The State of the Discipline Series: Part II: Book Review: The Lives of Frederick Douglass by Robert S. Levine

The Lives of Frederick Douglass is a fascinating collage of images that recreate various facets of the life of Frederick Douglass. Robert Levine demonstrates insight in delving into the complexity of racialised identities and the changing contours of self-definition in a collection that spans the most popular of Douglass’s writings, The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself (1845), as well as his lesser known My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) and The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1881), along with letters, articles, and speeches. Continue reading

Landscape and Masculinity in Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms

The  Postgraduate Essay Prize is offered annually by the British Association for American Studies. It is awarded for the best essay-length piece of work on an American Studies topic written by a student currently registered for a postgraduate degree at a university or equivalent institution in Britain. This year’s winner is Victoria Addis, University of Leeds.  Continue reading

A Review Essay: ‘[S]omething to feel about’: Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon: The Story of The Last Slave

It is nearly a century since Zora Neale Hurston wrote Barracoon, an ethnography of Cudjo Lewis, the Alabama man believed to be the last living African enslaved in the United States. On May 8 Lewis’ story became widely available to the public for the first time. To mark this historic occasion, and to commemorate the life and works of Zora Neale Hurston – a central figure of the Harlem Renaissance, African-American folklorist and ethnographer, and one of the most significant women writers of the twentieth century – USSO has commissioned a series of articles on any aspect of Hurston’s life, her art, her anthropology. This article is the second in the series. Continue reading

University of Mississippi: Review: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha 2018: Faulkner and Slavery

Review: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha 2018: Faulkner and Slavery, University of Mississippi, 22-26 July 2018 “What did slavery mean in the life, ancestry, environment, imagination, and career of William Faulkner?” This was the guiding question posed by the Call for Papers of this year’s annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, centered on the… Continue reading

Review: The British Association of Contemporary Literary Studies Biennial Conference: What Happens Now 2018

Review: The British Association of Contemporary Literary Studies Biennial Conference: What Happens Now 2018, Loughborough University, 10-12 July 2018 If the inaugural British Association of Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS) conference is anything to go by, academics are a dedicated lot. Even persistent hot weather and a World Cup semi-final did not… Continue reading

Literature, Education and the Sciences of the Mind in Britain and America, 1850 – 1950

Review: Literature, Education and the Sciences of the Mind in Britain and America, 1850 – 1950, University of Kent, 17-18 July 2018 Dr Sara Lyons and Dr Michael Collins welcomed international contributors to the University of Kent to investigate how British and American novelists understood and represented the sciences of… 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

‘Unbelievable Originality’: Lining Tracks and Performativity in Zora Neale Hurston’s Folk Concerts

It is nearly a century since Zora Neale Hurston wrote Barracoon, an ethnography of Cudjo Lewis, the Alabama man believed to be the last living African enslaved in the United States. On May 8 Lewis’ story became widely available to the public for the first time. To mark this historic occasion, and to commemorate the life and works of Zora Neale Hurston – a central figure of the Harlem Renaissance, African-American folklorist and ethnographer, and one of the most significant women writers of the twentieth century – USSO has commissioned a series of articles on any aspect of Hurston’s life, her art, her anthropology. This article is the first in the series. Continue reading

Conference Review: Recovering May Alcott Nieriker’s Life and Work, Université Paris Diderot

This special guest review comes to us from Amelia Platt, a fifteen-year-old student from Litcham Comprehensive High School and a participant in the Brilliant Club, a charity that employs PhD students to tutor pupils from low-participation backgrounds. Amelia would like to thank her mentor, Azelina Flint, a doctoral candidate and AHRC CHASE Award Holder at the School of American Studies, University of East Anglia. Continue reading