Center for British Studies

Background image: British Studies Banner

The Center for British Studies at the University of California, Berkeley has since 2003 provided a platform for one of the largest and most distinguished groups of scholars studying British culture, society and history — spread across the arts, humanities, social sciences, and professional schools — in the United States. With a generous endowment of $2.1 million from the Robert Kirk Underhill Trust, the Center hosts or supports a wide array of scholarly, cultural, and educational activities. 

The Center for British Studies is ecumenical in its focus upon all constituent parts of the British Isles, the British Empire, and its legacies, as well as Britain's relationship with the European Community and the United States.

The Center has three objectives:

  • Strengthen Berkeley's intellectual and institutional ties to Britain
  • Support graduate and undergraduate teaching and research in British Studies
  • Support interdisciplinary research that recognizes Britain's relationships with America, Europe and Commonwealth countries and their effects on British economy, society, politics and culture

In 2023, the Anglo-American Studies Program joined the Institute of European Studies and its Center for British Studies. The underlying purpose of the Program is to widen and deepen campus interest and knowledge of British political, legal, and cultural affairs and their implications for the United States and the broader Commonwealth of Nations.

The program supports faculty and graduate student research, conducts scholarly conferences, and features an annual R. Kirk Underhill lecture at UC Berkeley by a leading figure from political or scholarly circles.

In addition, the program offers the R. Kirk Underhill Graduate Fellowships

The Program is funded by a generous gift made in December 2012 from the Anglo-California Foundation in memory of R. Kirk Underhill.

Video Highlights

COVID-19, Brexit, and the Debate on Scottish Independence

Covid-19, Brexit and the Debate on Scottish Independence


Brexit in Transition


Britain and the United States in Greece during the Cold War Era