From the early 19th century onwards, American politicians and the American people have frequently been seen as culturally and intellectually inferior by outsiders. Should these claims be seen as anti-American stereotypes and prejudices or is there reasonable evidence to support such conclusions?
Brendon O'Connor, Associate Professor in American Politics at the University of Sydney, explores the historical origins of a set of powerful tropes and stereotypes that emerged describing the American people, their culture and their politics as insular, backward, uncouth, populist and anti-intellectual.
He also discusses his research on American's knowledge of global affairs, foreign languages and geography and how this knowledge compares with that of other nations.
Brendon O'Connor joined the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney in 2009 as Associate Professor in American Politics. He was previously with the Department of Politics and Public Policy at Griffith University.
O'Connor was the Australia Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington DC in 2008 and in 2006 he was a Fulbright Fellow at Georgetown University. He is the editor of seven books on anti-Americanism and has also published articles and books on American welfare policy, presidential politics, US foreign policy, and Australian-American relations.
He has taught courses on American domestic politics and foreign affairs, and supervised theses on a variety of topics such as anti-Americanism, neoconservatism, the Iraq War and presidential politics.