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

British Association for American Studies


Issue 102 Spring 2010


Issue 102 Spring 2010


The dramatic events in Massachusetts in late January, when Scott Brown recaptured a Senate seat for the Republicans after more than half a century, reminded me that it is exactly twenty years since I moved to Massachusetts and became an interested observer of America. In late 1990 the USA was deeply embroiled in the Gulf War – and it wasn’t just Washington and the military that were embroiled, but the public in general. Press, radio, television and conversation were dominated by Desert Shield and Desert Storm, to the point where neighbours in our building in Cambridge, appalled that we owned no TV, hauled us in for an evening of CNN war coverage (which wasn’t much to our taste) and dialled-up pizza (which, to be honest, wasn’t either). Our circle of friends – mostly publishers and academics, and mainly liberal – was not notable for bellicosity, but Greater Boston did have its flag-flying pickups and macho bumper stickers. Then as now, as Scott Brown’s General Motors truck has demonstrated, vehicles had cultural meanings.

Also then as now, the residents of Massachusetts were wary of anyone who seemed likely to dip a hand too far into their pockets. This applied largely across the board, whether people were red-leaning or blue-leaning, native or (like us) alien – so long as they were taxpayers. ‘What do you think of Governor Dukakis?’ my husband asked a cab driver on the way in from Logan. He glanced at us in the rearview mirror and snorted. ‘What, Doo-tax-us?’

US politics is grist to the mill of Americanists across the disciplinary spectrum, and today’s developments are tomorrow’s PhDs, books and articles. Scott Brown’s victory and Martha Coakley’s defeat have been and will continue to be analysed from all sorts of angles. I wouldn’t be surprised to find some discussion of baseball-team allegiance, American Idol and Cosmopolitan – not to mention the infamous truck – making its way into this year’s BAAS annual conference papers. Every time I paste the conference programme into the spring issue of ASIB I am awestruck by the richness and diversity of our subject community’s research interests. The University of East Anglia was one of the cradles of American Studies in this country so it will be exciting for us to convene there for our annual exchange of ideas this April. The new BAAS website will be unveiled at the AGM, and there will be an opportunity for members to become deeply involved in the work of the association by seeking election to one of the vacancies on the Executive Committee. Nomination forms at the end of this newsletter.

Staying with conferences, congratulations to Helen Mitchell for hosting a vibrant postgraduate conference at Northumbria University last November. Her report in these pages makes lively reading. The venue for the 2010 postgraduate conference remains to be decided; contact the postgraduate representative, Michael Collins, if you are interested in taking up the challenge – and reaping the satisfaction – of organising this vital event in the BAAS calendar.

Among our new members this time round it is very nice to welcome an A-level student, Robert Viles, at St Edmund’s School, Canterbury. To help BAAS extend its vital connections among this age group, members are invited to volunteer as schools liaison speakers.

Copy deadline for issue 103: 30 July 2010

Dr Alison Kelly,

55th Annual Conference

School of American Studies, University of East Anglia

Thursday April 8 – Sunday April 11

Provisional programme – subject to change

Thursday 8 April

2pm-4pmConference Registration / Coffee & Tea in the Hive

A shuttle bus will be available to transport delegates staying at Norwich City Centre Travelodge from the campus to their accommodation throughout the registration period. At other times, coaches will be available every morning and evening, as indicated in the programme. However, delegates should also note that the university is served by an excellent bus service which will take them from campus to city centre at very regular intervals throughout the day and into the night.

3.15pm-4.45pmLibrary Session

5.00pm-6.00pmJournal of American Studies Lecture: Professor Wai-Chee Dimock (Yale University)

6.10pm – Reception sponsored by the University of East Anglia to commemorate the opening of the Thomas Paine Study Centre

6.10pm – Trevor Griffiths (author of A New World: A Life of Thomas Paine) in conversation with Professor Chris Bigsby (University of East Anglia)
6.50pm – Plaque Unveiling
6.55pm – Drinks Reception

7.45pm – Conference Dinner in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Post-dinner – UEA Bar

11.00pm – Coaches for delegates staying at Norwich City Centre Travelodge

Friday 9 April

7.30am – Coaches to campus for delegates staying at Norwich City Centre Travelodge

7am-9am – Conference Breakfast in Zest

9.00am-11.00am – Session 1

Writing Jewish-American Lives
Rachael McLennan, University of East Anglia
Paul Auster and Anne Frank: Autobiography as Defacement in
The Invention of Solitude
Nina Fischer, University of Constance/Germany
“History and Memory”: Reading Ruth Klüger’s
Still Alive as a Jewish-American Autobiography
Katrin Korkalainen, University of Oulu/Finland
Narratives of Lost Youth: Jewish-American Immigrant Children in History and Fiction
Lewis Ward, University of Plymouth
Empathy, the Holocaust and Philip Roth’s narrative persona in
The Plot Against America.
Barack Obama in American Culture
Erik Nielson, University of Sheffield
The Obamafication of Rap?
Rachel Mizsei-Ward, University of East Anglia
Politics, Race and Political Fly Billing: Meanings behind the Depiction of Barack Obama as the Joker
George Lewis, University of Leicester
Barack Hussein Obama: The Use of History in the Creation of an ‘American’ President
Aaron T. Walter, Vysoká škola manažmentu/City University of Seattle
The Use of New Media in Campaigns: Fireside Chats with Barack Obama

