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

British Association for American Studies


Issue 94 Spring 2006


Issue 94 Spring 2006


By the time this editorial goes out much of the furore surrounding Gordon Brown’s speech to the Fabian Society on the subject of national identity will have died down. In the past few weeks, Britons have been asked over and over again to consider the nature of their individual and collective national identity. Media attention, naturally, has focused on the more sensational aspects of the debate. What does it mean to be British if you are a young Muslim living in Bradford? What does it mean to be British if you are the child of an Afro-Caribbean second-generation immigrant? What does it mean to be British if you are a Catholic Republican from West Belfast?

What columnists and political analysts have largely failed to recognise, however, is the extent of the Chancellor’s love affair with the systems and institutions of the United States. A large part of the speech was given over to a consideration of the importance of the British flag, proposing that Britain should elect a national flag day – akin to the 4 July in the US or the 14 July in France. In fact, the Chancellor expressed his hope for a constitutional settlement on the issue, as well as an explicit definition of citizenship, a renewed civic society and ‘the pursuit of liberty.’

Contrary to what many people imagine, the Labour Party has always exhibited a strong fascination with all things American. In the late 1950s, left-wing politicians openly looked to the United States as the embodiment of democracy, liberty and social mobility, while in the mid-1960s, Harold Wilson explicitly based his ‘New Britain’ appeal on John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier. On the right, meanwhile, Margaret Thatcher made no secret of her admiration for Ronald Reagan’s brand of conservatism, and he returned the favour: indeed, in 1980 the Republicans even ran Thatcher’s old campaign commercials on network television.

The world over, of course, nations are struggling to redefine themselves in the new global environment. The issue of national identity is not unique to Britain and the United States. But, as BAAS members will appreciate it is an issue which has dominated the American political scene for centuries, since the inception of the nation in fact. Americans have long since faced the task of consolidating their national identity, asking what it means to be an American. What’s fascinating is how the tide has turned. In twenty-first century Britain, many people look to the United States for an example of an immigrant society that has successfully combined assimilation and diversity. Yet in the early years of the American Republic, it was the example of Britain – Protestant, white, capitalist and individualistic – to which many Americans turned as they built their own national identity.

Nowhere is this more evident, of course, than in the character of Benjamin Franklin, who was born in Boston three hundred years ago, an anniversary we will celebrate at this year’s BAAS Conference in Canterbury. Since Franklin is generally regarded as the epitome of the self-made-man, an American par excellence, he has often served as something of a straw man for radical scholars critical of the individualism, capitalism and materialism they associate with American national identity. Indeed, even Emerson, Melville and Hawthorne were unsure of what to make of this national figure. But as this year’s Conference will doubtless make clear, Franklin’s legacy was at once more ambiguous and more fascinating. For Franklin, American identity was not a narrow, rigid, constricted phenomenon, but brave, tolerant and open, forever evolving in the crucible of global historical change. As a polymath and an autodidact, a man with a profound sense of civic responsibility, and as an enthusiastic traveller equally at home in the coffee houses of London, the salons of Paris and the printing houses of Boston, he remains the classic example of American eagerness, tolerance and open-mindedness – the characteristics our Chancellor described as profoundly British earlier this year. As a successful scientist, businessman and philanthropist, he was exactly the kind of person that Gordon Brown rather likes. What better symbol could there be of the cultural brotherhood between Britons and Americans? What better inspiration for BAAS as we begin our second half-century?

Catherine Morley
Department of English Studies
Institute for Historical and Cultural Research
Oxford Brookes University
Gipsy Lane Campus

51st BAAS Annual Conference 2006

The University of Kent, Canterbury, UK 20-23 April 2006


Thursday, 20 April

2.00-5.00 Registration Keynes (hereinafter ‘K’) foyer

3.00 Tour of Canterbury Meet K Foyer

5.00 Keynote Speaker: Prof. Michael Zuckerman (University of Pennsylvania) KLT1 Brabourne

6.30 Reception & Welcome from the Vice Chancellor, sponsored by the University of Leicester (BAAS 2007 conference host) K Foyer

7.30 Dinner Eliot Hall

9.00 A Musical Performance by Will Kaufman: Woody Guthrie and the Songs of the Depression Era Keynes Bar

Friday, 21 April

7.30-9.00 Breakfast Eliot Hall

9.00-11.00 Session A


1. Franklin’s Via Negativa: Emerson, James & Adams Negotiate Franklin
David Greenham (Nottingham Trent) Unrepresentative Man: Emerson’s Neglect of Benjamin Franklin
Peter Kuryla (Vanderbilt) The Dynamo & the Leyden Jar: Benjamin Franklin, Henry Adams, & the American Impoverishment of Sexual Electricity
Peter Rawlings (UWE) ‘This is the Age of Experiments’: Benjamin Franklin, Henry James, & the Empirical Tradition

2. Nineteenth Century Poetics: Nature, the Body and Death
Claire Elliott (Glasgow) Restoring the Winged Life: Religious Fervour and the Veneration of the Natural in Blake, Emerson and Whitman
Paraic Finnerty (Portsmouth) To Make Me Fairest on Earth: Emily Dickinson and the Beautiful Body in America
Linda Sher (King’s London) ‘Even unto Death’: Gethsemane & the Place of Poetic Making in Emily Dickinson’s Poetry

3. Topics on Civil Rights
Chair: Adam Fairclough (Leiden)
Walter David Greason (Ursinus) Race Organizing at the Shore: The NAACP, UNIA, and the Urban League in Central New Jersey, 1920-1950
Rebecca Karol (Rowan) Mary’s Café, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Forgotten Beginnings of a Civil Rights Leader
Jonathan Watson (Sussex) The Los Angeles NAACP 1940-1945: Fighting for Justice in the Struggle for Double Victory

4. The Language of Business: A Roundtable Discussion
Chair and Moderator: Graham Thompson (Nottingham)
Eric Guthey (Copenhagen Business School) The Construction of Image
Mara Keire (Queen Mary, London) Reputation or Lack Thereof
Christopher McKenna (Said Business School, Oxford) The Influence of Institutions
Marina Moskowitz (Glasgow) The Culture of the Market

5. Theoretical Questions in Contemporary American Literary Studies
Graeme Finnie (Dundee) Land (Ab)use in New Mexico: An Ecocritical Look at the Fiction of Castillo, Silko and Nichols
James Mackay (Glasgow) and David Rees (Bergen) Science, Non-science & Nonsense in Vine Deloria, Jr’s Evolution, Creationism and Other Myths
Steven Van Hagen (Kent) Protect Everything, Detect Everything, Contain Everything – Obsessional Society: Narratives of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Twentieth-Century American Fiction

6. Frontiers Then and Now
Karen Jones (Kent) The Strange Tale of the Goose and the Beaver: Revisiting Lewis and Clark in the 2lst Century
William Van Vugt (Calvin) The Agrarian Myth Meets Reality on the American Frontier: the English Courtauld Settlement of the 1820s
John Wills (Kent) Playing Cowboys and Indians: Videogames and the American West

7. New Work on Native America
Chair: Mick Gidley (Leeds)
Deborah Madsen (Geneva)
David Murray (Nottingham)
Joy Porter (Swansea)

8. American Fiction and 9/11
Martyn Colebrook (Hull) The Problem of Representation: Literary Responses to 9/11 in Jonathan Safan-Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and in Paul Auster’s The Brooklyn Follies
Ann Hurford (Nottingham) From 12/7 to 9/11: History Destabilises the Expected in Anne Tyler’s The Amateur Marriage
Aliki Varvogli (Dundee) The Uses of Africa: Identity, Idealism & Post-National Crisis in Russell Bank’s The Darling

11.00-11.30 Coffee K foyer

11.30-1.00 Session B


1. Benjamin Franklin and Public History
Marcia Balisciano (Benjamin Franklin House, London) Restoring Benjamin Franklin House
Matthew Shaw (The British Library) Franklin and his Modern Public: Presenting the Printer and Scientist

2. Women’s Roles in Public Life
Jennifer Black, (Cambridge) Race, Rest Rooms and Reluctant Legislators: Jury Service for Women in 1950s South Carolina
Pierre-Marie Loiszeau (Angers) A Women’s Place is in the House. Or is It?

3. The Chicago Race Riot of 1919
Cheryl Hudson (Vanderbilt/Oxford) Citizenship by Race Division: The Chicago Commission on Race Relations, 1919-1921
Kevin Yuill (Sunderland) Reformulating Race: Robert Ezra Park’s Pivotal Role in U.S. Race Theory

4. Early Twentieth-Century Art
John Fagg (Birmingham) Genre Painting as a ‘Residual’ Presence in Early-Twentieth Century Illustration
Douglas Tallack (Nottingham) Awkward Commissions: Illustrating New York, 1880s-1910s

5. Women & Race in Literature
Rachel McLennan (Glasgow) Stories to Pass On: Signifying Adolescence in Danzy Senna’s Caucasia and Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex
Pi-hua Ni (National U. of Kiaohsiung, Taiwan) On the Fluid Gender Construction in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple

6. Analysis of Mid-Century Democrats
Robert Mason (Edinburgh) ‘As Goes Maine, So Goes Vermont’: Republican analysis of New Deal realignment, 1933-1940
Jonathan Pearson (Durham) The Harry S Truman Presidential Library and the Development of Public Identification with the Presidency

7. Representing the Chinese Experience in the U.S.
Christine Cynn (Abidjan/Fulbright) ‘The ludicrous transition of gender & sentiment’: Representations of Chinese labour in Ambrose Bierce’s The Haunted Valley and Bret Harte’s Plain Language of Truthful James
Fiona Wong (Warwick) Effective ‘translation’: Talk-stories in Selected Works of Maxine Hong Kingston and Amy Tan

8. The Virgina Company: A Roundtable on the Company, Jamestown and its Consequences, held in conjunction with Kent County Council
Chair: Stephen Mills, Keele
Discussants: John Finch (William & Mary) and others be be announced

1.00-2.00 Lunch Eliot Hall

2.00-3.30 Session C


1. Benjamin Franklin and Public Matters
Louis J. Kern (Hofstra) The ‘Man of Science’ and the ‘Pursuit of Happiness’: Benjamin Franklin and the Reasonable Science of Virtue
Stephen Shapiro (Warwick) The ‘Public Sphere’ of a Circumatlantic World-System: Franklin and the African Slave Traders

2. Post-War Women Authors
David Evans (Dalhousie) The Apotemnophilac Text: Flannery O’Connor’s Fraudulent Bodies
Richard Larschan (Massachusetts-Dartmouth) Art & Artifice in Sylvia Plath’s Self-Portrayals

3. Henry James
Maeve Pearson (Goldsmith’s) Henry James and the ‘Colossal Machine’ of American Education
Theresa Saxon (Manchester Met) Experiments in the Line of Comedy Pure and Simple: The ‘Comicality’ of Henry James’ Theatricals

4. Abstract Expressionism
Christopher Gair (Birmingham) Not AbEx, not New York: Wally Hedrick & American Art in the 1950s
Lisa Rull (Independent Scholar) ‘Them Wide Open Spaces’: Jackson Pollock & the American Landscape

5. Liberalism, Backlash and Cultural Representation
Sarah MacLachlan (Manchester Met) Backlash on the Border: Violence & Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men
Eithne Quinn (Manchester) Liberalism, Backlash & the Blaxploitation Film Cycle

6. Presidents and their Behaviour
Tim Blessing (Alverna) Comparing the First & Last Nine Presidents: The Breakdown of the Selection Process
Timothy Lynch (ISA, London) Woodrow Wilson’s 9/11: Assessing America’s Response to the Luisitania

7. Two Intellectuals on Race
Mark Ellis (Strathclyde) Interracial Co-operation and Social Science: The Contribution of Thomas Jackson Woofter, Jr.
Fred Arthur Bailey (Abilene Christian) All Men are Created Equal: M. E. Bradford, Race and the Reagan Revolution

8. Problems in Telling American History
John-Paul Colgan (Trinity College Dublin) ‘Everything Now is “Was”‘: Memory and Nostalgia in John Updike’s Recent Fiction
Laura MacDonald (Toronto) Musical Theatre and Politics in the ’60s: Two Case Studies, Hair and 1776

