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.

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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…

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 #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 #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 #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.