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

British Association for American Studies


Issue 100 Spring 2009


Issue 100 Spring 2009


‘It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.’

President-Elect Barack Obama, 4 November 2008

By the time this edition of American Studies in Britain is published, Barack Obama’s victory speech will have been supplanted in recent cultural memory by his inaugural address, and attention will have turned from his plans to his early performance as president. On election day Obama numbered two wars – in Iraq and Afghanistan – among the challenges he faced. Since then, the war in Gaza has made the task of promoting peace and stability between nations and faiths more daunting than ever, to say nothing of the economic problems confronting the new president. For Americanists the change in administration is a fascinating moment which will open countless avenues for research and teaching. As world citizens we have to hope that it will also prove to be, in Obama’s phrase, a defining moment and that the 44th US president will be able to accomplish the promised transformations.

For British academics (to turn from the sublime to the ridiculous, perhaps) another major recent event has been RAE 2008. Eight institutions were rated for American Studies and Anglophone Area Studies, with some excellent individual results and a creditable overall national profile. The method of assessing research output remains controversial, and the large numbers of Americanists who are affiliated to departments of every description other than American Studies will be conscious how small a proportion of our research activity is represented under the official subject heading. This is by no means to belittle the invaluable research and teaching in our designated subject centres. But a crucial function of BAAS and its officers is to promote awareness of the full extent and volume of Americanists’ work, much of which goes unreflected in the statistics.

As usual, this newsletter amply illustrates the vitality of scholarship relating to America through details of research projects, collaborations, conferences and other activities. It is a mark of the good health of BAAS and the distinction of many of its members that a new honorary fellowship will be awarded at the annual conference in Nottingham in April, along with the numerous other BAAS awards and prizes, details of which are posted on the website and regularly circulated via the mailshot. The length of the new members section in this issue shows that BAAS continues to attract supporters in a range of disciplines and at various stages of their careers from postgraduate studies to retirement, both here and overseas. The entries describing new members’ backgrounds and research interests make fascinating reading, as do the detailed research-trip reports (one with accompanying illustration) from recipients of BAAS travel grants and prizes. In the next issue of this newsletter it would be nice to be able to include more details of members’ publications. The association’s collective research productivity far exceeds the small number of (excellent) books mentioned in this issue, so please notify me of any releases in 2008 or 2009 and I will announce them in the next newsletter. Equally, in looking through the long and wide-ranging conference programme for Nottingham, I noticed some changes in panellists’ institutional affiliations. This newsletter can spread the word about moves and promotions through the members’ news section, so please remember to email me about significant job changes.

We hope to get the autumn issue of ASIB out by mid-September. To this end, and bearing in mind that many of us will be on holiday in August, the copy deadline for ASIB 101 is Friday 31 July. Please also note the change of my email address for matters relating to ASIB:

Alison Kelly

54th Annual Conference

University of Nottingham

Thursday 16 April – Sunday 19 April 2009

Provisional Programme (Please note that this schedule is subject to change; conference registration forms are included at the end of this newsletter)

Thursday 16 April

2:00-4:00pm            Conference registration and coffee and tea

2:45-4:00pm            Library session

‘Copyright in the Age of Content: What Every American Studies Academic Needs to Know’

Tim Padfield (Information Policy Consultant at the National Archives), ‘Archives and Copyright’

Matthew Shaw (British Library), ‘From Pirates to Google Books: Copyright in the Old and New Worlds’

Ben White (British Library), ‘Copyright – the Here and Now’

4:00-5:00pm            Plenary lecture

Allison Graham (University of Memphis)

‘Dreams from the Road to Nowhere: Reinventing the Southern Narrative in the “Smack-Dab Center” of the Country’

5:00pm            Reception and American scene prints exhibition (hosted by the University of East Anglia)

Introduction: Douglas Tallack (University of Leicester)

Lakeside Arts Centre, University Park

8:00pm            Dinner

6:00pm-1:00am Bar

Friday 17 April

9:00-10:30am            SESSION 1

Frank Sinatra

Chair: Sharon Monteith (University of Nottingham)

Karen Mc Nally (London Metropolitan University), ‘Narrative vs Star Image: Frank Sinatra and the World War II Veteran in Suddenly

Kathryn Castle (London Metropolitan University), ‘Citizen Frank: Frank Sinatra and the FBI’

Roberta Pearson (University of Nottingham), ‘Frank Sinatra in Fifties Television’

Political Culture in Revolutionary and Antebellum America

Chair: TBC

Tom Rodgers (University of Warwick), ‘Tyranny, Popular Sovereignty, and American Revolutionary Coercion’

Allison M. Stagg (University of London), ‘“The Times – A Political Portrait”: Political Caricature after the American Revolution, 1789-1801’

Gwyneth Mellinger (Baker University), ‘The Silent Bargain: The Straight Norm within the American Society of Newspaper Editors’

Mark Twain

Chair: Will Kaufman (University of Central Lancashire)

Thomas Ruys Smith (University of East Anglia), ‘“The Mississippi was a virgin field”: Mark Twain and Postbellum River Writings, 1865-1876’

Peter Messent (University of Nottingham), ‘Friendship’s Limits: Clemens, Howells and the Deaths of Susy and Winny’

Alexis Haynes (Keuka Collage, New York), ‘Mark Twain and the Global Imagination: The Aesthetics of Circumnavigation in Following the Equator’

Reimagining the African American Diaspora: Trauma, Representation and the Great American Forced Migration

Chair: Richard Follett (University of Sussex)

Calving Schermerhorn (Arizona State University), ‘The Great American Forced Migration in Literature and Culture’

Ben Schiller (University of East Anglia), ‘Negotiating Trauma: The Limits of Resistance in the Shadow of Diaspora’

Lisa Merrill (Hofstra University), ‘“Human flesh and blood, like yourselves”: Henry Ward Beecher’s Staging of Mock Slave Auctions’

The NAACP at 100: New Links, New Directions and New Contexts

Chair: Simon Topping (University of Plymouth)

John A. Kirk (Royal Holloway, University of London), ‘“Indissolubly Linked”: The NAACP’s Teachers’ Salary Equalization Campaign, African American Women’s Activism, and World War II’

Jenny Woodley (University of Nottingham), ‘“Pictures Can Fight!”: The Cultural Rivalry Between the NAACP and the Communists in the 1930s’

George Lewis (University of Leicester), ‘With No Deliberate Speed: the NAACP’s Battle with the Putnam Letters’

Political Intellects and the Renegotiation of Jewish American Identity in the 1940s and 1950s

Chair: Anthony Hutchison (University of Nottingham)

Nadja Janssen (University of Sussex), ‘From Exile to Home: Jewish Intellectuals, Commentary and the Renegotiation of Jewish American Identity After 1945’

Richard O’Brien (Leeds Metropolitan University), ‘Saul Bellow, Trotsky and “The Mexican General”’

David Gooblar (University College London), ‘“You’re what Grammy Hall would call a real Jew’: Jewish-American Identity in Portnoy’s Complaint and Annie Hall

Hispanic American Writing

Chair: Aishih Wehbe-Herrera (University of Edinburgh)

Stella Bolaki (University of Edinburgh), ‘“On the Other Side of the Mirror”: Illness, Performance, and Political Imagination in Guillermo Gómez-Peňa’s Brownout 2

Francisca Sánchez (University of Aberdeen), ‘European Influences on Nineteenth Century Californio Writings: Victor Hugo, Cervantes, and Ruiz de Barton’

Aishih Wehbe-Herrera (University of Edinburgh), ‘Anglos vs Californios?: (Un)doing Masculinity in María Amparo Ruiz de Barton’s The Squatter and the Don

Arabs, Cubans and Transnational America

Chair: Sarah MacLachlan (University of Manchester)

Jenna Pitchford (Nottingham Trent University), ‘The Iraqi Image: Representations of Iraqi Identity in US Iraq War Literature’

Wendy McMahon (University of Essex), ‘“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”: Loss, Language and Place in Reinaldo Arenas’ “American” novel, The Doorman

Ikram A. Elsherif (Gulf University for Science and Technology), ‘“I got slapped for not knowing I was Arab”: Marginality in Leila Ahmed’s A Border Passage

Second- and Third-Wave Feminist Activists in the United States

Chair: Sue Currell (University of Sussex)

Sinead McEneaney (University of Essex), ‘Women, Welfare and the Stirrings of Liberation in Cleveland, Ohio, 1964-69’

Sylvia Ellis (University of Northumbria), ‘“Enhancing the Quality of the Educational Experience”: University and College Women’s Centres in the United States from the 1940s to the Present’

Helen Mitchell (Northumbria University), ‘Establishing “A Place of One’s Own”: The Women’s Centre at the University of Connecticut’

10:30-11:00am            Coffee and tea

11:00am-12:30pm             SESSION 2

Contemporary Fiction, Cultural Memory and Episodes in American Radicalism

Chair: Anthony Hutchison (University of Nottingham)

Peter Kuryla (Belmot University, Nashville), ‘Bombers and Starfish: Political Radicalism and Gender Trouble in American Pastoral and The Book of Daniel: A Novel

Richard H. King (University of Nottingham), ‘Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead as Historical Novel and a Novel of Ideas’

Sarah E. Churchwell (University of East Anglia), ‘On Moral Grounds: Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead, Home, and American Cultural Memory’

Arab-American Studies

Chair: Douglas Tallack (University of Leicester)

Patrick McGreevy (American University of Beirut, Lebanon), ‘Arab-American Encounters and the Globalisation of the Higher Education Industry’

Paul Jahshan (Notre Dame University, Zouk, Lebanon), ‘Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra and Early Nineteenth Century American Constructions of the Oriental’

Youssef Yacoubi (Bard College, New York), ‘Diasporic Criticism: From Orientalised Transcendentalism to Post-orientalism’

Backing Dr. King: The Support Networks of the SCLC

Chair: TBC

Clare Russell (University of Nottingham), ‘Upheaval in the “Old South”: A Study of Grassroots Organizing in Protest Events –Savannah (1963) and Charleston (1969)’

Johannah Duffy (University of Nottingham), ‘Passing the Plate: Personal Appearances of Dr. King and the Donations Flows to SCLC’

Peter Ling (University of Nottingham), ‘What did the South give to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference?’

Dissent and Identity in Early America – Moving Away from a History of ‘Puritan New England’

Chair: Matthew Pethers (University of Nottingham)

John Donoghue (Loyola University), ‘Samuel Gorton and the Common Law: Secular Dissent, the “custom of the country”, and Abolitionism in Early America’

Charlotte Carrington (University of Cambridge), ‘“Mine-Host of Ma-re Mount” and his “Land of Milk and Honey”: A Reappraisal of Thomas Morton and his World’

Alison Stanley (King’s College London), ‘Why Buy A Bible You can’t Read?: Religious Identity and Scriptural Translation in Seventeenth Century Puritan New England’

Adapting America: Issues of Form, Culture and Property

Chair: Mark Gallagher (University of Nottingham)

Charles J. Shindo (Louisiana State University), ‘Displacing Magnolia: The Adaptation of Edna Ferber’s Showboat from Novel to Musical Theater’

Rayna Denison (University of East Anglia), ‘American Heroes in Japanese Hands: Anime Depictions of Batman in Batman Gotham Knight (2008)’

Ian Gordon (National University of Singapore), ‘Smallville: Superheroes, Adaptation, Derivative Works and Intellectual Property Regimes’

Prize-giving, Identity and Subversion in American Fiction

Chair: Ian Scott (University of Manchester)

Gordon Hutner (University of Illinois), ‘Contemporary American Fiction from the Point of View of Prize-giving’

Katy Masuga (University of Washington), ‘Subversive, Transnational Modernist Literature - American Writers in France’

Corina Crisu (University of Bucharest), ‘Ukrainian Ways of Being American: Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated

African American Icons in Britain

Chair: Mark Whalan (University of Exeter)

Dr. Kasia Boddy (University College London), ‘Jack Johnson and the “race of sportsmen”’

Graeme Abernethy (University College London), ‘Malcolm X in Britain’

Francisca Fuentes (University of Nottingham), ‘Transatlantic Mourning: The British Response to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death and Funeral’

Paul Auster

Chair: TBC

Stefanie Albers (University of Duisburg-Essen), ‘A Matter of Fragmentation?: The Public and the Private in Selected Works by Paul Auster’

Alan Bilton (University of Swansea), ‘In the Kingdom of Shadows: Paul Auster and Silent Film’

Alys Moody (University of Sydney), ‘America Inside: Paul Auster’s Man in the Dark and the American Writer after Bush’

US Elections Roundtable

Chair: David Waller

Professor George Edwards, Professor Philip Davies, Dr. Ross English and Dr. James Boys discuss the outcomes of the U.S. elections of November 2008.


