Conference Review (part two) of BAAS 2015, with Saturday Plenary

On the third evening of BAAS 2015 we were treated to an eloquent and passionate plenary from Professor Dana Nelson (Vanderbilt). Best known for her work on race in the nineteenth century (The Word in Black and White, National Manhood), Dana’s lecture ‘A Passion for Democracy: Proximity to Power and the Sovereign Immunity Test’, drew from her most recent work Bad for Democracy (2008). Continue reading

Round-up of our ‘Women in America’ blog series for Women’s History Month

Our “Women in America” blog series for Women’s History Month 2015 is now drawing to an end. We would like to thank the Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) and the Society for the History of Women in the Americas (SHAW) who joined us in putting together this diverse and exciting blog series that ran for five weeks in total and included 16 posts. Here we have collected and summarised all of those posts. 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

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

“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

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 Jenny Terry

What advice would you give to early career academics?

“Stamina and, when things go wrong, the ability to ‘reset’ your frame of mind will stand you in good stead in academia. Don’t be afraid to speak up and out!” Continue reading

Review of American Imperialism and Identity Conference

American Imperialism and National Identity Conference, University of Durham 14 June 2014   With Iraq in turmoil and U.S. military involvement in the Middle East once again in the spotlight, the timing of the ‘American Imperialism and National Identity Conference’ on the 14th of June at St. Aidan’s College, University… Continue reading