Rachael Alexander recently completed her PhD project, ‘Imagined Women: Nationalism, Consumerism, and Gender in the Ladies’ Home Journal and Canadian Home Journal of the 1920s’. Her current research interests include twentieth-century American and Canadian magazines, periodical networks, and wider media ecologies. She teaches in the English Department at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and was previously the BAAS Postgraduate Representative.

Review: Scottish Association for the Study of America Annual Conference

Held at the University of Edinburgh, this conference brought together a range of researchers, based in the north and beyond, for a day of engaging panels and discussions. The openness of the call for papers attracted a variety of disciplines, representing exceptional new work in the field. Indeed, in a stark contrast to many of the issues and concerns discussed, openness and inclusivity somewhat characterised the day. Continue reading

“An exceptional opportunity”: Rachael Alexander on the role of BAAS Postgraduate Representative

Rachael Alexander, BAAS Postgraduate Representative 2014-2016, reflects on the role of the BAAS postgraduate rep, her achievements in the role, and the benefits of the post. “Looking back, I felt incredibly under-qualified when I took up the post; being prone, as so many of us are, to “impostor syndrome”. The position has proven an exceptional opportunity, in terms of both personal and professional development. Perhaps one of the best aspects of the role is that you can really make it your own; interact with the community, identify a core issue, and work to improve it.” Continue reading

Book Review: An Infuriating American: The Incendiary Arts of H. L. Mencken by Hal Crowther

Facing a canonical author with an intimidating wealth of existing scholarship can, at times, beg the question: what is really left to say? Mencken certainly falls into this category, a fact acknowledged in the “Disarming Introduction to an Alarming American”. Yet, in only seventy-seven pages, Crowther manages to offer a valuable and engaging contribution to the discussion of an extensively discussed man. Continue reading

Review: ‘American Into Periodical Studies’, The First Network of American Periodical Studies Symposium

The Network of American Periodical Studies (NAPS) was recently formed by Sue Currell and Victoria Bazin, and aims to bring together scholars working on American periodicals from any historical period. Hosted by the Eccles’ Centre for American Studies at the British Library—and supported by the British Association for American Studies, Northumbria University, and the University of Sussex—‘American into Periodical Studies’ constituted the inaugural NAPS symposium. Continue reading

USSO Interviews BAAS Postgraduate Representative Rachael Alexander

In April 2014 Rachael Alexander was elected as the Postgraduate Representative for the British Association for American Studies. One month later Michelle Green spoke to her about her manifesto, what she thinks are the biggest challenges facing postgraduate students at the moment, and how we can all help. Continue reading

60 Seconds With Rachael Alexander

You’re stranded on a desert island, but luckily you pre-empted it. Which book do you take with you?

“My incredibly tattered copy of Angela Carter’s Burning Your Boats. It contains four of her books of short stories, so maybe I’m cheating slightly, but as it’s one paperback I think it’s acceptable. I first read The Bloody Chamber when I was eighteen and it captivated me. Carter is one of those rare authors that I never get bored of, no matter how many times I read and re-read her stories.” Continue reading