A modern-day Rip Van Winkle wouldn’t have to doze for long to wake up and find the world transformed. In only the last eighteen months, momentous changes have overtaken both the UK and the US. Popular opinion has set Britain on a course to leave the EU and placed the property tycoon host of The Apprentice right in the Oval Office. What’s causing these seismic effects? What stories lie behind these outlandish events?
In our podcasts, faculty from the Sussex Centre for American Studies talk to a range of experts and commentators about Trump. We interview specialists from UK and US universities, journalists, broadcasters and students on the key issues of this presidency: climate change, populism, migration, links with Russia, female reproductive rights, black lives matter, reality TV, the special relationship, and so much more. We’ll present the American political scene in its many contexts and cultures and in surprising and informative ways.
Podcast #8: Trump and the Southwest: Border Politics, Immigration, and Detention
How has Donald Trump capitalized on the politics of the border during his election and presidency? In this podcast, Melissa Milewski and Sam Solomon, lecturers at the University of Sussex, interview the founders of the Southwest Political Report, Dr. Irene Sanchez and Matt Sedillo, to discuss Trump and the Southwest. They discuss why Trump focused on immigration and the border during the 2016 election and how Trump’s use of the Southwest fits into how local and national politicians have used it in the past. Sanchez and Sedillo also discuss the history and context behind Trump’s Southwest policies, including the recently ended policy of separating families at the border.
Podcast #7: Trump, Foreign Policy, and the UK
Donald Trump’s interactions with foreign leaders are often seen as unique — but how different are they from past US presidents’ foreign dealings? In this episode, Dr. Doug Haynes talks with Professors Clive Webb and Steve Burman of the University of Sussex to put Trump’s foreign policy into historical perspective and discuss how Trump’s actions are shifting global alliances. The podcast also discusses how Trump’s foreign policies are affecting the UK and the considerations British political leaders must consider in interacting with Trump.
Podcast #6. Trump: America’s Second Celebrity President
Donald Trump is the second American president to come from the world of celebrity and entertainment, with Ronald Reagan being the first. In this podcast, Dr. Melissa Milewski interviews Daniel Geary, an associate professor at Trinity College Dublin, to discuss how Reagan and Trump’s different celebrity backgrounds influenced their elections and their actions as presidents. Geary argues that just as Reagan’s career in Hollywood films impacted his presidency, Trump’s previous experiences with both tabloid journalism and reality television have had significant effects on his presidency.
Podcast #5. De-Obamification: Trump and the Destruction of Obama’s Political Legacy
During his first year in office, Trump has consistently worked to undo his predecessor’s actions. In this podcast, Dr. Doug Haynes talks to two political scientists who are researching political legacies, Clodagh Harrington of De Montfort University and Alex Waddan of the University of Leicester. They discuss how this process of “De-Obamification” is guiding Trump’s actions, how successful he has been in undoing Obama’s legacies, and evaluate Trump’s presidency thus far.
Podcast #4. Confederate Monuments, White Supremacy and Trump
The recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, exposed the deep divisions in American society over confederate monuments. In this podcast, Dr. Melissa Milewski discusses with Professors Robert Cook and Clive Webb of the University of Sussex why confederate monuments were built, what they symbolize, how African Americans protested confederate memorials in the 19th and early 20th century, the rise of white supremacist movements in the US today, and how Trump has used the contested history behind confederate monuments for his own ends.
Podcast #3. Camps and Bubbles: who’s pulling the strings?
No White House has ever looked like this, with oil giants, generals and party donors rubbing shoulders in the cabinet. In this podcast, Doug Haynes talks to Dan Kryder, Professor of American Politics and Law, Brandeis University, MA, USA, and Fulbright Scholar at the Eccles Centre at the British Library, about the various camps within the administration as they vie for power, and about the changing face of politics.
Podcast #2. Is Trump a Populist?
Melissa Milewski discusses with Paul Taggart, Professor of Politics at the University of Sussex, what populism is and how Trump is using it. Paul explains how this inherently American idea has been re-worked by the current president, the challenges of exercising power as a populist, and how Trump’s opponents might combat his populism.
Podcast #1. Coming to America
What is it like to be a student in the UK studying America during the first six months of the Trump presidency? How has Trump changed UK politics? How is he changing young people in Britain’s media habits and views of America? Two UK American Studies students weigh in, Melissa Milewski listens…