Review: BAAS Annual Conference 2019
Review: BAAS 64th Annual Conference, 25-27 April 2019, University of Sussex “The only reason you’d go to uni,” the young man on the train confidently declared to his friend, “is […]
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 […]
Penetrating the “Pink Wasteland”: Gender and Environmentalism in Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975)
More than forty years after its first publication, Edward Abbey’s 1975 novel The Monkey Wrench Gang (MWG) remains a major environmentalist text. The story, in which four ecoterrorist activists use sabotage techniques to protect their beloved Western landscape from industrial and commercial interference, has inspired real life movements such as Earth First! and the Earth Liberation Front. However, the environmentalist project the novel describes is not as radical as it may appear at first sight. This article argues that MWG’s message of ecoterrorism depends on the (re)construction of a rigid gender boundary which turns the American West into a feminine entity that can only be saved through masculine interference.
British Association for American Studies Annual Conference 2017, Day One
While the programme jokingly suggested ‘Trump group therapy’ as a potential feature of the conference, a more serious assessment of the value of American Studies research suggests that multidimensionality and critical interrogation of cultural myths are more important than ever, given the current political climate in the US. The conference demonstrated the value of transnational and transcultural perspectives which do not uncritically accept a limited definition of ‘Americanness’, and instead acknowledge, explore and celebrate the crossing of borders through interdisciplinarity.