Alex Moran is a third year PhD student at the University of Birmingham. His research explores the concepts of genre and limits in contemporary American fiction, and the prevalence of so-called "literary" authors writing genre fiction. His dissertation focuses particularly on the work of David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, Colson Whitehead, Jennifer Egan, and Mark Danielewski.

Book Review: Masculinity in Contemporary Quality Television: The Cultural Politics of Media and Popular Culture by Michael Mario Albrecht

Albrecht first assesses FX sitcom The League as a ‘bromance,’ and a show that ‘offers a hyperbolic version of contemporary masculinity,’ that suggests the concept is ‘an overdetermined term with multiple iterations and complexities, rather than… a simplistic essentialist version of singular maleness’ (42). He provocatively uses the language of ‘safe space’ to suggest how the virtual space of a fantasy football league is utilised to act out unacceptable performances of masculinity, safe from misinterpretation and consequences (46). Continue reading

Book Review: Affect and American Literature in the Age of Neoliberalism by Rachel Greenwald Smith

Rachel Greenwald Smith’s fascinating monograph argues against what she terms ‘the affective hypothesis’: the belief that literature should offer, and is most meaningful, when it transmits, ‘the emotional specificity of personal experience’ (1). She contends that the affective hypothesis functions invisibly, moving interchangeably between all aspects of the literary marketplace Continue reading