Postgraduate Information Session

Postgrad studyDo you want to advance your international career prospects? Increase your understanding of American politics, foreign policy, business, media and culture?

Then come to our Postgraduate Information Evening and learn how to launch your international career with the Master of US Studies.

A high-level understanding of the US and its role in the world is essential to pursuing any career on the international stage. Whether your background is in the humanities, business or law, the Master of US Studies will give you the opportunity to advance and contextualise your international career.

The Master of US Studies is more than just a degree. You will have unprecedented access to the academic and professional networks that the United States Studies Centre has leveraged in Australia and the US. This includes internship opportunities on Capitol Hill through our advanced degree program.

Find out more at our Postgraduate Information Evening with an expert panel discussion on Obama's Sixth Year (see details below).

You will also have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with our academics, current and graduate students.

Obama's Sixth Year: Transformative Leader or Lame Duck?

Wednesday 14 May 2014

The enduring idea that the US president is all-powerful is directly at odds with the facts. The reality is that the nature of the US system of government makes it very difficult for any president to pass domestic reforms. Furthermore, it is not just the constitution and divided government that restrict what presidents can change. They are also beholden to larger economic and international forces. Because of these forces and Obama’s own instincts it is plausible to argue that Obama's foreign policy has been more traditional and risk-adverse than the more radical decisions taken by the George W. Bush presidency.

Our expert panel of US Studies Centre academics will discuss the Affordable Health-Care Act and Obama’s attempts to address the issue of inequality in the US. Obama has of course faced opposition on these issues and others. The nature of this opposition - from the Republican Party, the Tea Party and others – will be examined. Obama’s relations with the media, his struggle to move from campaigning to governing and then back again and his fading public popularity will also be debated.


Dr Thomas Adams
Lecturer in History and American Studies, US Studies Centre

Thomas J. AdamsDr Thomas Jessen Adams is jointly appointed between the United States Studies Centre and the Department of History. He received his PhD in US History from the University of Chicago.

Before coming to Sydney he taught at the University of Chicago and Tulane University where he was American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow and Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow.

His research focuses on a variety of topics in US history including the history of political economy and labour, urban history, social movements, legal history, and race and gender. Recently his work has begun to examine the contemporary history, politics, and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South.

John Barron
ABC journalist and co-host of Planet America

John BarronJohn Barron is a Research Associate at the US Studies Centre and teaches a winter course in US campaign politics and the media.

He is the anchor of “Planet America” on ABC-TV, author of the book “Vote For Me” about the 2008 Presidential campaign and producer of political documentary films including “First Stop Iowa” about the history of the Democratic Party primary process and “The Party of Reagan” about the disputed legacy of a conservative icon – a film which was made with the assistance of the US Studies Centre.

As a journalist with the ABC and commercial TV and Radio, John has been covering US politics for more than 20 years.

Moderated by Associate Professor Brendon O'Connor
Associate Professor in American Politics & Director of Teaching and Learning, US Studies Centre

Brendon O'ConnorBrendon joined the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney in 2008 as Associate Professor in American Politics. He is the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Centre and the coordinator of the American Studies program at the University of Sydney.

Brendon was a Fulbright Fellow at Georgetown University in 2006, the Australian Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC in 2008 and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge in 2012. 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. He is a regular commentator in the Australian media on American politics and foreign policy.

Past information sessions:

Back to top


Wu Xinbo

The future of US-China relations

Director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University Wu Xinbo discusses the benefits of studying the US from a Chinese perspective, provides tips for travelling to China and analyses Australia's place in the region.

Brendon O'Connor

Australia, the US, and the War on Terror

With Australia raising its terror alert level to high and Obama announcing a plan of action in the Middle East, debates about the alliance and its role in the War on Terror are re-emerging. Associate professor Brendon O'Connor joins an expert panel to discuss the next steps in Iraq and Syria.

Follow us on Twitter Become a Facebook fan Watch us on YouTube See us on Flickr Watch us on Vimeo RSS