Promoting, supporting and encouraging the study of the United States since 1955

British Association for American Studies


Issue 86 Spring 2002


Issue 86 Spring 2002


After some discussion, the BAAS executive has determined to re-schedule the release of American Studies in Britain, the BAAS newsletter. Currently, as you will know, our newsletter is scheduled to appear in November/December and May/June – roughly speaking. Aficionados of the newsletter will know that this schedule is more often honoured in the breach than the observance. After editing two issues (i.e., one year’s worth of newsletters!), I believe that the reason for this recurrent lateness is quite plain. Simply put, in practice this timing seems not very workable.

This is because the time allowed to assemble, put together and edit the conference reports and write-ups for the Summer ASIB is too short. It takes too long to collect, collate and edit these reports and get ASIB out on time. Since the page-setting and printing take, say, circa four weeks, only a relatively short time is left after the conference before ASIB should theoretically be fully assembled. If publication is set back into late June and, subsequently, a slippage of only ten days occurs, ASIB has to be distributed in the vacation – not ideal timing – or held back until late September.
Relatedly, releasing the second ASIB in late November means it is not possible to carry the BAAS conference programme for the following year, or, even, usually, any real details (e.g. of plenary speakers), as these are quite often not settled by the time ASIB needs at present to be assembled (circa late October). For example the last ASIB (number 85) was held back from publication until very early January, yet even then no real details about the conference could be provided when asked for in mid-December – quite reasonably, since things were still being settled!

Hence, a rescheduling has been agreed. In future the first ASIB will appear in early February and the second in late September. The September ASIB will carry a fuller, better-edited conference report, the February issue, details of the Spring conference.

This agreed re-scheduling, of course, implies either another ASIB very, very soon after the last or only one ASIB during 2002 – a ‘bumper double issue’. In the event, the Executive decided that, since you were all such keen readers of the newsletter (well, look: you’ve got to the end of this editorial, haven’t you [despite the fact it is one of the least interesting ever written]?), we should not deprive you of your regular ASIB mainline ‘fix’. So here, only weeks after ASIB 85, is ASIB 86: enjoy!

Dick Ellis

Notice of BAAS AGM


1. Elections: Secretary, 3 committee members, 1 post-graduate representative, EAAS representative, any other offices that fall vacant before the AGM
2. Treasurer’s report
3. Chair’s report
4. Amendments to the Constitution
5. Annual Conferences 2003-2005
6. Report of the Publications Sub-Committee
7. Report of the Development Sub-Committee
8. Report of the Libraries and Resources Sub-Committee
9. Report of the Representative to EAAS
10. Any other business

Members are reminded that the Treasurer may come to the AGM to propose a change in subscription rates for calendar year 2003.

At the 2002 AGM, elections will be held for three positions on the Committee (three year terms), for the Secretary of the Association (three year term), for the post-graduate representative (two year term), for the EAAS representative (five year term), and for any offices that fall vacant before the AGM. Current incumbents of these positions (except EAAS representative and post-graduate representative) may stand for re-election if not disbarred by the Constitution’s limits on length of continuous service in Committee posts.

The procedure for nominations is as follows: Nominations should reach the Secretary, Jenel Virden, by 12.00 noon on Sunday 7 April. Nominations should be in written form, signed by a proposer, seconder, and the candidate, who should state willingness to serve if elected. The institutional affiliations of the candidate, proposer and seconder should be included. All candidates for office will be asked to provide a brief statement outlining their educational backgrounds, areas of teaching and/or research interests and vision of the role of BAAS in the upcoming years. These need to be to the Secretary at the time of nomination so they can be posted and available for the membership to read before the AGM.

Dr Jenel Virden
Head of Department
American Studies
University of Hull
Hull, HU6 7RX
United Kingdom

Amendment of Constitution to be considered at BAAS AGM, 2002

A minor constitutional amendment will be put to the 2002 AGM of BAAS. The aim of this is, by legitimating the collection of EAAS subscriptions, to allow BAAS to give BAAS members full rights as EAAS members (since part of their subscription currently pays for their membership of EAAS). The current wording effectively prevents this.
This amendment to the Constitution will be proposed at the AGM. Section 4.2 of the Constitution amended to read:

All members shall also pay the membership subscription to the European Association for American Studies, the amount to be collected and forwarded annually by the Treasurer of the British Association for American Studies.

BAAS Annual Conference, 2002 at Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, 5-8 April – Provisional Programme

(Draft, subject to change, please see our website at for latest details)

Rothermere American Institute
University of Oxford
5-8 April 2002

Friday 5 April

Registration – St Anne’s College Oxford

Tea and Coffee

Welcome and Introductions – Philip Davies, Chair, BAAS
St Anne’s lecture theatre

Guest Lecture – Professor Helen Taylor, Exeter University
St Anne’s Lecture Theatre

Reception – Generously Sponsored by Aberystwyth University, host of the 2003 BAAS Conference

Dinner, St Anne’s dining hall

Social in marquee, band

up to 12 midnight
Late bar in JCR bar

Saturday 6 April


1. Contemporary New York Literatures: Commodity, Community and History
Chair: Professor Peter Brooker, University College, Northampton
Nick Heffernan, University College, Northampton, “A Literature of Products and Services: Commodity Fetishism in Bret Easton Ellis’s New York Fiction”
Mark Brown, University College, Northampton, “Telling the Dodger’s Story: the Community of Baseball in Paul Auster’s Films”
Catherine Morley, Oxford Brookes University, “History Made ‘Real’ in a Fictional World: Don DeLillo’s Dialogue with the Past in Underworld”

