#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

“A Northern city with Southern characteristics”: Ferguson and the History of Race Relations in the St. Louis Region

In 1970, Ferguson was 99% white and 1% black; in 2010, Ferguson was 29% white and 67% black. However, the town leadership and police do not reflect this shift—only three of the community’s fifty-three police officers are black […] St. Louis is a Northern industrial city with Southern characteristics. The effects of this combination caused one anthropologist to argue that St. Louis holds a Deep South ideology and social structure “straitjacketed in northern-style industrial infrastructure” resulting in an “astounding record of poverty and ethnic segregation.” Continue reading

Book Review: American Unexceptionalism – The Everyman and the Suburban Novel after 9/11 by Kathy Knapp

By ignoring the lack of innovation in fiction after “9/11,” and by continuing to privilege the representation of a singular “event” as the cornerstone of a national literature, American Unexceptionalism can only partially commit to dismantling the exceptionalism played upon by its title. Continue reading

The Manhattan Male in “Grit Lit” and Film from the 1970s to the 1990s

“Modern masculinity has shifted in order to fit into amodern city frame. This leaves behind the man in the gray flannel suit and the image of the conformist suburbanite. The new urban man of the late twentieth century has his identity constructed by Manhattan’s rapid commodity fetishism. Like the city itself, his body becomes visible, measurable and displayed.” Continue reading

60 Seconds With Bridget Bennett

What has been your most memorable career moment so far?

“There are two. At the very start of my DPhil viva the examiners told me that I had passed. They had to tell me three times before I believed them, so it has firmly stuck in my mind. The second took place some months later, when having decisively realised that I really did not want to be an academic I wandered into to British Library one evening after work to read a book. I suddenly realised it was too late: I had accidentally become one.” Continue reading

The U.S: A Society Without Classes? Conference Review of “How Class Works”

“In an intense and moving talk, the young militant Saket Soni shared his experience as the organizer of the Indian underpaid imported workforce in the post-Katrina New Orleans and stressed the importance of abandoning old categories to analyse new circumstances: the globalization of the job market and the explosive request for flexible/temporary workers have revolutionized the reality of workers in the U.S. Soni closed his talk by underscoring the importance of theorizing and scientifically analysing the new circumstances. This, he maintained, is the starting point to create a truly transnational workers’ organization.” Continue reading

60 Seconds With Rachael Alexander

You’re stranded on a desert island, but luckily you pre-empted it. Which book do you take with you?

“My incredibly tattered copy of Angela Carter’s Burning Your Boats. It contains four of her books of short stories, so maybe I’m cheating slightly, but as it’s one paperback I think it’s acceptable. I first read The Bloody Chamber when I was eighteen and it captivated me. Carter is one of those rare authors that I never get bored of, no matter how many times I read and re-read her stories.” Continue reading