12:30-1:30pm            Lunch

12:30-1:30pm            Postgraduate lunch

1:30-3:00pm            SESSION 3

Race, Racism and Performance

Chair: TBC

Hannah Durkin (University of Nottingham), ‘“Tap Dancing on the Racial Boundary”: Bill “Bojangles” Robinson’

Niveen Kassem (University of Newcastle), ‘The Known World: Edward Jones and the Changing Faces of Moses’

Alexa Weik (Université de Fribourg), ‘Mysteries of the Mountain: Environmental Racism and Cosmopolitan Commitment in Percival Everett’s Watershed

Grassroots Movements in the Twentieth-Century United States: A Reappraisal

Chair: George Lewis (University of Leicester)

Daniel Scroop (University of Sheffield), ‘Antimonopoly and Democratic Culture in the Twentieth-Century United States’

Axel Schäfer (Keele University), ‘The Sixties and the Evangelicals: Perspectives on the Countercultural Origins of Grassroots Conservatism’

Kendrick Oliver (University of Southampton), ‘When Does a Grassroots Movement Matter, and When Does It Not?’

Feminist Writing, Trauma and Visual Culture

Chair: TBC

Barbara Tomlinson (University of California), ‘Feminism at the Scene of Argument: The Deployment of Affect in Feminist and Anti-Feminist Writing’

Wendy Ward (Clinton Institute, University College Dublin), ‘Snapshots for a Surreal America?: Reconsidering the Melancholic Resistance of Susan Sontag’s Fiction’

Alison Gibbons (University of Nottingham), ‘Temporal Revision and Traumatic Resolution’

American Scene Prints

Chair: Douglas Tallack (University of Leicester)

Jody Patterson (Smithsonian American Art Museum), ‘From the Reactionary to the Radical: Rethinking American Realism During the “Red Decade”’

Warren Carter (University College London), ‘The Artist as Worker: Radical Responses to the New Deal Federal Art Projects’

John Fagg (University of Nottingham), ‘Genre Scenes in 1930s Prints’

The Short Story, Trauma and Affect in Recent US Fiction

Chair: TBC

Alan Gibbs (University College, Cork), ‘Don DeLillo’s The Body Artist: A New Phenomenology of Trauma’

Adam Kelly (University College Dublin), ‘Twenty-First Century American Fiction: Sincerity, Manipulation, Affect’

Su Mee Lee (Saekyung International College), ‘Reading Don Lee’s Yellow as a Short Story Cycle’

American Celebrities and Showbusiness Culture

Chair: Roberta Pearson (University of Nottingham)

Laura Pollard (University of East Anglia), ‘“Oh God, I need this show”: 1970s America Dreams of Showbusiness’

Kathryn Cramer Brownell (Boston University), ‘“A New Deal in Entertainment”: Franklin Roosevelt and the Politicization of American Celebrities’

Jenel Virden (University of Hull), ‘The Chaplains and the Showgirls: US Army Chaplains and the USO’

African American and Native American Masculinity and Identity Politics

Chair: TBC

Malcolm McLaughlin (University of East Anglia), ‘Ole Mongoose and the Glass Mountain: Archie Moore’s ABC Youth Delinquency-Deterrent Program and Conservative Community Activism in the 1960s’ 

Rebecca Cobby (University of Nottingham), ‘Harlem’s “boy mayor” and the “good-acting champ”: Male Heroism and National Identity in Gordon Parks’ Photographs of Red Jackson and Muhammad Ali’

Kim Warren (University of Kansas), ‘Modernity on the Gridiron: Indians v. Whites in the Battle for Masculine Citizenship’

Politics and Representation in Film

Chair: TBC

Andrew Dix (Loughborough University), ‘Johnny Depp in Exile’

Jindriska Blahova (University of East Anglia), ‘“There is no place for peace-mongers”: Charles Chaplin and Czechoslovak Communist Propaganda’

Claire Jenkins (University of Warwick), ‘Suburban Heroes: The Superhero Family in The Incredibles and Sky High

Hollywood and Indiewood

Chair: TBC

Carl Wilson (Brunel University), ‘Kaufman, Jonze, Gondry, and the “Indiemercial”: From the Mainstream of the Margin to the Margin of the Mainstream’

IQ. Hunter (De Montfort University), ‘The Golden Age of Cult films maudits 

Cornelia Klecker (University of Innsbruck), ‘Skip and Rewind: When Time Gets Out of Line in Mainstream Film’

3:00-3:15pm            Coffee and tea

3:15-4:30pm            BAAS Annual General Meeting

4:30-5:30pm            Eccles Centre Lecture

Janet Beer (Oxford Brookes University)

5:30pm            Reception hosted by the University of Nottingham

Coaches to Nottingham Castle

8:00pm            Dinner

6:00pm-1:00am Bar

Saturday 18 April

9:00-11:00am            SESSION 4

Progressivism and the New Deal in Intellectual and Cultural History

Chair: Mark Whalan (University of Exeter)

Kate Sampsell-Willmann (Georgetown University), ‘Lewis Hine and the Birth of Social Documentary Photography: the Pittsburgh Survey’

Sue Currell (University of Sussex), ‘Let Us Now Praise Knives and Forks: the UnFortunate Deconstruction of Consumerist Politics’

Collin Meissner (University of Notre Dame),Capital Crimes: Money and the American Scene’ 

Guy Barefoot (University of Leicester), ‘Memory Gaps: Researching the Serial Audience in 1930s USA’

Stepping Out: Women, Visibility and the Public Sphere in the Late Nineteenth Century

Chair: Lindsay Traub (University of Cambridge)

Janet Floyd (King’s College, London), ‘Space, Performance and Visibility: the Singer on Stage in the Late Nineteenth Century’

Rowena Edlin-White (University of Nottingham), ‘Penelope’s Progress: Kate Douglass Wiggin and her Contemporaries in Britain, Ireland and Europe 1880-1910’

R. J. Ellis (University of Birmingham), ‘“Str[iking] an attitude”: Surveillance of Fashionable Space in Emma Dunham Kelley-Hawkins’

Rethinking the American Presidency

Chair: TBC

Sam Edwards (University of Lancaster), ‘“From Here Lincoln Came”: The “Special Relationship” in Anglo-American Commemoration of WWII’

Roger Johnson (University of Sussex), ‘The Library on the Hill: Myth and History at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum’

Keith Nottle (University of Nottingham), ‘Serial Campaigner: Backed Bush, Hired by Reagan (1979/1980)’

Carl Pedersen (Copenhagen Business School), ‘Stranger in a Strange Land: Barack Obama and American National Identity in the 21st Century’

The Archives Strike Back: Recovering the Transnational Identities of African Americans and Chinese Americans

Chair: TBC

Carla L. Peterson (University of Maryland), ‘“Blacks in Gotham: Transnational Identities and Negotiated Lives’

Jean Pfaelzer (University of Delaware), ‘Digging in the Archives: The Forgotten Roundups and the Hidden Resistance of Chinese Americans’

Zita C. Nunes (University of Maryland), ‘Looking for José Clarana: Hidden Histories and Scripts’

Katrin Korkalainen (University of Oulu), ‘Domestic Battlefields and Public Hunting Grounds: Sound, Time, and the Immigrant’s Struggle’

African American Culture

Chair: TBC

Tessa Roynon (University of Oxford), ‘A Mercy: An Analysis of Toni Morrison’s New Novel’

John Howard (King’s College London), ‘Oprah’s Mississippi Roots’

Emma Jeffrey (University of Sussex), ‘The Complexities of Establishing an Anti-Establishment Publishing House: Clarence Major and the Fiction Collective’

Barry Shanahan (Clinton Institute, University College, Dublin), ‘“Clocking The Wire”: Hip-Hop and Representation in the Work of Richard Price’

Writing into the Twenty-First Century: Examining Contemporary American Fiction

Chair: Sarah MacLaughlin (University of Manchester)

Anne-Marie Evans (University of Sheffield), ‘Marriage and Materialism in Manhattan: Re-Imagining Female Consumerism in the Contemporary Novel’

Anthony Warde (University of Sheffield), ‘No Road to Run: Mapping Motifs in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

Elizabeth Boyle (University of Chester), ‘Vanishing Bodies: “Race” and Technology in Nalo Hopkinson’s Midnight Robber’

Colin Howley (University of Sheffield), ‘“Invisible Views”: Blackness, Urban Bodies and Community in John Edgar Wideman’s Two Cities: A Love Story’

Race and Representation

Chair: Will Kaufman (University of Central Lancashire)

Ian Brookes (University of Nottingham), ‘From Ball of Fire to A Song Is Born: Jazz Changes and Racial Representations in 1940s’ Hollywood’

Corin Willis (independent scholar), ‘Cracking the Minstrel Mask: African American Jazz and Blues Expressivity in Stormy Weather (1943)’

Kate Dossett (University of Leeds), ‘Taking Haiti Back: Black Masculinity and African American Memory in 1930s American Theatre’

Emma Kilkelly (University of Exeter), ‘Mental Automatism, Double-Consciousness and Social Schizophrenia: Minstrelsy’s Legacy of Mental Illness’

1960s Politics and Patterns of Activism

Chair: Robert Mason (University of Edinburgh)

Sandra Scanlon (University of Sheffield), ‘“Tell it to Hanoi!”: Student Support for the Vietnam War’

Alexander Dunst (University of Nottingham), ‘Richard Hofstadter, Paranoid Politics, and the Last Defence of Modernity’

Patrick Hagopian (University of Lancaster), ‘The Real Administration and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial’

Julian Killingley (Birmingham City University), ‘The Had a Dream – Litigation for Social Change and the Limits of Rights Discourse’

African American Rights at Home and Abroad

Chair: Sinéad Moynihan (University of Nottingham)

Cara Rodway (King’s College London), ‘“Vacation and Recreation Without Humiliation”: The Rhetoric of Roadside. Segregation in African-American Travel Guides’

Mark Helbling (University of Hawaii), ‘Alain Locke’s Cosmopolitan Project: France and America’ 

Derek Charles Catsam (University of Texas), ‘From America’s Black Promised Land to South Africa’s Dark City: Bus Boycotts in Harlem and Alexandra in the 1940s’

Holger Droessler (Ludwig-Maximilians University), ‘Searching for Order in the “White Atlantic”: Racism, Nationalism, and Interracial Relationships’

11:00-11:30am            Coffee and tea

11:30am-1:00pm             SESSION 5

Representing the Blues in Photography, Film and Literature

Chair: David Murray (University of Nottingham)

Nick Heffernan (Nene College), ‘“I’m the bluesman; he’s from Long Island!”: The Politics of Crossover in the Hollywood Blues Movie’

Richard Ings (independent scholar), ‘The Improvisational Image: The Kamoinge Workshop and the Jazz of Photography’

Paul Oliver (independent scholar), ‘Richard Wright and the Blues’


Chair: TBC

Maeve Pearson (University of Exeter), ‘Shuttles and Pilgrims: The Transatlantic “Children” of Henry James and Frances Hodgson Burnett’

Tara Deshpande (University of Leeds), ‘George Lippard’s Transnational Nightmare’

Chen Xu (Hangzhou Dianzi University), ‘Zane Grey as a Successful Popular Western Author’

The 1952 Presidential Election and US Foreign Policy

Chair: Robert Mason (University of Edinburgh)

Steven Casey (London School of Economics), ‘The Korean War and the 1952 Presidential Election’

Mara Oliva (Institute for the Study of the Americas), ‘China Policy and Presidential Politics’

Bevan Sewell (University of Nottingham), ‘Putting Brazil in its Place: The Impact of the 1952 Election on US-Brazilian Relations’

Immigration and White Ethnicity

Chair: TBC

Joe Merton (University of Oxford), ‘“Ethnics All”: The 1976 Presidential Election and the Importance of Being “Ethnic”’

Ann Schofield (University of Kansas), ‘Transnational Folk Culture: The Returned Yank Revisited’

Sinéad Moynihan (University of Nottingham), ‘Who are the New Irish?: Race and Immigration in Contemporary Irish-American Culture’

American Theatre

Chair: Heidi Macpherson (De Montfort University)

Garry Maciver (University of Cambridge), ‘Tennessee Williams and the American Scene 1939-1942: The Early One Act Plays as Theatrical Snapshots’