2. Going to the Margins: Aspects of American Photography After WWII
Chair: TBA
Martin Padget, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, “Cold War Era Photography and the Search for ‘New Foundations’: Paul Strand’s Representations of the Western Isles of Scotland in Tir a’Mhurain (Land of Bent Grass)”
Neil Campbell, University of Derby, “‘The Look of Hope or the Look of Sadness’: Robert Frank’s Dialogical Vision”
John Beck, University of Newcastle, “Landscape Photography as Counter-Surveillance”

3. Southern Plantations in the Early Republic
Chair: TBA
James Baird, Bard College, “‘Life in the Business of Another’: Patterns of Conflict Between Overseers and Their Employers in Late Colonial and Early National Virginia”
Steven Sarson, University of Wales, Swansea, “Management and Labour in Chesapeake Plantation Households in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries”
Emily West, University of Reading, “Tensions, Tempers and Temptations: Marital Discord Among Slaves in Antebellum South Carolina”

4. Fitzgerald and Faulkner: Narratives in Fiction and Film
Chair: TBA
Edward A. Abramson, University of Hull, “Fitzgerald, The Jews and Hollywood”
Laura Rattray, University of Hull, “The Narrative Vision of Tender is the Night”
Mike Gray, University of Essex, “Watching Faulkner and Film in Sanctuary”

Tea and Coffee


1. Critiques of Mass Culture
Chair: TBA
James E. Reibman, Lafayette College, “Fredric Wertham and Mass Media Violence”
Graham Barnfield, Surrey Institute of Art and Design University College, “‘Oh Logo!’: Left-Literary Modernism takes on Advertising and Branding, 1926-1941”
David Cuthbert, Queen’s University, “Totality and Inversion: Charles Olson on Culture”

2.American Writers on Tour
Chair: TBA
Peter Rawlings, University of the West of England, “Senses of the Past: Henry James and the Art of Travel”
Theresa Saxon, Manchester Metropolitan University, “‘At Home In Paris’: The American Abroad in Henry James’s The American”
Sam W. Haynes, University of Texas at Arlington, “The Ugly American in the Post-Colonial Era: James Fenimore Cooper and Edwin Forrest in England”

Or move to University Museum

Guest Lecture – Jack Pole, Oxford
University Museum Lecture Theatre, Parks Road

Drinks Reception, University Museum

Lunch, St Anne’s dining hall


1. Contested Images of African Americans
Chair: TBA
Howard L. Sacks, Kenyon College, “Erasing Blackface: the NAACP Campaign Against Minstrelry”
Anne-Marie Angelo, Uppingham School, “White Space, Black Value: African Americans in Civil Rights Advertising, 1954-1969”
Thomas Doherty, Brandeis University, “Blacks in Your Living Room: The Amos and Andy Show”
Andrew Read, Queen Mary, University of London, “‘A Black Hand on a White Woman’s Throat’: Thomas Dixon and the Representational Power of Black Violence”

2. American Politics Today
Chair: TBA
Edward Ashbee, Denstone College, “Representations of American National Identity”
Alan Grant, Oxford Brookes University, “Democracy, Elections and Electoral Reform”
Esther Jubb, Liverpool John Moores University, “September 11th: The Bush Administration and Crisis Decision-Making”
Stephen Welch and Robert Williams, University of Durham, “Political Scandals in the United States: Toward a Theory”

3. The Civil War: Memories and Mourning
Chair: TBA
Edward Harcourt, Vanderbilt University, “Sam Watkin’s Co. Aytch: ‘A Side Show of the Big Show’: Writing Confederate Memory”
John David Smith, North Carolina State University, “Gallantry, Loyalty and Caste: The Negro in the American Rebellion”
Lucy Frank, University of Warwick, “‘Being Only Out of Sight’: Sarah Piatt, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps and the Problem of Mourning in Postbellum America”

4. Genre and Meaning in Mid-Nineteenth Century Women’s Writing
Chair: TBA
Richard J. Ellis, Nottingham Trent University, “Highjacking Sentimental Slavery: Harriet Wilson’s Our Nig”
Lindsey Traub, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge, “‘The Things One Didn’t Know’: Henry James’s Reading of Louisa Alcott and her Contemporaries”
Ann Heilmann, University of Wales, Swansea, “Medusa’s Blinding Art: Mesmerism and the Problem of Female Artistic Agency in Louisa May Alcott’s A Pair of Eyes (1863)”
Lisa Merrill, Northwestern University, “Embodying Allegories: Julia Ward Howe, Acting and Activism”

5. Atlantic Exchanges
Chair: TBA
Ian Margeson, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, “Reverend Jacob Duché and the Atlantic Vine”
Daniel Kilbride, John Carroll University, “American Travellers to Scotland, 1750-1850”
Matthew Pursell, Brown University, “The Narrative Articulation of English Liberty and American Servitude in the Colonial British Atlantic, 1660-1780”

Tea and Coffee


1. Embodiments of Antebellum American Science
Chair: TBA
Sam Halliday, Queen Mary, University of London, “Bodies Without Matter, or, What Hawthorne Learned From Amputees”
James Massender, Brunel University, “Trauma, Dissection, and Display: Recovering the Labour of Antebellum Natural History”
Dana Medoro, University of Manitoba, Canada, “Menstruation, Gynaecology and Hawthorne’s Rappaccini’s Daughter”

2. Pardoning Nixon Again?
Chair: Gareth Davies, St. Anne’s College, Oxford
Dean J. Kotlowski, Salisbury University, “A Revisionist View of Nixon’s Civil Rights”
Kevin Yuill, University of Sunderland, “Helping the Strong, not the Weak: Nixon’s Civil Rights Turn in 1970”
Alex Waddan, University of Sunderland, “Nixon and Clinton as Pre-Emptive Presidents”

