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Staff Profile

Dr Sarah Trott

Senior Lecturer in American Studies and History


I joined York St John University in August 2019 as a Lecturer in American Studies and History. I am also the MA Coordinator for American Studies. I previously worked as a lecturer in American Studies at Swansea University for almost a decade.

My teaching and research background fall within the interdisciplinary field of American Studies. My undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are all in American Studies. My PhD examined the impact of war trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder upon American post-World War I crime fiction, with a specific focus upon the British-American writer Raymond Chandler. I conducted my doctoral research at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Bodleian Library, Oxford, and with the Department for History and Heritage at the Canadian Archives in Ottawa, Canada.

I am a US-UK Commission Fulbright Awardee, which I completed at New York University in 2010.



Module director:

  • AMS4006M Introduction to American Studies
  • AMS5002M From Slavery to Freedom
  • AMS5003M Nation Divided: America in the Era of the Civil War
  • AMS6011M Special Study in American Culture: US Crime Culture


  • WAR6003M The American Way of War





My interdisciplinary research is grounded in field of American Studies and lies at the intersection of culture, history, politics, and social memory. My work focuses on the impact of war in 19th and 20th century America, with a secondary concentration on subversive culture. My monograph, War Noir: Raymond Chandler and the Hard Boiled Detective as Veteran (University Press of Mississippi, 2016), challenges the U.S canon and argues a case for the work of crime fiction writer Raymond Chandler to be located alongside the great work of the American Lost Generation. By taking into account the impact of wartime post-traumatic stress disorder upon American crime fiction I introduced the original concept of ‘War Noir’ to the study of American literature. My research has featured in a number of journals, including Comparative American Studies and the European Journal of American Culture. I have also contributed book chapters to two edited collections, Men After War (Routledge, 2013) and Time and the City in Literary Imagination (Palgrave, 2021).

I regularly contribute short articles for the American crime fiction magazine ‘The Strand’ in order to reach a wider non-academic audience. In November 2017 I was commissioned by Andrew Gulli, the Managing Editor of The Strand, to write the Afterword to accompany a previously unpublished short story by Raymond Chandler of the magazine (issue 53, 2017). As a result of this, numerous media outlets in the US called attention to my research. Demonstrating its wide-ranging impact, my work was mentioned in, among other online and print mediums, the Associated Press, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Australian, and the Smithsonian Magazine.

I currently have two key strands of research. Firstly, I am expanding upon my original notion of ‘War Noir’ to continue the themes introduced in my first book by examining the work of key 20th century war veteran writers in the field of US crime fiction. For this, I have drawn upon the writers James Crumely and Charles Willeford in particular, but will also be examining other 20th century writers of crime fiction, including Mickey Spillane, Ross Macdonald, Elmore Leonard, Robert B. Parker, and Walter Mosley,

Secondly, along with my colleague Dr Anne-Marie Evans, we are in the process of putting together an edited collection titled Beyond the White House: The First Lady in American Film, Fiction, and Culture. The volume aims to examine cultural representations of America's First Lady and brings together scholars from across the world including the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and India. This is the first volume of its kind to consider the cultural representation of the First Lady through the prism of popular culture - and therefore consider her impact upon ‘cultural politics’ - and the first to regard her as a strategically important socio-cultural figure. For this collection I will be contributing a chapter on rape trauma in ABC's drama Scandal (2012-2018).





  • Trott, Sarah, War Noir: Raymond Chandler and the Detective as Veteran in American Fiction (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2016).

Peer Reviewed Articles

  • Trott, Sarah, “Remembrance, alas, is a tricky business”: Memory and Biography in the Established Account of Raymond Chandler’s World War One Experience.’ European Journal of American Culture, 40, No. 1 (Mar. 2021) pp.45-62.
  • Trott, Sarah, ‘A “lost crowd”: Reconfiguring the Harlem Renaissance as a post-war “lost” generation.’ Comparative American Studies, Vol.11, Issue 4 (Dec. 2013), pp. 434-447.

Book Chapters

  • Trott, Sarah, ‘The City as No Man’s Land: Lost Generation War Trauma in Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles’ in Kramer, Kaley and Evans, Anne-Marie, ed., Time and the City in Literary Imagination. Palgrave. 2021. pp.189-205.
  • Trott, Sarah, ‘The Detective as Veteran: Recasting American Hard-Boiled Writing as a Literature of Traumatic War Experience’ in McVeigh, Steve and Cooper, Nicola, ed., Men After War. Routledge. 2013. pp. 130-151

Commissioned pieces


Conference papers

  • Trott, Sarah, ‘Raymond Chandler, War Trauma, and the Lost Generation,’ American Literature Association symposium: ‘Criminal America: Reading, Studying and Teaching American Crime Fiction,’ Chicago, IL., 3-4 March 2017.
  • Trott, Sarah, ‘Recasting American Hard-Boiled Writing as a Literature of Traumatic War Experience,’ Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, New Orleans, LA, 1-4 April 2015.
  • Trott, Sarah, ‘Reconfiguring the Harlem Renaissance as a post-war ‘lost’ generation,’ Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, Chicago, IL, 16-19 April 2014.
  • Trott, Sarah, ‘The Detective as a Veteran of American War,’ American Literature Association conference, San Francisco, CA, 24-27 May 2013.
  • Trott, Sarah, ‘Hard-boiled fiction, Vietnam, and ‘War Noir’’, British Association for American Studies Conference, University of Manchester, 12-15 April 2012.
  • Trott, Sarah, ‘James Crumley, Vietnam and ‘War Noir,’’ Queen’s University Belfast, States of Crime: The State in Crime Fiction Symposium, 17-18 June 2011.
  • Trott, Sarah, 'Raymond Chandler's Detective and Post-Combat Trauma,' British Association for American Studies Conference, University of Central Lancashire, 14-17 April 2011.