Mark Power Smith
Mark is a final-year PhD student at UCL, researching the role of the 'Young America' movement in mid-nineteenth century US politics. 'Young America' was a group of writers and politicians associated with a political and literary periodical published in New York City called the Democratic Review, edited by the Irish émigré John O'Sullivan. As well as providing political commentary, O'Sullivan's Review was also a rich source of intellectual culture. Despite widespread stereotypes of antebellum Democrats as 'backward' or anti-intellectual, the publication provided readers with partisan commentary on such disciplines as philosophy, international law, political economy, literary criticism, and natural science. In doing so, it shifted political discourse from discussion over policy to more fundamental disagreements about the Union's relationship with the liberal tradition, particularly natural law theory. However, within the antebellum North, these disagreements hinged on the political theory of democracy, as well as the all-consuming question of slavery.
- 'Seances in the City: The "Operational Aesthetic" and "Modern Spiritualism" in the Popular Culture of New York City, 1865-1870,' American Nineteenth Century History 18.1, 2017.
- The Connell Short Guide to President Lincoln (forthcoming, October 2017).
- 'The Civil War's Forgotten Anti-Imperialism', Jacobin Magazine (2016).
Media appearances/outreach work
Mark blogs alongside a group of other UCL American History PhD students at The Young Americanists.
Teaching 2017-18 (postgraduate teaching assistant)
Mark is teaching on the nineteenth-century module 'Building the American Nation' at both UCL and Queen Mary, University of London, this year.