Jina Al-Hassan (University of Edinburgh), ‘Female Violence on the Modern American Stage: The Example of Maurine Dallas Watkins’s Chicago (1926)’

Theresa Saxon (University of Central Lancashire), ‘“A Pair of Handsome Legs”: Display and Desire on the American Stage’

Iconographies of Race and Nationality

Chair: TBC

Paul Williams (University of Exeter), ‘The Great American (Graphic) Novel?: War, Racism, History and Ennui in Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan’

Robert Jacobs (Hiroshima Peace Institute), ‘Target Earth: Cartoon Images of Globalism in the Ashes of Hiroshima’

Gifra-Adroher (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin and its Spanish Illustrators’

Roundtable Discussion: ‘”Mainstream America” Explored through Concerns with Difference’

S.A. Deiringer, A.E. Rowe, R.H. Proppe

Dept. of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge

Cold War Culture

Chair: Martin Halliwell (University of Leicester)

Christine Bianco (Oxford Brookes University), ‘Modern Art for Middle America: Mass Magazines, Abstract Painting, and Cold War Culture in the 1950s’

Mary Robb (University of Edinburgh), ‘Music, Politics and Society: Miriam Gideon and the Composers Circle in New York City during 1945-1955’

Rebecca Arnold (Royal College of Art), ‘Wife Dressing: Designing Femininity in 1950s America’

Postwar Race, Gender, Nationalism and Sexuality

Chair: TBC

J. E. Smyth (University of Warwick), ‘Jim Crow, Jett Rink, and James Dean: Reconstructing Ferber’s Giant (1952-1956)’

Anna Creadick (Hobart & William Smith Colleges), ‘From Queer to Eternity: Sexual Dis-locations in a Postwar Blockbuster’

Linda Toocaram (King’s College London ), ‘Queer Aztlán: Translating Cherríe Moraga’s nationalism’

1:00- 2:00pm            Lunch

2:00-3:30pm             SESSION 6

Nineteenth Century American Thought and Culture

Chair: Theresa Saxon (University of Central Lancashire)

Michael Collins (University of Nottingham), ‘The Child of Nature, The Wonder of the Age: Master Betty’s Performance in Herman Melville’s “The Fiddler” (1854)’

David Greenham (University of the West of England), ‘Emerson and Shakespeare’

Orphanhood and Agency in Contemporary American Novels

Chair: Maeve Pearson (University of Exeter)

Liz Kella (Södertörn University), ‘Making a Difference: Indian Orphans in Works by Linda Hogan and Barbara Kingsolver’

Maria Holmgren Troy (Karlstad University), ‘Genre as Cultural Memory in Octavia Butler’s Orphan Narratives’

Helena Wahlström (University of Gavle), ‘Re-inventing the American Adam in Michael Cunningham’s Specimen Days

Modernist Poetry

Chair: Mark Whalan (University of Exeter)

Danielle Barrios (University of Ulster), ‘Hart Crane’s Bridge in the Twenty-First Century: Poetry, Technology, and the Evolution of American Identity’

Niall Munro (Oxford Brookes University), ‘“Some combination of eye and sympathy and hand”: Hart Crane’s Visual Culture’

Sarah Barnsley (Goldsmith’s, University of London), ‘William Carlos Williams and Mary Barnard’s Poem of America’

Bigotry and the White House

Chair: Phil Davies (Eccles Centre)

Raymond Arsenault (University of South Florida), ‘The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Roosevelts, and the 1939 Lincoln Memorial Concert’

Jeffrey S. Demsky (Miami Dade College), ‘Bigot in Chief: Examining the Parlor Talk of Richard Nixon’

Stephen J. Whitfield (Brandeis University), ‘The Antisemitism of Richard Nixon’

Ecocritical Interventions and the Urban Poor

Chair: TBC

Helen Bralesford (University of Nottingham), ‘A Moving Picture? Image and Illustration as Environmental Strategy in Terry Tempest Williams’ Leap

Daniel Cordle (Nottingham Trent University), ‘“Legacy Waste”: Reading the Nuclear and Cold War Contexts of American Literature Since 1945’

Drew Lyness (University of Wyoming), ‘Pathologising Poverty: The Cultural Camouflage of America’s Urban Poor’

Aesthetics in American Culture

Chair: TBC

Gordon J. Marshall (Haliç University), ‘From “Typing” to Literature: Kerouac’s “Original Scroll” and Post-1945 Print Culture’

Nasser Hussain (University of York), ‘Crossing America: Going Nowhere All at Once with Allen Ginsberg’

Anne Bettina Pedersen (University of Southern Denmark), ‘Aesthetics of Americana/Auteurs of Americana’

American Fiction

Chair: TBC

Darren Richard Carlaw (University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne), ‘New York Gentrification and the Twentieth Century Walking Narrative’

Kate Charlton-Jones (University of Essex), ‘Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road

Ecaterina Patrascu (Spiru Haret University), ‘(Re)/(Dis)Embodiment of Reality: The Dilemma of History in British and American Postmodern Fiction’

Crime Fiction

Chair: TBC

Helen Oakley (University of Nottingham), ‘Cross-cultural Encounters: The Crime Fiction of José Latour’

Steven Powell (University of Liverpool), ‘Los Angeles in the Fiction of James Ellroy’

Maria Ramon-Torrijos (University of Castilla-La Mancha), ‘The Dynamics of Lesbian Crime Fiction’

Community, Culture and Violence in the Antebellum Slave South

Chair: James Campbell (University of Leicester)

Greg Smithers (University of Aberdeen), ‘Studs: Slave Breeding and African-American Masculinity in the Antebellum South’

Lydia Plath (University of Warwick), ‘“When he was brought back to the bluff the people met and hung him”: Lynching, Vigilantism and Mob Violence in the Antebellum South’

Tom Strange (University of Sheffield), ‘“Old Lady put the pig’s foot further on the bed”: The Problems of Hidden Messages within the Slave Spiritual’

3:30-4:00pm            Coffee and tea

4:00-5:00pm            SESSION 7

American Poetry

Chair: Ian Bell (University of Keele)

Tim Kendall (University of Exeter), ‘Frost’s Originality’

Amy Morris (University of Cambridge), ‘“You should have disappeared years ago”: The Poetic Return of Mina Loy’

Richard Rorty and American Literature

Chair: Richard King (University of Nottingham)

Áine Kelly (University of Nottingham), ‘Stanley Cavell, Richard Rorty and the Inheritance of American Philosophy’

Filomena Vasconcelos (University of Porto), ‘Subverting Representation: Rorty’s Antirepresentationalism and a Possible Reading of E. A. Poe’s Poetics’

Representing Nature in American Culture

Chair: TBC

Lu Li-Ru (Huafan University), ‘Expanding the Boundary of Nature Writing: Alexander Wilson’

Christina Matteotti (King’s College London), ‘The Colonial Compulsion to Collect: Capturing an “Authentic” Indigeneity’

Religion and Contemporary Politics

Chair: TBC

Christopher Boerl (Royal Holloway College), ‘A House Divided: An Examination into the Impacts of a Fragmented Evangelical Vote’

Marie Gayte (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle), ‘The United States and the Vatican: A Quest for Morality?’

American Belief, Romance and Ben-Hur

Chair: TBC

Barbara Ryan (National University of Singapore), ‘Ben-Hur: Man, Boy and Buchan’

James Russell (De Montfort University), ‘Entertainment and Enlightenment: Ben-Hur (1880) and American Belief at the End of the Nineteenth Century’

Philip Roth

Chair: Catherine Morley (University of Leicester)

Rachael McLennan (University of East Anglia), ‘Serious Impersonations: Philip Roth’s Anne Franks’

Alex Hobbs (Anglia Ruskin University), ‘Masculinity and the Family in Phillip Roth’s The Plot Against America

New Perspectives on Nineteenth-Century Culture

Chair: Maeve Pearson (University of Exeter)

Magnus Ullen (Karlstad University), ‘Uncanonical Hawthorne’

M. Kjellman-Chapin (Emporia State University), ‘The Figure and Formal Rupture: Whistler and the Constitutive Blank’

Walt Whitman

Chair: TBC

K. A. Harris (University of Sheffield), ‘“Well, you’ve come to be disillusioned have you?”: Transatlantic Pilgrimages to Walt Whitman’

Lindsay Tuggle (University of Sydney), ‘“Specimen” Collection: Walt Whitman and the Civil War’

Nature and Social Science in American Thought

Chair: Martin Halliwell (University of Leicester)

Hing Tsang (University of Lincoln), ‘Classical American Notions of Subjectivity and Agency: America’s Native Dialogic Tradition’

Robin Vandome (University of Nottingham), ‘Revisiting the “Organization of Knowledge”: Disciplinary Formations in the Nature Sciences around 1900’

5:00-6:00pm            Plenary lecture

Journal of American Studies Lecture

George Lipsitz (University of California), The Bitter But Beautiful Struggle: Why American Studies Matters Now’

6:00-7:00pm            Reception, West Concourse, Portland Building

7:30pm            Banquet followed by Dr. Jazz

Sunday 19 April

9:00-11:00am             SESSION 8

Folklore, Folk Music and the South

Chair: Peter Kuryla (Belmont University, Nashville)

Will Kaufman (University of Central Lancashire), ‘Woody Guthrie and Stetson Kennedy’

Phil Langran (University of Lincoln), ‘Recycling the South: Music and the Work of William Gay’

Rachel Clare Donaldson (Vanderbilt University), ‘“Of, By and For the American People”: Alan Lomax, Moses Asch and Musical Education’

Chris Dixon (University of Queensland), ‘No More Songs: Phil Ochs and the Cultural Critique of Post-war America’


Transatlantic Relations

Chair: Bevan Sewall (University of Nottingham)

Ian Scott (University of Manchester), ‘Twilight of the Gods: The United States, the Cold War and the Decline of English Football in the 1950s’

John Killick (University of Leeds), ‘American Shipping in the Civil War; the Cope Line Experience’

Finn Pollard (University of Lincoln), ‘“Old feuds, old grudges, old hatreds”?: A Matter of Life and Death, Anglo-American Relations and the American Revolution’

François Lalonde (Boston University), ‘Reestablishing the Transatlantic Diplomatic Dialogue: The Eisenhower Administration and the Atlantic Community, 1957-1960’


US Hegemony: Rethinking Empire in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries

Chair: Maria Ryan (University of Nottingham)

David R. Bewley-Taylor (Swansea University), ‘The Beginnings of the End? US Hegemony and the Decline of the Global Drug Prohibition Regime’

Steve Hewitt (University of Birmingham), ‘American Counter-terrorism through the Rewards for Justice Program, 1984-2008’

Adam Burns (University of Edinburgh), ‘To End an Empire?: William Howard Taft and Philippine Retention, 1912-1916’

Ariane Knuesel (University of Zurich), ‘“A war between east and west, between the yellow peoples and the whites”: The Yellow Peril and US National Identity in the 1930s’


1920s and 1930s

Chair: Ian Bell (University of Keele)

James Harding (University of Sussex), ‘The Truth About Visual Training: Efficient Eyes in John Dos Passos’ U.S.A.

Catherine Gander (King’s College London), ‘The Road Through the Depression: Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead and the 1930s Documentary Road Narrative’

Catherine Rottenberg (Ben-Gurion University), ‘Spaces of Ambivalence: Blacks and Jews in New York City’

Eric J. Sandeen (University of Wyoming), ‘Robert Adams beyond the Suburbs: Picturing Endurance and Transformation in the Contemporary American West’


William Faulkner

Chair: TBC

Nehama Baker (Tel-Aviv University), ‘Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun as a Work of Mourning – An Alternative to Postmodern Melancholy’

Euan Gallivan (University of Nottingham) , ‘The Touch that Abrogates: Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and the Value of Pity in Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!