Radicals and Reactionaries in the Twentieth Century
Victoria Kingham, Modernist Magazines Project/De Montfort University
Oppenheim, New York Modernism, and Socialism 1910-1917
Michael Dennis, Acadia University
More Than They Bargained For: The Little Steel Strike and the Popular Front in Chicago
Ariane Knüsel
McCarthyism before McCarthy: Anticommunism and American Culture in the 1930s and 1940s
Nadja Janssen
“The Tribe of the Wicked Son”: The Neoconservative Critique of Jewish Radicalism, 1945-1976
Writing American Wars
Jenna Pitchford, Nottingham Trent University War Narratives in Cyberspace
Simon Turner
‘I have no words to speak of war’: Brian Turner’s Here, Bullet, and the trouble with war poetry
Alison Stanley, King’s College, London
A Glass for the Promised Land: Old Testament Models and Morals in 17th Century Accounts of King Philip’s War
Katharina Worch, Institut für England- und Amerikastudien / Goethe-Universität
Being Wounded in the Korean War as major biographical cut: Comparing Indignation by Philip Roth and The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
Religion in American Culture
Paulina Napierała, Institute of American Studies and Polish Diaspora / Jagiellonian University
Constitutional controversies around Faith-Based Initiatives Policy and Its Future under the Obama Administration
Luke Ferretter, Baylor University
‘What Girl Ever Flourished in Such Company?’: Sylvia Plath’s Religion
Andrea Borella, University of Turin
The Amish: an American Religion?
Abbes Zouache, French Institute of Oriental Archeology in Cairo.
America and the Crusades: Between History and Memory
Cold War Cultures
Karen Heath, St. Anne’s College, Oxford
The Conservative Arts Movement and the Origins of the Culture Wars
Lisa Felstead, University of Portsmouth
Male Friendships in Cold-War America: James Dickey’s Deliverance and Homosocial Desire
Christine Bianco, Oxford Brookes University
Amateur Art v. Paint-By-Number: Artistic Hobbies and Cultural Hierarchies in the 1950s
Helen Bury, University of St. Andrews
Nelson Rockefeller, the Quantico Panel and the Origins of the Missile Gap, 1955 to 1961

Apocalypse & Armageddon
Paul Williams, University of Exeter
Fear of a Black Planet? Race, Ethnicity, and the Politics of Representing Nuclear War and its Aftermath
Jennie Chapman, University of Manchester
Jim Crow at the End of History: The Spectre of Segregation in Apocalyptic Christian Fiction
John Wills, University of Kent
The Armageddon Experiment: Doom Town USA and the Nuking of Suburbia
Arianna Casali, Università di Roma
American post-apocalypse in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

11.00am – 11.30am – Coffee and Tea in the Hive

11.30am – 12.30am – Session 2

Constructing and Deconstructing Celebrity
Erwin Feyersinger, University of Innsbruck
Daffy Duck’s Multiple Personalities: The Construction and Deconstruction of an Animated Studio Star
Lisa Rull, University of Nottingham
Fables and Fictions of the First/Third Person: The Pleasures and Problems of Performed Identity for Biography

Raymond Carver
Sandra Lee Kleppe, Hedmark University College, Norway
’Carver Country’ on the Screen: Robert Altman’s Short Cuts and Ray Lawrence’s Jindabyn
Andy Munzer, University of York
Populating ‘Carver Country’: ‘Biographical Geographies’ in the Poetry of Raymond Carver

Broadway & the Blacklist
K. Kevyne Baar, Tamiment Library, New York University
The Name on the Marquee: Working on Broadway in the Shadow of the Blacklist
Erica Sheen, Dept. of English and Related Literatures, University of York
‘The need to sin’: Broadway, Hollywood and HUAC

Democracy & Power
Daniel Marrone, Farmingdale State College
America’s Greatest Mayor: Fiorello H. La Guardia
Tim H. Blessing, Alvernia University
A One-and-a-Half Party Nation? Voter Preferences and Assigned Roles for Parties in Presidential Elections

Whitman & History
Jason Stacy, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Washington’s Tears: Sentimental Anecdote and Walt Whitman’s Battle of Long Island
Amir Safari, University of Tehran, Iran
Whitman and the “Myth of Origin”

12.30pm-2pm – Lunch in Zest

1pm-2pm – Working Lunch Discussion Group

Curriculum Development in American Studies: The Temple-UEA Project

2pm-3.30pm – Session 3

Nations & Borderlands
Bonnie Craig, King’s College, London
“That Country inside my Head”: Rewriting the American Nation in Isabel Allende’s
My Invented Country (Mi País Inventado)
Alana Jackson, University of Lleida, Catalonia
Chicano/a Literature and the Response of Young Readers: Insights into Identity Formation of University Students in California
Zalfa Feghali, University of Nottingham
Travelling Theory and the Work of Gloria Anzaldúa

