Book Review: Latin American Documentary Narratives: The Intersections of Storytelling and Journalism in Contemporary Literature

Latin American Documentary Narratives reflects the robust journalism of the 1960s journalists whose stories present different creative approaches the journalists had to take within censored environments, using literary strategies to reproduce real testimonies. The movements of the Peronist era during the 20th and 21st centuries, like the Tacuara Nationalist Movement and the National Justicialist Movement, have put a halt on journalism and the publication of free press stories in the newspapers, forcing writers to employ metaphors and allegories to indicate the facts. Chávez Diaz’s work provides a glimpse into political instability in the form of narratives, through which she provides insightful research that enriches the readers’ knowledge about recent historical events. Continue reading

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 Hour Returns with Leah A. Milne and Novel Subjects: Authorship as Radical Self-Care in Multiethnic American Narratives

The U.S. Studies Online BookHour is back 8th December 7.30pm GMT/2.30pm EST with Dr. Leah A. Milne and Novel Subjects: Authorship as Radical Self-Care in Multiethnic American Narratives.Authorship as Radical Self-Care in Multiethnic American Narratives. Additionally, Dr. Milne will talk about the process of turning a dissertation into a monograph with invaluable first-hand experience top tips and thoughts. 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

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

Review of Topophrenia: Place, Narrative and the Spatial Imagination by Robert T. Tally Jr.

Cultural geographer Robert T. Tally Jr. publishes widely and frequently on many aspects of literary geographies, including the myriad forms of map-making. This book comprises his latest research and presents an excellent introduction to his work. Tally Jr. espouses the cartographic imperative: simply by being in the world, he argues, we map and reference our surroundings in an infinite variety of ways. Continue reading

Book Review: A Literate South: Reading Before Emancipation by Beth Barton Schweiger

‘Culture is ordinary: that is where we must start.’ Raymond Williams’ famous statement provides an epigraph to Beth Barton Schweiger’s important study of reading in the antebellum South, A Literate South: Reading Before Emancipation. Barton Schweiger builds on Williams’ statement to provide a bank of evidence that culture was, indeed, ordinary, in the rural antebellum South. Using two chief examples, the diaries of two families, the Cooleys in Virginia and the Speers in North Carolina, Schweiger uncovers how reading and printed materials were important parts of Southern culture, and how this is often ignored in studies of the period. Continue reading

Conference Review: The 17th International Willa Cather Seminar, Winchester, Virginia, 17th-21st June 2019

Arriving at Shenandoah University for the 17th International Willa Cather Seminar, scholars were greeted by the incongruous sounds of revving Harley-Davidson motorbikes and bagpipes. For one week in June, the small town of Winchester, Virginia, played host not only to the Willa Cather Foundation’s biennial seminar, but also to the Virginia Piping and Drumming School’s summer meet and the 2019 HOG (‘Harley Owners’ Group’) Rally. While that meant that accommodation choices in town were limited, the celebratory atmosphere befitted the fact that, for the Cather group, this conference was something of a homecoming. Continue reading

University College Cork: Review: Irish Association for American Studies Annual Conference 2019

Conference Review: ‘Confidence-Men and Hucksters, Corruption and Governance in the U.S.’, Irish Association for American Studies Annual Conference, University College Cork, Ireland, April 12th-13th 2019 Interested in the parallels between Donald Trump’s presidency and the 2004 novel The Plot Against America, in January 2017, The New Yorker ( contacted… Continue reading