Sämi Ludwig (UHA Mulhouse), ‘William Faulkner’s Geometrics of Redemption: From Circles and Rectangles to Triangles’

Josh Toth (MacEwan College), ‘Coloring the Water: Faulkner, McBride and the Curing of Ambiguity in American Literature’


New Perspectives on the NAACP

Chair: George Lewis (University of Leicester)

Mark Newman (University of Edinburgh), ‘Desegregation in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston, 1945-1988’

Simon Topping (University of Plymouth), ‘“Of Mr Walter White and Others….”: Walter White, Partisan Non-partisanship and the NAACP, 1938-1952’

Lee Sartain (University of Portsmouth), ‘“A little more dead than last year”: The Baltimore NAACP, 1914 to 1935, and Why the Establishment of a Branch Took So Long’


Women and Corporeality

Chair: Heidi Macpherson (De Montfort University)

Ellen Matlok-Ziemann (Uppsala University), ‘Old Career Women and Young Spinsters Representations of “Old” Women in American Fiction’

Carol Smith (University of Winchester), ‘Hillary, Sarah, Carrie & Michelle: Sex and the City and the Failure of American Feminism’

Ann Hurford (University of Nottingham), ‘Witchy Women and Bad Boys: Transformation and Difference in Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic and the Probable Future

Mary Lo Ying Wa (University of Hong Kong), ‘The Representation of the Female Body in an American Female Bildungsroman’


Fantastic Females: The Representation of Women in Aspects of American Popular Culture

Chair: TBC

Jennifer Woodward (Edge Hill University), ‘Deluge (Felix E. Feist, 1933) and the Transformed Manifestation of the Female Fantasy Figure’

Peter Wright (Edge Hill University), ‘“That’s like kissing a sword-blade”: Jirel of Joiry, C. L. Moore and the Origins of Feminist Sword and Sorcery’

Andrea Wright (Edge Hill University), ‘A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing: The Representation of Women in 1980s Sword and Sorcery Cinema’

Jenny Barret (Edge Hill University), ‘Fear and Loathing (and Admiration): The Ambiguities of the Dominatrix in Comics’


The Gay Imagination, Travel and Hospitality

Chair: TBC

Pei-chen Liao (National Taiwan University), ‘The Travail of Travel in the Age of Globalization: No/Mobilized Hospitality in Hari Kunzru’s Transmission

Michael Bibler (University of Manchester), ‘Queer Ethics and the Southern Gothic in Truman Capote’s “The Thanksgiving Visitor”’

Max Carocci (Birkbeck College), ‘Native Americans and the Gay Imagination’

Alfonso Ceballos Munoz (Cadiz University), ‘“Still Crazy After All These Years”: The Evolution of Gay AIDS Plays on the American Stage’


11:00-11:30am            Coffee and tea

11:30am-1:00pm             SESSION 9


Race and Transatlanticism in Twentieth-Century American Literature and Film

Chair: TBC

Douglas Field (Staffordshire University), ‘James Baldwin and Africa’

Ruth Maxey (University of Nottingham), ‘Brave New Worlds?: Miscegenation in Transatlantic South Asian Writing and Film’

Jing Yang (University of Hong Kong), ‘Interracial Romance in the Postcolonial Orient’


Issues in Asian North American Studies

Chair: TBC

Judith Musser (La Salle University), ‘The Representation of Japanese American/Canadian Internment Camps in Literature and Film’

Subarno Chattarji (Swansea University), ‘“The New Americans”: Creating a Typology of Vietnamese American Identity’

Su-ching Wang (University of Washington), ‘Black-Asian Interracial Formation in the United States: A Comparative Reading of Chester Himes’s If He Hollers Let Him Go and John Okada’s No-No Boy


Narratives of Risk: Games and Gaming in American Culture

Chair: Elizabeth Evans (University of Nottingham)

John O’Brien (University of Leeds), ‘Gambling in American Literature: A Short History’

Michele Gemelos (University of Cambridge), ‘Games People Play : Don DeLillo’s Falling Man and Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland

Ben Williamson (University of the West of England), ‘Real Sad Kids: Literary Youth, Computer Games, and Consumerism’


Contemporary American Fiction, the Marketplace and the Suburbs

Chair: Catherine Morley (University of Leicester)

Brian Jarvis (Loughborough University), ‘The Fall of the House of Finance: Uncanny Economics and American Gothic Fiction’

Martin Dines (Kingston University), ‘Suburban Gothic and the Ethnic Uncanny in Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides

Madeleine Lyes (Clinton Institute, University of Dublin), ‘“It Should Frighten Your Shoes”: Critical Urban Messiness in the New York Fiction of Donald Barthelme’


New Perspectives on African American History

Chair: TBC

Dawn-Marie Gibson (University of Ulster), ‘Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam at a Crossroads’

Oliver Gruner (University of East Anglia), ‘The Many Faces of Malcolm X (1992): Film, Politics and the (Re)construction of History’

Alan Rice (University of Central Lancashire), ‘“Choc’late Soldiers From the USA” (1942 -2008): The Cultural Implications of Black GI’s in Europe’


Poor Whites, New Orleans, and Strategies of the Global South

Chair: Taylor Hagood

Sarah Robertson (University of the West of England), ‘Invoking the Agrarians: Poor Whites and the Global Southern Community in Rick Bragg’s Memoir Trilogy’

Owen Robinson (University of Essex), ‘Gateways and Telegraphs: Nineteenth-century Travellers and Global, Southern New Orleans’

Taylor Hagood (Florida Atlantic University), ‘“The Prince With That Hearth-broom”: Faulkner’s “Knight’s Gambit” and the Movement of Southerners Across the Global Grid’


Race, Slavery and Reconstruction

Chair: TBC

Andrew Heath (University of Sheffield), ‘Capitalism and Race in the Making of a Transatlantic Radical: The Career of John Campbell, 1840-1861’

Carole Emberton (State University of New York), ‘Natural Born Killers: Debating Violence and the “Militant South” after the Civil War’

James Campbell (University of Leicester), ‘Attempted Lynchings and Police Brutality in New York and Pennsylvania, 1890-1919’


Surrealism and Modernist Writing

Chair: TBC

Ruth Hawthorn (University of Glasgow), ‘“Come back to that calm country”: The Limits of Nostalgia in Randall Jarrell’s Lost World’

Emma Kimberley (University of Leicester) , ‘Cultural Politics and the Preservation of Memory in Contemporary American Poetry’

Joanna Pawlik (University of Manchester), ‘“The Surrealist transformation of America”: The Chicago Surrealists’ Revolt’


Youth Identity and Counterculture

Chair: TBC

Alex Seago (American International University), ‘From Resistance to “Cool Hunting”: Reformist Interpretations of Counterculture’

Richard Nowell (University of East Anglia), ‘Dressed to Kill: Tailoring the Canadian Teen Slasher Film for Hollywood’

Alex Goody (Oxford Brookes University), ‘Technologies of Death: Phonograph, Computer, Cyberspace’


1:00-2:00pm            Lunch

Conference Close


BAAS Requests and Notices

BAAS Database of External Examiners 

The Secretary of BAAS, Catherine Morley, 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 Catherine Morley

BAAS Secretary

Centre for American Studies

University of Leicester

University Road

Leicester, LE1 7RH

US Studies Online

US Studies Online is a journal for postgraduates at British and international universities, and publishes a broad range of work within a refereed environment. The issues reflect the eclectic and multi-disciplinary nature of American Studies, covering a range of topics including history, politics, art, literature and film.

However, we like to keep an open mind, and this year may see a special, themed edition, allowing readers to view the variety of approaches within one topic or field of American Studies.

Thanks to the high quality of papers at the recent BAAS postgraduate conference in Exeter, the Spring 2009 edition of US Studies Online looks set to maintain the standards of previous issues, with a variety of articles that best represent the conference theme, ‘America: Real and Imagined’.

In the meantime, we are always seeking new articles from postgraduates and we look forward to seeing submissions for upcoming issues.

Articles should be 5000-6000 words long and may not be under consideration by any other publication. For details on submission procedures, referencing and formatting see:

Submissions can be made electronically to Felicity Donohoe at:

British Records relating to America in Microform (BRRAM)

British Records relating to America in Microform is one of the long-standing and continuing academic partnerships with which the British Association for American Studies is concerned. Originally conceived in the 1960s, before the connection with BAAS arose, the BRRAM series was founded by Professor Walter Minchinton, lately of the University of Exeter, in conjunction with E. P. Microform Ltd., a commercial firm based in Wakefield, Yorkshire. In 1991 a contractual relationship was established between BAAS and the firm, now Microform Academic Publishers (MAP), a division of Microform Imaging Ltd. The academic control of the scheme is vested in an advisory committee of the British Association for American Studies. Professor Richard Simmons (University of Birmingham) became General Editor in the early 1990s and, after his retirement in 2002, I was appointed in his place.

The purpose of the BRRAM Series is to make manuscript documents, and occasionally printed sources, available on microfilm for research purposes. Individual scholars and university libraries both benefit from the dissemination of material in the series. There is also an intention to bring greater accessibility to archives in an editor’s particular field of research, thereby broadening the scope of informed scholarly debate as well as serving the needs of library and archive communities by ensuring the long-term preservation of documents. Material is selected for its literary or historical importance from the vast resources of university and public libraries and other archives in the United Kingdom. The process of selection is determined partly by the significance of a particular collection and partly by the willingness of archives and/or private owners to make their material available for wider use through microform. Documents already filmed by other commercial companies are not considered for the BRRAM series.

The General Editor handles the academic selection of material, with the help of a Special Editor who is offered a contract to produce a specific title. The logistics of the publication process, including copyright permissions and advertising, are dealt with by Dr Roderic Vassie, Head of Publishing at MAP, and by the firm’s technical and administrative staff in Wakefield. Dr Vassie and I regularly consult over the titles selected and their progress. It is not all plain sailing, especially when contractual problems arise; but we work hard to resolve such difficulties. Our aim is to release two or three new titles per year, usually ensuring that they cover varied types of documents. Packaging groups of titles from the back catalogue is also undertaken. Provided the necessary permissions exist, MAP can make titles available on request in digital formats as well as microform. Titles can be purchased in their entirety or in parts. A full list of titles in the series is available at

Wherever possible, whole collections are chosen as titles. We try to avoid microfilming parts of collections, though this is sometimes necessary if only sections of an archive have relevance to American Studies. Some projects are large, requiring a significant amount of filming; others are smaller in scale, including titles where only one microfilm reel is produced. The titles appear with a printed guide (also available as a PDF file on the company’s website) in which the Special Editor introduces the documents filmed and places them in their historical or literary context. A checklist of items included as part of each title is appended to the introduction. Care is taken to list the material filmed in the order that it appears on the reels. A set of these introductory guides and contents’ lists is deposited at the Rothermere American Institute, Oxford.

Titles in the BRRAM series are selected for their connection to American Studies and for their significance for scholarly research. American Studies is interpreted in a broadly conceived way. There is no restriction on chronological period. Geographically, the titles cover primarily the United States and the thirteen colonies that were its antecedents, but they also deal with Canada, the West Indies and Latin America. Because the original manuscripts are located in UK archives, a good many titles have an Anglo-American orientation. Sometimes, too, as for example in the titles concerning slavery or missionary endeavours, there is an African dimension. Thus the series fits well with the current emphasis on transatlantic studies in many History and American Studies departments. It provides documentary evidence that could be mined by students for dissertations as well as primary source material for more advanced scholars.

Among recent titles are several on transatlantic slavery, on Anglo-American literary relations, and on modern Anglo-American political and diplomatic relations. The titles on slavery and the slave trade include Jamaican material in the Slebech Papers at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth and the Pembrokeshire Record Office; documents from the Liverpool Central Library concerning the slave trade; the Goulburn papers relating to Jamaican sugar plantations at the Surrey History Centre, Woking; the Edward Long Papers on Jamaica at the British Library; and the Samuel Martin Papers on Antigua, also from the British Library. The most recent literary title in the series comprises the voluminous papers of the British circle of Walt Whitman followers from Bolton Central Library. Twentieth-century Anglo-American political and diplomatic relations are represented by the correspondence of Arthur Murray, 3rd Viscount Elibank, at the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh. We would be happy to hear from qualified scholars who would like to offer a new title in the series. Interested parties should contact either Professor Kenneth Morgan, Department of Politics and History, Marie Jahoda Building, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH (e-mail: or Dr Roderic Vassie, Head of Publishing, Microform Academic Publishers, Main Street, East Ardsley, Wakefield, Yorkshire, WF3 2AP (e-mail:

Kenneth Morgan (Brunel University)

News from the Centres

Postgraduate Studentships 2009, School of American & Canadian Studies, Institute of Film & Television Studies, University of Nottingham

AHRC studentships (subject to the outcome of the University’s bid to the AHRC under the Block Grant scheme) and School studentships are available for MA, MRes, and PhD programmes. Applications are invited from highly qualified students across all areas of American & Canadian Studies and Film & Television Studies, including literature, history, politics, cultural and performance studies and new media studies.