3.30-4.00 Tea K foyer

4.00-5.30 Session D


1. Benjamin Franklin and his Image
Matthew Pethers (Independent Scholar) ‘That Grub Street Sect’: Partisan Politics and the Franklinian Image, 1790-1808
Finn Pollard (Glasgow) Benjamin Franklin and the Problem of American National Character Revisited

2. The Photography of the Rural United States
John Hensley (Saint Louis U. & Westminster) The Ozarks Mountains Body: Images of Hillbillies & Mountaineers at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904
Mark Rawlinson (Nottingham) ‘A Photograph has edges, the world does not’: The Uncanny in Stephen Shore’s American Landscape Photography

3. Congressional Debates
Elisabeth Boulot (Marne-le-Vallee) Privatization or Disentitlement? The Reform of the American Welfare State.
Laurence Horton (Essex) Political Connecting: House Members & the 1981 Budget

4. Race and Schools
Catherine Maddison (Cambridge) ‘This Intolerable School System’: The Politics of Education in the District of Columbia, 1960-1975
Keith Olson (Maryland) Brown v. Board of Education: A Fifty Year Critique

5. Women’s Autobiographies
Joanne Hall (Nottingham) Deviance, Difference and the Exception to the Rule: The Construction of the Female Hobo through Autobiography
Elizabeth Nolan (Manchester Met) Authorising the Female War Text: Women’s Autobiographical Narratives of Conflict

6. Explanations: Race & Class
Andrew Fearnley (Sidney Sussex, Cambridge) How Much Further Do We Have to Go in Explaining Racial Change in the United States?
Andrew Lawson (Leeds Met) Why Class (Still) Counts

7. American Writers and ‘Abroad’
Tatsushi Narita (Nagoya City) T.S. Eliot’ s Virtual Transoceanic Crossing Over & Unitarianism
Mary Lou O’Neill (Kadir Has, Turkey) ‘More than Just Passing Through’: American Expatriate Travel Writing

5.30-6.30 Eccles Centre Lecture, Prof. Margaret Walsh (University of Nottingham): At Home at the Wheel? The Woman and Her Car in the 1950s KLT1 Brabourne

6.30-7.30 Canterbury City Reception K foyer

7.30 Banquet and Awards Eliot Hall

Saturday, 22 April

7.30-9.00 Breakfast Eliot Hall

9.00-11.00 Session E


1. Inter-War Literature
James Fountain (Glasgow) Fighting ‘the enemy of the arts’: British & American Literary Reactions to the Spanish Civil War
Paul-Vincent McInnes (Glasgow) Campus Culture: Percy Marks’s Campus Novels and Youth Culture in the 1920s
J. E. Smyth (Warwick) From Here to Eternity, Robert E. Lee Prewitt and James Jones’ One-Volume History of Interwar America

2. Violence against Mexican Americans
Chair: Arturo Rosales (Arizona St.)
William Carrigan (Rowan) The Law & Anti-Mexican-American Mob Violence in Texas 1848-1926
Nancy Gonzalez (Texas-El Paso) Violence and Unequal Justice against Mexicans in El Paso, Texas, 1880-1920
Clive Webb (Sussex) African-American Reaction to Mob Violence against Mexican -Americans

3. American Decades
Martin Halliwell (Leicester) The 1950s Beyond the Cold War
Duco van Oostrum (Sheffield) Sports & the Nation in the 1970s
Graham Thompson (Nottingham) The 1980s: Ronald Reagan’s America?

4. The Post-Post Modern
Chin-jau Chyan (Essex) Gender and Genre: Marcia Muller & Hardboiled Detective Fiction
Danielle Fuller (Birmingham) One Book, One Chicago: ReadingMatters
Jaroslav Kusnir (Presov) American Fiction after the Post-Modern: Richard Powers and David Foster Wallace

5. Recent and Contemporary American Poetics
Catherine Martin (Sussex) In the Analytic Hour that is Midnight: Susan Howe’s The Midnight
Nick Selby (Glasgow) ‘…and the professors’ wives licked popsicles’: Non-conformity, gender & the poetics of the body at Black Mountain
John Wrighton (Aberystwyth) Face-work: Bruce Andrews’ Poethical Praxis

6. American Indians : Memory and Healing (I)
Chair: Rebecca Tillett (East Anglia)
Native Studies Research Network, UK

7. Conservatives and Neo-conservatives
Lee Ruddin (University of Sheffield) There’s no ‘neo-con’ revolution, stupid! The myth of United States foreign policy, the Bush Administration and the international security corollary
George Tzogopoulos (Loughborough) Understanding neo-conservativism in the press of Britain, France, Germany and Italy

8. Civil Rights : Case Studies
Zoe Colley (Dundee) ‘We’ve Baptised Brother Wilkins’: The NAACP & Civil Rights Prisoners in the South, 1960-1965
Mark Newman (Edinburgh) The Tennessee Catholic Church & Desegregation, 1954-1971
Kevern Verney (Edge Hill) Long is the Way and Hard: The NAACP in Alabama, 1913-1915

11.00-11.30 Coffee K foyer

11.30-1.00 Session F


1. 19th c. Philadelphia looks Outside: Business and Morals
John Killick (Leeds) The Decline of Philadelphia ‘s Foreign Trade
George Conyne (Kent) Philadelphia Quakers & the Civil War

2. Europeans on Americans
Ioana Luca (Bucharest & Linacre, Oxford) Romanian Lands on American Reality: Andrei Codrescu’s Imaginary (M)Otherlands
Kathryn Nicol (Edinburgh) Cultural Appropriations and Cultural Hegemony: Contemporary Scottish Writing and Representations of American Culture

3. Colonial Governance and Ethnicity
Emily Blanck (Rowan) The Battle over Thomas Jeremiah: South Carolina Revolutionaries vs. the Royal Government
David Watson (Dundee) Proclamation? What Proclamation? The British Army, Colonial Governors and Native Americans after the Seven Years’ War

4. Blackness Across the Waters
Jennifer Lewis (Bath Spa) ‘Something out of Nothing’: The Inscription of Female Pleasure in Zora Neale Hurston’s Tell My Horse
Heidi Slettedahl MacPherson (Central Lancashire) Transatlantic Blackness: (Self)Constructions of the Other in Neila Larson’s Quicksand

5. Realism and Imperialism
Lane Crothers (Illinois St.) Salsa, American Popular Culture and the Limits of Cultural Imperialism
Richard Lock-Pullan (Birmingham) Religion and Realism in US Security: The Legacy of Neibuhr?

6. American Indians: Memory and Healing (II)
Chair: Rebecca Tillett (East Anglia)
Native Studies Research Network, UK

7. Anglo-American Literature and Film
Vernon Williams (Abilene Christian) The Documentary Film & the Anglo-American Home Front in East Anglia, 1942-1945
Paul Woolf (Birmingham) The American Dream of English Aristocracy, from Sentimental Fiction to Reality Television: Susan Warner’s Queechy (1852) and the Women’s Entertainment Network’s American Princess (2005)

8. Looking at the Nixon Years
David Sarias (Sheffield) All the President’s Conservatives (1968-1974)
Will Kaufman (Central Lancashire) What Was So Funny in Nixon’s America? Vonnegut’s Jailbird and the limits of satire

1.00-2.00 Lunch Eliot Hall

2.00-3.30 British Association for American Studies Annual General Meeting KLT 1 Brabourne

3.30-4.00 Tea

4.00-5.30 Session G


1. Hate and Fear
Peter Knight (Manchester) Enemy Without, Enemy Within: Conspiracy Theories since 9/11
Christopher McKinlay (Glasgow) & John McKinlay (Abertay Dundee) The Duality of Hate & Patriotism: Hate Terrorism & the Politics of Identity in the American Radical Right

2. Constitutional Matters
Emma Long (Kent) ‘And What’s the Evil You See?’: School prayer before Engel and Schempp
Bill Merkel (Washburn) The New Contextual History of Marbury vs. Madison

3. Matters Post-Modern
Benjamin Bird (Leeds) The Capitalist Schizophrenic: The Postmodern Consciousness in Don DeLillo’s Libra
Polina Mackay (Independent Scholar) William Burroughs’ Women
Tessa Roynon (Warwick) The Story of Margaret Garnier: Toni Morrison’s Opera as Resistance or Submission

4. Race and Memory
John Moe (Ohio St.) Civil Liberties and Ordinary Racism: The Klan, Images of Prejudice and the Continuity of American Race Problems
Alan Rice (Central Lancashire) Making Visible the Formerly Invisible: Memorials in Britain & their Black Atlantic Resonances
John Smylie (Independent Scholar) Fire on the Bluff: Reporting and Memorials in Music of the Natchez fire of 1940

5. Mothers, Family and Work
Eveline Thevenard (Paris IV) The Family Policy Debate in the US: Toward Paid Leave?
Kirsten Swinth (Fordham) The ‘Problem’ of the Working Mother

6. Elastic Identities : Embodying Race, Place and Americanness
Kandice Chuh (Maryland) Bodies in Motion: The Circum-Pacific logic of Karen Tei Yamashita’s Fiction
Nicole King (California-San Diego) Malleable Plastic Surfaces: Corporeality and ‘Race’ in Caribbean/American Literature
Karen Shimakawa (NYU) On Walking & Stumbling: Inhabiting the ‘Chinese-American Body’

7. The U.S.-Mexican Border
Neil Campbell (Derby) Ruben Martinez and the ‘non-border’
Elizabeth Jacobs (Rothermere, Oxford) Mexican & Mexican-American Women on the Border
Martin Padget (Aberystwyth) Recent Representations of the Border

8. Topics in Urban Film Culture
Hamilton Carroll (University College Dublin) Detroit Confidential: 8 Mile & the Vicissitudes of Race & Class or the Epistemologies of Eninem’s Closet
Dennis Klein (Kean) Jews and Jersey: the Origins of the Motion Picture Industry
Brian Neve (Bath) Both Ends of the Telescope: Art Film, Psychology & Semi-documentary in Elia Kazan’s Independent Work on the American South

6.30-7.30 Journal of American Studies Lecture: Michael Bérubé (Penn State University) KLT 1 Brabourne

8.00 Dinner Eliot Hall

9.30 Disco Mungo’s, Eliot College

Sunday, 23 April

7.30-9.00 Breakfast Eliot Hall

Registration (all rates include the Conference fee):

Residential rates:

Residential Conference Fees

BAAS member standard room on campus £200.00
BAAS member en-suite room on campus £255.00
Non-BAAS member standard room on campus £240.00
Non-BAAS member en-suite room on campus £295.00
BAAS Postgraduate standard room on campus £100.00
BAAS Postgraduate en-suite room on campus £155.00
Non-BAAS Postgraduate standard room on campus £140.00
Non-BAAS Postgraduate en-suite room on campus £195.00.

Non Residential Fees

BAAS member – Full Conference £160.00
Non-BAAS member – Full Conference £200.00
BAAS Postgraduate – Full Conference £100.00
Non-BAAS Postgraduate – Full Conference £140.00
BAAS member – Day Delegate Fee £28.00
Non-BAAS member – Day Delegate Fee £40.00
BAAS Postgraduate – Day Delegate Fee £15.00
Non-BAAS Postgraduate – Day Delegate Fee £22.00

Dinner (Day Delegates only) £20.00
Late Payment Fee (for bookings received after 10th March 06) £20.00

Obituary: Stuart Stanley Kidd (1947-2005)

Stuart Kidd, rumpled, slightly hunched, gregarious, articulate, witty, generous, courteous (especially with women) — one of a kind. He had one particular defining characteristic announced by a glint in the eyes: he loved to debate and analyse, rigorously, provocatively and at times hilariously. A conversational evening with Stuart was no easy ride; it would be challenging but genial and thoroughly worthwhile.

Postgraduate work at Keele University on the New Deal yielded the valuable and lifelong influence of David Adams. The career of an academic historian now beckoned. In 1985 Stuart contributed an essay on collectivist intellectuals and national planning for Nothing Else to Fear: New Perspectives on America in the Thirties which Steve Baskerville and I edited. Three years later he wrote “Refining the New Deal “ for the Journal of American Studies, a major retrospective focus on the subject which I was grateful to draw upon when I taught his Thirties course at Reading in the 1990s during his sabbatical. He was then undertaking the research that would, in 2004, produce FSA Photography, the Rural South and the Dynamics of Image – Making 1935 – 1943, a monograph which David Nye pointed out allowed us to “see this famous collection anew” and helped us to understand “the South’s reluctant modernity ”.

