Rothermere American Institute

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The Rothermere American Institute, seen from the Princess Margaret Memorial Garden

The Rothermere American Institute is an institution at the University of Oxford dedicated to the interdisciplinary and comparative study of the USA.[1] It was opened in May 2001 by US President Bill Clinton and hosts regular conferences, lectures and seminars, particularly in the fields of American history, politics, foreign relations, and literature. Guests and speakers have included Queen Elizabeth II, US President Jimmy Carter, Jesse Jackson, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Lord Patten of Barnes.

The Institute offers several categories of visiting fellowship for academics from around the world and hosts three of the university's chairs and two visiting professorships. These are the Mellon Professorship in American Government, the Rhodes Professorship in American History, and the Drue Heinz Professorship in American Literature, and the visiting chairs: the John G. Winant Professorship of American Government and the Harmsworth Professorship of American History. Recent holders of the Harmsworth chair have included Eric Foner, Lizabeth Cohen, Robin Kelley and Linda Kerber, and the post is held during the 2012-13 academic year by Gary Gerstle.

Each May, Oxford University's annual Esmond Harmsworth Lecture in American Arts and Letters is held at the Institute, and this has been delivered in recent years by writers such as Richard Ford, Joyce Carol Oates, Tobias Wolff, Lorrie Moore and Marilynne Robinson. The Institute also houses the University of Oxford's library collections in American history and politics in the Vere Harmsworth Library. The Princess Margaret Memorial Garden, situated in its grounds and dedicated in honour of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, was formally opened by Queen Elizabeth II in August 2006.

The Institute is located on South Parks Road in central Oxford, adjacent to Rhodes House and Mansfield College. It was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox architects and has won awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Civic Trust.[2] It is part of Oxford's Humanities Division.

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  1. ^ http://www.rai.ox.ac.uk/
  2. ^ KPF (Victoria, Australia 2005)