“Where is Thy Sting?”: Clifford Odets and the Problem of Audience

On September 6th 1936, The New York Times went to print with an article entitled: “Odets, Where is Thy Sting?”[i] Reflecting on the recent reception of Clifford Odets’s The General Died at Dawn (1936), Frank Nugent described the enthusiasm of the audiences who had come to see the Broadway playwright’s… Continue reading

Drama and Cinematic Adaptation: USSO Special Series

  The adaptation of plays into films has been a core part of Hollywood’s output in the 95 years since the introduction of sound into cinema. In this time a huge number of the cinema’s finest and best-regarded works have begun life on the stage, Broadway or otherwise. Despite this… Continue reading

Gatekeeping Country: An Ethnographic Study of Female Country Music Performers in the 21st Century

This article is adapted from a presentation given at BAAS Postgraduate Symposium, 4th December 2021. In December 2021, I was delighted to have the opportunity to present a paper on my ongoing PhD research at the BAAS Postgraduate Symposium. Sitting at an intersection of ethnomusicology, American studies, and the sociology… Continue reading

Towards an intersectional theory of news selection in US-based broadcast journalism

This article is adapted from a presentation given at BAAS Postgraduate Symposium, 4th December 2021. This paper argues that by re-thinking ideas of how journalists decide what is and is not news through an intersectional lens, scholars will be better placed to evaluate journalism’s ability to accurately represent the communities… Continue reading

‘Now You’re The Only One For Me Jolene’: Queer Reading and Forging Community in Country Music

When Nadine Hubbs wrote an additional verse to Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ with the lyric: ‘It’s true that my man found you first / You awakened such a thirst / Now you’re the only one for me, Jolene’, the song’s homoerotic and queer subtext became explicit. [i] This was one example… 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

MA Graduate Teaching Assistantship Award in Southern Studies at University of Mississippi: Lily-Pearl Benn’s testimony

As the deadline for BAAS’s MA Graduate Teaching Assistantship Award in Southern Studies at University of Mississippi nears, read the testimony from Lily-Pearl Benn about her time at the University of Mississippi.  I first heard about the BAAS award via email when I was an undergraduate in English and American… Continue reading

The Afghanistan Effect: Isolationism in US Foreign Policy

On September 28th 2021, General Mark Milley, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified before the US Senate Armed Services Committee regarding the end of US military involvement in Afghanistan. The general responded to Senator Hawley’s question on the evacuation of US citizens: “Strategically, the war is lost.… Continue reading

Sampson Selig: the 1896 election and children in American political history

Children remain disenfranchised. They are formally divorced from political participation and are unable to directly influence who is elected to their local board of supervisors, never mind who enters the White House. But American political history is incomplete without considering the nation’s youngsters. Firstly, children wield immense soft political power… Continue reading