In the first instance, you should apply for a place on your chosen programme of study at:

All applicants will be considered for both AHRC (if eligible) and School studentships and asked to supply additional information in support of their application for a studentship. The deadline for this additional information is 23 March 2009. Fees paid at Home/EU rate. Maintenance grants in line with national levels set by the AHRC, which for 2008/09 are: MA/MRes £9,040; Phd 12,940.

For further information and informal advice, please contact:

For American & Canadian Studies

Dr Graham Thompson, School of American and Canadian Studies

For Film & Television Studies

Professor Roberta Pearson, Institute of Film and Television Studies

‘America: Real and Imagined’: Report of the British Association of American Studies Annual Postgraduate Conference

University of Exeter, 15 November 2008

On Saturday 15 November 2008, Exeter University’s School of Arts, Language and Literature (SALL) hosted ‘America: Real and Imagined’, the sixth annual Postgraduate Conference of the British Association for American Studies (BAAS). Organized by SALL postgraduates Adam Hallett, Gareth James, Andrew Nelson and Lewis Ward, the conference received funding from both BAAS and the US Embassy, while attracting over fifty postgraduate delegates from Seattle to Berlin, with SALL staff also chairing panels during the day.

‘America: Real and Imagined’ invited papers on ideas of the American West across a range of disciplines and historical periods. The keynote was provided by Professor Judith Newman, Head of the School of American and Canadian Studies at Nottingham University, in a speech titled ‘Blowback: Andre Dubus III’s House of Sand and Fog’. Newman covered the reception of the Iranian-American book in the context of ‘not knowing’ and multiplied perspective within the novel as an extension of the miscommunication between America and the world.

The following nine panels then dealt with topics in diverse areas. These included the broader impact of migration and assimilation, covering the consequences of Westward mobility in Laverne and Shirley and Goodfellas, as well as the experiences of nineteenth-century literary travellers within the American West. Various notions of heroes and heroism were also represented by the gendered implications of neo-Western narratives, Chester Himes’ pulp fiction and the intertextual politics of Oliver Stone’s 1980s films Salvador and Platoon.

Historical reflections also extended to the relationship between spirituality, myth, literature and the West. In terms of spirituality, papers developed studies on Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon, black preachers in the antebellum South and Richard Watson Gilder, while studies of mythology moved between Dr. Strangelove’s nuclear anxieties, the cultural role of guns, and E.L. Doctorow’s de-mythologizing text Welcome to Hard Times. Moreover, aspects of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s My Kinsman, Major Moleineux and Main Street, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Anne Sexton’s poetry on fatherhood were explored as examples of American literature’s engagement with the West.

The conference also incorporated political ideology, represented by papers on Louis Farrakhan’s National of Islam, and Saul Bellow’s radical repudiation, as well as a survey of Republican figures and representations that included the John Wayne film Chisum, the Ronald Reagan Library and the political strategy of James A. Baker III during the 1970s. Additionally, panels on the ‘eclectic’ and ‘urban’ frontiers presented unusual angles on queer bodies in the American West, American Girl Scouts, the gentrification of the San Francisco Mission District, and the photography of Roy DeCarava and Stan Douglas within Harlem and Vancouver.

The twenty-five papers presented therefore provided a fascinating cross-section of current postgraduate research within American Studies, demonstrating the lively interdisciplinary approach to the field and the potential for the future. The high quality of the papers has since been commented on by delegates, while further praise has been made of the value of the event for developing and showcasing what promises to be a thriving area of research for the future.

Travel Award Reports

BMI-Woody Guthrie Fellowship

Will Kaufman, University of Central Lancashire

In 2008 I was fortunate to receive a BMI-Woody Guthrie Fellowship awarded jointly by the Woody Guthrie Foundation and the BMI Foundation. The award afforded me a month’s research at the Woody Guthrie Archives in New York. Under the guidance of archivist Tiffany Loiselle and the Archives’ director, Nora Guthrie – Woody’s daughter – I had access to notebooks, letters, manuscripts and artwork, all of which shed light on Guthrie’s emergence from the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, his growing involvement with radical politics and his place in American musical history.


[CAPTION: Will Kaufman, 2008 BMI-Woody Guthrie Research Fellow, with Nora Guthrie, Executive Director of the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives. Photo courtesy of the Woody Guthrie Archives.

I was first of all utterly amazed at how much the man wrote down, and not only in notebooks or on stationery. There were songs written on the backs of menus and placemats, letters written on torn-up paper bags and strips of giftwrap, poems written on handbills and leaflets. One thing that struck me was Guthrie’s acute visual sense (when he fled the Dust Bowl for California, it was initially as a sign painter rather than a musician). In his writings, he would often illustrate a point with drawings, frequently adding a bright swath of watercolour to a set of lyrics or a letter, as though even the most private communication was meant to be a work of art. I recall that at the bottom of one letter he drew a little billboard that said ‘This Space for Rent to a Decent Artist’.

I was able to see through successive drafts the genesis and development of many of Guthrie’s songs including ‘This Land Is Your Land’, ‘So Long, It’s Been Good to Know You’ and the rest of the Dust Bowl Ballads as well as union songs, love songs, anti-lynching songs and campaign songs. At times, Guthrie’s orthography reflected the pressures of particular moments. A number of song lyrics became increasingly jarred and jagged on the page, sometimes ending with the hurried notation: ‘Finish later. Train too rough’. One letter from 1941 ended with the brief postscript: ‘Some feller from the Dept. of Interior is here in town. He just called and said he’d heard my records and wants to come out to the house and talk about a documentary film to be shot up along the Columbia River. Hope he gives me a job. Will let you know’. This marked the beginning of Guthrie’s momentous Columbia River project, out of which came such songs as ‘Roll On Columbia’, ‘The Grand Coulee Dam’ and ‘Pastures of Plenty’. Had he written that note in the age of e-mail, I would of course never have seen it.

More sobering was the progressive deterioration of Guthrie’s handwriting in his later letters, reflecting the increasing hold of Huntington’s Disease. By the end of the 1950s he could hardly hold a pen. He was still typing away, though; a substantial amount of his work was typewritten, betraying the fact that ‘the Dustiest of the Dust Bowlers’, as he called himself, was actually a well-trained typist. Studs Terkel memorably recalls a 1941 visit from Guthrie in Chicago:

At four in the morning my dream was interrupted by the click, click of my portable typewriter, my Royal. It was Woody, who had just ambled home, touch-typing like crazy. I turned over and slept dreamlessly. A few hours later as Woody snored softly, innocently in the adjoining room, I was picking sheets of paper out of the wastebasket. There must have been at least thirty pages, single-spaced. Verse, prose, fragments of songs, impressions, wild, vivid images of his night at a South Side tavern. They danced off the pages. It was Joycean, poetic and crazy and wild. It was sort of ‘Ulysses in Nightown’, with interior thoughts and everything. (Studs Terkel, And They All Sang. London: Granta, 2006, p. 212)

I feel extraordinarily privileged to have spent this time in the Woody Guthrie Archives. The experience was invaluable and I am keenly aware that I only scratched the surface of a treasure trove. I wish to record here my gratitude to Nora Guthrie and to Ralph N. Jackson, president of the BMI Foundation, for making this research trip possible.

Founders’ Award

Caroline Blinder, Goldsmiths, University of London

The BAAS Founders’ Award enabled me to travel to Chicago, Illinois and then onwards to Syracuse, New York during August 2008. My aim was to visit several photographic archives and collections relating to photographers of the 1930s, in particular the photojournalist Margaret Bourke White and the documentary photographer Dorothea Lange.

As part of an ongoing interest in American photography and documentary aesthetics, my work on Bourke White and Lange constitutes a significant chapter in a larger book project in which I examine the intersections between writing and photography in a specifically American context. I am particularly interested in how photography in the first half of the twentieth century sought to establish an operative idea of the vernacular, in which personal aesthetic vision could be combined with a sense of national specificity. In questioning the respective agendas of two canonical photo-texts from the 1930s, Margaret Bourke White and Erskine Caldwell’s You Have Seen Their Faces (1937) and Dorothea Lange and Paul Taylor’s American Exodus (1939), I hope to examine the relationship between textual apparatus and accompanying images in each project.

While some work has been done on the two photo-texts independently, there has been very little genuinely critical and/or comparative study. It has always struck me that although a few years apart, You Have Seen Their Faces (1937) and American Exodus (1939) – both photo-textual collaborations between partners in a joint literary and photographic documentary effort – nevertheless suffered very different reputations. Dorothea Lange and Paul Taylor’s American Exodus was heralded as a classic of concerned journalism – a reputation which largely has gone unchallenged– while Bourke White and Erskine Caldwell’s You Have Seen Their Faces has often been critiqued as a gratuitous and politically suspect exercise in exposing the American sharecropper’s plight in the 1930s.

My aim for this particular research trip was therefore to find material relating to Bourke White, which would enable me to compare these works as different exercises in photography as a medium for political change. I tried to keep in mind the ways in which the books were received by a Depression Era public conscious of emerging from a decade of deprivation; that is to say whether they were read as vernacular studies of a predominantly regional nature or seen in more politicised terms as didactic and polemical works of art. What I want to examine, amongst issues of propaganda versus art photography, is how the professional reputations of the two female photographers influenced the books’ reception and how the camera’s role was partly sanctified by its subject, namely the disenfranchised Southerners of the Depression Era and the onward Western movement of the ‘Oakies’ in Lange’s case.

In May 2006 I visited the Dorothea Lange archives at the Oakland Museum of Art and was able to amass some material relating to Lange’s notes and writings. In August 2008 I went to the Margaret Bourke White Archives at the University of Syracuse after having spent some time at the Centre for New Deal Studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago. The centre contains a significant amount of sociological material relating to the Works Progress Administration and the Farm Security Administration and their efforts to document the Depression through data collection and to some extent photography. As it turned out, the centre contains mostly material relating to Roosevelt himself and therefore provides more of an insight into the President’s cultural and literary background during his New Deal period in the 1930s than into the actual apparatus established to enact the New Deal. While there was not as much photographic material as I had hoped I did gain access to part of Roosevelt’s private collection of books, which contained – not unsurprisingly – both Bourke White and Lange’s photographic efforts; proof, it appears, of the immense stature they had in terms of political and journalistic integrity at the time.

At the Margaret Bourke White Archives I spent most of my time examining the private correspondence between her and the writer Erskine Caldwell with whom she collaborated on You Have Seen Their Faces. Most of the correspondence was, however, of a private nature and did not yield much information on what working methods they had adopted during their field trip, nor was there much information regarding their editorial decisions overall. Instead I was able to access an extensive series of scrapbooks collected by Caldwell relating to the reception and reviews of You Have Seen Their Faces. Other correspondence was useful as well because it illuminated Bourke White’s stature, not merely as a commercial photographer, but as a woman engaged in civil rights advocacy and the Writers’ Union; an organisation that for nearly a decade maintained a vigorously leftist affiliation with many prominent American writers. While the chapter outlined in my grant application primarily focused on the reception of Bourke White and Lange, my research last summer will enable me to put this into the context of their political affiliations and interests on a wider level.

Student Travel Award

Helen Mitchell, Northumbria University

In 2008 I was fortunate enough to receive a postgraduate travel award from BAAS. This was a tremendous bonus which enabled me to extend my research trip to the New England and has helped considerably toward completing my thesis, currently titled ‘A Place of Our Own: The Historical Evolution of Campus-Based Women’s Centres in the New England Area of the U.S.A’.

Much of my time was spent in Harvard’s Schlesinger Library where the holdings contain extensive materials relevant to the status of women on university campuses and the activism generated by second-wave feminists in order to create women’s centres. The main aim here was to trace the story of the Harvard women’s centre. This proved difficult due to the fragmented nature of the activism and the fact that there were five attempts at creating a women’s centre at Harvard in various buildings and by numerous different women’s groups before the first Harvard funded and recognised women’s centre opened in 2006. The archival material was rich and extremely revealing. For example, I found some excellent correspondence between the activists and the university administration as well as various reports and proposals submitted to Harvard.

Also while at Harvard, I was able to make use of the papers of Margaret Dunkle, which were particularly useful. Together with Bernice Sandler, Ms Dunkle contributed to Women’s Centers: Where are They? (1974) and the collection contained questionnaires from women’s centres used as part of that study. This has not only provided a broad view of the range of services offered by women’s centres at the time but also much information as to the level of finance available to each centre and the networks created between the centres themselves and various community based organisations and other campus-based centres with similar interests.