3. Contemporary African American Autobiography
Chair: TBA
Maria Lauret, University of Sussex, “Race Men and Women: the Making of Public Intellectuals in the Memoirs of bell hooks and Henry Louis Gates, Jr”
Duco van Oostrum, University of Sheffield, “‘Not Written By Himself’: The Ghost of Contemporary African-American Autobiography”
Scott Bunyan, University of Sussex, “Silence in Auto/Biography: The Space Between Brothers and Keepers”

4. New Directions in New Netherland History
Chair: TBA
Jaap Jacobs, University of Amsterdam, “The Company and the Colonists: Relations Between Rulers and Ruled in New Amsterdam”
Simon Middleton, University of East Anglia, “Artisans and Trade Privileges in New Amsterdam”
Claudia Schurman, Georg-August University, Goettingen, “The Atlantic Network of Jakob Leisler, 1660-1691”

5. Murder, Mayhem and Underworld Traffic
Chair: TBA
Mara Keire, Rothermere American Institute, “Making a Killing: Murder, Prohibition and Organized Crime, 1917-1933”
Andrew Warnes, Lancaster University, “Sugar and Cocaine, Molasses and Crack: The Segregation of Stimulants in American Culture”
Vivien Miller, Middlesex University, “The Life of Ruby McCollum and the Death of Judy Buenoano: Paternalism, Feminism and Capital Murder in the Twentieth Century US South”

Move to University Museum

Cambridge University Press/Journal of American Studies Lecture by Professor Bruce Newman, De Paul University, Chicago
University Lecture Theatre, Parks Road
Followed by drinks reception

Drinks reception, University Museum

Dinner, St Anne’s dining hall

Social in marquee with DJ, sponsored by Corona Brewing Company

up to 12 midnight
Late bar in JCR bar

Sunday 7 April


1. Science Fiction Landscapes
Chair: TBA
William Schultz, University of Athens, “The Representation of American Time in the Fiction of J.G. Ballard: Pathology and Therapy”
Tatiani Rapatzikou, University of East Anglia, “Architectural Landscapes in William Gibson’s Narratives”
David Seed, Liverpool University, “Mapping the Postnuclear Ruins of America”

2. American Adolescents in the Late Twentieth Century
Chair: TBA
Pete Coviello, Bowdoin College, “Boys on Lonely Walks: Vernacular Utopias in American Adolescence”
Pam Thurschwell, University College, London, “‘Kickboxing, Sport of the Future’: Utopia and Dystopia in the American High School Movie”
Kasia Boddy, University College, London, “Regular Lolitas”

3. The Role of NGOs in American Foreign Policy During the Cold War
Chair: TBA
Hugh Wilford, University of Sheffield, “CIA Plot or Socialist Conspiracy?: The Origins of the Bilderberg Group, 1952-55”
Inderjeet Parmar, University of Manchester, “Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller Foundations in the Cold War”
Paulo Ramos, University of Manchester, “The Role of the Yale Institute of International Studies during the early Cold War”

4. The Common Soldier’s Experience of War in Early America
Chair: Julie Flavell, University of Dundee
Stephen Brumwell, “‘The Bloodiest Scene in America’: Reassessing the St Francis Raid of 1759”
Daniel Krebs, Emory University, “Captive German Soldiers in the American Revolution”
Michael A. Bellesiles, Newberry Library, Chicago, “The Experience of Common Soldiers in the War of 1812”

5. Looking Backward, Looking Forward: Writing American Memory
Chair: TBA
Jenny Terry, University of Warwick, “‘When the Wars are Over’: The Post-war Fiction of Toni Morrison”
Anna Dreda, Community Educator, “The Poetics of Protest: June Jordan, Lyrical Catalyst for Change”
Sarah H.S. Graham, University of Leeds, “‘What’s Eating Dave Eggers?’: The Disruptive Dialogue Between Fiction and Memoir”

Tea and Coffee


1. American Foreign Policy in Africa and Asia
Chair: TBA
Matthew Jones, Royal Holloway, University of London, “The Racial Dimension of US Foreign Policy in the Far East: SEATO and the Bandung Conference, 1954-55”
Ian A. Horwood, College of York St. John, “Competing Visions of Airmobility: The Howze and Disosway Reports of 1962”
Mirza Asmer Beg, A.M.U. Aligarh, “The United States, Nuclear Weapons and South Asia”
Christopher Saunders, University of Cape Town, “The US and Namibian Independence, 1975-1990”

2. Gender and Conservatism in American Politics
Chair: TBA
Marjorie Spruill, University of Southern Mississippi, “Women for God, Country and Family: Religion, Politics and Antifeminism in 1970s America”
Mokhtar Ben Barka, University of Valenciennes, “Christian Fundamentalism and Gender in America”
Mary Ellen Curtin, University of Essex, “The Politics of Race, Class, and Sex in Barbara Jordan’s Path to Congress, 1962-72”

3. Reading Medical Disorders
Chair: TBA
Lois Rudnick, University of Massachusetts, Boston, “The Syphilis Papers: Gender, Psychoanalysis and Sexually Transmitted Disease in Late Victorian America”
Stephen C. Kenny, Liverpool John Moores University, “The Making of a Medical Reputation: James Marion Sims’ The Story of My Life”
Susan Currell, University of Nottingham, “‘A Short Introduction to the History of Human Stupidity’: Walter B. Pitkin and the Eugenic Response to the Great Depression”
Louis J. Kern, Hofstra University, “‘Reverence for Supreme Wholesomeness’: S. Weir Mitchell, Physical Culture, Social Hygiene, and the Crusade Against ‘Hysterics for Diversion’”

4. Criminal Justice and the African American Community in the Eighteenth Century
Chair: Simon Newman, University of Glasgow
Jack D. Marietta, University of Arizona, “African-American Crime in Pennsylvania, 1780-1800: Abolition, Immigration, and Race Prejudice”
Catherine A. Cardno, Johns Hopkins University, “Theft and Death: The Experience of African Americans and the Courts of Charles County, Maryland, 1696-1770”
William G. Merkel, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, “To See Oneself as a Target of a Justified Revolution: Thomas Jefferson and Gabriel Prosser’s Uprising”