Consumption & Consumerism
Tim Jelfs, King’s College London
The Depiction of Objects in 1980s U.S. Fiction (Provisional)
Laila Haidarali, Essex University
The Body Browned: Colour, Contour, Beauty and African American Womanhood in early postwar consumer magazines
Sangjun Jeong, Seoul National University
Consumption Communities and Consumer Citizenship

Cinema, Identity & Representation
Liz Powell, University of East Anglia
Big Boys Don’t Cry: Talk Therapy and Masculinity in Reign Over Me
Su Mee Lee, Saekyung International College
Through the White Man’s Gaze: Japanese American Presence in Snow Falling on Cedars
Niamh Doheny, National University of Ireland, Galway
Oscar Micheaux and 1970s Black American Cinema: Negotiating the Terms of a Black American Cinema

Nineteenth-Century West
Leslie Powner, Keele University
Gertrude Atherton and the “California Pastoral”
Henry Knight, University of Sussex
The First Tropical Land Which Our Race Has Thoroughly Mastered: The Semi-Tropical Visions of California, 1873-1900
Karen Jones, University of Kent
‘No Woman Would Ever Do Such a Thing’: Hunting, Gender and Performance in the American West

Theophilus Savvas, Essex University
Pynchon Plays Dice:
Mason & Dixon and Quantum History
Chris Witter, Lancaster University
Writing Everyday Life: Donald Barthelme and Short Fiction of the 1960s and 70s
Mark Troy
Virtually McElroy

(Re)writing History
Phil Langran, University of Lincoln
Tim Gautreaux: Music, the Mississippi and The Missing
Stephanie Brown, Ohio State University
“No such account was ever published”: White Writers, Black History and Philip Gerard’s Cape Fear Rising
Penny Woollard, University of Essex
Re-imagining United States’ Slavery: Derek Walcott’s Reading of the Black Abolitionist, David Walker

Hawthorne & Melville
John Ronan, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
Hawthorne’s Puritanism without Christ
Ashna Bhagwanani, University of Waterloo
The Scarlet Letter: Deviance and the Construction of the Collective American Identity
Kate Kirwan, University College, Cork
“He was a futurist long before futurism found paint ”: Herman Melville and Historiographic Metafiction


Forced Movement of Non-White People in Antebellum America

Calvin Schermerhorn, Arizona State University
Great American Forced Migrations: Public and Private Means in the Trail of Tears and the Domestic Slave Trade
Steven Deyle, University of Houston
Coded Words: Concepts of Honor and the Reading of Southern Slave Trader Advertisements
Ben Schiller, University of East Anglia
“I feel no fear at all of the Natives”: African American Encounters in Colonial Liberia

Urban Black Community in Post-Civil Rights America
Malcolm McLaughlin, University of East Anglia
Martin X and the Afro-Asian Bookshop: Black Entrepreneurialism, Political Militancy, and Community in Buffalo, NY, 1964-1967
Joe Street, University of Northumbria
The Historiography of the Black Panther Party
William Turner, University of Manchester
Violence, Revolution and Spectacle in Chester Himes’s Harlem


Documentary Aesthetic After/Against New Deal Photography
Rebecca Cobby, School of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham.
“Visions, dreams and a few nightmares”: Roy DeCarava’s Aesthetics and the Documentary Mode
John Fagg, School of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham
Documentary Road Trips Revisited: Ben Shahn and William Gropper after the Thirties
Sara Wood, Department of American and Canadian Studies, University of Birmingham.
‘Abstract Truths’: African American Art and the Legacy of the 1930s

Contemporary Militia Movement
Robert H. Churchill
“The Militias Are Coming”: Demonization and Violence in the Age of Anti-Terrorism
Darren Mulloy, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Challenging History: Remembrance and Contestation in the American Militia Movement
Amy Cooter
Coded Response to the USA’s First Black President: the Michigan Militia as a case study of Lower-Middle Class White Males

3.30pm-4pm – Coffee and Tea in the Hive

4pm – 5.30pm – BAAS Annual General Meeting

5.30pm – Coaches to Norwich City Centre for Civic Reception at The Forum

6.00pm – Drinks reception sponsored by the University of Central Lancashire

6.45pm – Opening address by the Lord Mayor of Norwich

7pm – Plenary Lecture by Professor Bruce Michelson (University of Illinois), sponsored by the School of American Studies, University of East Anglia

8pm – Free evening in Norwich

8pm – Coaches to campus for delegates staying on campus (and / or those preferring to eat on campus)

Saturday 10 April

7.30am – Coaches to campus for delegates staying at Norwich City Centre Travelodge

7am-9am – Conference Breakfast in Zest

9am-11am – Session 4

Paul Auster
Jesús Ángel González, University of Cantabria, Spain
Alternative Americas in Paul Auster’s Later Fiction
Aliki Varvogli, University of Dundee
Paul Auster and 21st-Century Authorship
Stefania Ciocia, Canterbury Christ Church University
A Doomed Romance? The Demise of the
donna angelicata in Paul Auster’s Post-9/11 Novels
Anne Rutledge, Trinity College Dublin
Roads to Where: Self and Destination in the Novels of Paul Auster
Jaroslav Kušnír, The University of Prešov, Slovakia
Border Crossing: American Dreams, Illusions and Fictions in Paul Auster’s
Man in the Dark

