Broadway, Hollywood, and the Problem with The Prom

Among all the necessary and welcome debates around identity in contemporary culture, few have been more pronounced in theatre and film than that of who should be cast to play characters of marginalised identities. From gender identity and religious beliefs to nationality and disability, this issue is occurring with increasing… Continue reading

Mending Fences: The Broken Bond between Theatre and Film

Play to film adaptations have fallen in prestige and numbers in recent years, and one of the main reasons for this is the decline in popularity of plays that can be adapted. For example, A Streetcar Named Desire was the 5th highest grossing film of 1951[i] while Fences was the… Continue reading

“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

Northumbria University: Review: Horror, Cult and Exploitation Media II

Conference Review: Horror, Cult and Exploitation Media II: A Workshop for PhDs and ECRs, Northumbria University, 4 May 2018 Website: https://horrorcultexploitation.wordpress.com/ ‘Horror, Cult and Exploitation Media’ workshop for PhD candidates and ECRs was held at Northumbria University on the 4 May 2018. The day consisted of three panels, carefully programmed… Continue reading

Review: IAAS Postgraduate Symposium

‘This is America? Shaping, Making and Recreating’, IAAS Postgraduate Symposium, Trinity College Dublin, 10 November 2018 Programme: https://issuu.com/iaas/docs/iaaspg18_programme.docx The 2018 postgraduate symposium for the Irish Association for American Studies, co-organised by Postgraduate and Early Career Caucus co-chairs Sarah Cullen and James Hussey, set out to explore the narrative creation and… Continue reading

Review: The Half-Life of Philip K. Dick

Review: The Half-Life of Philip K. Dick, Queen Margaret University, 27 April 2018 Philip K. Dick is a strong candidate for serving as the twentieth century’s science fiction prophet—his novels and essays still resonate with audiences across the globe fifty years after they were written. Whether scholars are analyzing cinematic… Continue reading

University of Kent: Review: The Cartographic Imagination: Art, Literature and Mapping in the United States, 1945-1980

Papers were impressively varied in reach and scope, covering landscape photography, the New York art scene, the refugee crisis, and maps of Disneyland. Though focused on the post-war period in the U.S., discussions, it seemed, could not help being drawn towards the present moment. Continue reading

University of Northampton: Review: Investigating Identities in Young Adult (YA) Narratives

Despite divided opinion regarding characterisation, the conference demonstrated that YA fiction undoubtedly offers the opportunity for a wealth of analysis in relation to identity. Regardless of the medium, YA narratives present journeys through the liminal space of adolescence towards identity creation and this, perhaps, is their defining characteristic; whether a cohesive genre or not. Continue reading

“Exceptional Zombie Cannibals” – Antonia Bird’s ‘Ravenous’ (1999) and the discourse of American exceptionalism

In the last couple of decades, a conflict has emerged between the perception of exceptionalist rhetoric as a historical symbol of American patriotism and the much more harrowing visions pervading the present-day political stage. For a historian of the antebellum era, such as myself, “American exceptionalism” is synonymic with a post-War of Independence period when America rapidly transformed from a remote and largely unexplored land mass into a force to be reckoned with in the world arena (as noted by non-American observers at the time such as Alex De Tocqueville). Continue reading