5. The Political Causes of Inequality
Chair: Alexander Pacek, Texas A&M University
Benjamin Radcliff, Vanderbilt University, and Karrie Kosel, Cornell University, “Partisan Politics, Public Policy, and Social Structure: Assessing the Causes of Inequality in the American States”
Rodney Hero, University of Notre Dame, “‘Colorblind’ Perspectives and Inequality in American Politics: Theoretical Traditions and Racial/Ethnic Policy Outcomes”
Suzanne Coshow, University of Notre Dame, “The Consequences of Inequality: Explaining Patterns of Public Policy in the American States”

Lunch, St Anne’s dining hall

Lunchtime meetings of affiliated groups
Rothermere American Institute

Room 1 Exchange Programmes Talk Shop
Chair: Peter Boyle, University of Nottingham



1. Race and Gender in the Harlem Renaissance
Chair: TBA
Kate Dossett, Cambridge University, “‘Our Women and What They Think’: Amy Jacques Garvey and Feminist Journalism in the Harlem Renaissance”
Mark Whalan, University of Exeter, “Soldiers of Democracy: the Great War and African American Culture in the 1920s”
Jack B. Moore, University of South Florida, “Black Prizefighters and the Harlem Renaissance”
Rachel Farebrother, Leeds University, “Thinking in Hieroglyphics: The Complexity of Zora Neal Hurston’s Cross-cultural Aesthetic”

2. Transatlantic Romanticism
Chair: TBA
Susan Manning, University of Edinburgh, “Wordsworth and Margaret Fuller”
David Greenham, University of Nottingham, “Emerson and the Germans: A Review and a Critique”
Keith Hughes, University of Edinburgh, “Frederick Douglas and Thomas Carlyle: The Romantic Rhetoric of Heroism”
Matthew Scott, Somerville College, Oxford, “Writing Under the Influence: Wordsworth in America, 1802-2002”

3. New Directions in Governance
Chair: TBA
Ben O’Loughlin, New College, Oxford, “Measuring Influence: The role of think-tanks in political change in the US and UK”
Paul Tracey, Gordon Clark and Helen L. Smith, Rothermere American Institute, “An Age-Centred Perspective on the New Economy: Implications for Europe”
Christopher McKenna, Said Business School, Oxford, “Building the Contractor State: Consultants and the Outsourcing of the Federal Government”

4. Hollywood: Politics on Film
Chair: TBA
Wendy Toon, Keele University, “From Hitler to Herbie: The Relationship between Nazis and Hollywood’s Loveable Bug of the 1960s”
Brian Baker, Chester College of Higher Education, “Harry’s Dick: Siegel and Eastwood’s Dirty Harry and Nixon’s America”
Sabine Haenni, University of Chicago, “Hollywood’s Image of the Nation During World War I”
Andrew Pepper, Queen’s University, Belfast, “Hollywood, Globalization and the American Revolution”

5. Reading Elections
Chair: TBA
Simon Topping, University of Hull, “‘Never Argue With the Gallup Poll’: Thomas Dewey, Civil Rights and the Election of 1948”
Dr. Jonathan Bell, University of Reading, “Representations of Southern Liberalism: Ideology and the Pepper-Smathers 1950 Florida Primary”
Donna Jackson, Keele University, “Votes and Vietnam: LBJ, the Tonkin Gulf and the 1964 Presidential Election”


POSTER SESSION – Hartland Room
Tea and Coffee

Posters will be available for view throughout the whole conference. There may be room for more presentations in this format. Please contact Andrea Beighton if you are interested:


1. The City in Film
Chair: TBA
Deborah Lovatt, Nottingham Trent University, “The Aesthetics of Astonishment in Alex Proyas’ Dark City”
Douglas Muzzio and Thomas Halper, Baruch College, CUNY, “The Reel City: Images of American Cities in Movies, 1896-2001”

2. Rereading Southern Histories
Chair: TBA
Don H. Doyle, Vanderbilt University, “Faulkner’s County: The Historical Roots of Yoknapatawpha”
Fred A. Bailey, Abilene Christian University, “Thomas Dixon and the South’s Heritage of Hate”

3. Women and Utopian Communities
Chair: Robert Fogarty, Antioch College, Ohio
Christopher Clark, University of Warwick, “Women’s Lives in Utopia: A Mother and her Daughters at the Northampton Community (1843-45)”
Rebecca Starr, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education, “Recruitment Tactics of the Oneida Community and Women’s Evidence from the Letters of Sophia Bledsoe Herrick”

BAAS AGM, St Anne’s Lecture Theatre
(Please be punctual, elections are first order of business)

Banquet, St Anne’s dining hall

8.15-12 midnight
Evening at Freuds night spot
(Please assemble in dining hall after dinner to walk to Freuds)

Monday 8 April


1. Politics and the American Media
Chair: Paul Martin, Wadham College, Oxford
Marc Stears, University of Cambridge, “The New Republic and the Creation of an American Ideology of Labour”
Nathan Abrams, University College, London, “‘A Journal of Significant Thought and Opinion’: Commentary Magazine 1945-1995”
Robert Mason, University of Edinburgh, “Political Journalism on Television, and its Critics: Some Evidence From 2000”

2. Civil Rights in Mississippi
Chair: TBA
Françoise Hamlin, Yale University, “‘The Book Hasn’t Closed, The Story Isn’t Over’: Continuing Histories of the Civil Rights Movement in Coahoma Co., Mississippi”
Mark Newman, University of Derby, “The Delta Ministry in Hattiesberg, Mississippi, 1964-66”
Joseph Street, University of Sheffield, “‘Art is to Politics as Content is to Form’: A Case Study of Two Cultural Organizations in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement”