Transatlantic Nineteenth Century
Kirsten Harris, University of Sheffield
‘Have the elder races halted?’: Fin de Siècle British Socialist Readings of Walt Whitman’s ‘Pioneers! O Pioneers!’
Tom F. Wright, University of Cambridge
Listening to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s ‘England’ at Clinton Hall, 1850
Louisa Hodgson, University of Leeds
Nursing, Nation and Narrative: Representations of Nurse in Louisa May Alcott’s
Hospital Sketches (1863), Work (1872), and Elizabeth Gaskell’s Ruth (1853)
Adam Hallett, University of Exeter
City Upon a Hill?: British Commentaries on Washington in the Nineteenth Century

Slashers, Gangsters & Cops: Genre Film & TV
Helen Oakley, University of Nottingham
Dissecting the Darkness of Dexter
Richard Nowell, University of East Anglia
“There’s more than one way to lose your heart”: The American Film Industry, Early Teen Slasher Films and Female Youth
Carl Wilson, Brunel University
‘The Sopranos’ and the Development of the Gangster Genre
Sarah Wharton, University of Liverpool
“You Wanted to Save Everyone”: The Saw Franchise and Post-9/11 America

After 9/11
Kathryn Olmsted, University of California, Davis
Cabal of Soccer Moms: The ‘Jersey Girls’ and 9/11 Conspiracy Theories
Eid Mohamed, The George Washington University, Washington DC
US Image in Post 9/11 Arab Media
Helena Wahlström, Uppsala universitet
The Orphan and the Family, Post-9/11: Sentimentality and Quest in Jonathan Safran Foer’s
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Michele Gemelos, Clare College, Cambridge
Games People Play : Community and Alienation in Contemporary New York Writing

American Homes, American Families
Antonella Palmieri, University of East Anglia
Father Knows Best: Fatherhood, Ethnicity and Masculinity in A Bronx Tale
Claire Jenkins, University of Warwick
Family Entertainment: Images of the American family in contemporary Hollywood
Maria Holmgren Troy, Karlstad University
Re-membering the Family in Octavia E. Butler’s Fledgling
Eleanor Alexander, Georgia Institute of Technology
African American Middle-Class Homes at the Turn of the Twentieth Century: Focal Points of Social Negotiation

American Influence Abroad
Daniel Guedes
Domestic Politics and Regional Trade Agreements: How the United States Bargains
Sue Peng Ng, University of Nottingham
Juggling the Two Chinas: The Nixon Administration’s Policy towards the Republic of China
Martin Russell, Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College Dublin
Irish-America, Northern Ireland and U.S. Foreign Policy: Transforming Memory and Lesson Learning
Professor Anton Cooray, City University of Hong Kong
American Influence on Constitutional Developments in Sri Lanka

Twentieth Century War and American Cultural Memory: Transatlantic Exchanges
David W. Seitz, University of Pittsburgh
Fading Memories of a Peculiar National Shrine: Brookwood American Cemetery and the Remembrance of “Doughboys”
Sam Edwards, University of Pittsburgh
Remembering the “Friendly Invasion”: Monuments, Memories and the Presence of the Past
Vernon L. Williams, Abilene Christian University
Crucible of Change: Race and the Shifting American Landscape in World War II England, 1942-1945
Simon Topping, University of Plymouth
African American Troops in Northern Ireland during the Second World War

Modernist Poetry and its Afterlife
Niall Munro, Oxford Brookes University
Hart Crane’s Genetics
Petar Penda, University of Banja Luka
The Aesthetic of Nothingness: T. S. Eliot’s Poetics of Disorderly Order in
The Waste Land
Alex Runchman, Trinity College Dublin
Delmore Schwartz’s ‘international consciousness’: Genesis and the American Dream
Naming and Anonymity in Charles Reznikoff’s Documentary Works
Sharon McCann, St John’s College, Cambridge


Reading Short Stories

Kaleem Ashraf, University of Sheffield
A Literary-Linguistic Approach to Dialect Representation in Hurston’s
John Redding Goes to Sea
Tim Foster, University of Nottingham
Interpreting Unaccustomed Suburbia: Jhumpa Lahiri’s Short Fiction
Mohammad Heidari, University of Tehran, Iran
Conspiracy Theory in the American Imagination
Nikolett Gyöngyösi, University of Szeged, Hungary
Subverting Our Notion of the Human: A Liminal Humanity in Joyce Carol Oates’ “Feral”


Representing American ‘Others’

Chiou-Rung Deng, Center for Humanities Research, National Science Council, Taiwan
Sympathetic Liaison: Nation-Making, Female Subjectivity, and Racial Difference in Lydia Maria Child’s
Bridget Bennett, University of Leeds
Early Modern Captivity and Places of Home
Natasha Picot, University of St. Andrews
The ‘Indian’ as Hero and Outsider in nineteenth-century Mexican
and North American Art
Soad M. Nigm, Newcastle University
The Native Americans in Barlow’s


