Southern Historical Association (SHA)

    2001 - Present

  • Member, Scottish Association for the Study of America (SASA)

    2001 - Present

Key Grants and Projects

  • Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland 2006 - 2006

  • British Association for American Studies (BAAS) Short-Term Travel Grant 2006 - 2006

  • Strathmartine Trust 2010 - 2010

  • British Association for American Studies (BAAS) Founders’ Research Travel Award 2008 - 2008

  • Wellcome Trust, History of Medicine 2009 - 2009

  • Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland 2007 - 2007

Conferences since 2015

"The Planter’s Daughter and the British Prime Minister: Susan Dabney Smedes’s Memorials of a Southern Planter at Home and Abroad,” British American Nineteenth Century Historians (Br-ANCH) Conference, Madingley Hall, Cambridge, 28-30 October 2016.

“Narratives of Conflict and Disaster Workshop,” School of Modern Languages, Cardiff University, 13 January 2016.

"Exploring Postbellum Plantation Reminiscences through Digitized Historic Newspaper Collections,” Faculty-Student Seminar Series, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma, 12 November 2015.

“Telling Stories, Making Selves: Nostalgia, the Lost Cause, and Postbellum Plantation Reminiscences,”  ‘Civil War and Narrative: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Testimonies and (Hi)Stories in Intrastate Conflicts’ Conference, London, Senate House, 15-16 May 2015.

Other conferences

“Nostalgia for Christmas in Postbellum Plantation Reminiscences,” British American Nineteenth Century Historians (Br-ANCH) Conference 2014, Rice University, Houston, Texas, 3-6 April 2014.

“Consuming Memories: Food and Childhood in Postbellum Plantation Memoirs and Reminiscences,” British American Nineteenth Century Historians (Br-ANCH) Conference 2012, University of Northumbria, 11-14 October 2012.

“Home Is Where the Heart Is: Nostalgia as an Emotional Disease during the American Civil War,” ‘Emotions, Health and Wellbeing’ Conference, the Society for the Social History of Medicine, Queen Mary, University of London, 10-12 September 2012. 

“Dying To Go Home: Clinical Nostalgia in the Confederate Army during the Civil War,” the Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science, Emory Conference Centre, Atlanta, Georgia, 2-3 March 2012.   

“Unwrapping Nostalgia: Remembering the Plantation Christmas in Post-Civil War Reminiscences,” Paul Robeson Seminar Series, SwanseaUniversity, 8 December 2010.

‘Confederate Defeat and the Construction of Lost Cause Nostalgia,’ Waterloo to Desert Storm: New Thinking on International Conflict, 1815-1991 Conference, Scottish Centre for War Studies, University of Glasgow, 24-25 June, 2010. 

‘Susan Dabney Smedes’s Memorials of a Southern Planter Abroad: Cultivating Old South Nostalgia in Britain,’ Scottish Association for the Study of America (SASA) Conference, University of Edinburgh, 19 March, 2010.