Stuart’s congeniality was regularly in evidence at BAAS conferences but increasingly he came to value the professional opportunities (and friendships) afforded by EAAS meetings. He was a prime mover in the creation and cultivation of its Southern Studies group. To that project the brought the same enthusiasm he gave to visiting Las Vegas or Hilton Hotels or to the music that joyously flooded the air at Reading or Shaftesbury. He once took an interest in Johnny Cash so he just went out and bought all the CDs of the singer’s late period! To his son Daniel he described his taste as “sentimentalism and jaded idealism”. There was however no sentimentalism as he faced his final illness with steadfastness, mental toughness and humour. One of his last works was the essay, “Muhammad Ali: Southerner”.

Like a number of British historians of the USA he had his roots in the Midlands, the Potteries to be precise. But to sum up Stuart I have to turn to Leo Rosten’s The Joys of Yiddish and one of his definitions: mensh: someone of consequence, someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. As in, “Now, there is a real mensh!”

Ralph Willett
University of Hull

BAAS Requests

BAAS Database of External Examiners

The Secretary of BAAS, Heidi Macpherson, holds a list of potential external examiners. If individuals would like to put their names forward for this list, please email her on Include the following information, in list form if possible:

Name and title
Affiliation with complete contact details including address, telephone, fax, and email Externalling experience (with dates if appropriate)
Current externalling positions (with end dates)
Research interests (short descriptions only)

By providing this information, you agree to it being passed on to universities who are seeking an external for American Studies or a related discipline. Should you wish your name to be removed in the future, please contact the Secretary.

Any university representative interested in receiving the list should also contact the Secretary. BAAS only acts as a holder of the list; it does not “matchmake”.

Paper copies can also be requested by sending a letter to:

Dr. Heidi Macpherson
BAAS Secretary
Department of Humanities (Fylde 425)
University of Central Lancashire
Preston PR1 2HE

US Studies Online: The BAAS Postgraduate Journal

US Studies Online is seeking articles on American literature, culture, history or politics for upcoming issues. US Studies is a refereed journal and submission guidelines can be found at our website:


The Edinburgh University Press /BASS book series continues to be a vibrant success in publishing books in all areas of American Studies in Britain with co-publishing deals in America. Recent publications are The Civil Rights Movement, Mark Newman and The Vietnam War in History, Literature and Film, Mark Taylor. Forthcoming are The Twenties in America, Niall Palmer, The Civil War in American Culture, Will Kaufman and Contemporary Native American Literature, Rebecca Tillett.

The series editors (Simon Newman – and Carol Smith – ) welcome new proposals at any time. They will be happy to advise and shape proposals and are particularly seeking books on the American short story, American music (all types) and the American city and its representations.

Letters to the Editor

S.T.A.M.P. – Slave Trade Arts Memorial Project Lancaster

I have written about the Lancaster STAMP project in previous issues of the BAAS newsletter. I thought members might be interested to know that we have succeeded in raising a fantastic and intriguing memorial in the last few weeks.

Slave Trade Memorial Unveiled

Lancaster was the fourth largest slave port in Britain and around 200 voyages left the city in the eighteenth century. Between 1750 and 1790 alone Lancaster merchants were responsible for the forced transportation of approximately 25,000 Africans across the Atlantic and into slavery in the West Indies and the Southern States of America. The Slave Trade Arts Memorial Project (STAMP) was inaugurated in September 2002. The aim of the project is to make sure that future generations have local spaces where they can effectively remember those whose lives were blighted by the Slave Trade. This partnership between the City Council, Museums Service, County Education Service and the campaigning group Globalink with myself from University of Central Lancashire as academic advisor led to a grant from the Millennium Commission and from the Arts Council in the North-West as well as numerous small grants from local and county councils (total c. £60,000) for an art work on the quayside to commemorate the lives of those 24,000 and more slaves shipped on Lancaster slavers in the eighteenth century. The project has made links to continuing issues of global inequity and poverty by highlighting issues of Fair Trade/Slave Trade.

STAMP has worked with a number of artists, schools and community groups to increase public awareness of the slave trade and has developed a series of commemorative events and performances from 2003-2005 which culminated in a permanent memorial to the Africans who were transported on board Lancaster ships, which was unveiled in October 2005 on Columbus Day. With the city’s Litfest, we have distributed thousands of copies of Dorothea Smartt’s specially commissioned poem Lancaster Keys to schoolchildren in the County – each copy representing one of the enslaved taken in Lancaster ships. The public artist for the project Kevin Dalton-Johnson was appointed in early 2004. His previous powerful sculpted works have addressed issues of contemporary racism and black Atlantic history and his design for the monument continued in this vein. We were all very excited about having the first specifically designed permanent memorial artwork to enslaved Africans at a British quayside site. In fact we were granted permission to site the memorial in a prime spot with wonderful historical resonances on the quayside itself in the shadow of the recently completed Millennium Bridge. Dalton-Johnson describes the resonances of his sculpture thus: “The piece – because it’s not angst-ridden or exotic – has a serenity about it. I wanted to memorialise the slaves that were involved in the slave trade in a very positive way, almost like showing my respect to them, which is what a memorial can be. Hence the reason why you’ve got the very clean and clear acrylic blocks, because I really wanted it to be quite positive in that respect. I wanted it to be a beautiful piece to look at, as a way of showing my respect to the slaves. You could have had a black figure there, but to me that wouldn’t show the beauty of the people that lost their lives in the slave trade.”

The statue was unveiled on Columbus Day in the early evening. The American Embassy generously sponsored the visit of our special guest Professor Preston King whose exile from America had included over a decade in the Politics department at Lancaster University. The ceremony itself was a really exciting event with over 170 guests both local and from places as far afield as Nottingham and London. After words from the city mayor and the artist, our honoured guest, Preston King poured a libation on the statue and a small wicker boat, designed and made by Trevor Leat, was floated down the Lune with burning African herbs on board to commemorate the people taken from Africa by Lancaster ships. After the ceremony there was a reception in the Judges’ Lodgings with drumming by local schoolchildren and African food addressed by the Director of the Millennium Commission, the Council Leader Ian Barker and Preston King. The accompanying photographs show a dynamic new memorial. We hope you like it and are able to visit it soon.

For more information contact:
Dr. Alan Rice
Academic Consultant to STAMP, Dept. of Humanities
University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE


EAAS 2006 Conference

The EAAS conference in 2006 will take place in Nicosia, Cyprus from 7-10 April. Up to the minute information about registration and the full list of conference workshops, papers and parallel lectures is available on the EAAS website – at There are some special offers for airfares from Cyprus Airways – details of which are on the website.

The EAAS newsletter No. 55 is also available on the web and lists numerous calls for papers at conferences across Europe as well as calls for contributors to various journals. Please be sure to visit the EAAS website for the most up-to-date information about American Studies in Europe.

To all EAAS members planning to attend the Nicosia Conference:

The bank account data given in the EAAS Newsletter (No. 55) for the payment of registration fees is not right. The number of the account to be used, which is in Euros, is the following:

Bank: Cyprus Popular Bank
Bank address: Hilton Area Branch, Number 64 Makarios Avenue, 1077 Nicosia, Cyprus
Account holder University of Cyprus
Account number 116-33-0020566
Swift code BIC:LIKICY2N
IBAN number CY40 0030 0116 0000 0116 3302 0566

EJAS Online

The test issue of the European Journal of American Studies is now on line at and can be consulted there. The search engine that accompanies it on the “” site where it is housed, however, will only function beginning tomorrow night. To all of you, who have made this adventure possible, my heartiest gratitude. I truly believe it opens a new era in the work of our association and dearly hope all of our members will find in EJAS a good opportunity to publish their very best research work. Please spread the word, within EAAS and outside, and encourage everyone to participate in the success of our Journal: it aims at being every European Americanist’s home. All details concerning participation and submissions can be found on the site. Soon, a contact address for the journal will appear on the site. For the moment, mine will serve. This issue, such as it is, was prepared hastily, in order to take advantage of a wonderful opportunity, and is of course not without its defects and shortcomings. It was considered necessary to have something to start from and the contents of this issue are as general as we could make them at short notice. They constitute in no way a definition of the Journal’s ulterior editorial policies and orientations. At the Board Meeting of the Cyprus Conference, in April 2006, the editorial committee will be constituted and elected. It will meet soon after and begin shaping the work to be published in 2007.
To one and all, a happy New Year with EJAS !

Université Paris 7-Denis Diderot
Institut Universitaire de France
President, European Association for American Studies
30 rue Pouchet
Tel/fax : 33 (0)1 48 56 15 54
e-mail :

A Kaleidoscope of Digital American Literature

By Martha Brogan with the assistance of Daphnée Rentfrow
September 2005

This summary was written by Kathlin Smith

Technology is transforming scholarship, and while technology’s impact has been less extensive in the humanities than in the sciences, recent years have seen a blossoming of innovation by digital humanists. In A Kaleidoscope of Digital American Literature, the author describes achievements in digital American literature and explores priorities and concerns of digital practitioners in the field. The publication is based on a preliminary report prepared for The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2004.

Most of the report—more than 100 pages—is devoted to an extensive review of digital resources and projects in American literature. They are organized into six categories: quality-controlled subject gateways, author studies, e-book collections and alternative publishing models, reference resources and full-text collections, collections built around a particular area of interest, and teaching applications.

In a section that precedes the resource descriptions, Brogan summarizes the findings of her interviews with more than 40 scholars, librarians, and practitioners to learn how well digital resources serve scholars of American literature and what is most needed to advance digital scholarship. The interviewees, while acknowledging the wealth of recent innovation, expressed a range of observations and concerns about how the field is responding to the emergence of digital scholarship.

Resistance to change: Humanities scholars have tended to resist change in how they do their work and to view digital media as peripheral to their scholarship, said a prominent humanist. He credits visionary librarians, professional societies, and their supporters in the philanthropic world with leading the transformation of the study of literature.

Need for organizational leadership: Many interviewees felt that scholarly and professional organizations in American literature have not exerted strong enough leadership in bringing digital scholarship into the discipline. Brogan examines what three important scholarly associations for American literature—the Modern Language Association of America (MLA), the American Studies Association, and the American Literature Association—have done to advance digital scholarship in the field.

Lack of common agenda: The field of American literature is fragmented and uncoordinated, said interviewees. There is a critical need for scholars, practitioners, publishers, and funding agencies to agree on priorities, standards, best practices, and a strategic plan. The Networked Interface for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship (NINES) project, which is creating “a publishing environment for integrated, peer-reviewed online scholarship,” is cited as a model for such a community of practice for scholars in nineteenth-century British and American literature.

Paucity of tools: Most humanists find it hard to articulate what tools they need beyond information filtering and navigational devices. Several notable projects are, however, available or under development. Among them are the NINES tools, the NORA project, the NITLE Semantic Engine, and DLF Aquifer. When fully realized, these tools are expected to support mainstream scholarly work.

Insufficient peer-review process: Faculty members expressed a range of opinions about the impact of digital scholarship on the promotion-and-tenure process in the humanities. Many forms of digital scholarship appear without peer review but some, including articles in leading journals indexed by MLA’s international bibliography, are now peer reviewed, and other formal peer-review mechanisms are starting to emerge.

Concern about preservation: The ephemeral nature of digital products is a concern of many scholars and scholarly publishers. The report describes three initiatives related to American literature that are addressing this concern. The Electronic Literature Organization’s Preservation, Archiving, and Dissemination Project is educating digital scholars about what they can do at the point of creation to help ensure that their work remains viable. The University of Virginia Library’s Model for Sustaining Digital Scholarship is developing an institutional framework to support a full array of digital scholarship services. Services provided by digital object repositories and the DLF Registry of Digital Masters are critical to ensuring that digital scholarship remains accessible and fit for long-term use.