11am-11.30am – Coffee and Tea in the Hive

11.30am-12.30pm – Session 5

Beat Generation
Joanna Freer, University of Sussex
“Whither goes thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?”: Navigating the Anti-Structural Realm in Jack Kerouac’s
On the Road and Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49.
Gordon J. Marshall, Haliç University
Rethinking the Margin: The Beat Generation and the Occupation of Ethnic and Racial Spaces in Postwar America

Social & Political Body
Emma Staniland, University of Leicester
An Exploration of Nothingness:
La nada cotidiana by Zoé Valdés (1995) (trans., Yocandra in the Paradise of Nada (1999))
Linda Toocaram, King’s College London
Cherríe Moraga’s
Pesadilla: Internalised Racism and Homophobia amongst Women of Color


Hannah Durkin, University of Nottingham
Katherine Dunham and African American Dance Authorship in 1940s Hollywood
Holly Maples, University of East Anglia
Embodying Resistance: Gendering Public Space in the 1913 Dance Craze

The 1924 Immigration Act
Cheryl Hudson, Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford
The Chicago School and the Framing of the 1924 Immigration Act
Kevin Yuill, University of Sunderland
Labor and the 1924 Immigration Act

Poetry, Selfhood & Identity

Reena Sastri, University of Oxford
Contemporary American Poetry and the Lyric ‘I’
Ruth Hawthorn, Glasgow University.
“Come back to that calm country”: The Limits of Nostalgia in Randall Jarrell’s
Lost World

Imagining American Cities

Lauren Jade Thompson, University of Warwick
Modernism, Modernity and Contemporary Comedies of Displacement in New York City
Victoria Kennefick, University College, Cork
No Urban Cowboy: Charles Bukowski’s Idiosyncratic Imagining of Los Angeles

12.30pm-1.30pm – Lunch in Zest

1pm-2.00pm – Working Lunch Discussion Group:

Bella Adams and Ross Dawson (Liverpool John Moores University)
American Studies and (Anti-) Racist Pedagogy: Critical Race Theory and the Teaching of Whiteness

2.00pm-3.30pm – Session 6

Popular Music and Society

Oliver Gruner, University of East Anglia
“Welcome Back to the Age of Jive”: Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna “remember” the Sixties
Nicholas Gebhardt, Lancaster University
Rethinking American Vaudeville: Popular Music, Entertainment and ‘the People’
Will Kaufman, University of Central Lancashire
‘Hard Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People’

Hollywood & Post-War Politics
Kathryn Cramer Brownell, Boston University
Ronald Reagan and the Motion Picture Industrial Council (1948-1959)
Jindriska Blahova, University of East Anglia
‘Let the best Athlete Win’: Eric Johnston, Hollywood and the Conquest of Eastern Europe
Matthew Alford
A Propaganda Model for Hollywood
The Antebellum South
Sergio Lussana, University of Warwick
‘In dem days … nearly every man would get drunk’: Drinking and Enslaved Masculinity in the Antebellum South.
Lydia J. Plath, University of Warwick
Performing Honour: Notions of Manhood and the Lynching of the Gamblers at Vicksburg
Huw David, Lincoln College, Oxford
Cankers to the Riches of a Country? Transatlantic absenteeism in colonial South Carolina

Staging Race, Staging Protest
Eman Al Attar, College of Basic Education/PAAET- Kuwait
Bridging Latino Diaspora: Examining The Cultural Canon in José Rivera’s Marisol
Elizabeth Orr, Cornell University
Rethinking Protest: Alice Childress and Richard Wright
Yasser Fouad A. Selim, Sohag University, Egypt
Staging Arab America in Betty Shamieh’s
Roar and The Black Eyed

Contemporary Native Writing
Jennifer Ladino, Universitetet i Bergen
Face-ing the Old West and Birthing the New: Sherman Alexie’s Forward-Looking Nostalgia
Gillian Hugh, University of Nottingham
Call Me Ishmael: The Politics of Colonization and Cultural Re-Invention in Erdrich’s
Love Medicine
Catherine Barter, University of East Anglia
Adolescent Trauma in Alexie’s
Flight and True Diary


Irish-American Identities
Sinéad Moynihan, University of Nottingham
Joining the Winners, Wallowing with the Losers: Irish-American Whiteness and Jay McInerney’s The Last of the Savages
Tara Stubbs, St. Peter’s College, Oxford
John Steinbeck, Ireland, and Autobiography
Louise Walsh, Clinton Institute of American Studies
Transatlantic Tricksters: Camouflage and Challenge in the Harlem and Irish Renaissances

William Faulkner
Taylor Hagood, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Darl Bundren and Narrative’s Dependency on Disability in Faulkner’s
As I Lay Dying
Clare Hayes-Brady, Trinity College Dublin
The Silent Centre: Mute Women in Faulkner and Wallace
Sascha Morrell, Cambridge University (Trinity College)
Dark (Br)Others and Interracial ‘Marriage’ in the Fiction of Herman Melville and William Faulkner