3. American Women’s Writing
Chair: TBA
Paraic Finnerty, University of Kent, “‘Had Not Shakespeare Wrote’: Emily Dickinson and a Nineteenth Century American Fantasy”
Heidi Slettedahl MacPherson, University of Central Lancashire, “Telling the Tales: Women and the Law in Twentieth Century American Literature”
Viviane Serfaty, University Robert Schuman, Strasbourg, “The American Quest for Self: Some Aspects of Women’s Self-Representational Writing on the Internet”

4. Designing City Space, Imagining Urban Place
Chair: TBA
Bénédicte Sisto, Blaise Pascal University, “Coral Gables, Florida: ‘America’s Finest Suburb’ in the Roaring Twenties”
Steve Hartlaub, Frostburg State University, and Rich Jelier, Grand Valley State University, “Building Community: Political Philosophy and the New Urbanism”
Bart Eeckhout, Ghent University, “Changing the Social Profile of Times Square: Class Race, Gender and Sexuality at the Crossroads of the World”

5. Meanings In Music
Chair: TBA
Geoff Ward, Dundee University, “‘Thunder Over Clarksdale’: Harry Smith and the Poetry of the Blues”
David Ingram, Brunel University, “Ecocriticism and Music: Wilderness Ethics in Trout Mask Replica”
Peter Hammond, University of Nottingham, “Cultural Integration in a Segregated Society: Class, Race and Folk Music in the 1930s South”

Tea and Coffee


1. Guest Lecture – Peter Thompson, University of Oxford

2. Presidency Round Table: “Bush’s First Year”
George C. Edwards, Presidential Studies Quarterly and Texas A&M University
John Owens, University of Westminster
Jon Herbert, Keele University

3. Photographing American Identity
Chair: TBA
John Osborne, “‘We’re All Born Naked – And the Rest is Drag’: The Photography of Diane Arbus 30 Years After Her Death”
Mick Gidley, University of Leeds, “Photographing Others, Photographing Ourselves: Episodes in American Portraiture”


1. Americanisation and the Transatlantic
Chair: Alan Rice, AMATAS Project Manager, University of Central Lancashire
Carol R. Smith, King Alfred’s College, Winchester, “Exhibiting the Nation: Images of African Americans in the Smithsonian”
Scott Lucas, University of Birmingham, “Americanization and the Cultural Cold War”
Paul Grainge, University of Nottingham, “Global Media and the Ambiguities of Resonant Americanization”

2. Space and Spectacle: Theodore Dreiser and American Culture
Chair: TBA
Bill Brown, University of Chicago, “Dreiser’s Vestibular Culture”
Chris Gair, University of Birmingham, “Dreiser and the Significance of Race”
Jude Davies, “Gender and Power in the Visualizing of Dreiser’s An American Tragedy”

3. Fiction and the Politics of Representation
Chair: TBA
Rachel Van Duyvenbode, University of Sheffield, “Ghostly Goddesses: Nella Larson’s Passing and Apparitions of the White Woman”
Stephanie Munro, Lancaster University, “Past Present: Lydia Maria Child, Toni Morrison and Slavery Revisited”
Howard Cunnell, IUSS, University of London, “Condemned Men: Race, Masculinity and Identity in Contemporary American Prison Writing”

4. The Politics of School Desegregation
Paul E. Mertz, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point, “Arlington and Norfolk, Virginia: Southern School Desegregation, 1958-59”
Tracey Wismayer, University of Sheffield, “The Kennedy Justice Department and the Desegregation of Education”
Gareth Davies, St. Anne’s College, Oxford, “Nixon and the Politics of School Desegregation”

5. The Past, the Media and the Marketplace
Chair: Julie Flavell, University of Dundee
Greg Neale, Editor, BBC History Magazine, will speak on Popular History Magazines
Tony Morris, Commissioning Director and Co-Founder of Hambledon & London, will speak on Trade Book Publishing.
Steve Hewlett, Director of Programmes, Carlton TV, will speak on “History on the Box”

Lunch, St Anne’s dining hall


Area Studies Workshop: Developing Strategies for the Marketing of Area Studies

A workshop on Developing Strategies for the Marketing of Area Studies has been organised by the LTSN Subject Centre in Language, Linguistics and Area Studies. The purpose of the workshop is to work together across areas, to share ideas on methods for making Area Studies a more attractive option for students, and to develop a template for a ‘Marketing Pack’ to be disseminated to colleagues in Higher Education for use with schools and colleges. It has been brought to our attention by our Advisory Group for Area Studies that this is an issue of concern to many colleagues in Area Studies and there is a real need to address issues of recruitment and the overall profile of the field.

It is intended that the Marketing Pack developed should contain some generic information on why Area Studies contribute significantly to the development of academic and key (transferable) skills through their emphasis on interdisciplinarity, language learning, study abroad and other distinguishing features of Area Studies provision. It will also emphasise the ways in which these unique features of Area Studies courses contribute to graduate employability. The pack will contain advice for colleagues on how to make their courses visible and attractive to young people through open days, visits to schools and colleges and departmental web pages. We would also be looking to our representatives from Subject Associations to advise on the development of a template Powerpoint presentation that can be adapted for use by individual areas. The Subject Centre will take responsibility for compiling the pack and disseminating it to institutions, but your help will be invaluable at this meeting to set the process in motion and to advise on the needs for your area. We are pleased to announce that we will have representatives present from our Advisory Group for Area Studies, as well as case studies of successful practice from a variety of areas. We are also fortunate to have a keynote address on current issues in Area Studies from Professor Hodder-Williams (Bristol).