My trip then extended south to the University of Connecticut where I had been invited to make use of the private archive held by the women’s centre on their campus. This women’s centre was established in 1972 after a strong surge in activism by women who were affiliated to the university and also those from the local community. The archive contained annual reports, letters, journals and newspaper articles relating to the activities of the activists. I was also fortunate enough to meet and interview some of the activists who were responsible for setting up the centre and others who have been involved with running it over the years. This was the most incredible experience of the trip. To be able to speak to these amazing women and to hear their stories and witness the camaraderie that still exists between them today is something I shall remember for a very long time.

The University of New Hampshire held an archive which added a different dimension to my work in that the women’s centre here was a student organisation that had no permanent physical space on campus. It was established in 1973 and has records running to 1986, showing a huge commitment by activists, especially in consideration of the constantly changing nature of the student body and the lack of monetary resources.

In conclusion, I wish to thank BAAS and also Northumbria University for jointly providing the resources for this extremely valuable research trip. I am confident that the rich data I collected have added considerable depth to my thesis.Short-Term Travel Award

Becca Weir, University of Cambridge

A generous short-term travel award from BAAS helped fund an eleven-week research trip to Massachusetts. During the period April-July 2008 I was able to visit several archives, where I collected a wealth of material for my PhD project, currently titled ‘Written War: Reportage and the Literary, 1861-1866.’

Although literary critics have tended to label the Civil War ‘unwritten,’ many Americans experienced reading as a war experience. Personal and newspaper correspondence enabled these ‘war readers’ to participate in the conflict at a distance, and lent the newspaper a new status as the literature appropriate to war. Taking the new significance of the media in Civil War America as a starting point, my thesis explores the relationship between war reportage in the press and ‘literary’ representations of the conflict in poetry, fiction and drama. In a series of case studies, I reorientate the work of canonical writers like Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville and Walt Whitman in the context of popular war literature, and argue that war poetry printed in newspapers constituted a particularly significant site for the negotiation of relationships between individual and nation.

Many of the newspaper titles essential to my project are not available outside the United States; local and specialist titles are particularly rare. The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA, has one of the best collections of Civil War newspapers in the country, including regimental newspapers like the Corinth War Eagle and newspapers published in U.S. army hospitals such as the Crutch and the Cartridge Box. I was based at the AAS for six wonderful weeks, during which I surveyed more than forty Union and Confederate titles, both local and national.

At the AAS, I gathered material for a chapter on battlefield correspondence written by ‘specials’ (on-the-spot reporters), with a particular focus on letters from soldier-correspondents in local newspapers, and another chapter on the cultural work of war poetry published in northern and southern newspapers. The soldier-correspondents’ letters revealed a series of fascinating contrasts with the reports of ‘specials’ in the national press. These conversational pieces problematise clear-cut oppositions between print and script, and public and private spheres.

I was also surprised to discover the status of fact in many of the newspaper poems, as reflected in accompanying footnotes and introductions. Such frameworks, although excised from anthologies of Civil War poetry, shaped the meaning of the poems in important ways. Other highlights included the parodies, quotations and adaptations of Tennyson’s ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ and the revelation of one poem’s journey over 500 miles from Richmond’s The Southern Illustrated News to a newspaper in Illinois.

Although the helpfulness of the AAS staff has become legendary, I was nevertheless amazed by their enthusiasm and willingness to share their expertise. Under their guidance, I was able to make the most of a remarkable collection. In addition to the newspaper titles I set out to survey, I saw scrapbooks, broadsides and little-known anthologies which enriched my understanding of how and why a variety of readers and writers used poetic form to shape the meaning of the war. As I was allowed to take my own photographs, I brought back far more material than would have been otherwise possible. The research community at the AAS also provided me with the opportunity to present and discuss my work with other researchers in my field; I would like to thank them for their comments and good humour.

I divided the weeks that remained between superb collections of African American and Confederate newspapers at the Boston Athenaeum, and manuscripts at the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Schlesinger Library and Houghton Library. These materials helped me to map the experiences of a variety of war readers and writers – from one combatant’s appreciative letter to a popular poet, to diarists who eagerly transcribed sections of the latest news, to the mother who wrote to a son reported missing and assumed dead. I also read draft letters from a soldier-correspondent to the editor of the Boston Journal (complete with annotations and amendments), which gave me an invaluable insight into the conventions of battle reportage as perceived by occasional writers for the press.

Halfway through my trip, I was able to present a paper at the ALA conference in San Francisco and present a paper, where the Whitman Society ran panels on ‘Whitman and Periodicals’ and ‘Whitman and the Civil War’. The experience was nerve-racking – I had not presented at a conference of this size before – but the feedback from my panel was positive and helpful. Over four productive days, I engaged with some of the latest research in my field and began conversations which have continued to inform my work since my return.

Overall, the visit enabled me to work with a wide range of materials, and developed my understanding of the newspaper’s significance in Civil War America, and the relationship between war reportage and literary form. Again, I would like to thank BAAS for providing the support that made this trip possible.

Reports from Eccles Centre Fellows

Faye Hammill, University of Strathclyde

I spent the whole of August 2008 at the British Library and it was an invaluable research opportunity. I work on both American and Canadian literature, and whilst the National Library of Scotland and Edinburgh University Library have extensive Canadian holdings, my access to American material is far more limited. Without the Eccles Fellowship, I would have had to decline the opportunity to write a chapter for the North America volume of Modernist Magazines: A Critical and Cultural History, currently being edited by Andrew Thacker and Peter Brooker for OUP. The chapter was entitled ‘Modernism and the Quality Magazines: Vanity Fair; New Yorker; Esquire; American Mercury’. The American Mercury in particular is difficult to obtain elsewhere, and I read through numerous volumes dating from the 1920s and 1930s. I also needed to consult volumes of The Smart Set from the 1910s and 1920s, since this was an important predecessor of the magazines I was writing about. It was wonderful to have immediate access to complete runs of these magazines, as well as to all the related secondary works which I needed. The library reading rooms, together with the quiet Writers and Scholars room, provided an ideal working atmosphere, and this enabled me to write up a good proportion of the research as I was going along. I have now submitted the chapter. This research also contributes to my book-in-progress, a cultural and literary history of sophistication, which is contracted to Liverpool University Press, and contains a substantial section on sophisticated magazines.

I appreciated the opportunity to talk to library staff, including Jean Petrovic, Carole Holden and Dorian Hayes, who were very helpful. I also spent some time with another visiting fellow, Michèle Mendelssohn, whose research area overlaps with mine, and with Meichuen Wang, holder of a postgraduate Eccles fellowship, who is completing her PhD on Canadian literature at Cardiff University. I am immensely grateful to Phil Davies, BAAS and BACS for this award, and will certainly be recommending to colleagues in my field that they apply for one in future.

Awards Opportunities

Fulbright Awards

Over the last six decades more than 27,000 Americans and Britons have crossed the Atlantic to participate in the US-UK Fulbright programme. Famous names such as Sylvia Plath and Milton Friedman, Shirley Williams and Ian Rankin are alumni of the programme. The ‘special relationship’ has been strengthened and redefined through this exchange in each decade.

The US-UK Fulbright Commission has announced a first wave of new awards that will increase by 30% the number of scholarships it gives by 2010 to over 60. The new awards include new postgraduate scholarships, Fulbright research awards and a new category of distinguished chair awards.

New Fulbright Partnership Scholarships will also be available for academic year 2010/11. There will be an award offered each year under the following partnership agreements:

Fulbright-Bristol University Award

Fulbright-Coventry Award in Automotive Design

Fulbright-Glasgow University Award

Fulbright-Leeds University Award

Fulbright-Liverpool University Award

Fulbright-Sussex University Award

Fulbright-Warwick University Award

Fulbright-University College Falmouth Media Award

Fulbright-King’s College London Research Award

Fulbright-Multiple Sclerosis Society Research Award

Fulbright-University of the Arts London Distinguished Chair Award

Fulbright-Glasgow Urban Lab Distinguished Chair Award**

Fulbright-Leeds University Distinguished Chair Award

The Fulbright-Multiple Sclerosis Society Research Award is for a British researcher to study in the US. All the other awards are for American postgraduates to study in the UK.

For further information please contact Penny Egan on 020 7539 4411 during office hours or on her mobile 07885 398 050.

Congressional Research Awards

The Dirksen Congressional Center invites applications for grants to fund research on congressional leadership and the US Congress. A total of up to $30,000 will be available in 2009. Awards range from a few hundred dollars to $3,500.

The competition is open to individuals with a serious interest in studying Congress. Political scientists, historians, biographers, scholars of public administration or American studies, and journalists are among those eligible. The Center encourages graduate students who have successfully defended their dissertation prospectus to apply and awards a significant portion of the funds for dissertation research. Applicants must be US citizens who reside in the United States.

The awards program does not fund undergraduate or pre-Ph.D. study. Organisations are not eligible. Research teams of two or more individuals are eligible. No institutional overhead or indirect costs may be claimed against a Congressional Research Award.

There is no standard application form. Applicants are responsible for showing the relationship between their work and the awards program guidelines. Applications which exceed the page limit and incomplete applications will NOT be forwarded to the screening committee for consideration.

All application materials must be received on or before February 1, 2009. Awards will be announced in March 2009.

Complete information about eligibility and application procedures may be found at the Center’s Web site:

Frank Mackaman is the program officer:

The Center, named for the late Senate Minority Leader Everett M. Dirksen, is a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organisation devoted to the study of Congress and its leaders. Since 1978, the Congressional Research Awards (formerly the Congressional Research Grants) program has paid out $747,465 to support 369 projects.

Cindy Koeppel

The Dirksen Congressional Center

2815 Broadway

Pekin, IL 61554

Conference and Seminar Announcements

CFP: Liberating Sojourn 2: Transatlantic Abolitionists 1845-1860

Symposium: University of Liverpool, 23-25April 2009

Keynote speakers: Richard Blackett (Vanderbilt University); Jean Fagan Yellin (Pace University)

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s second visit to the United Kingdom, 1859-1860, we invite proposals for papers focusing on black abolitionists in Britain and Ireland in the period 1845-1860. Liberating Sojourn 2 expands on the colloquium concentrating on Douglass’s first transatlantic voyage held at Keele University in 1995, and will take place in Liverpool, the former slave port from which Douglass began his second UK tour.

The juncture of Douglass’s return trip to Europe on the eve of the US Civil War offers an opportunity to review contemporary shifts in the transatlantic abolitionist movement and international reform community, and to consider afresh the various encounters, transformations and tensions resulting from the circulation of black abolitionists, reformers and ex-slaves, and their work, beyond the Americas. The aim of the symposium, therefore, is to bring together international scholarly perspectives on Douglass’s second visit, as well as on the activities of other abolitionist campaigners and sojourners in the period. These include, but are not limited to: Harriet Jacobs, Henry Box Brown, William and Ellen Craft, William Wells Brown, Henry Highland Garnet, James McCune Smith, Martin Delaney and Sarah Parker Remond.

Literary, historical, cultural and interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged. Papers are invited across a range of subjects, examples of which might include: race, gender and reform; African Colonization; popular entertainment and racial performance; travel; religion and ethical culture; reform movements; resistance and revolt; constitution and law; blackness and empire (Portuguese, Spanish, British, American); nationalism; romanticism; the economics of slavery and anti-slavery; liberalism; philosophy and freedom; literary and political afterlives.

There will be a session on Abolitionists in the North West of England, and on Comparative Luso-Iberian perspectives. In addition, there will be a dedicated teaching session and proposals for papers with a specific pedagogical focus are welcome. Topics might include:

  • practical approaches to teaching Douglass in 2009
  • interdisciplinary teaching: a case study
  • teaching abolition and transatlantic studies in literary, historical, American or Latin American studies programmes
  • teaching textual and material culture in partnership with libraries and archives
  • texts and technology: using web 2.0 technology to teach transatlantic studies
  • using archives and independent research in the classroom

The preferred deadline for proposals of no more than 250 words was 23 January 2009 but late applicants should contact Alan Rice ( Papers should be 20 minutes in length. Completed papers should be sent to individual panel chairs by 1 April 2009.

Liberating Sojourn 2 is associated with the Commemorating Abolition initiative based at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) – see Following on from the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in 2007, this project engages undergraduates in archival research into the visits of transatlantic abolitionists to Northern Britain. An exhibition of the findings of this research will feature at the colloquium.

Panel sponsors include the English Subject Centre, the British Association for American Studies, the UCLAN Centre for Research Informed Teaching, the Centre for the Study of International Slavery in Liverpool and the Institute for the Study of Slavery at the University of Nottingham.

