Panel Review: HOTCUS 2022 ‘Race, Rhetoric and Visibility’
‘Panel 2B: Race, Rhetoric, and Visibility’, HOTCUS 2022 Annual Conference, University of Edinburgh, 22-24 June 2022 On the second day of the Historians of Twentieth-Century United States (HOTCUS) Annual Conference, […]
Unhappy Lecturers Don’t Make Good Teachers: Well-Being in Higher Education
The Teaching American Studies Network met in September to discuss strategies for ensuring the well-being of students and staff alike in Higher Education institutions. Aija Oksman reviews that meeting here.
Reflection on ‘Responding to Sexual Violence in Higher Education – Organisations, Initiatives, and Activism’, BAAS 2022
Please note that this review contains discussion of sexual violence and harassment in higher education. First and foremost, the focus needs to be on the safety of individuals experiencing any […]
Event Review: SASA Conference 2022 (Online)
The annual conference of the Scottish Association for the Studies of America once again collated a wide variety of research, PhD chapters and other works in progress from wide variety […]
Frederick Douglass’s Literary Appendix as a tool of Self-Representation
“Douglass re-invented the format of slave narrative in his pivotal My Bondage and its Appendix by reproducing, repurposing, and reimagining his public performances.”
Book Review: ‘Hattiesburg, An American City in Black and White’ by William Sturkey
It is recollections such as Mr Conner’s that interlace the narrative of Hattiesburg – An American City in Black and White. William Sturkey, Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has steadfastly dissected archives and recordings to bring alive the history of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, a Deep Dixie South lumber town, inviting the reader in through a page-time continuum. The skilful use of recorded interviews gives his narration a personal note, leading an alternating discourse through the experience of Hattiesburg’s white and black residents. Sturkey emphasizes the South’s survival being crucially tied to the growing number of African Americans settling in. The Hattiesburgers were exceptional citizens whose civil rights were severely and unlawfully abused and abandoned. Sturkey notes how the black residents of Mobile Street were examples of fortitude and perseverance, and how their “civil rights movement revolutionized race […] through countless of acts of individual resistance.” (295) Even when discussing the white experience, Sturkey’s emphasis remains on the inequality and brutality as directed toward the black residents of the lumber town, where the realities of the black and white citizens of Hattiesburg could not have been more passionately different and where “every component of Jim Crow was reinforced by the threat of violence.” (85) Not even the smallest racial oppression imposed upon Hattiesburg’s black citizens is left out; such as the recollection of Osceola McCarty, who at a young age of twelve had to “trade the pencils and paper of a student for the iron and washboard of a laundress” (83) as the young girl’s help home was needed more than her education. The weaning and waning of the city become more tangible as Sturkey entwines the history with memories of one black family in particular – the Smiths.