Visual Cultures
Owen Clayton, University of Leeds
Performing the Abyss: Jack London’s ‘Photographies’
Richard Ings, Independent Scholar
The Marvellous in the Familiar: Robert Bechtle, Everyday Vulture and the Californian Lifestyle
Andrew Jones, University of Texas at Austin
A Here and a There: Creative Camera and Anglo-American Photography


Intertextuality & Influence

Katy Masuga, University of Washington, Seattle
Henry Miller’s Adventures in Wonderland
Barbara Wyllie, University College London
My Age of Innocence Girl: Chaplin’s Lita and Nabokov’s Lo
Joel Daehnke, University of Northern Colorado
“Whoever Saw a Dairymaid on the Big Blackfoot River?”: Pastoral and the Specter of
The Compleat Angler in Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It

3.30pm-3.45pm – Coffee and Tea in the Hive

3.45pm-5.15pm – Session 7

Linda Hogan
Liz Kella, Södertörn University, Sweden
Critical Relations: Indian Orphans Move Back Home in Works by Leslie Marmon Silko and Linda Hogan
Fella Benabed, Badji Mokhtar University, Annaba, Algeria
Ecofeminist Activism for Environmental Justice in Linda Hogan’s Solar Storms
Ana Maria Cotelo Cancela, Universidade da Coruña, Research Unit CLEU
“The Cries and Moans of the Earth” in Linda Hogan’s Mean Spirit

Poetic Enactments & Engagements
Veitch, University of Sussex
‘Singing is the Work of Many Voices’: Reading Genevieve Taggard in the Context of the New Masses
Sanjeev Kumar, Government P.G. College, Karnal (Haryana)
Conflict as a Means to Reconciliation in the Poetry of Langston Hughes
Doaa Hamada, University of Leicester
Feminism in Margaret Walker’s Later Poetry

Comic Books
Ian Gordon, National University of Singapore
Fans, Discursive Communities and the Political Economy of Superman
Mihaela Precup, University of Bucharest
Frames of Mourning: Spaces of Invisibility and Post-traumatic Dialogue in a Selection of American Autobiographical Comics
Alex Hobbs, Anglia Ruskin University
Attempting to ‘out-Gentile the Gentiles’: Jewish American Superheroes in Contemporary Fiction and Comic Books

Homosexuality on the Screen
Guillermo G. Caliendo, Hofstra University
Disciplining Sexuality: Milk, Homonormativity, and the Discursive Enactment of Cultural Amnesia
Nikolai Endres, Western Kentucky University
American Studs: Cowboys in Love in Brokeback Mountain
Charles J. Shindo, Louisiana State University
“So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain”: Wilderness, Westerns, and Western History


Visual Cultures of the American West
John Beck, Newcastle University
Western Landscape Photography: A Vertical Perspective
Neil Campbell, University of Derby
The Posthumous and the Post-Western: Theorising the Modern Cinematic West through John Sturges’
Bad Day at Black Rock
Martin Padget, Aberystwyth University
Remapping the West through Native American Film


American Theatricality

Teresa Botelho

Staging mythologies of belonging in David Henry Hwang’s Yellow Face and Nilo Cruz’s Ana in the Tropics

Lisa Merrill

Seeing and Reading Bodies on the Antebellum American Stage

Theresa Saxon, University of Central Lancashire

Racial Impersonation and Colonial Masquerade: The Politics of Spectacle in Early Colonial Performances

Ann Walsh

“The Day of Terror”: American Militarism and Lowell’s The Old Glory

Stop Press: This panel has now been rescheduled for Friday morning

American Remakes of British Television
Carlen Lavigne, Red Deer College
‘All Those Hopes Down The Drain’: Blackpool, Viva Laughlin, and the Failed Mechanics of Americanization
Heather Marcovitch, Red Deer College
Mad, In a Coma, or Travelled Back in Time: How the British and American Versions of Life on Mars Address the Question of Memory
Jeanette Steemers, University of Westminster
British Television in the American Marketplace

Women in Atlantic Slave Societies
Rebecca Fraser, University of East Anglia
‘No more Sarah Hicks’: A Reconfiguration of Antebellum Time and Space for an Elite White Woman
Neal Millikan, University of South Carolina
Eliza Lucas Pinckney and Harriott Pinckney Horry: Widowed Plantation Mistresses in a Lowcountry South Carolina Slave Society
Brooke Newman, Gilder Lehrman Center, Yale University
An Aberrant Femininity?: The Spectre of the White West Indian Woman during the Age of Slavery

Lorrie Moore
Heidi Macpherson, De Montfort University
“Escape from the Invasion of the Love-Killers”: Lorrie Moore’s Metafictional Feminism
David Brauner, University of Reading
“A Little Ethnic Kink is Always Good to See”: Jewishness in the Fiction of Lorrie Moore
Alison Kelly, University of Reading
“The Fastest Way to the White House”: Lorrie Moore as a Political Writer

