Book Review: The American Presidency: An Institutional Approach to Executive Politics 

Howell runs against the popular and influential narrative of the personal presidency, identifying the growing gap between pundits who favour the idea and academics who are more interested in the formal and bureaucratic role of the president. Indeed, Howell’s approach offers a deeper understanding to how and why presidents behave the way they do, whether they embody the idea of the institutional presidency such as Woodrow Wilson or defy as in the case of Donald Trump. The result is a detailed and comprehensive textbook that shines a much-needed light on the executive office of the President of the United States, representing the latest scholarship surrounding the American Presidency. Continue reading

BAAS 2023 Panel Review: 7C – Making Sense of the South 

BAAS 2023 Panel Review: 7C – Making Sense of the South  Of all the regions in the United States, perhaps none has captured the critical imagination as lastingly and powerfully as the American South. This came through at BAAS 2023, with three different sessions addressing the region at this year’s… Continue reading

#USSOBookHour with the Affects of Pedagogy in Literary Studies, with Dr. Chris Lloyd, Dr. Hilary Emmett, et al. 5th June – 12pm (noon, GMT).

    Dr. Chris Lloyd, a senior lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, is a learning and teaching specialist, and together with Dr. Hillary Emmett, an associate professor in American Studies at the University of East Anglia, they have edited a new anthology called The Affects of Pedagogy in Literary… Continue reading

BAAS 2023 Conference Panel Review: Race and Reassessment in the Recent Past

Chaired by Keele University’s own Kristen Brill, the panel ‘Race and Reassessment in the Recent Past’ featured only two speakers, but the range of material presented was nonetheless extensive. Addressing thorny developments in the recent histories of American lineage societies and the poet Walt Whitman, the two presenters asked their… Continue reading

Book Review: A Conspiratorial Life: Robert Welch, the John Birch Society, and the Revolution of American Conservatism.

Miller makes two vital contributions to the field of post-war American conservatism. He demonstrates the merit of using biography to explore the origins and circulation of ideas and shows the need to take fringe elements of the right more seriously. Consequently, A Conspiratorial Life is essential reading for those seeking to enrich their knowledge of the traction of conspiracy theories contemporary political life in the United States and beyond. Continue reading

Book Review: Rock & Roll in Kennedy’s America, A Cultural History of the Early 1960s by Richard Aquila.

Richard Aquila asserts that the music of this era showcases the optimism of Kennedy’s America in the throes of social change, his analysis is painted with broad brush strokes. If anything, the connections made between popular culture and the political status quo are so engaging that the reader is left yearning for more. Continue reading

European Career Stories: Michael Docherty | The University of Innsbruck Today we launched a new feature here at USSO: Career Stories. In this conversational series, we’ll discuss the directions, dilemmas, and decisions made by those trained in American Studies pursuing careers inside and outside of academia. Today, for a distinctly European special, we discussed careers in Europe with Dr… Continue reading

Book Review: That’s Not Funny: How the Right Makes Comedy Work for Them by Mark Sienkiewicz and Nick Marx

That’s Not Funny: How the Right Makes Comedy Work for Them is a tour of the American Right’s comedy universe. A fast, informative read which approaches political and cultural questions with curiosity and aplomb.Sienkiewicz and Marx analyse cultural phenomena with a deft and careful eye, looking to understand and, when possible, appreciate without excusing obvious moral transgressions. The overarching metaphor functions well, even when overindulged. A great introductory text for researchers looking to delve into the alt-right underground, particularly to understand its connections to other demographics and the mainstream itself. Continue reading

BAAS 2023 Panel Review: 8H-GreenBAAS Panel ‘”Our House is Still on Fire”: New Research in Environmental American Studies’

BAAS 2023 Panel Review: 8H- GreenBAAS Panel ‘“Our House is Still on Fire”: New Research in Environmental American Studies’ Since debuting at 2021’s BAAS Annual Conference, GreenBAAS’s panels have become something of an annual fixture, acquiring a reputation for interdisciplinarity, provocativeness, and contemporary relevance. These features were again apparent as… Continue reading

BAAS 2023 Panel Review: 5E-Negotiating American Spaces

BAAS Panel Review: 5E- Negotiating American Spaces From the musings of the Transcendentalists to Turner’s frontier thesis, Chicano Aztlán, and the intercommunal visions of the Black Panthers, space has long been critical to American Studies. On April 13th, an all-star interdisciplinary team of PhD students from the University of Manchester… Continue reading