If you would like to propose a case study or have any further questions please send a message to Alison Dickens, Academic Co-ordinator for Area Studies,

We very much look forward to your participation in the workshop.
Alison Dickens
Academic Co-ordinator Linguistics and Area Studies
Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies
School of Modern Languages
University of Southampton
Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ
Tel. +44 (0)23 8059 7785
Subject Centre Office Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 4814
Fax: +44 (0)23 8059 4815
General enquiries:

AMATAS Bulletin.

Free Workshops
Our workshops went live in October and we already have 15 bookings from Durham to London and Salford to Worcester. Topics range from Jim Crow in Europe to the Americanisation of popular music, from the cultural Cold War to Hollywood and Nazi Germany. You can find a complete list of the available workshops on the website with descriptors attached to all – feedback on workshops already delivered and resources to put them into context. Remember you can book these workshops either to fit into your regular syllabi or as stand-alone sessions. You could give your students an insight into topics that might not even appear on your syllabi or to familiar topics differently nuanced by our project team. If you would prefer to see the workshops in booklet form we can post our Descriptor Booklet to you; just email or write to us at the address below. Remember the workshops are only fully funded until the end of this year – BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISSAPPOINTMENT. It is also possible to book workshops by e-mailing our Project Administrator – – or just drop her a line to the address below.

Thanks to our new webmaster, Bernard Quinn, material on the website has mushroomed since the last bulletin. We now have a photo-essay from Bogdan Barbu on the Americanisation of Rumania and images of Transatlantic Seaside Resorts from Professor John Walton’s impressive collection giving an enhanced visual feel to the pages. Also, there are student responses and academic essays on the Resources page that increasingly showcases interesting work in the field of Americanisation and the Transatlantic. If any of you have work you would like to contribute to this section do send it to us here at the project as it would not only showcase your contributions in the field, but also provide materials for the increasing numbers of students working on Americanisation. Remember to use the message board to engage in the lively debates that have started on the site. From the end of the month you will be able to book workshops directly on the website. Any material you would like to donate to the website send in the first instance to the project manager

Project Director Professor George McKay’s essay on Anti-Americanism was published in the THES on December 14 (RAE week). It alerted the wider community to the project and can be read on our website if you missed seeing the print version.

The project team had a most successful awayday to discuss the future direction of the project on January 17-18. Almost all of the workshop deliverers were there as well as Steve Mills from Keele University as an external facilitator. The team were really energised by this event and we hope the focusing of the project that this event helped engender will carry us all through to the end of the year.

BAAS Conference, 2002
The project will be represented by a panel that will showcase the research underpinning the workshops. Professor John Walton will present on Coney Island and Blackpool, Paul Grainge on Brand Identities, Carol Smith on the Black Atlantic and Professor Scott Lucas on the Cultural Cold War. The session is on Monday 8th April and we hope to see many friends of the project there to engage in lively debate.

New administrator
Our new Project Administrator Fiona Bayntun-Roberts joined us on January 15, and is eagerly awaiting any questions, queries or bookings connected with the Project. Fiona is from a background in Corporate Administration so please bear with her – at least for the first couple of weeks! She looks forward to hearing from you soon.

Dr. Alan J. Rice
Principal Lecturer in American Studies and Cultural Theory
Project Manager for the Americanisation Project (AMATAS)
Dept. of Cultural Studies
University of Central Lancashire
01772 893125
fax 01772 892924
AMATAS website

American Politics Group’s 28th Annual Conference – A Report

The American Politics Group’s 28th Annual Conference was hosted by the Department of Government at the University of Essex in early January 2002. This year, the John D. Lees Memorial Lecture was given by Bronwen Maddox, Foreign Editor of The Times, London. She gave an incisive and extremely well-informed assessment of the war on terrorism, concentrating on US war objectives and on the lasting implications for global power structures. The lecture was given at short notice and was very well received and appreciated by the audience. The American Politics Group would like to thank Bronwen for agreeing to do the keynote lecture, especially considering the short notice she was given. Her insights and passion for the US were admired by all there.

As always, delegates representing many different institutions and countries attended the conference. As well as the US and the UK, Germany, Denmark, The Netherlands and Portugal were all represented. The conference, as always, provided the forum for papers on various aspects of contemporary US politics and recent US political history. Subjects covered ranged from green politics to federal election monitoring, from foreign policy interest groups to general issues of American identity, from Congressional leadership to the politics of Presidential organisation. The conference featured some excellent presentations from postgraduate students and from visiting American academics. Conference organiser Andy Wroe of the University of Essex would like to thank all those who attended and gave papers, making the conference a great success. Next year’s conference (January 2003) is to be organised by Ross English at the University of Reading. We wish him well.

Alan Grant (Oxford Brookes University), whose term of office had come to a close in 2002, was replaced as APG chair by John Dumbrell (Keele University). Esther Jubb (Liverpool John Moores University) was elected as Vice-Chair. The American Politics Group is a subsection of the Political Studies Association. All BAAS members with an interest in US politics (including political history) are invited to join.

Apart from the annual conference, the Group holds a Colloquium at the US Embassy every November, organised jointly with BAAS.

Membership enquiries to:
Dr Dean McSweeney
School of Politics
University of the West of England
Bristol, BS16 1QY

The APG/BAAS Annual Colloquium 2001: The Presidency of George W. Bush: The First Year – A Report

The Annual Colloquium was held at the US Embassy in London on Friday 16 November 2001 and as usual was organised in conjunction with the British Association for American Studies. The theme this year was the first year of the new Bush presidency. Dr. Tim Hames, political writer with The Times began the day with a lecture entitled ‘George W. Bush and the Nature of the American Presidency’ in which he related models of presidential government put forward by Richard Neustadt and Charles O. Jones to the operation of the office since Bush came into power. Dr. John E. Owens of the University of Westminster spoke on ‘The Bush Presidency and Congress’ and analysed the development of the relationship through three phases: from inauguration to the end of May when Senator Jeffords’ defection from the Republican Party gave control of the upper house to the Democrats, from June to September 11th, and the period since the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, DC.