Catholics & Protestants
David Mislin, Boston University
“The Right Kind of Catholic”: Strikes, Unions, and the Remaking of Catholic-Protestant Relations in America, 1885-1910
Louis J. Kern
The “Increasing Disregard for Law,” “Wild and Furious Passions,” and “Worse Than Savage Mobs”: Anti-Catholicism, Collective Violence, and Nativism in Jacksonian American Literature
Shona Johnston, Georgetown University
Catholic Cosmopolitanism? Navigating Anglo-Spanish Relations in the Early English Atlantic World


5.30pm-6.30pm – Eccles Centre Lecture: Professor David Reynolds (Christ’s College, University of Cambridge)

6.30pm – Drinks Reception sponsored by Edinburgh University Press to mark the completion of the publication of “Twentieth Century American Culture

7.30pm – Conference Banquet in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts

Post-Banquet – UEA Bar

11.00pm – Coaches for delegates staying at Norwich City Centre Travelodge

Sunday 11th April

8am – Coaches to campus for delegates staying at Norwich City Centre Travelodge

7am-9am – Conference Breakfast in Zest

9am-10.30am – Session 8

Revolution & Post-Revolution
William L. Chew III, Vesalius College, Brussels, Belgium
The ‘Journée du Dix Août’ as Witnessed by a Yankee Merchant
Juhani Rudanko, University of Tampere
How a Freedom Was Born: Freedom of Speech and the War of 1812
Daniel E. Clinkman, University of Edinburgh
The King of Contradictions: Thomas Jefferson and the Summary View

Broadway Musicals
Kay Williams, Abilene Christian University
The Cowboy Composer: David Guion’s Journey from the Bunkhouse to Broadway
Laura Pollard, University of East Anglia
“Another Hundred People Just Got Off Of The Train”: New York City as a Site for the Pursuit of Success in 1970s Broadway Musicals
Roy Pierce-Jones, University of Worcester
The Demise of the Broadway Musical?

Fin de Siècle Fiction
Lorna Piatti-Farnell, Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln
Home Sweet Home: Reading Domesticity and the Everyday in Kate Chopin’s Fiction
Elisabeth Bayley, Catholic University of Leuven
The Circling of Consumerism and Desire in the Early 20th Century: Flawed Notions of Totality Depicted in Edith Wharton’s
The House of Mirth
Mita Bose, University of Delhi
Henry James – the Perspicacious American

Going to the Movies
Johannes Mahlknecht, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Three Words to Tell a Story – The History and Rhetoric of the Movie Tagline
Richard Hayes, Waterford Institute of Technology
Tennessee Williams and the Cinema: Some Examples of Influence
Dean Conrad, The University at Hull
Picture Palaces: The American Movie Theatre and its Love Affair with Old-World Architecture

Aspects of Modernism
Will Norman, University of Kent
Grosz, Steinberg and the Construction of Cultural Register
John F. Moe, The Ohio State University
Defining America and Sherwood Anderson’s Midwestern “Winesburg”: Story, Narrative, and the Emergence of American Modernism
Laura Bekeris, University of Manchester
Face Value: Representations of Money in Robert Herrick’s
The Common Lot

Understanding the Twentieth-Century South
Vivien Miller, University of Nottingham
“A Beast in Human Form”: Child-Kidnapping and Community Rage in Late 1930s South Florida
Mark Newman, University of Edinburgh
The Catholic Diocese of Savannah and Desegregation, 1945-1973
Maarten Zwiers, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
Conspiracy and Compromise in Segregationist Ideology: Senator James Eastland and the Cold War South

American Cities in Context
Jiaying Cai, University of Nottingham
Crime and Corruption: A Comparison of the Representation of New York and Shanghai through Qiu Xiaolong and Linda Fairstein
Douglas Muzzio/Thomas Halper, Baruch College, CUNY
Menaces and Laundrettes: The American and British City in Movies, 1980-2005
Julieann Galloway, The Clinton Institute for American Studies, University College Dublin
Selling Innovation: An Analysis of Framing and Identity in the Cities of Austin, Texas, and Dublin, Ireland

Queering Gender and Sexuality
Anja Milde, Heidelberg University, Germany
“Pansies,” “Dykes,” and Panthers: New Dimensions of Social Movement Intersectionality
Iwona Rentflejsz, Culture – Camp – Identity: Resistance and Multiplicity as the Grounds for the Establishment of Queer Identity/ies
Susan Smith, University of Leicester
‘Not Being A Man’: Deconstructing Masculinity in Marge Piercy’s
He, She and It (1991)

Civil War

Sarah Lahey, Northwestern University

Choosing Sides: Native Americans and the Civil War
William Van Vugt, Calvin College
Race and Gender in the Civil War: A Scottish Woman in the Deep South
Andrea L. Volpe, Harvard University
Clinical Sentimentality: James H. Armsby’s Carte de Visite Albums at the Army Medical Museum

10.30am-11.00am – Coffee and Tea in the Hive

11.00am-12.30pm – Session 9 

Food & Identity
Paula Torreiro Pazo, University of A Coruña, Spain
Food, Self and Community: The Trope of Food as an Identity Formant in Diana Abu-Jaber’s
The Language of Baklava
Rowland Hughes, University of Hertfordshire
Food, Race and the Consuming Body in
A Narrative of John Tanner (1830) and The Life of Black Hawk (1833)
Eva von Wyl, University of Zurich
Rationalization, Self-Service and American Way of Life: American Eating Habits in Postwar Switzerland (1950-1970)