Rights restrictions: Several interviewees identified copyright as the biggest obstacle to advancing digital scholarship in American literature. Twentieth-century American literature is largely off-limits for digital projects because of copyright restrictions. It is often complicated to obtain permission to use literary manuscripts of any period for print, let alone digital, publications. Finally, it can be difficult to obtain permission to access or reuse original digital source files. Brogan cites the Text Creation Partnership (TCP) led by the University of Michigan as “the only wide-scale initiative aimed at releasing digital master files from proprietary control to unfettered use by its members.”

Need for sustainable business models: Interviewees expressed concern about the expense of large-scale digital efforts. “Publishers and librarians alike look to models such as the TCP as the only economically viable way to produce high-quality, thoroughly edited and encoded text. Even this public-private cooperative, which hinges on purchasing the corpora first, is beyond the reach of many academic libraries,” Brogan writes. Scholars worry that this could create new classes of information haves and have-nots.

Dearth of specialists: The field needs more specialists who combine disciplinary expertise with knowledge of new technologies. “Increasingly, all humanists will need a basic understanding of how technical decisions inform the presentation and longevity of digital content,” Brogan writes. She cites a few programs designed to meet these needs.

The digital pioneers in American literature are asking questions about how the new technology is affecting analysis itself, rather than focusing only on its scope, speed, or convenience. What are the new genres and forms of publication appropriate to the digital age? Brogan concludes, “In their efforts to answer tough questions, these seasoned digital leaders are substantiating the ways in which new media are transforming the study of literature.”

More About this Report

A Kaleidoscope of Digital American Literature
Martha L. Brogan with the assistance of Daphnée Rentfrow.
September 2005. ISBN 1-932326-17-0. 176 pages.

Co-published with Digital Library Federation. Report text is available free at or at Print copies can be ordered at the first URL for $30 per copy plus shipping.

ESRC Society Celebrates Six Month Success for Online Research Resource

A major online project designed to encourage wider access to funded social and economic research has attracted almost a quarter of a million unique visitors in its first six months of life.

WWW.ESRCSOCIETYTODAY.AC.UK – launched in May 2005 by the Economic & Social Research Council – provides academics, students and researchers with a valuable, free digest of social sciences research available, planned and in progress.

Covering funded research on everything from crime, ageing and social exclusion to education, finance and environmental policy, the website also cross-searches material from a range of other national and international sites including the Social Science Information Gateway (SOSIG), the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) and the UK Data Archive.

Crucially, material is presented in a number of different formats – ranging from brief news stories and plain-English summaries, to full research papers and datasets for those who need them. An expanding series of Facts and Figures sheets are also on offer, which give top-line statistics and bullet-point information on a range of key topics and incorporate helpful charts, tables and downloadable presentation slides.

ESRC Society Today editor, Cormac Connolly, says: “The real benefit for academic users is the website’s powerful Autonomy search and personalisation features, which can be accessed by registering on the site.

“Autonomy familiarises itself with your interests, requirements – and even behaviour – allowing you to save your favourite searches and run them again at the press of a button. Registration also means that you can specify particular topics to be alerted to by email as soon as relevant new content is available.

“Work on ESRC Society Today is continuous and we are adding new content to the site and refining usability on a daily basis. Our aim is that ESRC Society Today will become the first port of call for all academics looking for the latest social and economic research,” says Connolly.

For further information visit or contact Cormac Connolly at the ESRC on
01793 413 079

November 2005
Issued on behalf of the Economic and Social Research Council by Harrison Cowley.

‘America Actually’: Report of the 50th Anniversary Postgraduate Conference

University of Sheffield, 19th November 2005

The 2005 BAAS Postgraduate Conference was enormously popular, attracting over 72 delegates, including 60 postgraduate students. As always, the conference succeeded in providing a supportive and informal environment within which young academics could present their work.

The conference provided a forum for some interesting research within American Studies. Scholars attended from across the UK, but also from Switzerland, Romania, Florida, New York, and Chicago. This ensured variety not just in academic discipline, but also in attitudes and opinion. Dr Graham Thompson (University of Nottingham) offered a stimulating and well-received plenary examining the current state of American Studies in the UK. The panel sessions sparked some intense debate around many issues, including international foreign policy, race, Hurricane Katrina, and Iraq. Papers ranged from an exploration of hypertext fiction to a discussion of Eminem’s lyrics and phenomenological conventions in the work of Paul Auster.

The aim of the conference was to provide a stimulating and welcoming environment for postgraduates to present their research and receive helpful feedback, and the lively discussions after each panel were a highlight of the day, often continuing into coffee breaks. The workshop on developing and using WebCT software in the classroom, led by Dr Bob McKay (University of Sheffield), allowed delegates to explore new pedagogical methods for teaching American Studies. The publishing workshop was led by Dr Holly Farrington (Open University), Dr Hugh Wilford (University of Sheffield) and Dr Shirley Foster (University of Sheffield) and offered practical advice to postgraduates on the politics of publication, editing, writing reviews and negotiating book contracts. Throughout the day, Dr Liz Rosen, editor of US Studies Online, was also available to answer questions about submitting articles for publication.

The organisers would like to thank the British Association for American Studies and the US Embassy in London for their financial support, and continuing encouragement of UK postgraduate work in American Studies.

Anne-Marie Evans and Elizabeth Boyle,
University of Sheffield

Travel Award Reports

James Burton, University of Nottingham

I would like to express my sincere thanks to British Association of American Studies for awarding me a 2005 Short-Term Travel Award. The award made possible a research visit to The Margaret Herrick Library in Los Angeles, which is supported through the Academy Foundation (the educational and cultural arm of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). My thesis examines cinematic representations of the Vietnam War era (1963-1975) produced during the period of the ‘hot’ Culture Wars (1987-1995) in the context of a fluid and negotiated cultural memory. I argue that the consumption of popular films becomes part of a vast intertextual mosaic of remembering and forgetting that is constantly redefining, and re-imagining, the past. Therefore, essential to the support of my thesis is an examination of the ways in which promotional materials produced by the studios were used to market the films, as is evidence of the films’ reception in American popular media.

The materials held by The Margaret Herrick Library proved invaluable. Climbing the Kirk Douglas staircase to the Cecil B. DeMille reading room, I entered one of the world’s most extensive and comprehensive research collections on motion pictures. Visiting the library in person was essential because its collections are not available online or through inter-library loan. As well as being able to peruse extensive files of magazine and newspaper clippings – articles which are usually difficult to access because the period on which I focus falls before the online archives of many publications begin – I was able to access unpublished production information, including several files of unapproved, and therefore unpublished, press notes that shed a telling light on the artistic ambitions of the filmmakers and the commercial aims of the studios.

The library was staffed by extremely professional librarians who shared their intricate knowledge of the Library’s holdings and the idiosyncrasies of its filing systems. The library’s twenty-copy-a-day limit proved to be the only frustration of my research experience. An additional benefit of my visit was the chance to converse with the many different scholars researching at the Library at the time, several of whom I’d met previously at conferences and who made diverting lunch companions.

This extended visit also provided me with the opportunity to investigate the culture of Los Angeles, something that I’d always reflexively considered a contradiction in terms. Highlights included a superb Basquiat retrospective at the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art), two outstanding exhibitions – the mind-bending installations of Tim Hawkinson and a survey of the work of the influential photographer André Kertész – at the LACMA (Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art), as well as a rare opportunity to see Richard Lester’s 1968 masterpiece Petulia at the American Cinematheque introduced by the film’s producer. A further, if logistically convoluted and lengthy, side trip enabled me to visit the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, CA. This proved especially interesting since the Library was at the centre of a concerted campaign against the representation of the former President in Oliver Stone’s 1995 film. The ‘official’ version of Nixon’s life as presented by the Library provided excellent material for my examination of the contrived controversy that surrounded the release of Nixon which forms a central part of the final chapter of my thesis.

I would once again like to thank BAAS for providing me with this excellent research opportunity. I have returned invigorated and feel that the research that I have carried out has influenced and shaped my work to an unexpected extent. The materials gathered have provided the solidifying glue for my thesis and I am looking forward to putting them to the fullest possible use.

Patrick Flack, St Catharine’s College, Cambridge

In the early summer of 2005 I made a research trip to Detroit, Michigan. This was done as part of my PhD thesis on race relations in Detroit in the early inter-war period, and I am extremely grateful to BAAS for the Short-Term Travel Award that supported my trip.

Naturally, the bulk of my time was spent working through the archives and in particular in the very pleasant reading room of the Burton Historical Collection in the Detroit Public Library. The Burton Collection contains both the papers of Detroit’s mayors, and a number of sociological studies made about the city’s African-American community during the 1920s, each of which proved to be very fruitful resources. In particular they show that reactions to African-Americans were far from uniform across the city – an African-American family moving into the neighbourhood, for example, could cause a small-scale riot in one district but have few obvious effects elsewhere. I hope to use a significant portion of my PhD to explain these differing responses.

Apart from the Burton Collection, I spent some time in a number of other archives and libraries, including the Purdy-Kresge Library of Wayne State University, the Walter P. Reuther Library, the Archives of the Archdiocese of Detroit, and the Bentley Historical Collection at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. I am indebted to all of the help I received from the librarians and archivists in these collections.

As well as my research, another important aspect of my time in Detroit was the opportunity to experience the city itself first-hand. Although I was, of course, conscious of the problems that the city faced – and, in particular, the level of de facto segregation – I was nonetheless struck by seeing it up close. In particular, my daily commute into the city centre took me across the boundary between the Detroit itself and the suburbs, and the transformation from poverty to affluence over the space of one block was remarkable. Moreover, the contrast between the dilapidation of much of the city centre and the ‘Dynamic Detroit’ that I was studying was very pronounced, and encouraged me to ask whether the seeds of today’s problems can be found in the inter-war period, or whether there were untaken opportunities for the city to develop differently.

However, the physical state of the city was not a reflection on its inhabitants, who were uniformly friendly, pleasant and helpful to a fault. From the staff at libraries and archives, who went out of their way to answer my queries, to my landlords, who were helpful beyond the call of duty, I was discovered friendly faces at every turn. During my stay I was invited to attend the annual meeting and dinner of the Boston-Edison Association. As well as being an extremely pleasant evening, this was an interesting experience for two reasons. Firstly it was fascinating to see how the phenomenon of the neighbourhood association – which in the 1920s had been the foundation stone of residential segregation – was now a progressive force for integration. The attendance was both interracial and genuinely committed to improving their district. Furthermore, the guest speaker was Ella M. Bully-Cummings, the current Detroit Chief of Police, and the first woman to hold that position. She gave a very interesting insight into the state of crime prevention in what is still one of America’s most dangerous cities, as well as some cause for optimism that things may be changing for the better.

To conclude, therefore, my time in Detroit was a great success, providing me with substantial amount of source material for my PhD, giving me an insight into the workings of modern Detroit, and giving me a chance to meet a wide variety of people. I am extremely grateful to BAAS for the support they provided for this visit.

Catherine McGowan, University of Edinburgh

As the fortunate recipient of the Peter Parish BAAS Short-Term Travel Grant I was able to spend three weeks in the United States in October and November 2005 conducting research into the American Convent Narrative between 1830 and 1860.

My thesis will examine representations of convents in the United States before the Civil War, and will pay particular attention to first-person accounts of convent life, whether avowedly fictional or purportedly real. The convent tale was a staple of anti-Catholic rhetoric, an opportunity to disseminate nativist rhetoric in the more palatable guise of a true-life confession or a thrilling tale. While the narratives published under the names of Maria Monk (Awful Disclosures of the Hôtel Dieu Nunnery, 1836) and Rebecca Reed (Six Months in a Convent, 1835) are the most famous and most studied of the narratives, there are many other examples, in a variety of genres, which testify to the extraordinary hold the imagery of the captive nun and the convent had on the public imagination. The purpose of my trip was to study the very many of these texts which are not available in the UK.

The first week of my trip was spent in Washington DC. My first stop was Georgetown University, which has a very useful collection of materials relating to mid-nineteenth century nativism. I spent the rest of the week at the Library of Congress. Most of the texts I wished to consult at the Library were extremely rare and fragile – many were pamphlets and broadsides of the kind that sold well but were not often carefully preserved. I therefore had the pleasure of working in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room, where I was often the only visitor and, as a result, was extremely well looked after.

