American Women Writers and Wars on Foreign Soil—Part One

Shelli Homer and Brianne Jaquette in the fifth and sixth posts of SSAWW’s series introduce readers to American women that write about war. Part one overviews the topic and discusses nonfiction writing. Part two turns to poetry and fiction and includes a bibliography of additional primary and secondary resources. Continue reading

Storify of our #bookhour twitter chat on AMERICANAH by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

During this 90 minute chat we discussed the representation of “good” and “bad” blackness in the novel, and how this resonates with Adichie’s refusal of the Afropolitan label and Ifem’s “blackless” Nigeria. We debated what the novel loses in prioritising the love story at the close of the narrative, and some of the weaker aspects of the writing, such as Adichie’s representation of success, contemporary media and blogging as a form of social commentary. Finally we ended the discussion with reflections on Americanah’s effortlessly successful heroine, Ifem – how much does femininity help Ifem in America? How do we make sense of her success in relation to Obinze who more fittingly reflects the Afropolitan theme of being “hungry for choice and certainty”? Is the title a critique on her development and her story? Continue reading

#Bookhour storify: Phil Klay’s REDEPLOYMENT, 27th January 2015

On Tuesday 27th January 2015, 9-10pm GMT Assistant Professor Aaron DeRosa (California State Polytechnic University), Dr. Peter Molin (Rutgers University) and Associate Professor Patrick Deer (New York University) joined co-editor Michelle Green (University of Nottingham) to discuss REDEPLOYMENT by Phil Klay, the winner of the 2014 National Book Award, for our twitter chat #bookhour. During this hour long discussion… Continue reading

60 Seconds With Peter Molin

To usher in a new series of 60 seconds interviews for 2015 we have invited contemporary war literature experts Assistant Professor Aaron DeRosa (California State Polytechnic University), Assistant Professor Peter Molin (Rutgers University) and Associate Professor Patrick Deer (New York University) to tell us a little bit more about themselves and their expertise.

DeRosa, Molin and Deer will lead our January #Bookhour discussion on Phil Klay’s REDEPLOYMENT on the 27th January 2015, 9-10pm GMT.

“How did you come to your current area of research?”

“My own military deployment to Afghanistan in 2008-2009 inspired me to begin reading contemporary war literature. I started my blog Time Now: The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars in Art, Film, and Literature to publicize great work and initiate conversations on the subject.” Continue reading

#Bookhour: LET ME BE FRANK WITH YOU by Richard Ford

On Monday 29th December 2014, 9-10pm GMT scholars Jennifer Daly (TCD) and Dr. Gillian Groszewski (TCD) joined Co-Editor Michelle Green (University of Nottingham) to discuss the fourth instalment in Richard Ford’s Bascombe series, his 2014 novella Let Me Be Frank With You. Check out the storify below to catch up on their conversation which tackled Ford’s controversial representation of race, place, Hurricane Sandy and Obama’s legacy. Find out what they thought of Frank’s character development (does he develop?), his contradictions (can he really say “place means nothing” now?), and his future (is the last we have seen of Ford’s “uncommon man”?). Continue reading

500 Shades of Blues: ‘Bluesologist’ Gil Scott-Heron’s “H2Ogate Blues” as Meta-performance

For performance scholar Lesley Wheeler, “print exchanges presence for longevity, voice for script” but by including the audience reaction to an already recorded performance for “H2Ogate Blues,” Scott-Heron manages to pay tribute to the longevity of art through a permanent record while simultaneously honouring the presence of the poet in the original performance by putting him in dialog with a second audience … Scott-Heron refuses to substitute the importance of orality and performance that permeated alternative artistic cultures in the 1960s and 1970s, especially the Beat Generation, the Black Arts Movement and the Nuyorican Movement, for the textual condition that has brought artistic expression to the forefront of our everyday lives since the advent of writing and then printing. Continue reading

Designing a Module, Redux: Or, Why We’re Watching Buffy Again This Year

In High Fidelity, Rob (John Cusack) muses on the art of making a mixtape: “The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.” Designing a module is a similar balancing act. Continue reading

Black History Month Roundup: U.S. Studies Online Special Series

Throughout October 2014 U.S. Studies Online has published a series of posts by U.K. and U.S.-based academics of all levels in honour of the UK’s Black History Month. This is a round-up of the series all in one place. Continue reading

“There wouldn’t be an America if it wasn’t for black people”: Programme Review of the University of Nottingham’s Black History Month Events

At the University of Nottingham, the month of October has been punctuated by a series of events, lectures and screenings relating to Black History Month. Postgraduate Hannah Jeffery has reviewed the series in the first ever Series Review for U.S. Studies Online. In this post she explores Black History Month not only as an opportunity to heighten awareness of black history and educate the public about the past, but Black History Month as a practice of institutions and professional organisations. Continue reading