Laurence Sean Connell

Laurence Sean

Prior to moving to Italy to begin my PHD at IMT Lucca, I graduated in 2010 from Liverpool John Moores University with a joint honors Bachelor's degree in American Studies and Cultural Studies. Two years later I received my Master's degree, also in American Studies, from the University of Manchester. My Master's dissertation, which was supervised by Professor Natalie Zacek, was an analysis of the contemporary American incarceration system, with a particular focus on the spread of 'supermax' prisons.

I am currently in the process of planning my research abroad period, during which I will be based in Atlanta, Georgia, and for which I intend to collaborate with faculty members from the University of West Georgia and Emory University.



Research Interest

I have had an interest in numerous different dimensions of contemporary American history, politics and culture since the beginning of my Bachelor's degree in 2007. My Bachelor's dissertation focused on how political discourses related to American involvement in the Gulf states in the post-Cold War Era, whilst my Master's dissertation examined the emergence of 'supermax' prisons within the contemporary incarceration system.

My current project deals with the political mobilization of evangelical Christian groups in the 1970s American South. It will explore the previously-understudied connections between federal Cold War military spending, free market capitalism, demographic change and the rise of the new Christian Right. The supervisor of my project is Professor Daniel K. Williams, of the University of West Georgia.