CFP: Before and after 9/11: American Political Poetry from 1989 to 2009

A one-day conference at the University of Leicester, 19 June 2009

The twenty-year span from the end of the Cold War to 2009, a period that has 9/11 almost at its mid-point, has been a fertile one for American poetry. Especially in the wake of 9/11 and the ‘war on terror’ poets have re-engaged with politics: recent poems have commented on Guantanamo, the political responses to 9/11, the war of image and rhetoric waged by the government against the American people and America’s role in Iraq. Poets have also tackled environmental and cultural policies. Post-Cold War politics has had an undeniable impact on contemporary poetry, but can poetry, with its minority audience, exert any influence in return?

Jorie Graham has said that one of the fundamental aims of poetry should be to provide a language that will counter the meaninglessness of the targeted language used in politics. She perceives the 21st century reader as one who ‘doesn’t trust language any more as a medium for truth – because of advertising, because of government, because of the atrocities language has carried in its marrow’. Poets such as Robert Hass, Claudia Rankine, Mark Doty and Bob Perelman, to name only a few, have added their voices to this sense of political disillusionment, shaded by different ideals of what poetry can achieve.

We invite papers that investigate any aspect of American poetry’s engagement with politics, from Canada and Latin America as well as the United States, taking into account poems written about or in response to American political decisions in the decades either side of the turn of the 21st century. We are especially interested in papers that explore formal and ideological developments in American poetry across this period, either through the investigation of changing priorities and themes or through developments in the work of specific poets.

Papers could address:

  • the capacity of poetry to counter politics effectively
  • the idea that poetry can make things happen
  • the similarities between the uses of language in poetry and in political life
  • comparisons between the poet and the politician as public figures, especially in Latin America
  • poetry after 9/11
  • political poems about the environment or the construction of cultural memory
  • poetry that politicises ideas on gender and/or sexuality
  • the political aims of language poetry
  • resistance through formal innovation
  • responses to the images of 9/11 and the Iraq war

Please submit 200 word proposals for 20 minute papers to Emma Kimberley ( by 15 February 2009.

CFP: Toni Morrison: New Directions

Symposium: University of Durham, 25 June 2009

‘Don’t be afraid. My telling can’t hurt you in spite of what I have done […] One question is who is responsible? Another is can you read?’

Toni Morrison, A Mercy (2008)

We invite proposals for contributions to a one day symposium intended to examine the work of the contemporary African American novelist and critic Toni Morrison. The main emphasis of this event will be on exploring new approaches to Morrison’s body of writing as well as on the author’s own more recent publications. With the arrival of the novel A Mercy (2008), and other twenty-first-century publications such as The Book of Mean People (2002), Who’s Got Game?: Three Fables (2003), Love (2003) and the collection What Moves at the Margins: Selected Nonfiction (2008), a fresh opportunity for reflecting on Morrison’s current position, reception and output is offered. The recent appearance of a second special issue of Modern Fiction Studies on the author (2006), The Cambridge Companion to Toni Morrison (2007) and Toni Morrison: Conversations (2008) might also suggest the meeting of a critical juncture.

We welcome a wide spectrum of responses but possible topics might include:

  • comparative work considering Morrison alongside other writers
  • new theoretical approaches to the fiction
  • exploration of the author’s recent work (i.e. post-Jazz publications)
  • examination of the different modes and genres employed by Morrison (for example, her writing for children; her non-fiction and critical commentary; her involvement in the Margaret Garner opera)
  • interdisciplinary and/or ‘non-literary’ approaches
  • Morrison as public intellectual and / or Morrison’s self-fashioning
  • studies of the reception of Morrison and/or the responses of different readerships
  • teaching Morrison/teaching Morrison in different contexts (including outside of the US)

Proposals of no more than 250 words should be sent to Jenny Terry ( and Kate Nicol ( by 20 February 2009. Papers should be 20 minutes in length.

Toni Morrison: New Directions is seeking British Academy funding and we hope to be able to support the attendance of postgraduate speakers. The University of Durham and University College Dublin are collaborative partners in the organisation of the event.

CFP: ‘The Continuity of Change: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on North America’

Graduate School of North American Studies, John-F.-Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Free University Berlin, 10-11 July 2009

Sparked by the compelling rhetoric in the US presidential election campaign of 2008, this conference examines the concept of change within an interdisciplinary perspective. We invite inquiries into the different implications of ‘change’. We ask to what extent and in what ways change appears as a recurring theme in North American history, culture, literature, politics, society, and economics.

Change brings with it a multitude of associations. We would like to discuss change in terms of both leaving something behind and entering a yet undefined future. Continuity and rupture, promise and threat, progress and stagnation, opportunity and crisis! These are various interpretations of change, an idea deeply engrained in the history of American society and culture. Change is thus a concept of transition and functions as a middle ground, a vantage point from which one looks both forward and backwards.

Possible areas include but are not limited to:

  • concepts and rhetorics of change
  • foreign policy and international relations
  • social and political movements
  • economic boom and recession
  • religion and society
  • social change and communication
  • literature, culture, and the arts
  • ethnic and racial identities

We invite papers by graduate students as well as by established scholars. Abstracts of 200- 300 words should be sent to by 28 February 2009.

Panelists will be notified in early April.

CFP: 8th Annual Transatlantic Studies Association Conference

13-16 July 2009, Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury, UK

Plenary speakers:

Frank Costigliola, University of Connecticut, ‘W. Averell Harriman and Archibald Clark Kerr: A Comparative of Politics, Personalities and Reactions to the Rigours of Living in Moscow’

Simon Duke, European Institute of Public Administration, ‘Normative cynicism in EU-US relations’

Sabine Boeck, Bremen University, ‘Transatlantic Slavery and Modern Feminism’

Panels, Sub-Panels & Panel Leaders:

1. Literature and culture: Peter Wright and Alan Rice

New transatlanticisms: Africa and the Americas: Thea Pitman and Andy Stafford

2. Planning and the environment: Tony Jackson

EU-US environmental policies: comparing EU member states and US states: Paul Luif

3. Economics: Fiona Venn, Jeff Engel and Joe McKinney

4. History, security studies and IR: David Ryan and Alan Dobson

Intellectuals, policymakers and US interventionism in Europe: Kaeten Mistry

What president for Transatlantica? A comparative historical assessment of American chief executives and their impact on transatlantic relations: David Haglund

Anglo-American relations: Steve Marsh

NATO: Ellen Williams, Luca Ratti, Ralph Dietl and Oliver Bange

Special relationship: 400 years of Dutch-American relations: Kees van Minnen and Giles Scott-Smith

Isolationism and internationalism in transatlantic affairs: Simon Rofe

5. Interdisciplinary perspectives on transatlantic relations: Priscilla Roberts, Taylor Stoermer

Proposals to the appropriate panel leaders with a 300-word abstract by 1 May 2009.

For further information see:

Cormac McCarthy Society Conference 2009

28 June – 1 July 2009, CAPITAL Centre, University of Warwick

The CAPITAL Centre at the University of Warwick, in partnership with the Cormac McCarthy Society, is pleased to announce the Cormac McCarthy European Conference 2009.The conference will bring together academics from around the globe for a series of papers, workshops and seminars dealing with all aspects of Cormac McCarthy’s work, including fiction, criticism, stage and film. For further details please go to:

Salzburg Seminar American Studies Alumni Association (SSASAA)

Globalization and American Popular Culture

Friday 25 September – Monday 28 September 2009

The globalization of American popular culture has been the subject of much critical attention in recent years – particularly in debates questioning whether American culture bears primary responsibility for increasing global cultural homogenization or has facilitated the development of a fascinatingly complex global cultural heterogeneity. American cultural influences have had a major effect on other cultures and continue to play a crucial role in the cultural dynamics of globalization. Questions will include: What does ‘American popular culture’ mean in an era in which cultural industries are thoroughly international in terms of ownership and the cultural commodities they produce? For example, of the remaining ‘majors’ in the music business, only one could be described as remotely ‘American’. Jazz is often considered to be the classical music of America, yet is this phenomenon misinterpreted by nationalist parameters? US cinema has been part of a transatlantic cultural exchange, but with regard to production this exchange has been limited to economic and cultural elites. National television industries are more resistant to US influence than national cinema industries, although in the last five years ‘quality’ American TV has become far more prominent in European countries. There will be discussion about US nationalism in cinema and electronic games in the context of the US’s use of the New International Division of Cultural Labor to obtain and maintain its geopolitical objectives, emphasizing the role of the state in the export and textuality of these culture industries. Participants will also discuss two contradictory directions in which American mass cultural forms have been taken at the European receiving end – the appropriation of an American mass cultural vernacular to produce statements which can be seen as cultural resistance; and the use of American cultural influence to commodify, or commercialize, European ventures in the area of public history (the Disneyfication of public history). The purpose of the symposium is to examine the above issues in depth by exploring the dynamics and impact of American popular culture on national and local cultures, on national cultural industries, on American cultural diplomacy, and on the process of globalization.


Ron Clifton (chair), Retired Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service of the United States

Rob Kroes, Former Chair, American Studies Program, University of Amsterdam; Former President, European Association for American Studies

Toby Miller, (Keynote Speaker), Professor and Chair, Media & Cultural Studies, University of California Riverside

Roberta Pearson, Professor of Film and Television Studies, Institute of Film and Television Studies, University of Nottingham

Alex Seago, Chair, Social Sciences, Richmond American International University

Reinhold Wagnleitner, Associate Professor of Modern History, University of Salzburg

For further information, contact Ms. Marty Gecek, Symposium Director,

All You Jim Crow Fascists! Woody Guthrie’s Freedom Songs

Will Kaufman’s new musical presentation explores Woody Guthrie’s anti-racist songs and activism. Conventionally known for his championing of the poor white Dust Bowl migrants, Guthrie also left an extensive body of songs condemning Jim Crow segregation, race hatred and racial fascism. Most of these songs were never recorded, but they are the legacy of Guthrie’s own personal transformation from casual Oklahoma racist to committed civil rights activist working and singing with the likes of Lead Belly, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and Paul Robeson in the 1940s and 50s. It is both a harrowing and heartening legacy, demonstrated through live performance and historical commentary.

Will Kaufman is a Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Central Lancashire. To book this live musical and spoken-word presentation for your students, seminars or conferences, please contact Will at As ever, no fee requested – only expenses.

New Members

Kaleem Ashraf holds degrees in English from King’s College London and in Linguistics from UCL. He is now doing an interdisciplinary PhD at the University of Sheffield which explores fictional representations of black speech in a range of African American writers. He is the author of six articles on Richard Wright to be published in a US literature compendium in 2009, was a visiting lecturer at King’s College London in 2005-6 and has presented at the BAAS postgraduate and annual conferences. He is also the presenter of ‘Americaetc – a podcast in American Studies’,

Kevyne Baar received a PhD in Human (Social) Science for a thesis entitled ‘Investigating Broadway’, about the HUAC hearings into theatre. He works as a project archivist at the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University, where he is also an adjunct professor in the history department. His work centres on the entertainment industry and the period of the blacklist, concentrating most specifically on their labour unions and the women who were involved.

Laura Bekeris received a degree in English and American literature from Keele University in 2007, has since completed an MA at the University of Manchester and is now reading for a PhD there. Her main interest is in the relationship between financial fluctuations and contemporary discourses surrounding questions of value in the period 1880 to 1920.

Matthew Bentley is a postgraduate student at the University of East Anglia. His main interests include Native American history and masculinity in the nineteenth century, and his PhD combines these by examining the development of masculinity within the Native American boarding school system.

Rich Crownshaw teaches nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first-century American literature at Goldsmiths, University of London. He holds a PhD from the University of Sussex for a thesis on representations of the Holocaust in American literature and culture. His research interests are in American cultural memory and trauma.

Benjamin Dettmar received his BA in American Studies from the University of Wales, Swansea and his MPhil from the University of Glasgow. He is currently at work on a PhD in American Studies at Michigan State University, where his research focuses on images of visual identity, specifically bumper stickers and political placards. He is a teaching assistant in the department of history and works for MATRIX, Michigan State University’s humanities and technology research centre, as well as for the Journal for the Study of Radicalism.

Nikolai Duffy is a senior lecturer in American literature at Manchester Metropolitan University. His main research focuses on intersections between American poetics, philosophy, politics and public space. He also has an active research interest in notions of American democracy and theories of crowds. He is currently finishing a book exploring writing, translation, transnationalism and ethics in the work of the poet Rosmarie Waldrop.