Following lunch there was a session chaired by Dr Dean McSweeney of the University of the West of England using the digital video conferencing facilities of the Embassy which linked the colloquium with a studio in Washington where we were joined by Professor Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Professor Tom Mann of the Brookings Institution. The two guests answered and commented on a wide range of interesting questions from a panel comprising Professor Dilys Hill, Dr. Edward Ashbee, Dr. Esther Jubb and Professor John Dumbrell. After a short delay while contact was made with Washington the technology thankfully worked without a hitch, apart from when the camera zoomed in to focus on a flower vase rather than Norm Ornstein!

The final session was presented by Professor John Dumbrell of Keele University who spoke on ‘The Foreign Policy of the Bush Administration’. He examined the contrasts and continuities in US foreign policy under the Clinton and Bush presidencies.

There seemed to be a consensus that it had been a very successful and stimulating day which had answered many questions and raised many more about how the Bush presidency would develop over the next three years. Thanks are again due to Sue Wedlake of the Cultural Affairs Office of the Embassy for her invaluable assistance in organising the event.

Alan Grant, APG Chair

Book Review

Peter H. Hassrick, The American West, Out of Myth, into Reality, University of Washington Press, 2000. 176pp, £25.95.

During the history of western incursions into North America there has never been a single ‘west’. Defined in personal and geographic terms as ‘over there from where we are’, it has moved from the Tidewater to the Appalachians, from the Appalachians to the Mississippi, to the Great Plains and to the Rocky Mountains, and thence forward to the Pacific Ocean. In both time and place it has been a concept as much as a physical reality; and as such has caught the imagination of Americans and visitors alike in the context of Jefferson’s empire of liberty. But the immensity of the High Plains and the grandeur of the Rocky Mountain system have led us nowadays to think of the west in those terms. To the sentinels of Chimney Rock and Scott’s Bluff that marked the Oregon Trail, and to the alluring mesas of the southwest, worthy settlers, homesteaders, ranchers, miners, opportunities and fugitives zeroed into the mountain passes and canyons in search of their personal el doradoes. Some found it, but for many it was always somewhere else.

In their coming they violated the natural environment, made their mark upon the landscape, and what we see today is partly created by what they and their successors did. Yosemite is camp-ground and parking-lot as well as natural wonder. We can never recover the initial excitement of the discoverers but we can still enjoy its magnificence. And this is true throughout the West. We are enabled now by good roads and trails to experience in a quite meaningfui way the Bad Lands of South Dakota and the many other sites. ‘Progress’ is how we care to see it. For some nineteenth century artists in the exuberance of the Victorian age, whose values were as prevalent in the United States as in Britain, it undoubtedly existed. This is the message of John Gast’s painting ‘American Progress’ (1873) in which boats, wagons, stage coaches, telegraph wires and trains head westward guided by an angelic maiden clasping to her bosom a School Book, for education and learning are the keys to enlightenment! These westerners were heroic, but the times were also tragic as the native Americans were thrust aside and the buffalo slaughtered almost to extinction.

The American West, Out of Myth, into Reality is a volume with colour illustrations of the highest quality interspersed with informative essays that together visually and textually interpret this American westward movement that was of almost cosmic significance. It is the catalogue of an exhibition of western art that was conceived by Ann Townsend of the Trust for Museum Exhibitions simultaneously with a separate initiative by Andrew Maass of the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson. Together with Peter Hassrick of the University of Oklahoma, who then curated the exhibition, they persuaded almost seventy institutions and individuals to lend pictures and sculptures for a travelling show that began its journey in Jackson in February 2000. Hassrick has provided an illuminating essay on ‘The Elements of Western Art’, and other thematic and interpretative texts are contributed by Donna Davies, Bradley Finson and Stephanie Foster Rahill. Old favourites are illustrated: Bierstadt’s ‘Wind River Country’ (1860), ‘The Oregon Trail’ (1869), and ‘Twilight, Lake Takoe’ (1873); and two of Moran’s pictures of the Falls of the Yellowstone are here, all representing a rather romantic tradition. These are balanced by Catlin’s precisely drafted pictures of Indian life and less well known representations by Samuel Seymour, John Mix Stanley and others. One of the most powerful images is Maynard Dixon’s ‘The Earth Knower’ (1933-35) whose shrouded chiselled features are presented against a background of horizontal strata and coned rock formations suggesting an intimacy of man and landscape. But for this reviewer perhaps the most haunting and lasting memory of this book is Cyrus Dallin’s bronze Appeal to the Great Spirit (1916-20), representing an Indian warrior sitting in a crucifix posture on his horse, with arms outstretched, and symbolising the tragic fate of his people.

David Adams, Keele University

‘Another Country’ Postgraduate Conference: Report

Birmingham University 24 November 2001

Co-sponsored by the British Association for American Studies and the European Journal of American Culture
by Sara Wood and Andrew Green, Birmingham University

It gave us great pleasure this year to hold the annual postgraduate conference sponsored by BAAS and EJAC at Birmingham University, in the Department of American and Canadian Studies.
‘Another Country’, the title of the conference, was chosen to reflect specific trends in recent academic studies: namely, the resituating of American studies into a more ‘transatlantic’ or ‘global’ context. The papers therefore reflected a broad arrangement of ideas and ideological discussions within different aspects of national culture.

Besides welcoming many visitors as an audience to the conference; and a number of department teachers/lecturers who chaired events; the ‘Another Country’ conference featured 22 original papers in all. Overall, approximately forty people attendended at Birmingham University on the day. The event was a lively, constructive and enjoyable; and thanks are due to all who took part.