I spent the second week of my trip in Boston where the weather was less clement; but I still warmly welcomed. I was able to visit several libraries in order to locate rare texts – the Boston Public Library, Boston College, the Houghton Library at Harvard University, the Andover-Harvard Theological Seminary Library, and the Massachusetts Historical Society Library. It was a whistle stop tour but well worth it as I was able to finally consult works I first heard of six years ago while researching for my Masters degree!

While in Boston I took the opportunity to visit Bunker Hill, the site of the Ursuline Convent in Charlestown, which was burned by an enraged mob in 1834 following the circulation of rumours (without foundation) suggesting that the nuns were imprisoned and ill-treated. This was the convent described by Rebecca Reed in her narrative and it was fascinating to be in the place where these events occurred.

My final week was spent in New York and I worked in the New York Public Library, Columbia University and the New-York Historical Society, where I spent more time with pamphlets, broadsheets and newspapers of the period.

The librarians I met with were all extremely helpful and I was made very welcome. My visit to the US was a wonderful experience and I have made great progress in my research. I look forward to visiting again as soon as possible. The opportunity to travel there was particularly welcome as I am studying part-time while working full-time. I have returned with many new ideas and renewed energy for my project. I would like to thank my employer, Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland, for enabling me to take time off.

The financial support of the BAAS made my trip possible and I am very grateful for the assistance I have received.

Yvonne Ryan, University of East Anglia

Receiving this year’s John D Lees award from BAAS was very much appreciated not least because of the validation it bestowed on my choice of thesis subject, the leadership of Roy Wilkins, head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), America’s oldest and biggest civil rights organization. Although Wilkins led the organisation for almost 25 years, my thesis focuses particularly on the years between 1955, when Wilkins became head of the Association, and 1968, by which time the civil rights coalition had disintegrated.

My plan was to spend the bulk of my time poring over the files containing the NAACP papers and the Roy Wilkins papers at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, then spend a few days looking through the Walter and Poppy White papers at Yale University. However, given the scope of the papers available in Washington, I revised my plan to spend more time there exploring the fruits of the NAACP’s extraordinary bureaucracy.

Because of his position, Wilkins features in most examinations of the civil rights movement but any reference to the NAACP leader is invariably in the context of other civil rights leaders or events. In my research at the Library of Congress, I paid particular attention to the response of Wilkins and the NAACP to the challenges posed by the rise of non-violent direct action, in the hope that my thesis can offer a reassessment of a man whose role in the movement has been largely neglected. Wilkins’ navigation of the complex internal politics within the NAACP’s head office, the often tense relationship between the NAACP and the LDF, and between head office and its local branches, the wary alliances between Wilkins and the other civil rights leaders, and Wilkins’ increasingly important rapport with the White House were also particularly important areas of focus my research. I also found the material relating to the alignment (or otherwise) of the civil rights and anti-war movements, Vietnam, and the rise of Black Power to be a particularly interesting avenue of research.

Thanks to an unexpected detour to New York, I was able to spend more time on studying this period while looking through the archives at the Museum of Television and Radio in Manhattan. As the rise of the civil rights movement coincided neatly with the proliferation of television and the news media, which at least during the early years of the movement, helped in raising awareness of the violence and intimidation black Americans faced on a daily basis. Although the museum did not possess a great deal of material available on Wilkins, I was able to watch some documentaries and panel discussions that Wilkins participated in, which was helpful in building up an impression of a man who is still an elusive character.

Without the help of BAAS and their generous travel award, I would not have been able to take this time to exploring the Library of Congress archives and I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for their help. I would also like to thank my supervisor Professor Adam Fairclough who has been endlessly patient and encouraging.

David Watson, University of Dundee

BAAS was generous enough to give me a grant of £500 to travel for research in America. The research is for my PhD dissertation, which is on the subject of relations between Native Americans and British soldiers in the period after the Seven Years War. With this money I was able to afford a return plane ticket to American, where during over the summer I was able to visit three separate archives, all of which contain many documents concerning the period unavailable in Britain. First I went to Ann Arbor to study the Gage papers at the Williams Clements Library. Gage was the Commander in Chief from 1765 to 1774, and his letter books contain a lot of information of the attitudes and actions of troops concerning Native Americans. One of the startling things that I discovered while researching at the Clements, was that in attempting to keep the peace on the frontier one of the main obstacles for Gage was not racism within the army but a lack of co-operation from civil authorities. Indeed Gage grew so frustrated with the attitude of those who were meant to be assisting him that he advocated, but did not order, the killing of those who had murdered Native Americans without trial, as he knew such trials were unlikely to ever produce a guilty verdict. In the Gage papers I also found a list of all the army officers who had served as commanders at the frontier posts, which will be invaluable in further research.

After this I traveled to the David Library in Pennsylvania where I stayed for a month examining various records – in particular those of colonial governors, British officers and a large collection of documents concerning Native American diplomacy.

Finally I traveled to Philadelphia to the History Society of Pennsylvania, which houses many documents concerning the colonial frontier just prior to the revolution. There I looked at the letters of George Croghan, Indian trader and William Johnson’s deputy and also letters of various other Indian traders. These letters revealed the completely corrupt nature of some British frontier commanders, in particular the officer in charge at Fort Chartres, who used the isolation of the post to make himself de-facto ruler of the area and it’s inhabitants. I am extremely grateful for to the BAAS for making it possible for me to spend the summer conducting research in America.

The Future of Interdisciplinary Area Studies

Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford, 6-7 December 2005

A conference on the future of area studies is very timely, particularly in the lead up to the RAE where American Studies is positioned in sub-panel 47 with other Anglophone area studies. The recent conference organised by Roger Goodman from the Institute of Japanese Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford, sponsored by the AHRC and ESRC, took a broad look at the historical emergence and future possibilities of a variety of area studies disciplines, their interrelationship, and links between research, training, social policy and public groups. With speakers representing different areas – from Middle Eastern Studies and South Asian Studies to Chinese Studies and Latin American Studies – much of the conference focused on issues relating to advanced language proficiency and interdisciplinary research in non-Anglophone cultures, pressing issues also raised at the Midwest Modern Language Convention in Milwaukee in November. Given this emphasis, although many of the sessions related tangentially to North American Studies, the American Studies community had a fairly marginal presence at the conference.

The only academic speaker from the UK American Studies community was James Dunkerley, Director of the Institute of the Study of Americas at the University of London, with five other representatives from Oxford, Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, and the Eccles Centre, totalling around 8% of the delegates. Where American Studies stands apart from other area studies disciplines is in relation to recruitment, with the estimate that there are 27 single honours programmes in American Studies amongst 40 UK providers of the subject at undergraduate level, outweighing all other disciplines represented at the conference. Dunkerley spoke about the plurality of undergraduate experiences of studying American Studies in the UK, with some institutions emphasizing alignments with other national traditions (Canada), non-Anglophone areas (Latin America), and the impact of the US on other global cultures. He focused particularly on the way in which recent journals, such as the Journal of Transatlantic Studies (Edinburgh University Press, launched in 2003) and the Journal of Intercultural Communication Research (Routledge, to be launched in 2006), suggest that the American Studies community is regenerating itself from within, with new formulations beyond the nation state model, and with many young postgraduates finding academic jobs in the field or within related disciplines.

Other speakers of note included David Ludden from the University of Pennsylvania and John Coatsworth from Harvard University, who spoke about the rise of area studies from a US perspective. Ludden linked the historic development of area studies during the cold war to US foreign policy and the ways in which future paradigms for area studies seem wedded to government strategies for filling in knowledge gaps about potentially influential and/or volatile cultures. Coatsworth focused on the generation gap of area studies scholars in the US, brought about by lack of support during the Nixon administration in the 1970s, a federal funding stream which was not to be re-established until the 1990s. The prominence of centres and institutes in US research universities suggest that area studies groups have been developing in the interstices of departments for some time, such as the Center for International Development at Harvard University, the Contemporary History Institute at Ohio University, and the Center for Critical Theory and Transnational Studies at the University of Oregon.

A talk from Colin Bundy, Director of SOAS, raised some important theoretical questions that impact directly on American Studies. Among the issues Bundy raised are three in particular: first, the manner in which multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary studies often get confused or elided without a clear intellectual or pedagogic reason for using specific terms; second, the way in which area studies are often hostage to changing national priorities, with many governments having an instrumental approach to investment in particular areas and languages, going through 10 to 15 year cycles of feast and famine; and, third, the difficulty of finding a middle ground for area studies between, on the one hand, the celebration of diverse intellectual energies and, on the other, the tacit sense that the concept of area studies might have outlived its use.

More practical sessions included a report on the Demographic Review of the Social Sciences carried out by David Mills from Birmingham (sponsored by the ESRC and soon to be released) focusing on ‘rendezvous disciplines’ such as criminology, business studies and area studies. The indications from this report are that the age profile of the American Studies community contains a greater proportion of younger academics than other areas. An informative presentation by John Canning from the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies at Southampton ( outlined on-line teaching resources and future projects sponsored by the Subject Centre. There were also talks from AHRC and ESRC representatives about funding opportunities and an interesting session from such user groups as Oxfam, Financial Times, and Rolls Royce. The consensus of this session was that if a user group requires specialist knowledge they would go, where possible, to the country of origin. Telephoning Washington is obviously much easier than extracting detailed information from Beijing, Kabul or Pyongyang, which puts a premium on certain area specialisms, but rather sidelines the UK American Studies community when it comes to offering a public service.

On a more positive note, the Americanist delegates at the conference felt that American Studies in the UK is ahead of other area groups in many respects: it has a strong national organisation, has a successful track record of raising trans-disciplinary research funding (such as the recent Three Cities project at Nottingham and the current Beyond the Book project at Birmingham), and has long been premised on interdisciplinary practice.

Martin Halliwell,
Centre for American Studies, University of Leicester

Conference and Seminar Announcements

2006 American Indian Workshop

Place in Native American History, Literature and Culture
American Studies Department
School of Humanities
Swansea University
29-31 March, 2006

The latest research on the interrelationships between place and Native American history, literature and culture will be presented at the 2006 American Indian Workshop. Paper presentations and plenary sessions fill the three-day agenda. A buffet and performance of Welsh Oral Tradition from The Merlin Theatre Company is scheduled for the evening of the 29th March as well as a conference dinner at The Mermaid Restaurant, Mumbles for the evening of 30th March (the costs of these events are included within the conference fee).

Attendees are invited from across disciplines. It is envisaged that the conference theme will bring together research from American Studies, American history, geography, sociology, anthropology and English Literature. Researchers working in Native community development and within the museum communities are also welcome.

Keynote speakers include Alan Trachtenberg (Yale University), Deborah Madsen (University of Geneva), Bruce Johansen (University of Nebraska) and David Murray (University of Nottingham). Performance of Welsh Oral Tradition from the Merlin Theatre Company. Optional delegate’s 3-hour round trip to the Gower Peninsula including Worm’s Head and Rhossilli beach [the UK’s first designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty].

Please register by 20th February 2006
Please send or email your completed registration form to:

Anne Edwards
Tel: +44 (0)1792 295755
School of Humanities,
Swansea University,
4th Floor,
Vivian Building,
Singleton Park,

American Modernism: Cultural Transactions

22-23 September 2006, Institute for Historical and Cultural Research, Oxford Brookes University

American Modernism: Cultural Transactions (22-23 September 2006) is a two-day event where a number of professorial speakers from the U.K. and a plenary U.S.-based speaker will discuss the manifestations and perimeters of modern American literary and popular culture. The event aims to assess the impact and the magnitude of transatlantic influences, address questions pertaining to the rise and domicile of the literary avant-garde and examine issues surrounding race, gender and sexuality in the period. In short, it aims to assess the U.S.’s current place in the global landscape in light of its modernist cultural transactions

American Modernism: Cultural Transactions was conceived under the IHCR’s focus group in the Cultures of Modernism. The conference aims to bring together scholars of international standing to engage in a series of dialogues that address the cogency of the term with specific emphasis upon their own research. Invited speakers (tbc) include: Professor Hermione Lee (Oxford), Professor Janet Beer (Manchester Metropolitan), Dr Paul Giles (Oxford), Professor Martin Halliwell (Leicester), Professor Mick Gidley (Leeds), Professor Steven Mattthews (Oxford Brookes), Dr Mark Whalan (Exeter), Professor Tim Armstrong (Royal Holloway) and Professor Ron Bush (Oxford). Each dialogue will last for one hour (including questions) and the conference will commence with a plenary discussion of the difficulties inherent in the term ‘American Modernism’ by confirmed speaker Professor Cassandra Laity (Drew), co-editor of the journal Modernism/modernity.