Hannah Durkin is a first-year PhD student at the University of Nottingham specialising in representations of the African American dancing body in early sound-era Hollywood. She recently completed an MA in American Studies at Nottingham with a dissertation on the films of Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson.

Tim Foster is doing a PhD at the University of Nottingham on representations of suburbia in recent US fiction. He holds a BA in American Studies from the University of Nottingham and an MA in United States Studies from the University of London.

Catherine Gander is a temporary lecturer in the American Studies Department, King’s College London, where she recently completed a PhD on Muriel Rukeyser and the sources of documentary. Her research interests include modern American poetry, documentary, culture and literature of the 1930s and 1940s, and literary and philosophical relations. She will be presenting a paper on the road narrative in Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead at BAAS 2009 and is currently developing a research proposal on the road narrative in leftist poetry of and beyond the Depression.

Nicholas Gebhardt is a lecturer in American Studies in the Institute for Cultural Research at Lancaster University. His research interests include the history of jazz, American popular music, post-WWII musical avant-garde, relationships between American and European composers, the history of the entertainment industry, and cinema and history. He is working on a cultural and ideological study of the life of the popular musician in the period between the 1880s and the 1920s.

Alison Gibbons is reading for a PhD at the University of Sheffield on multimodal novels with a focus on four contemporary American authors: Mark Z. Danielewski, Steve Tomasula, Jonathan Safran Foer and Debra di Blasi.

Sarah Graham has taught in the Department of English and the Centre for American Studies at the University of Leicester since 2003. Her research focuses on gender, sexuality and trauma in American texts since the Modernist period, with special interest in AIDS narratives and representations of adolescence. She is currently working on a study of Chuck Palahniuk, Jeffrey Eugenides and Michael Cunningham. Her past publications include two books on J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (both 2007) and articles on war trauma in the poetry of H. D. and on Jewish American writers.

Eva Gyetvai holds an MA in American Studies from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, where she taught courses in African American literature. Her MA thesis was entitled ‘The Aesthetics of Self-Reliance in Toni Morrison’s Novel, Sula’. She is now researching twentieth-century African American literature in the English department at the University of Exeter and has published articles on Morrison’s Sula and Jazz in 49th Parallel, Americana and Interdisciplinary Humanities.

Joseph Harris holds a history degree from the Univeristy of Glasgow and is now studying for an M.Litt. in American Studies at the same university. His main research areas are nineteenth-century religious culture and intellectual history; he intends to research religious print media during the mid-nineteenth century for his master’s dissertation.

Jina Al Hassan is a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh, completing a PhD thesis on American drama which draws on original archival research at the Public Library for the Performing Arts in New York. Her research interests are Modernist writings by American women, especially in drama and journalism, modern American poetry and the American 1920s. She obtained an MA as a International Fulbright Scholar at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and after finishing her PhD she plans to return to her native Syria to take up a post as an assistant lecturer in American literature.

Andrew Heath is a lecturer in American history at the University of Sheffield. He received a doctorate in US history from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 and has research interests in the American city, class formation, and imperial expansion in the era of the Civil War.

David Hering is a PhD student at Liverpool University writing a thesis on David Foster Wallace, Mark Z. Danielewski and Thomas Pynchon. Other research interests include literature and film, American Gothic fiction, encyclopedic narratives and connections between literature and architecture. He has an essay on Danielewski forthcoming in an edited collection entitled Architexture, and a review in the Journal of American Studies. He teaches undergraduate courses on close reading and literary theory.

Steve Ickringill taught US history at the University of Ulster for over thirty years. He was at various times Chair and Treasurer of the Irish Association for American Studies and Vice-President of the European Association for American Studies. He has published on sports history, connections between Scotland, Ulster and North America, and European responses to the Spanish-American War.

Trevor Jones has pursued an interest in American history and politics since retiring from a previous career and now holds a BA in contemporary history and an MA in strategic studies. His current interests are in US foreign policy, especially the relationship between the United States and Israel.

Niveen Kassem is a PhD student at Newcastle University, researching gender, identity and violence in contemporary African American fiction.

Aine Kelly is a PhD student at the University of Nottingham, focusing on the philosophical writings of Wallace Stevens, Stanley Cavell and Richard Rorty.

Victoria Kingham holds a BA in English from Birkbeck College London and an MPhil in American literature from Cambridge University for a dissertation about American cultural criticism as exemplified in Gilbert Seldes’ 1924 work The 7 Lively Arts and the 1917 magazine The Seven Arts. She has an AHRC studentship with the Modernist Magazines Project and is researching a PhD at De Montfort University on material and commercial aspects of American modernist magazines in the period 1915-17.

François Lalonde is a PhD candidate in the history department at Boston University. His research interests are centred on the history of Cold War transatlantic relations. His dissertation explores the triangular diplomatic relationship between France, the United Kingdom and the United States from the Suez Crisis until 1963. François obtained his BA and MA from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Lee Lavis entered higher education after serving in the British Army. He holds a certificate in foundation studies from Queen’s University Belfast and a BA in American studies from the University of Ulster. He was awarded the Ulster University Dean’s, final exam and dissertation prizes, a Del PhD scholarship and a place on the Trent Lott Leadership Initiative. His current research focuses on the racial segregation of federal soldiers during the US Army’s 1962 civil disturbance deployment to the University of Mississippi.

V. Sarah Martin is a PhD student at the University of Leicester working on Don DeLillo.

Gayte Marie was a research fellow at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in spring 2007 and is a PhD candidate at Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle University, researching United States diplomatic and religious history in the twentieth century with a thesis currently titled ‘The United States and the Vatican: Analysing a Rapprochement 1981-1986’.

Megan Riley McGilchrist holds a BA from St Mary’s College, California, an MA from Lone Mountain, San Francisco, and a PhD from the University of Derby. Her research interests are in Wallace Stegner, Cormac McCarthy, western landscape, eco-criticism, feminist issues in western fiction, numinosity in landscape and the history of California. Her chapter ‘The Adversarial Feminine in McCarthy’s Western Landscapes’ appeared in Cormac McCarthy: Uncharted Territories in 2003.

Brooke Newman’s research interests lie in the comparative hsitory of coerced labour, race-ethnicity and gender in the British Empire, the plantation societies of the Caribbean, and the Anglo-American Atlantic world. She is particularly interested in the reciprocal influences between metropolitan Britain and colonial Barbados, Jamaica and the Lewward Islands during the era of plantation slavery. Her current book project examines how the socio-legal construction of mastery as a racialised and gendered identity in the West Indian colonies impacted British society, culture and evangelism during the eighteenth century.

Will Norman is a lecturer in North American literature at the University of Kent. His interests include literary modernism and mid-century intellectual and literary culture. He is currently adapting his doctoral thesis, on the relationship between aesthetic time and history in the work of Vladimir Nabokov, for book publication. He is also researching a new project on the response to popular culture by European émigrés in America between 1933 and 1953. In 2007 he won the BAAS Ambassador’s Postgraduate Essay Prize for an article on Nabokov and mass culture, which is forthcoming in the Journal of American Studies.

Kjirsten Oligney is a third-year doctoral student at the University of Oxford. HIS/HER thesis, ‘”What God Hath Joined”: Theology and Marriage in Nineteenth-Century America’, concerns the intersection of religious and gender history under Richard Carwardine. HE/SHE isa native of Texas, and will be teaching at Gordon College near Boston, Massachusetts, in spring 2009.

Sven Seamark holds a BA in American Studies from Canterbury Christ Church University and is currently studying for a master’s on the South West American writer Edward Abbey at the University of Kent in Canterbury. His interests centre around environmental history and industrial America, along with rural and folk movements in America.

Mohammed Shareef is a PhD student at the University of Durham. His research concerns US foreign policy towards the Middle East, taking his native Iraq as a case study. The project covers both terms of the George W. Bush presidency and aims to identify the changes in and consistent aspects of US Middle East policy as well as addressing the intellectual and policy roots of contemporary strategy.

Gregory Smithers is a lecturer in American history at the University of Aberdeen, specialising in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is the author of Science, Sexuality, and Race in the United States and Australia, 1780s-1890s (2008) and, with Clarence E. Walker, of The Preacher and the Politician: Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama, and Race in American History (2009 forthcoming). He is currently working on sexuality and African American memories in the American South, focusing on the controversial subject of ‘slave breeding’ during the antebellum era and drawing on personal accounts and oral histories.

William Strayton is retired. He holds a BA in Literature and Philosophy from Middlesex Polytechnic.

Andrew Struan is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Glasgow, focusing on the idea of empire in the eighteenth-century Anglo-American community. His MPhil (Res) examined the role and position of the commander in chief of the British Army in North America from 1763 to 1775. His main interests lie in perceptions and conceptions of the British Empire on both sides of the Atlantic during the eighteenth century.

Lo Ying Wa holds a BA from Hong Kong University and an M.Phil., also from HKU, for research on ‘Woman as the “Schizophrenic” Subject: A Cross-Cultural Approach to the Female Bildungsroman of Madness Written by Sylvia Plath, Toni Morrison and Maxine Hong Kingston’.

Paul Williams is head of social sciences at North Devon College. He studied at the universities of Exeter, Wales and Leicester. His main research in terests have been in Early Modern urban history but through his teaching he is now focusing on American post-war history and culture.

Members’ Publications

Andrew Hook, Emeritus Bradley Professor at the University of Glasgow, has published a new edition of his foundational book Scotland and America: A Study of Cultural Relations 1750-1835 through Humming Earth. The new edition is available in hardback and paperback, and features a new preface by the author, an updated bibliography and a foreword by Richard Sher.

Cheryl Hudson (Rothermere American Institute) and Gareth Davies (St Anne’s College, Oxford) (eds.) have released Ronald Reagan and the 1980s: Perceptions, Policies, Legacies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

Heidi Slettedahl Macpherson, De Montfort University, is pleased to announce the appearance of Transatlantic Women’s Literature (Edinburgh University Press, 2008). Available in all good bookshops.

Catherine Morley, University of Leicester, has recently published The Quest for Epic in Contemporary American Fiction: John Updike, Philip Roth and Don DeLillo (New York: Routledge, 2008).

Martin Halliwell, University of Leicester, and Catherine Morley have recently published the edited collection American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century (Edinburgh: EUP, 2008). The collection includes eighteen new essays which address issues such as leadership, foreign policy, propaganda, digital media and 9/11 culture. The authors look back to the Clinton years and earlier periods of 20th-century American life, but they also look forward to the new horizons and challenges of a global future. Contributors include Liam Kennedy, Nancy Snow, Howard Brick and Dominic Sandbrook.

Neil Wynn, University of Gloucestershire, has several recent publications to mention. his second Historical Dictionary, A Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt-Truman Era, appeared in summer 2008. Published by Scarecrow Press in America, the 500+ page volume follows his earlier Historical Dictionary from Great War to Great Depression (2003). It was also announced this September that the volume of essays edited by Neil, Cross the Water Blues: African American Music in Europe (Mississippi University Press, 2007), has been awarded a Certificate of Merit in the 2008 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research category. Neil also saw his article on ‘Joe Louis: Brown Bomber’ appear in Matthew C. Whitaker, ed., African American Icons of Sport: Triumph, Courage and Excellence (Greenwood Publishing, 2008).

Fellowship Opportunities

Newberry Library Fellowships in the Humanities, 2009-10

The Newberry Library, an independent research library in Chicago, Illinois, invites applications for its 2009-10 Fellowships in the Humanities. Newberry Library fellowships support research in residence at the Library, and all proposed research must be appropriate to the collections (excluding the Terra Foundation Fellowship and certain short-term awards). 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 for periods of six to eleven months to postdoctoral scholars who must hold the Ph.D. at the time of application. The stipend for these fellowships ranges from $25,500 to $70,000. In 2008-9 the Library inaugurated a new Terra Foundation for American Art Fellowship in Art History carrying an academic-year stipend of $70,000 for a full professor (or its equivalent outside the academy) and $50,400 for all other awardees.

Short-term residential fellowships are intended for postdoctoral scholars or Ph.D. candidates from outside the Chicago area who have a specific need for Newberry collections. The tenure of short-term fellowships varies from one week to two months. The amount of the award is generally $1600 per month.

Applications for long-term fellowships are due January 12, 2009; applications for most short-term fellowships are due March 2, 2009. For more information or to download application materials, visit our website at:

If you would like materials sent to you by mail, write to the Committee on

Awards, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, Il 60610-3380. If you have questions about the fellowships program, contact or (312) 255-3666.