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Lewis Defrates

Lewis Defrates

Department: History

Supervisor: Professor Gary Gerstle

College: Sidney Sussex

AHRC Subject Area: History

Title of Thesis: Travelling Performers, Movement and the Exportation of Visions of the United States to Great Britain, 1865-1914.


Biography:

I received my BA in History from the University of Warwick, placing an emphasis on modern social, cultural and intellectual history. I then studied for an MA at Durham University, where my dissertation focused on a series of association football tours from British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean to the metropole in the 1950’s. I received the Michie Prize for the best MA Dissertation in my department for this piece of work. After a year in the outside world, I am now starting a PhD at the University of Cambridge. 

My PhD looks to explore the physical movement of a variety of performers, athletes and other cultural actors from the United States to the United Kingdom in the period between Reconstruction and the start of the Great War. As well as looking at the broad theme of ‘Americanization’, I am particularly interested in how intersections of race, gender and class affected these movements, their transmission and subsequent reception in Britain. More broadly, I am interested in transnational space, discourses of the body and identity, and want to explore the role of these concepts in developing understandings of the world around us.

Other Academic Interests

I am also interested in histories of food, sport and the body, as well as working class and radical politics. I am passionate about accessibility to history and academia in general. My previous experience means that I have at least some degree of knowledge regarding modern political, social and cultural histories of Britain and its colonies, Western Europe, the United States and Latin America. I also like Millwall Football Club.