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Americans: a love-hate story A century of fascination and aversion in digitised newsprint

Archetypal America: girls at a ‘soda fountain’, magazine, bottles of Coca-Cola. Photo: Shutterstock

Cultural scientist Melvin Wevers (34) has had a life-long obsession with the United States. Hollywood movies? He can’t get enough of them. The more Indiana Jones, Rocky and Star Wars, the better. His passion includes an unconditional love for American music. ‘Well allright then, electronic music from Britain isn’t all that bad. But I always annoy people by saying: I hate the Beatles, their music does nothing for me…’.

After his psychology studies, Master’s in American Studies in Utrecht and research Master’s in Cultural Analysis in Amsterdam, Wevers spent a few years in ICT… and then, as if by magic, a doctoral project that suited him perfectly fell into his lap: the rise of the United States in public discourse in the Netherlands between 1890 and 1990, a multifaceted project supervised at Utrecht University by Professor Joris van Eijnatten and mentor Dr Jaap Verheul.

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