Rothermere American Institute

The Rothermere American Institute is an institution of the University of Oxford dedicated to the interdisciplinary and comparative study of the USA.[1] Named after the Harmsworth family, Viscounts Rothermere,[2] the Institute 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.

Rothermere American Institute
LocationOxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
51.75763°N 1.25385°W / 51.75763; -1.25385
Operating agency
University of Oxford
Location in Oxford city centre

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 for the 2014–2015 academic year by Annette Gordon-Reed.[3]

Each May, Oxford University's annual Esmond Harmsworth Lecture in American Arts and Letters is held at the Institute. It has been delivered in recent years by writers such as Richard Ford, Joyce Carol Oates, Tobias Wolff, Lorrie Moore and Marilynne Robinson.[4] The Institute also houses the University of Oxford's library collections in American history and politics in the Vere Harmsworth Library.[5] 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. It is part of Oxford's Humanities Division.

See also


  1. "Welcome to the RAI | Rothermere American Institute". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  2. "History of the RAI | Rothermere American Institute". 2001-05-25. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-24. Retrieved 2013-05-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-03. Retrieved 2015-06-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "Vere Harmsworth Library | About the library". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
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