Joanne Mildenhall is a final year PhD candidate and Associate Tutor in the School of Art, Media and American Studies at the University of East Anglia. Her thesis looks at ways in which the natural environment influences and defines political and social ideology in mid-Nineteenth Century American literature, particularly in regard to the work of Henry David Thoreau.

Book Review: Downwardly Mobile: The Changing Fortunes of American Realism by Andrew Lawson

“In Downwardly Mobile: The Changing Fortunes of American Realism Andrew Lawson traces the origins of literary realism to a fear of downward mobility that stemmed from the economic uncertainty caused by the growing instability of material wealth and the destabilising effects of the credit and market system. For Lawson, realism is a concrete genre that responded to a very un-concrete, pervasive economic anxiety.” Continue reading