Community Building and Articulations of Race and Gender at Georgia Douglas Johnson’s 'Saturday Nighters': African American Theatre and The S Street Salon

This article is adapted from a presentation given at the London Arts and Humanities Partnership postgraduate conference, 21st January 2022 During the Harlem Renaissance period, 1461 S Street, Washington D.C., the home of Georgia Douglas Johnson (1877-1966), represented an important hub of creativity and community for African American women writers. ‘Saturday… Continue reading

The Promise and Threat of Black Detroit in the Age of the Great Migration: The People v. Ossian Sweet

In the first decades of the twentieth century, no northern city drew more southern migrants than Detroit, ‘City of Tomorrow’.[i] As one Free Press reporter noted in 1917, ‘Detroit’s unexampled prosperity is the lodestone that is attracting thousands of Negroes’.[ii] Between 1910 and 1920, Detroit’s Black population increased almost eightfold,… Continue reading

“Your Name is Safe”: The Ladder as lesbian literary community

This article is adapted from a presentation given at BAAS Postgraduate Symposium, 4th December 2021. In the second issue of the Ladder – the San Francisco-based lesbian literary magazine that circulated between 1956 and 1972 – Ann Ferguson published an article intended to reassure nervous subscribers, titled ‘Your Name is… Continue reading

Tim Galsworthy on the 2021 BAAS Peter Parish Award

In March 2021, I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of a Postgraduate Research Assistance Award from BAAS. Receiving this award, especially one named after the great Peter Parish, was humbling. This award was also invaluable for my doctoral project. After initially considering the possibility of a visit to… Continue reading

Book Review: The Rise of Common-Sense Conservatism: The American Right and the Reinvention of the Scottish Enlightenment by Antti Lepisto

Why were historians of conservatism shocked by Donald Trump’s rise? Antti Lepistö, an intellectual historian at the University of Oulu, Finland, seeks to answer this question in his first monograph, The Rise of Common-Sense Conservatism: The American Right and the Reinvention of the Scottish Enlightenment. The work is split into six chapters each focusing on a different element of neoconservative thought. The first- and second-chapters study journalist Irving Kristol’s use of ‘common man’ rhetoric in the late-1970s and early-1980s, and how social scientist James Q. Wilson built upon this. Continue reading

Eliminating “Blood and Thunder” from Containment Culture: Audience Efforts to Censor Postwar Radio Programming in the Run-Up to Television

The decade after WWII (1945-1955) was distinct and pivotal in the formation of American media policy, and in establishing postwar social norms.[1]  The major broadcast networks (NBC, CBS, and ABC) had profited from wartime spending and garnered some regulatory goodwill through their work with the Office of War Information.  Still,… Continue reading

U.S. Television, Nostalgia and Identity – Editorial

The ubiquity of television has been written about extensively in both scholarship and popular writing; ever since the first commercial sets began replacing the hearth as the centrepiece of any American living area, television has dominated how we write and think about the United States. In 2020, a time unlike… Continue reading

An Epidemic of Presidential Ignorance: The AIDS Crisis and the US Presidency  

‘Epidemic’ is a powerful word. For something to be deemed an ‘epidemic’, it suggests something has gone terribly wrong. The ongoing response to COVID-19 has attracted a wide array of criticism from medical professionals, politicians and the American public. From downplaying the severity of COVID-19 to neglecting testing protocols and… Continue reading

Asian American Solidarities in the Age of COVID-19

  ‘The majority of Americans [regard] us with ambivalence… We [threaten] the sanctity and symmetry of a white and black America whose yin and yang racial politics [leaves] no room for any other color, particularly that of a pathetic little yellow-skinned people…’ -Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer   “We don’t… Continue reading

(Re)Constructing the Past in George Saunders’ “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline”

The American Civil War (1861-1865), which cleaved the country into two halves, the North and South, is known as one of the most violent, tumultuous, divisive events in American history. Yet, instead of reflecting the actual brutally violent realities of the country’s past, the war is reconstituted in America’s collective… Continue reading