During the day, we were pleased to hold a lunchtime session held by Liam Kennedy and Dick Ellis which aimed at giving suggestions to postgraduate students about how to approach getting academic work published.
Finally, in the late afternoon sessions, we organised a session which also sought to assess early responses to the aftermath of events in America on September 11th, 2001.

The running order for the day’s paper was as follows:

Morning sessions:

Cinematic Societies: From the Cigar Stall to the Coffee House?

The Coffee Republic: Chain stores, the coffee house and the contemporary American city.
Joseph Kennedy, University of Sheffield

Telling the Dodger’s Story: The community of baseball in Paul Auster’s films.
Mark Brown, University College Northampton

Plotting a way out of the Language Lab: “The Water Method Man” as postmodern critique.
Lucas Johnson, University of Birmingham

House of Games: David Mamet’s women and confidence men.
Olga Nunez Miret, University of Sussex

Whiteness, Apparitions and Transatlantic Nations

‘Alas for the Poor Savages’: The south Pacific Islands and Islanders in Typee and Omoo.
Theresa Saxton, Manchester Metropolitan University

‘In the eye of the sun’: Isabel’s story in Melville’s Pierre and national fictions.
Andrew Green, University of Birmingham.

Ghostly Goddesses: Nella Larsen’s Passing and Apparitions of the White Woman.
Rachael Van Duyvenbode, University of Sheffield.

The White Atlantics: Whiteness, transatlantic space and postnational identities in London films.
Anne Marie Kane, King Alfred’s College

Early afternoon sessions

‘Another Language’: Hieroglyphics, Jazz, Poetry, Basketball and Cross-Narratives of ‘Race’

Thinking in Hieroglyphics: the complexity of Zora Neale Hurston’s cross-cultural aesthetic.
Richard Farebrother, University of Leeds.

Jazz and African-American literature.
Sara Wood, University of Birmingham

The Surgeon’s Song: History and Healing in Michael S. Harper’s Debridement.
Matthew Merlino, University of Pennsylvania

In Your Face: African-American Urban Culture and the Aesthetics of Basketball in Contemporary American Fiction.
Colin Howley, University of Sheffield

Behind the Scenes: Invisible Architects of Culture

Film Title Sequences by Saul Bass.
John Rogerson, University of Birmingham.

The displaced American: Edwar McKnight Kauffer.
Graham Twemlow.

“Can You Forgive Her?” The American Studies Feminist, the Art Patron, and the Lure of Gossip in research.
Lisa Rull, University of Nottingham.

Late Afternoon Groups

Terrorism and Popular Culture

I Want to Believe: A discussion of Popular American Conspiracy Culture
and the Paranoid style.
Mark Latham, University of Sheffield

Fashion, Terrorism and Hyperreality in the novel Glamorama.
Joanne Carr, University of Sheffield

The Fiction of Don Delillo and the Cultural Hegemony of Television in the aftermath of 11.09.01.
Catherine Morley, Oxford Brookes University.

Early Twentieth Century Literature

“A meeting South”: Sherwood Anderson and the Cultural economy of New Orleans.
Mark Whalen.

The American Congress in Maxwell Anderson’s Plays of the Great Depression. Reza Sami Gorgan Roodi
The Literary Career of Louis Bromfield: What is forgotten and “What is remembered”.

The Mysterious Case of the Vanishing Poet: FitzGreene Halleck.
Eddie Marcus, King’s College.

BAAS Membership of Committees

(including co-opted members and invited observers)

Executive Committee Elected:
Professor Philip Davies (Chair, first elected 1998, term ends 2004)
Dr Nick Selby (Treasurer, first elected 2000, term ends 2003)
Dr Jenel Virden (Secretary, first elected 1998, term ends 2002)
Professor Janet Beer (first elected 2000, term ends 2003)
Professor Susan Castillo (first elected 2001, term ends 2004)
Professor Dick Ellis (first elected 1999, term ends 2002)
Dr Paul Giles (first elected 1999, term ends 2002)
Dr Michael McDonnell (first elected 2000, term ends 2003)
Dr Heidi Macpherson (first elected 2000, term ends 2003)
Dr Simon Newman (first elected 1999, term ends 2002)
Dr Carol Smith (first elected 2001, term ends 2004)
Dr Graham Thompson (first elected 2001, term ends 2004)

Ms Celeste-Marie Bernier (first elected 2000, term ends 2002)*

ex officio:
Professor Richard Gray (Editor, Journal, term ends 2001)
Dr Iain Wallace (Chair, Library & Resouces Subcommittee)

Ms Kathryn Cooper

Development sub committee
Dr Paul Giles (Chair)
Professor Phil Davies
Dr Heidi Macpherson
Dr Simon Newman
Ms Celeste-Marie Bernier (post-grad)
Dr Iain Wallace (ex-officio)

Publications sub committee
Professor Janet Beer (Chair)
Dr Jenel Virden
Professor Susan Castillo
Professor Dick Ellis (Editor, American Studies in Britain)
Dr Graham Thompson (webster)
Professor Richard Gray (Editor of Journal of American Studies)
Professor George McKay (Associate Editor of Paperbacks)
Professor Richard Simmons (Editor of BRRAM)
Ms Kathryn Cooper (co-opted)

Conference sub committee
Dr Michael McDonnell (Chair)
Dr Nick Selby
Dr Carol Smith
Miss Andrea Beighton (Oxford, Conference Secretary 2002)
Professor Alan Ryan (Oxford, Conference Secretary 2002)
Dr Tim Woods (Aberystwyth, Conference Secretary 2003)

Libraries and Resources Subcommittee
Dr Kevin Halliwell

BAAS representative to EAAS
Prof Mick Gidley (term ends 2002)*

[* indicates this person not eligible for re-election to this position. All co-optations must be reviewed annually.]