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Rob Fitt

History, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

When the World is Watching: Race and Identity at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics

My project tells the story of what happened to Angelenos when the world’s biggest sporting event came to town. More broadly, the project looks at how global, deregulated economics, the media, black athletes, and the policing of public space all came together in the city of Los Angeles to remake race and American identity at the end of the Cold War.  

Research Area

  • History


Review: R.F. Jefferson Jr. (ed.), 'Black Veterans, Politics, and Civil Rights in Twentieth-Century America: Closing Ranks', Social History, forthcoming. 


Paper: 'Two Little Texans: Cranks, Conservatives, and the Contest for America in High School History, 1976-1986'.

Activism From Below: Grassroots Organising in the US from the Civil War to Now, Queen's University Belfast, March 2020. 

Paper: 'Two Little Texans: The Individual Activist and the Battle for High School History, 1976-1986'.

The British Association for American Studies' 64th Annual Conference, University of Sussex, April 2019.

Paper: 'Texan Textbooks: Cranks, Conservatives, and the Contest for America in High School History, 1976-1986'.

The Uses and Abuses of the American Past, HOTCUS PGR & ECR Conference, University of Nottingham, October 2018.


Centre for American and Canadian Studies, University of Birmingham. 

International Centre for Sports History and Culture, De Montfort University.

Historians of the Twentieth Century United States.

British Association of American Studies.

Royal Historical Society Rees Davies Prize Winner 2019

The Rees Davies Prize for an outstanding Master’s thesis commemorates former Royal Historical Society President and distinguished medieval scholar, Professor Sir Rees Davies (1938-2005). It is awarded for the best Master’s dissertation submitted by a UK institution of Higher Education



United States History, 1865 -2000. 

Undergraduate module, Spring 2020.