Photo of Dr Bob Lawson-Peebles

Dr Bob Lawson-Peebles

Research interests


  • Transatlantic relations;
  • earlier American Literature;
  • cultural history of environmentalism;
  • modern American cultural history, particularly music.   

My research field is transatlantic cultural relations, from pre-Columbian times (with, for instance, the Viking sagas) until the present. My work has been the subject of a number of awards and fellowships, from institutions in Britain, the United States, and Europe. I have published three books on American environmental history: a monograph, Landscape and Written Expression in Revolutionary America (1988), and two co-edited collections of original essays, Views of American Landscapes (1989) and Modern American Landscapes (1995).

American Literature Before 1880, which attempts to cover written work over a period of sixteen centuries, from the Homeric poet looking west to Henry James looking east, was published in 2003.  I have also published essays on, amongst others, George Washington, Susannah Rowson, James Fenimore Cooper, Henry George, and William Carlos Williams. I am presently completing a cultural history of the First British Empire, and a biography of Benjamin Franklin.  

My future work in the Department of English will focus on American performance arts. I have published an introductory essay on the subject, in Modern American Culture, ed. Mick Gidley (1993); an article on the impact of the Second World War on Hollywood versions of English novels; an essay discussing the reaction of F. R. Leavis to Jimi Hendrix; and an edited collection of original essays, Approaches to the American Musical (1996). I am now working on an account of the impact of American culture on Britain, 1900-1968, drawing on Exeter's American Music Collection, which is the largest university collection outside the United States.