Book Review: Writing the Mind: Social Cognition in Nineteenth-Century American Fiction

An interdisciplinary book on literary cognitive theory and how it can enhance our understanding with nineteenth-century American literature. Explored through the authors’ portrayal of the unique passages and methodology of the novels and stories to situate their own experiment in the mind of the characters within the greater American literary tradition of socio-cognitive experimentation. Continue reading

Book Review: Law in American Meeting Houses: Church Discipline and Civil Authority in Kentucky, 1780-1845

Edward Manger reviews Jeffrey Thomas Perry’s Law in American Meeting Houses, exploring the individual stories of communities of believers attempting to negotiate life in a new republic from the Revolutionary Era through the mid-nineteenth century. Continue reading

Book review: The Presidency of Donald J. Trump: A First Historical Assessment

With The Presidency of Donald J. Trump (2022) a prominent group of historians take on the challenge of providing a first historical assessment of an administration which editor Julian Zelizer describes as ‘unlike anything else American democracy had experienced in recent decades, if ever’ Oscar Winberg, PhD, reviews new book where leading historians provide perspective Donald Trump’s four turbulent years in the White House. 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

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

Not Your Grandparents’ Grand Strategy: Rethinking Liberal Hegemony

Since the end of the Cold War, America’s commitment to a grand strategy of liberal hegemony has habitually set the parameters of foreign policy debate. The bipartisan consensus in Washington D.C. sees the United States as the indispensable nation whose leadership is required in perpetuity in the name of upholding… Continue reading

Review: Kent Americanist Symposium “The Spatial Americas” (Online)

The Kent Americanist Symposium returned on November 21st for the fourth of what is now an annual gathering of early career scholars. The day was admirably led by Jack Dice and Irene Lopez Sanchez, both of the University of Kent, and was sponsored by the British Association of American Studies… Continue reading

Review: The IAAS Postgraduate Symposium “Parallel Lives in America” (Online)

‘Parallel Lives in America’ encouraged scholars to investigate the juxtaposition of various dynamics, particularly between those with power to those who are oppressed, that exist in America today. This year’s theme of the IAAS postgraduate symposium, co-organised by Sarah McCreedy and Maria Manning, was described in the opening remarks by… Continue reading

Live Human Exhibits: The World Columbian Exposition as a Space of Empire

A theatricalised space that prompts visitors to immerse themselves into spectacles of what was construed as racial otherness, while acknowledging notions of Western cultural superiority and investing in public approval of US imperial efforts abroad—that was the fundamental idea underlying the Midway Plaisance, an amusement park committed to displaying human… Continue reading