Exchange: A signature pedagogy for American Studies in the UK

Lydia Plath, Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello, Hilary Emmett, Nicole King, Gyorgy Toth, Rebecca Stone, Jon Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


What does it mean to teach American studies in UK higher education? We teach “American” content in our classes, modules, and degree programmes, but do we also conduct our teaching in ways specific to American studies? Lee Shulman describes a “signature pedagogy” as “the forms of instruction that leap to mind when we first think about the preparation of members of particular professions,” encompassing both the types of teaching we conduct in our classrooms and the assumptions and values that underpin that practice. Initial conversations about the concept of a signature pedagogy for American studies in the UK were held in a session organized by Lydia Plath on behalf of the Teaching American Studies Network at the Digital BAAS Conference in 2021, in the midst of a global pandemic that required all of us to reflect on our teaching practice. Building on that earlier conversation, this exchange was conducted between February and July 2022. The discussion explores American studies pedagogical approaches through the assumptions, beliefs, and values that underpin our teaching; the challenges of multi- and interdisciplinarity; and questions of identity, inclusion, and national context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-149
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of American Studies
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • American Studies
  • pedagogy
  • transnational
  • signature pedagogy
  • engaged pedagogy

Cite this