The NED in Action: US Democracy Promotion in Chile and Nicaragua, 1988 – 1989

“Although, legally, autonomous from the US government, in both Chile and Nicaragua the NED’s programmes constituted a key aspect of US foreign policy. Through special appropriations, the US was able to channel money to friendly organisations and exert subtle influence over the two countries without risking an international incident.” Continue reading

60 Seconds With Zalfa Feghali

What advice would you give to early career academics?

“Unfortunately, ECR is often understood to be shorthand for unemployed academic. That’s (obviously) rubbish and can be really reductive, since it divides ECRs up rather than focuses on what common experiences they might have. What ECR actually means is that you’re way more energetic and enthusiastic than many academics you’ll encounter (that will sometimes include other ECRs).” Continue reading

The U.S: A Society Without Classes? Conference Review of “How Class Works”

“In an intense and moving talk, the young militant Saket Soni shared his experience as the organizer of the Indian underpaid imported workforce in the post-Katrina New Orleans and stressed the importance of abandoning old categories to analyse new circumstances: the globalization of the job market and the explosive request for flexible/temporary workers have revolutionized the reality of workers in the U.S. Soni closed his talk by underscoring the importance of theorizing and scientifically analysing the new circumstances. This, he maintained, is the starting point to create a truly transnational workers’ organization.” 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

Research Across Borders: Charlie Thompson, AHRC Library of Congress Fellow 2014

“As I flew out of Heathrow last October, I had tickets booked to fly home for two weeks to see my family over Christmas and New Year. By December, I had cancelled those tickets. I had met people I wanted to stay with in DC, had research I wanted to continue doing, and had made plans for events and things I wanted to see and do in and around Washington.” Continue reading

Report on the BrANCA Reading Group Session ‘Archival Pleasures’

“Following Garvey’s article, the group spent quite a while discussing the importance of the physical versus digital archive in regards to Carrie Hyde and Joseph Rezak’s piece, ‘The Aesthetics of Archival Evidence’ (J19, Spring 2014). They raise the importance of understanding the ‘aesthetics of the archive’, the need to encounter the ‘heft’ of physical material. In the group we asked does distance matter? Do we need to be able to touch and hold manuscript and original books if it is digitally available? There seems to be a ‘resonating aura’ from material text, a sensual need to have contact with the physical archive for some scholars. This sensual turn in literary studies is the last spatial turn, towards ourselves.” Continue reading

Historians at Play: American History in Modern Board Games

“Putting Freedom back into the spotlight, it offers a unique way to physically interact with the issue of slavery. The mechanics of the game are assigned to a real history and the slaves that the players cannot save represent the real slaves that were doomed a fate that the game leaves to the players’ imagination. Physically moving the slaves around the United States, represented by simple wooden cubes, makes it difficult not to treat the slaves as objects.” Continue reading

Review of ‘Myths in Culture’ Postgraduate Symposium 2014

“In his seminal Mythologies (1957), Barthes identifies myths as a type of speech, one that takes on universally acknowledged meanings which are rarely questioned. And although Barthes’ name was dropped only occasionally during “Myths in Culture”, a one-day postgraduate symposium at the University of Leicester, the spirit of his words were ever present.” Continue reading

Obama’s West Point Vision: Or, How to Retreat from Military Intervention and Democracy Promotion

“Ultimately, Obama’s stance represents an accommodation to the current reality that at present, America is unwilling and unable to pay the potential economic, military and political costs of a more expansive strategic and ideological posture.” Continue reading