The first afternoon of the conference will be dedicated entirely to postgraduate research and work in the field of American Modernism. There will be a publishing workshop, a talk on funding opportunities for postgraduate researchers and a series of research-focused panel discussions. Thus, the organisers would welcome paper abstracts (300 words) and short biographical details listing name, contact address, e-mail and institutional affiliation. Please send abstracts to Dr Catherine Morley or Dr Alex Goody

The conference is open to all BAAS members and the general public. Please contact the organisers at the above e-mail address for registration.
Conference Fee: £30 (waged) and £15 (unwaged/PG).

Faulkner and Twain

A Conference Sponsored by the Center for Faulkner Studies
Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
October 19-21, 2006
Deadline for proposals: April 30, 2006

This “Faulkner and Twain” conference invites proposals for twenty-minute papers on any topic related to Faulkner and/or Twain. All critical approaches, including theoretical and pedagogical, are welcomed, as well as papers on special collections of Twain and Faulkner. We are particularly interested in inter-textual approaches and papers treating such topics as the river, the frontier, humor, race, and history. Proposals for organized panels are also encouraged.

In addition to the paper sessions, the conference will include a keynote address by a noted scholar, a dramatic presentation based on the works of Faulkner and Twain, exhibits from the university’s Faulkner and Twain collections, and an historic tour of the local area.

Expanded versions of papers dealing with both authors will be considered for possible publication in a collection of essays. Southeast Missouri State University Press has expressed an interest in such a collection.

E-mail a 250-word abstract by April 30, 2006, to:

Inquiries should be directed to Robert Hamblin at
or Peter Froehlich at

Inaugural International Seminar: Engaging the “New” American Studies

Department of American and Canadian Studies and the Centre for US Foreign Policy, Media, and Culture
The University of Birmingham
Thursday 11 May, Friday 12 May and Saturday 13 May 2006

The first in a series of annual international seminars, this is designed to bring together leading scholars and top postgraduates from around the world to discuss “America” in historical and contemporary contexts.

This event will be linked to a “partner” International Seminar at the University of Southern California, being held this year in April 2006.

Plenary guest speakers (tbc): John Carlos Rowe (Director Critical Theory Institute, University of Southern California); Jane Desmond (Director, Institute for United States Studies, University of Iowa); Sheila Hones (University of Tokyo); et alia.

Day One links American Studies with issues of history, politics, international relations and globalization. It will focus on the topic “US Hyper-Power?”

Day Two and Day Three will explore the topic “Engaging American Studies” organised around two main strands — a Politics/International Relations strand and a Cultural Studies/History/Literary-Textual strand. The central focus is provided by papers engaging with the issue of how the “new” American Studies impacts on the fields of enquiry being explored. However, papers on a very broad range of topics will be countenanced.

The UK Government has awarded us some extra funding this year to run this inaugural event, and we expect partners, scholars, and postgraduates to participate from North America, Europe, the Middle East, China, and Japan.

We warmly invite you to come to this event, either to deliver a paper or just to participate.


Costs for graduate students would normally be £8.00 per day (which includes registration, coffee, tea (and other light refreshments) and a buffet lunch. Alternatively students can enroll for all three days for £19.

Payment on the day (late registration): £10 per day or £25 for three days.

For accommodation contact Sara Wood:


1. Full name
2. Contact Address
3. Contact email
4. Payment in advance: £8.00 per day or £19 for three days.
(Payment on the day (late registration): £10 per day or £25 for three days).

Email Sara Wood to request a payment form.


1. Full name
2. Contact Address
3. Contact email
4. Institutional Affiliation
5. Proposal: 400 word proposals outlining the paper you propose to deliver. Each paper will be scheduled for 15 minutes.

This cfp lasts until Friday 24 March 2006.

Institute of North American Studies

The Department of North American Studies, part of the larger Institute of North American and European Studies, is hoping to create links with other universities with American Studies programs

The Department of North American Studies, part of the larger Institute of North American and European Studies, was founded in January 2005. The Department brings together a diverse collection of professors and lecturers from a wide variety of disciplines within the University of Tehran. This multi-disciplinary approach encompasses History, Literature, Politics, Economics, and Cultural Studies to produce innovative research and analysis and to provide students with a broad base of knowledge and skills for their future careers.

The Department of North American Studies has established a fruitful partnership with
the Department of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Birmingham,
United Kingdom, and we are hoping to create links with other universities with American Studies programs. As the department is the first of its kind in the country, we are hoping that sister programs within the American Studies Association might be able to assist us by sending audio and video material as well as books on American literature (including literary texts), history, culture, politics, and Philosophy.

Seyed Mohammad Marandi
Head of the North American Studies Department
University of Tehran
Tel: 0098-21-66965065
Fax: 0098-21-66965066
P.O. Box: 14155-6468
Web site:

This message is posted on behalf of on behalf of the American Studies Association’s
International Initiative. For further information contact, the International Initiative Project Director, Shelley Fisher Fishkin,
or the Project Coordinator,

Rethinking the Iberian Atlantic

20-22 April 2006
University of Liverpool

The Atlantic has, since the 1990s, become established as the principal site of cross-cultural encounter between Europe, Africa, and America. Reflecting the increasing awareness of the ‘world as a whole’, recent research into multiple different ‘Atlantics’ tests the boundaries of established national and disciplinary research frames. Studies of the many separate ‘Atlantics’, however, do not easily communicate with one another. Their dialogue is one that is riddled with problems, yet at the same time promises exciting prospects for future research. We would like to reflect on and facilitate this dialogue, inviting scholars to take a long and deep view of the Atlantic, and, in doing so, to consider whether and how the Atlantic paradigm remains relevant in the 21st century.

Rethinking the Iberian Atlantic is the first in a series of colloquia and research seminars that offer the opportunity to explore the common ground shared by different and diverse approaches to the historical and cultural study of the Atlantic. Our starting point is the question of whether we can – or should – talk about an ‘Iberian Atlantic.’ How might such a space be located within the widening framework of Atlantic Studies, and what might it mean to scholars from different disciplines and traditions working on Iberian Studies in the widest sense? How might research into specific Iberian experiences of the Atlantic – whether cultural, historical, political, social or economic – contribute to, confirm, or challenge the hegemonic narratives of Atlantic Studies, from which the Iberian perspective is so often absent? By considering such questions, and encouraging contributors to identify the unresolved problems that obstruct the dialogue between the many approaches and research narratives that fill the Atlantic space, we hope to facilitate the identification and definition of future agendas for research.

Speakers include: Catherine Davies (Nottingham University), Roberto Ignacio Diaz
(University of Southern California), Felipe Fernandez – Armesto (Tufts), Eliga Gould
(University of New Hampshire), Alistair Hennessey (University of Warwick), Richard
Kagan (Johns Hopkins University), Bill Marshall (University of Glasgow), Diogo Ramada Curto (European University Institute, Florence).

For more information, please contact the organisers:
Dr Harald Braun
School of History
University of Liverpool
Liverpool L69 3BX

Dr Kirsty Hooper
School of Modern Languages
University of Liverpool
Liverpool L69 7ZR

For registration (forthcoming), see our website:

Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford

Hilary Term Events

Weds 8 Feb 4.00 pm
American History Research Seminar
Mary Beth Norton, Cornell University and University of Cambridge: “Lady Frances Berkeley and the Politics of Gendered Power in Seventeenth-Century Virginia”

Thurs 9 Feb 4.00 pm
Seminar in American Politics
George Edwards, Texas A&M University and Nuffield College, Oxford “Policy and Polarization: The Revolutionary Presidency of George W. Bush”

Fri 10 Feb 9.00 am
Presidential Power Reconsidered: Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon
Nigel Bowles

Tues 14 Feb 11.00 am
The Social Origins of Women’s Rights Movements in the US, 1776-2000. Kathryn Kish Sklar

Weds 15 Feb 4.00 pm
American History Research Seminar
Beth Salerno, St. Anselm University: “Women and the Antislavery Movement, 1830-1860”

Thurs 16 Feb 4.00 pm
Seminar in American Politics
Colin Provost, University of Oxford
“When Is AG Short for Aspiring Governor? Institutional Structure, Policymaking Dynamics and Ambition in the Office of State Attorney General”

Tues 21 Feb 11.00 am
The Social Origins of Women’s Rights Movements in the US, 1776-2000. Kathryn Kish Sklar

Weds 22 Feb 4.00 pm
American History Research Seminar
Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University: “African American Women and Community Life in the Twentieth Century”

Thurs 23 Feb 4.00 pm
Seminar in American Politics
Paul Martin, University of Oxford “Bureaucracy, Production and Dissent: The Institutionalization of the United States Supreme Court, 1860-2000”

Thurs 23 Feb 4.00pm
The 2005 Fortenbaugh Lecture Via Videolink from the University of Virginia.
Gary W. Gallagher, University of Virginia
“The Progress of Our Arms: Whither Civil War Military History?”

Tues 28 Feb 11.00 am
The Social Origins of Women’s Rights Movements in the US, 1776-2000. Kathryn Kish Sklar

Weds 1 Mar 4.00 pm
American History Research Seminar
Tom Dublin, SUNY Binghamton and RAI “Editing an Online History Journal: The Women and Social Movements website”

Thurs 2 Mar 4.00 pm
Seminar in American Politics
Marc Stears, University of Oxford “The American Liberal Tradition Revisited”

Thurs 2 Mar 5.00 pm
American Literature Colloquium
Alex Houen, University of Sheffield
“Allen Ginsberg and the Vietnam War”

Tues 7 Mar 11.00 am
The Social Origins of Women’s Rights Movements in the US, 1776-2000. Kathryn Kish Sklar

Weds 8 Mar 4.00 pm
American History Research Seminar
Dorothy Sue Cobble, Rutgers University: “The Long Women’s Movement for Social Justice”

Thurs 9 Mar 4.00 pm
Seminar in American Politics
Patricia Hurley and Kim Hill, Texas A&M University: “An Agenda for the Study of Representation.”

For further details about the American History Research Seminar please contact:

For further details about the American Politics Seminar please contact:

For further details about any other events please contact Cheryl Hudson on 01865 (2)82710 or at, or go to the RAI website

Salzburg Seminar American Studies Alumni Association (SSASAA)

Redefining America: Race, Ethnicity and Immigration
7-10 September 2006

Keynote Speaker: Emory Elliott, University Professor of the University of California and Distinguished Professor of English, University of California Riverside; President-Elect, American Studies Association Ronald Clifton, Adjunct Professor of American Studies, Stetson University, Deland, Florida

Deborah L. Madsen, Professor of American Literature and Culture, University of Geneva

Ruben Rumbaut, Professor of Sociology, University of California Irvine (via video conference – status pending)

In the last thirty years, millions of people from Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa have migrated and immigrated to the United States, contributing to remarkable social, political and cultural transformations for both the new arrivals and the communities and regions in which they have settled. Economic shifts, social tensions, and political conflict have often accompanied these population changes.

At the same time, the cultural production of the new immigrants often mediates the social pressures of change as they often bring with them not only family but a variety of goods, styles of dress, religious practices, forms of art and expression, and perspectives on all aspects of human experience that daily transform the cultural fabric of their communities and of the United States. This symposium will focus on how these factors relate to current social, political and economic dynamics in the United States and their implication for cultural change and America’s role in the world. Discussion will be invited on how the literature, film, music, art, and other forms of cultural production mediate or not the conflicts and tensions produced by such rapid immigration and social changes.

The 2006 SSASAA symposium is open to all Salzburg Seminar alumni interested in the field of American Studies, as well as any scholar working actively in the area of American Studies. The symposium will consist of presentations by distinguished scholars of American Studies as well as theme-based discussion groups. Additional events include a barbeque, receptions, a concert in Schloss Leopoldskron, and a gala dinner on the final evening.

