British Association for American Studies


Ben Offiler

Ben completed his PhD at the University of Nottingham and is currently Lecturer in History at Sheffield Hallam University. His current research examines the role of philanthropic NGOs in US foreign relations, focusing on the Near East Foundation’s education and disease control programmes in Iran during the Cold War. His first book – US Foreign Policy and the Modernization of Iran: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and the Shah – was published in 2015 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Review: The US and Us: American History in Britain in the Twenty-First Century

Studying American history in the UK poses a number of challenges for scholars – not least in terms of accessing primary sources. More than this, the workshop provided a space for early career researchers to discuss and identify the problems they face at this stage in their career, as well as the opportunities they have to shape the nature of US history in UK Higher Education.

From Academia to Parliament: How academics can support the Foreign Affairs Committee

A few months ago I attended a half-day workshop at the Houses of Parliament as part of an effort by the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) to engage with the research and expertise of academics and, in particular, early career scholars.

Editor’s Feature: ECR Ben Offiler Reflects On His First Academic Interview

Following the popularity of Sue Currell’s post on “Academic Job Applications: Do’s and Don’ts”, we thought it would be a good idea to consider what happens when you actually get invited to interview. Next week, we will be publishing Sue’s post on “Academic Job Interviews: Do’s and Don’ts” but today USSO co-editor Ben Offiler writes about his first academic interview experience:

“After deciding that my powder blue wedding tux wasn’t suitable for an interview I bought a new green suit (I know, a bold choice), having my own Pretty Woman moment in the process.”

60 Seconds With Ben Offiler

What advice would you give to early career academics?

“I was speaking to a friend today who commented that both during and after the PhD it’s very easy to focus on the negative aspects of academia, all the parts that you find difficult or that others seem so much better at, while forgetting about the things at which you excel. So, I guess my advice would be to accentuate the positive.”