Member Profiles

The Monroe Group

Dr Mara Oliva

Job Title: Lecturer in Modern US History (20th century)

Contact Details:

Areas of Research: American political history; US foreign policy; US Presidency; Cold War; role of domestic politics in US foreign policy making (especially public opinion and media); Sino-American relations; Sino-American culture in the US; Climate change diplomacy; Public Diplomacy; Digital Humanities.


Oliva, M. & Shanahan, M. (2018) The Trump Presidency – from campaign trail to world stage, assesing the populist president’s first year, (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).

Oliva M. (2018) ‘Much Ado about Nothing: Trump’s China Policy’ in:  The Trump Presidency – from campaign trail to world stage, assessing the populist president’s first year, ed. by Oliva M. & Shanahan M. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).

Oliva, M. (2018) Eisenhower and American Public Opinion on China. (New York: Palgrave MacMillan).

Oliva, M. (2018) ‘Beaten at their own game: Eisenhower, Dulles, US public Opinion and the Sino-US Ambassadorial talks of 1955-1957’, accepted by Journal of Cold War Studies, will be published in winter 2018 issue.

Oliva, M. (2018) ‘The Oratory of Dwight D. Eisenhower’, in: , Republican Orators from Eisenhower to Trump: Rhetoric, Politics and Society, Ed. by A. S. Crines and S. Hatzisavvidou, (London: Palgrave Macmillan) pp.11-39.

PhD Supervision

Dafydd Townley (Sept 2015-July 2018) –Spies, Civil Liberties, and the Senate: the 1975 Church Enquiry

Darius Wainwright (June 2016-present) – British and US Cultural Diplomacy and Propaganda in Iran 1953-1958

Research Groups/Centres:

In 2017, I co-founded the Monroe Group for the interdisciplinary study of US political history and politics with Dr Mark Shanahan (Department of Politics). I am the Vice-Chair of the American Politics Group (twitter:, website:  of the Political Studies Association (twitter:, website: . I am a member of Historians of the Twentieth Century US (HOTCUS, twitter:, website:, the British Association of American Studies (BAAS, twitter:, website:, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR, twitter:, website:

Social Media: I regularly tweet about my research and current events –

Dr Mark Shanahan   


Job Title: Political Historian, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations

Contact Details:

Areas of Research: New developments in T&L pedagogy, especially the use of social media; US government and the celebritisation of American political culture from Eisenhower to Trump (and beyond); the role of Parliament in UK government.


Shanahan, Mark. (2018 – forthcoming) ‘The Outsider Presidency’, in: M. Oliva and M.J. Shanahan (eds), The Trump Presidency – from Campaign Trail to World Stage. (London: Palgrave).

Shanahan, Mark. (2016) Eisenhower at the Dawn of the Space Age. (Maryland: Lexington Books), Winner of Neudstadt prize for American Politics Book of the Year 2017

Shanahan, Mark. (2015) ‘Pursuing the Parallel Track’,  in: A.J. Polsky (ed), The Eisenhower Presidency. (Maryland: Lexington Books).

Shanahan, Mark. (2012) The 240,000 mile cul de sac – how Kennedy won the moon race but got lost in space, 49thParallel, Issue 27, Winter 2012

Social Media:

Dafydd Townley 

Job Title: Lecturer in US history

Contact Details:

Areas of Research: My primary research interest is the relationship between national security and public opinion. National security encompasses both domestic and foreign policy, and I’m interested in what policymakers consider as public opinion, and how they are influenced by it in their decision-making. Secondary research areas include the US presidency and the executive branch’s agencies; protest groups of the 1960s and their influence on foreign policy; and the development of the Sunbelt in the 20th century.


Townley, D. (2018 – under review) ‘Selling a Blue Ribbon Goat: Gerald Ford and Public Opinion in the Year of Intelligence’, Journal of Cold War Studies.

PhD: ‘Spies, Civil Liberties, and the Senate: the 1975 Church Committe’

Social Media:

Darius Wainwright

Job Title: PhD student, Sessional Lecturer

Contact Details:

Areas of Research: My principal research interests lie in ‘special relationship’, Anglo-American foreign policy and Iran since 1945. I am particularly interested in how the UK and US used culture to achieve their diplomatic goals in Iran and to attract Iranians towards their respective values and lifestyles. My future research plans are to build on the foundations of my PhD to further examine US foreign policy, specifically cultural diplomacy, as well as on US-Iran relations post-Cold War.


Wainwright, D. (2016) ‘Equal Partners? The Information Research Department, SAVAK and the Dissemination of Anti-Communist Propaganda in Iran, 1956-68’, The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. 

PhD: British and US Cultural Diplomacy and Propaganda in Iran 1953-1958

Social Media:

Sophia Hatzisavvidou 

Job Title: Lecturer in Politics

Contact Details:

Areas of Research: My research interests lie in the areas of political theory, rhetoric, and environmental politics. I am currently working with members of the Monroe Group on a project that studies Presidential rhetoric on climate change.


Hatzisavvidou, S. and Crines, A. S. (2018) Republican Orators from Eisenhower to Trump (Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan).

Hatzisavvidou, S. (2018) ‘The Rhetoric and Oratory of Sarah Palin’, in: A. Scott Crines and S. Hatzisavvidou (eds), Republican Orators from Eisenhower to Trump, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan)

Hatzisavvidou, S. (2018 – forthcoming) ‘Communicating Sustainability: Shifting Context, Altering Content?’, in: O. Kramer (ed), Recontextualising Knowledge.

Hatzisavvidou, S. (2017) ‘Demanding the Alternative: The Rhetoric of the UK Anti-austerity Movement’, in: J. Atkins and J.Gaffney (eds), Voices of the UK Left. (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

Hatzisavvidou, S. (2017) ‘Reading Heidegger in the Anthropocene’, in: L, Odysseos and A. Cerella (eds), Heidegger and the Global Age. (London: Rowman and Littlefield).

Hatzisavvidou, S. (2016) Appearances of Ethos in Political Thought. (London: Rowman and Littlefield Int.).

Hatzisavvidou, S. (2016) ‘Disputatious Rhetoric and Political Change: The Case of the Greek Anti-mining Movement’, Political Studies, 65, 1, pp.215-230.

Hatzisavvidou, S. (2015) ‘Defending the Indefensible: Obama’s Rhetoric in the Aftermath of the Torture Report’, Global Discourse: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Current Affairs and Applied Contemporary Thought, 5, 4. pp. 509-522.

Hatzisavvidou, S. (2015) ‘Disturbing Binaries in Political Thought: Silence as Political Activism’. Social Movement Studies: Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest, 14, 5, pp.509-522.

Hatzisavvidou, S. (2015) ‘An Ethos Against Scarcity: Sketching an Ethic of Care and Dike for Late Modernity’. Ethics and the Environment, 20, 2, pp.24-47.

Social Media:

Beth Snyder

Job Title:  MA Student, Social Media Editor for the Monroe Group

Areas of Interest: My key interests are in American and women’s history. My MA dissertation will be on the impact of women in the US cabinet on environmental policy, and I plan to go on to a PhD on First Ladies and environmental politics.