Payment information: The fee for the symposium is 500 Euro for a single 800 Euro for a double room. If the total payment is made by March 1, 2006, the fee is 475 Euro for a single and 760 Euro for a double. The fee includes accommodation and meals for three nights, tuition and fees and social events, but does not include travel expenses. Limited financial aid is available for partial scholarships to help cover the symposium fee. This need should be stated at the time of registration.

Credit cards are accepted (payment in Euro only)

In order to reserve a space, a completed registration form and a 100
Euro deposit (refundable until July 1) is required.

Space is limited and reservations will be confirmed in the order in which they are received. For further information about the SSASAA symposium, contact SSASAA leader Marty Gecek,

A Strained Partnership: European-American Relations and the Middle East from Suez to Iraq

Zurich/Switzerland, 7-9 September 2006
Convened by the Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) Andreas Wenger, Victor Mauer, Daniel Mvckli

In association with The Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact (PHP).

Divergent views on the justification and legitimacy of the Iraq War in 2003 have caused a deep rift in transatlantic relations from which the Western Alliance has yet to recover. However, as remarkable as this crisis has been in terms of its intensity and consequences, it merely represents the latest in a whole series of intra-Western controversies over the Middle East. In fact, the issue of how to deal with the Middle East has constituted a major source of European-America n tension since the beginnings of the transatlantic partnership in the late 1940s. The Suez Crisis of 1956, the October War in 1973, and the recent Iraq War constitute only three of the most prominent examples of what appears to be a dominant pattern of allied conflict about the right kind of policies and approaches towards the Middle East. What is more, as most of the major security risks today relate in some way or other to the “crisis crescent” of the Southern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region, the Middle East is bound to stay at the forefront of attention of Western policy-makers and will remain a key determinant of European-American relations for the foreseeable future.

Against this background, the conference aims at placing the current transatlantic strain over Iraq into a wider perspective. Its main objective is to trace the Western debates regarding the Middle East since 1948/49 and to identify the major causes and constellations of allied d discord and cooperation over time. We seek to determine essential elements of continuity and change concerning European and US interests, threat assessments, and policy preferences, relating to either the region at large or individual key issues such as Gulf security or the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The conference hopes to bring together historians and political analysts with expertise on particular incidents and topics regarding allied conflict and cooperation over the Middle East. Papers should either deal with a relevant case study or cover the evolution of intra-Western perceptions of a given Middle East issue over time. Authors are urged to avoid too narrow approaches. They should apply a multilateral perspective to their analysis and put their specific findings into the bigger context of the overall conference theme. While intra-European differences regarding the Middle East are important and may be addressed, the main focus should be on the European-American dimension. Please note that the conference is not about the Middle East as such, but rather about its significance for transatlantic relations.

Possible topics to address include:

I. Gulf security and transatlantic relations
– The allies and the Gulf during the early Cold War
– The 1970s and 1980s: Western responses to the Iranian Revolution, the Iran-Iraq
War, and the growing regional presence of the Soviet Union

– Operation Desert Storm 1990/91: A brief moment of unity?
– Dual containment (of Iran and Iraq) and its discontents: The 1990s
– The Iraq War 2003: The Alliance at the crossroads
– Dealing with Iran and its nuclear program

II. The Arab-Israeli conflict: What role for Europe?
– The allies and the Middle East conflict during the early Cold War
– The Six-Day War 1967: Realignments within the West
– The October War and the Oil Crisis, 1973/74: Kissinger, Europe, and the Middle East
– European-US differences over the Arab-Israeli conflict in the later 1970s and the
– The Peace Process in the 1990s: European-US commonality and divisions
– The Middle East Quartet: A new role for Europe?

III. NATO and the Middle East: The evolving out-of-area debate
– European colonial interests and US East-West prerogatives – the early Cold War
period (e.g., NATO and the defense of the Middle East 1948-55, the Algerian War, the
Suez Crisis 1956, Lebanon/Jordan 1958)
– US claims to leadership and calls for burden-sharing – from the 1960s to the end
of the Cold War
– From a non-policy to pragmatic consensus? NATO and the Middle East in the 1990s
– NATO and the War on Terror in the Middle East – the early 21st century

IV. Other key themes in long-term perspective
– The evolution of European and US concepts for regional order
– Energy and security: Diverging oil dependencies and allied policies vis-à-vis the
Middle East
– The West and the military balance in the Middle East: Arms sales and arms control
– WMD and Western counter-proliferation policies

The deadline for paper proposals is 28 February 2006. Proposals should include a title, a one-page outline, and a short CV of the author. There will be about 20 papers/speakers. Authors will be notified whether their proposal has been accepted by the end of March 2006. Draft papers will have to be submitted by 13 August 2006, to allow for their distribution to all the participants prior to the conference.

At the conference itself, authors will summarize their papers in oral presentations of up to 15-minute duration, strictly enforced by the chairperson of each session, thus allowing enough time for substantive discussion stimulated by the papers.

A publication of the conference papers is envisaged. Participants will receive a financial contribution to cover their transport and accommodation costs for their stay in Zurich.

Please submit proposals by e-mail, if possible, or send by airmail to:

Daniel Mvckli
Senior Researcher
Center for Security Studies
ETH Zurich WEC
CH-8092 Zurich

Transatlantic Conflict and Consensus: Culture, History, and Politics

The Maastricht Center for Transatlantic Studies issues a call for papers for its fourth biennial conference on Transatlantic Studies. The conference, entitled “Transatlantic Conflict and Consensus: Culture, History, and Politics”, will be held October 25-28, 2006, on the campus of Teikyo University Holland, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Along with presentation of accepted papers, the conference will feature speakers representing the American view of transatlantic relations, a continental European view of transatlantic relations, and an academic overview of the discussion.

Organizing and sponsor institutions of the conference include the Maastricht Center for Transatlantic Studies; Gloucestershire University, UK; and The University of South Dakota, USA. Contact Dr. Neil Wynn at or Dr. Tim Schorn at, or see the conference website, for additional information.

TSA Annual Conference, 2006

Deadline for proposals: 12 April 2006

The 2006 TSA annual conference will be held at the University of Dundee on June 12-15, 2006. Proposals for individual papers or for panels should be sent by April 12, 2006, to Alan Dobson, chair of TSA, or David Ryan, Secretary of TSA, at

This year we are centralizing the submission of proposals, but we would ask all those who normally recruit for History, IR, Literature and Culture, Race and Migration, Planning, Economics, Regeneration and the Environment, please to do so as per normal. Panel sessions will consist of three 20-minute papers, followed by 30 minutes of discussion.

The plenary speakers will be: Josef Jarab, a senator from the Czech Republic, recipient of the first Fulbright Woodrow Wilson Freedom Award in recognition of his work in promoting the understanding of America in Europe, a prolific writer, eminent scholar, president of the European Association for American Studies, 2002-04. He will give a paper on ‘European American Studies: A Potential Not Fully Used for the Enhancement of Transatlantic Interests and Understanding.’

Robin Boyle, Professor of Urban Planning at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A., a leading authority in his field with a range of publications. He will give a paper on ‘Learning from New Orleans: The Condition of the American City (and the Lessons for Europe).’

John Dumbrell, Professor of Politics, University of Leicester, England, one of the leading specialists in Britain on U.S. foreign policy and Anglo-American relations (TBC).

We encourage delegates to submit their papers to The Journal of Transatlantic Studies for consideration for publication after the conference.

There will be a number of small bursaries available, mainly to help young scholars and research students.

There will be an afternoon civic reception at Verdant Jute Works, one of the most impressive industrial museums in Europe.

At the end of the conference, the option is provided of a half-day trip to historic and beautiful Glamis Castle, childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, birthplace of Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret, legendary setting for William Shakespeare’s famous play, Macbeth, and home of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne since 1372. Departure from the conference centre will be at 2.00 p.m, Thursday, July 15, with return in the early evening. Free transport, reduced entry charge and tea in the 16th century kitchen – cost is £18.00 per person.

For details of conference registration, please contact Alan Dobson at

University of Cambridge, American History Seminars

Lent Term 2006

Meetings will take place on Mondays at 5.00 in the Latimer Room, Clare College

6 February 2006
Iwan Morgan (Institute for the Study of the Americas)
Co-existing with the Other Red Peril: Ronald Reagan and the Budget Deficit

13 February 2006
Daniel Geary (University of Nottingham)
“Becoming International Again”: C. Wright Mills and the Global New Left

20 February 2006
Samuel Webb (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
A Southern Liberal Fights For Survival: Senator Lister Hill and the World War II Conservative Backlash

27 February 2006
Patricia Sullivan (University of South Carolina) & Lucy Hackney
Freedom Writer: the life and letters of Virginia Durr

6 March 2006
Ben Marsh (University of Stirling)
Sericulture on British America’s Southern Frontier

13 March 2006
Dominic Sandbrook (Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford)
The Ford/Carter Years

New Members

Oliver Belas is a PhD student, studying African-American detective and science fiction. His work focuses on the relationships between literary genres and stereotypes and his approach may be generally classified as that of a cultural historian.

Caroline Blinder is a Lecturer in American Literature and Culture at Goldsmiths College, London. Her current research focuses on the intersections between American photography and documentary writing. She is writing on Let Us Praise Now Famous Men (editing a critical anthology on this work), Paul Strand’s phototextual collaboration, the photographer Weegee’s ‘Naked City,’ and Jack Kerouac and Robert Frank’s relationship.

Helen Bralesford is based at the University of Nottingham. Her research interests include Environmentalism, Eco-Feminism, 20th Century Literature and Women’s Studies.

Mark Brown is a Lecturer at the University of Derby and also teaches American Literature and Film at the University of Keele. His monograph Paul Auster: Towards a Poetics of Place is forthcoming with Manchester University Press. His research interests include urban cultures, focusing primarily on Auster and New York City. He uses the discourses of cultural geography to explore the ways that authors represent the contemporary urban condition.

Adam Burns is a postgraduate student working on American history at the University of Edinburgh. His work examines lynching in the South during the McKinley to Taft era. He obtained his BA in American Studies form the University of Birmingham.

Jacqueline Cahif is a postgraduate student at the University of Glasgow. Her interests include gender and social history. Her PhD research examines prostitution in late 18th and early 19th century Philadelphia.

Kathryn Davies is studying for an MPhil in American history. She spent one year as an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which inspired her Masters research. Her ongoing research is based on a reassessment of the Notting Hill race riots.

Jane Drabble is an MPhil student at the University of Birmingham. Her main interests are film and political and social structures. Her research will involve examining the presentation of drug addiction on film since 1945.

Julie Hall is a PhD candidate at Royal Holloway. Her interests include segregation and the civil rights movement in the US, as well as North American children’s literature.

Zoe Hyman is currently undertaking an MPhil in American history at the University of Sussex. Her research is based on truth and reconciliation in the United States.

Roger Johnson holds a BA in Art History from the University of Sussex and an MA from the Institute for the Study of the Americas. He has recently started a PhD at Sussex. His dissertation examines the public perception of Ronald Reagan’s presidency and his place in American history.

Andrew Jones is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas in Austin. He received an MA from the University of Glasgow in 2005 (American Studies) and a BA from Sheffield in English Language and Literature. His interests include postmodern architecture and poetry, vernacular landscape photography and urban studies.

Matthew Jones is Chair of American Foreign Relations at the University of Nottingham. His research interests include US nuclear history, US relations with Asian states and societies, Anglo-American relations, and the relationship between race and foreign policy.

Garry Maciver is a based at the University of Cambridge. His interests include mid-twentieth century drama and literature of the American South.

Alex Miles is a PhD candidate at Salford University. His research focuses on contemporary US foreign policy and, in particular, the policies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush towards rogue states. He is a graduate of the University of Keele.

Tatsushi Narita teaches American literature and American Studies at Nagoya City University. He serves on the Executive Council of the International American Studies Association and is the founding president of the Nagoya Comparative Culture Forum (NCCF). He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard, working with Professor Walter J. Bate and Ronald Bush. His main interest is in the development of ‘Transpacific’ American Studies (TPAS).

Kathryn Nicol is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include contemporary literature, nation, ethnicity and gender.

Ross Nicolson is a PhD candidate at Pembroke College, Oxford. His work examines Richard Nixon and young voter mobilisation.

