Presidential Power and Foreign-Policy Making: US Presidents and the Western Hemisphere, 1898-1921
Despite already being Dr. Laura Ellyn Smith, I am a presidential historian who has taken the slightly eccentric decision to embark on a second doctorate! My DPhil project at Oxford University analyzes the development of presidential power in foreign policy at the turn of the 20th century. I seek to challenge the conception of only associating the expanse of executive power with the modern presidency. I am very grateful that my research is supported by the Philip Davies Fellowship at The British Library.
My first doctorate was a Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Mississippi, where the university awarded me; a Teaching Assistantship Scholarship, an Arch Dalrymple III Dissertation Fellowship, and a College of Liberal Arts Summer Assistantship. My thesis was entitled “Populism and Democratization in the Presidential Election of 1832.” This work has become the basis for my book "Rhetoric versus Reality: Democratization and the Presidential Election of 1832," under contract.
Whilst U.S. History through 1877 was my major field of focus, I also undertook comprehensive exams in the U.S. South and the Global Cold War. This broad expertise has come in handy while teaching 20th century U.S. race relations and politics at Canterbury Christ Church University, where my students nominated me for two teaching awards, Most Dedicated to Students’ Learning, and Most Dedicated to Supporting Students.
I have had eight peer-reviewed journal articles published, collaborated on several edited book projects, and enjoy writing op-eds for The Washington Post, as well as being interviewed by journalists for comment on U.S. election and presidential politics. If you are interested in reading some of my work, you can find my page on Women Also Know History.
Presenting and traveling to a variety of international and regional conferences is also an activity I enjoy. To see the list of conferences I have participated in access my ORCiD page for an expanded CV. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.
To see me in action as part of a panel on 19th century U.S. political history, feel free to take a look at this video. Alternatively, check out some of my paper and conference presentations, as well as interviews on an array of topics on YouTube.
I gained a Distinction in my MA in U.S. History and Politics at University College London and the university awarded me the Americas Excellence Award. I graduated with First Class Honors for my BA in American Studies with a Year Abroad from the University of Leicester.