Donna Pemberdy is a doctoral candidate in the Institute of Film Studies at the university of Nottingham where she is currently researching masculinity crisis narratives in contemporary American film.

Julie Sheridan is writing her PhD dissertation at Trinity College Dublin on the fiction of Joyce Carol Oates. She holds a BA and an MA from University College Dublin and is the Postgraduate Representative for the Irish Association of American Studies (IAAS).

J.E. Smyth is a Lecturer in the History Department at the University of Warwick. His research interests centre on issues in American historiography and Hollywood cinema. His work has appeared in Rethinking History, The Historical Journal of Film, Radio & TV and Film Quarterly.

Max D. Stites is researching a PhD dissertation on Charles Dickens, Hunter S, Thompson and the American Dream. His interests include Victorian Studies, literary journalism, the New Journalism and mid- to late-twentieth century American literature.

Mark Straw is a doctoral candidate at the University of Birmingham. His work explores the notion of disclosure and trauma in contemporary cinema.

David Wall completed an MA in American Studies at Nottingham and then undertook a PhD in American Culture Studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. His doctoral thesis was entitled ‘Subject to Disorder: Carnival and the Grotesque Body in Antebellum Literature and Culture. He was a lecturer at Bowling Green State for eight years and returned to the UK permanently in 2002. His current position is Coordinator of the HE Cultural Studies programme at the Batley School of Art and Design. His current research is focused on Hollywood, art and the discourses of genius and madness.

Caroline Welsh is a postgraduate student at the University of Glasgow.

Jenny Woodley is undertaking a PhD at the University of Nottingham. She is researching the cultural campaigns of the NAACP, looking at its promotion of positive images and its challenge to negative depictions of African Americans. Her Masters research examined the NAACP’s anti-lynching campaign.

Thomas Wright is a postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge. His interests include US urban history, nineteenth-century literature and transatlantic literary relations.

Lynne Cheryl Yarnevich is based in Kansas City. She is a 2003 MA graduate of the Institute of United States Studies at the University of London.

Members’ Publications

Lincoln Geraghty will publish “Living with Star Trek: American Culture and Star Trek Fandom” (IB Tauris) in 2006.

Members’ News

Lincoln Geraghty has been appointed Senior Lecturer in Film Studies in the School of Creative Arts, Film and Media at the University of Portsmouth.

Fellowship Opportunities

The Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford

The Rothermere American Institute is a centre for research in the field of American studies based at the University of Oxford, UK. It houses a major library, seminar rooms, and offices for Fellows. The Institute was opened in 2001 by former US President Bill Clinton.
We are now inviting scholars to apply for fellowships to commence from September 2006. We offer fellowships for up to one year; however appointments may be awarded for shorter time periods.

No stipends are offered, but new and efficient offices are provided to scholars, including computers, phones and access to administrative support. We also offer travel grants for research purposes with a value of up to £500. During the periods when the colleges of the University are in operation, we provide Senior Fellows with common room rights at one of the neighbouring colleges.

For more details and an application form, please visit our website at, or contact the Assistant Director at the Rothermere American Institute, 1A South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3TG, United Kingdom.

Tel: +44 1865 282 710
Fax: +44 1865 282 720

Newberry Library Fellowships in the Humanities, 2006-07

The Newberry Library, an independent research library in Chicago, Illinois, invites applications for its 2006-07 Fellowships in the Humanities. Newberry Library fellowships support research in residence at the Library. All proposed research must be appropriate to the collections of the Newberry Library. Our fellowship program rests on the belief that all projects funded by the Newberry benefit from engagement both with the materials in the Newberry’s collections and with the lively community of researchers that gathers around those collections. Long-term residential fellowships are available to postdoctoral scholars for periods of six to eleven months. Applicants for postdoctoral awards must hold the Ph.D. at the time of application. The stipend for these fellowships is up to $40,000. Short-term residential fellowships are intended for postdoctoral scholars or Ph.D. candidates from outside of the Chicago area who have a specific need for Newberry collections. Scholars whose principal residence or place of employment is within the Chicago area are not eligible. The tenure of short-term fellowships varies from one week to two months. The amount of the award is generally $1200 per month. Applications for long-term fellowships are due January 10, 2006; applications for most short-term fellowships are due March 1, 2006. For more information or to download application materials, visit our Web site at:

If you would like materials sent to you by mail, write to Committee on Awards, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610-3380. If you have questions about the fellowships program, contact: or (312) 255-3666.

Publishing Opportunities

American Fiction Of The 1990s CFP

Abstracts are invited for a collection of essays on American fiction of the 1990s, which has been commissioned by Routledge. Primary authors and texts should be mostly those taught, well known, award-winning, literary (the collection is designed for senior-level undergraduate courses). Essays may focus on a single text or author or may group texts or authors under a coherent, relevant topic. Essays will be assigned to one of the following themes, which form the organizing sections of the book: Geographies, Ethnicities, Memories, Sexualities, and Technologies. What are the distinguishing features and exciting achievements of American fiction of the 1990s with regard to such categories? Contributors are encouraged to set American fiction in its cultural, literary-historical, and/or theoretical context. Send abstracts (300-500 words in length), accompanied by the contributor’s affiliation and a list of select publications, as a Word attachment or write for further information to Jay Prosser:

Edinburgh Critical Guides to Literature

Call For Proposals

We are looking to commission authors for the following five titles for this new and rapidly growing academic series published by Edinburgh University Press.

African American Literature
Native American Literature
Popular Fiction
Postcolonial Literature
Women’s Fiction

For further information about the series please contact: Professor Martin Halliwell, Centre for American Studies, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH. Email:

Women and Gender in the Early Modern World

Series Editors: Allyson M. Poska and Abby Zanger

In the past decade, the study of women and gender has offered some of the most vital and innovative challenges to scholarship on the early modern period. Ashgate’s new series of interdisciplinary and comparative studies, “Women and Gender in the Early Modern World,” takes up this challenge, reaching beyond geographical limitations to explore the experiences of early modern women and the nature of gender in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. Submissions of single-author studies and edited collections will be considered.

Proposals should take the form of either
– a preliminary letter of inquiry, briefly describing the project; or
– a formal prospectus including: abstract, table of contents, sample chapter (other than the introduction), estimate of length, estimate of the number and type of illustrations to be included, and a curriculum vitae.

Please send three copies of either type of proposal (one to each of the series editors and one to the publisher) to the addresses below:

Professor Allyson Poska
Dept. of History
The University of Mary Washington
1301 College Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401-5358

Professor Abby Zanger
Dept. of History
East Hall
Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

Erika Gaffney
Editor, Ashgate Publishing Co.
101 Cherry Street, Suite 420
Burlington, VT 05401

BAAS Membership of Committees

BAAS Committee

BAAS Officers

The Association is administered by an elected committee (see below), including three officers:

Professor Simon Newman, Chair, Director, American Studies, Modern History, 2 University Gardens, Glasgow University, Glasgow G12 8QQ
Tel: 0141 330 3585
Fax: 0141 330 5000

Dr Graham Thompson,† Treasurer, School of American & Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD
Tel: 0115 9514269
Fax: 0115 9514270

Dr Heidi Macpherson,* Secretary, Department of Humanities, Fylde 42, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE
Tel: 01772 893039
Fax: 01772 892924

Executive Committee (after 2005 AGM)
In addition to these three officers, the current committee line up of BAAS is:

Ms Kathryn Cooper, (Co-opted), Development Subcommittee, Loreto 6th Form College, Chicester Road, Manchester, M15 5PB
Tel: 0161 226 5156
Fax: 0161 227 9174

Professor Richard Crockatt, School of American Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ
Tel: 01603 872456

Dr. Jude Davies,* School of Cultural Studies, King Alfred’s College, Winchester, SO22 4NR
Tel: 01962 827363

Ms Clare Elliott,* Postgraduate Representative, Department of English Literature, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ

Dr Will Kaufman, Department of Humanities, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE
Tel: 01772 893035
Fax: 01772 892924

Professor Jay Kleinberg, (Ex-Officio), Editor, Journal of American Studies, School of International Studies, Brunel University, Kingston Lane, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH
Tel: 0181 891 0121
Fax: 0181 891 8306

Dr Sarah MacLachlan, Department of English, Manchester Metropolitan University, Geoffrey Manton Building, Rosamond Street West, Manchester, M15 6LL
Tel: 0161 247 1755
Fax: 0161 247 6345

Dr Catherine Morley,† School of Humanities, Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane Campus, Headington, OX3 OBP
Tel: 01865 484977
Fax: 01865 484977

Dr Martin Padget,† Department of English, University of Wales, Aberystwyth SY23 3DY
Tel: 01970 621948
Fax: 01970 622530

Mr Ian Ralston, (Ex-Officio), Chair, Library & Resources Subcommittee, American Studies Centre, Aldham Robarts Centre, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 5UZ
Tel: 0151 231 3241
Fax: 0151 231 3241

Dr Ian Scott, Department of English and American Studies, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL
Tel: 0161 275 3059
Fax: 0161 275 3256

Ms Carol Smith,* School of Cultural Studies, King Alfred’s College, Winchester SO22 4NR
Tel: 0196 282 7370

Dr Jenel Virden,* Representative to EAAS, Department of American Studies, University of Hull, Hull HU6 7RX
Tel: 01482 465638/303
Fax: 01482 466107

Professor Tim Woods, Department of English, Hugh Owen Building, Penglais, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales, SY23 3DY
Tel: 01970 622535
Fax: 01970 622530

* indicates this person not eligible for re-election to this position.
† indicates that the newly-elected Committee member is fulfilling an unexpired position due to resignations from the Committee. All co-optations must be reviewed annually.

BAAS Sub-Committee Members

Dr Ian Scott (Chair)
Ms Kathryn Cooper
Professor Richard Crockatt
Dr. Jude Davies
Ms Clare Elliott
Professor Simon Newman
Mr Ian Ralston

Ms Carol Smith (Chair)
Professor Jay Kleinberg
Dr Heidi Macpherson
Professor Ken Morgan (Editor of BRRAM)
Dr Catherine Morley
Professor Tim Woods

Dr Sarah MacLachlan (Chair)
Dr Will Kaufman
Dr Martin Padget
Dr Graham Thompson
Dr Jenel Virden
Dr George Conyne (Kent Conference Secretary, 2006)
Dr George Lewis (Leicester Conference Secretary, 2007)

Libraries and Resources:
Mr Ian Ralston (Chair)
Ms J Hoare (Treasurer) (Cambridge University Library)
Secretary’s position is currently vacant
Ms K Bateman (Eccles Centre)
Dr Jude Davies (BAAS representative)
Professor Philip Davies (Eccles Centre)
Mr D Foster (American Studies Centre, Liverpool John Moores University)
Dr Kevin Halliwell (National Library of Scotland)
Matthew Shaw (British Library)
Ms J. Shiel (John Rylands University Library of Manchester)

Notice of BAAS AGM 2006


1. Elections: Treasurer, postgraduate member (2 year term, non-renewable), 3 committee members, any other offices that fall vacant before the AGM
2. Treasurer’s report
3. Chair’s report
4. Report of the Conference Sub-Committee, and Annual Conferences 2007-2009
5. Report of the Publications Sub-Committee
6. Report of the Development Sub-Committee
7. Report of the Libraries and Resources Sub-Committee
8. Report of the Representative to EAAS
9. Any other business

At the 2006 AGM, elections will be held for three positions on the Committee (three year terms), for the Treasurer of the Association (three year term), and for the Postgraduate Member (two year term, non-renewable) and for any offices that fall vacant before the AGM. Current incumbents of these positions may stand for re-election if not disbarred by the Constitution’s limits on length of continuous service in Committee posts.

Elections can only take place if the meeting is quorate; please make every effort to attend.

The procedure for nominations is as follows: Nominations should reach the Secretary, Heidi Macpherson, by 12.00 noon on Saturday 22 April 2006. 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 in a prominent location and available for the membership to read before the AGM. Those standing for elections are expected to attend the AGM.

Dr. Heidi Macpherson
BAAS Secretary
Department of Humanities
University of Central Lancashire
Preston PR1 2HE
United Kingdom
Tel. (01772) 893041