American Internationalism, 1895-1947

Charlie Laderman, University of Cambridge
Roosevelt and the Humanitarian Tradition in American Internationalism
Katharina Rietzler, University College London
Internationalism as Regionalism: Alejandro Álvarez, James Brown Scott and the Promise of Pan-Americanism
Waqar Zaidi, Imperial College London
James T. Shotwell and the Struggle for Atomic Internationalism, 1945-1947
Colonial Architecture
David Leviatin
From Crucks to Balloons: The Democratization of Craftsmanship Construction and Culture in Early America
David Yeoman
Paul Wainwright
Photographing Colonial Meetinghouses


Community in Nineteenth-Century Fiction

Debbie Lelekis, University of Missouri
Realism and the Bonds of Community
Maureen Martin, William Patterson University
Fairytales and Nightmares: Jewett’s “A White Heron” and the Community of Innocence
Josephene Kealey, University of Ottawa, Canada
The Role of the Metropolitan Narrator in Jewett’s
The Country of the Pointed Firs

Jazz (Auto)Biography
Emily Petermann, University of Konstanz, Germany
Life Calls, the Text Responds: The Fictional Jazz Biography as Greatest Hits Album
Mario Dunkel, TU University of Dortmund, Germany
History as Constant Composition: Charles Mingus’s Beneath the Underdog
Stefan Schlensag, TU University of Dortmund, Germany
The Hipster Talks: A Story of Jazz According to Babs Gonzales

American Paranoid Cinema
Michael Ahmed, University of East Anglia
Kennedy, Conspiracies and Shadow Corporations: Mediating National Trauma through an Alternative Cinematic Aesthetic
Wickham Clayton, Roehampton University
America’s Adventures through the Looking Glass: the Aesthetics and Deviant Intertextuality of
Gareth James, University of Exeter
‘Must Security and Safety Come at the Price of Freedom?’ The Disappearance of
Strip Search, HBO and Post 9/11 Commentary

Toni Morrison
Anjali Patwardhan-Kulkarni, Nasik, Maharashtra India
The Speak of the Meek: Language of Irony in Toni Morrison’s Fiction
Jennifer Terry, University of Durham
‘All water has a perfect memory’: Sailors, Seas and Shorelines in the Fiction of Toni Morrison
Janine Bradbury, University of Sheffield
Oprah Winfrey and Toni Morrison: A ‘Beloved’ Relationship?

African Americans & Politics in the 20th Century
Benjamin Houston, Newcastle upon Tyne University
The Social Remapping of a City: Race, Interstate 40, and Urban Renewal in Nashville and America
Jeffrey A. Johnson, Providence College
“How Many Socialist Are Among Us?” Revisiting Blacks and the Socialist Party
G. Derek Musgrove, University of the District of Columbia
The Thin Line between Oppositional History and Conspiracism: The Frumenshcen Affidavit and the “Selective Prosecution” of Black Elected Officials in the 1980s

12.30 – Coaches for delegates staying at Norwich City Centre Travelodge

End of Conference

More information and registration:


Dr Thomas Ruys Smith,

Conference Organiser

‘Continuities and Changes’: Report of the British Association for American Studies Annual Postgraduate Conference

Northumbria University, 14 November 2009

Northumbria University hosted the BAAS Postgraduate Conference on Saturday 14 November 2009. There were 25 papers submitted for presentation at the event within our theme of ‘Continuities and Changes’. With an audience of over 50 people the day was certainly busy and with delegates from all over the UK as well as those from as far away as Germany and Nigeria, there was an incredible richness to the variety of topics under discussion.

Some of the individual papers were ‘Conservative or Radical: Toni Morrison and Oprah Winfrey’s Literary Relationship’, ‘Robert Frost, American Poetry and Memory’ and ‘Monstrous Plots: Elizabeth Gaskell and Louisa May Alcott’s Witchcraft Narratives’. These papers, among other excellent contributions in the fields of history, literature, culture and politics in the individual sessions, stimulated interesting debate which was carried forward into the various breaks throughout the day as delegates exploited the opportunity for networking and engaging with fellow postgraduates in a more informal environment. By late afternoon the wine and conversation was flowing and the delegates were engaged in lively exchange as the nerves of conference speaking eased. For me as conference organiser, this was particularly gratifying and I hope those who stayed in the city overnight enjoyed their time here.

Our plenary speaker, Professor Sara Evans from the University of Minnesota, undertook a long and tiring journey to be with us for the day and delighted us all by singing during her keynote, ‘Women and the American Presidency: From Victoria Woodhull to Hillary Clinton’. I have to say that the experience of hearing the audience singing along with her will stay with me for a very long time! I am sure all who witnessed this would agree that it was a truly excellent conference plenary and was pitched perfectly for the audience.

I would like to thank BAAS for the opportunity of organising the conference, which I personally found to be an incredibly rewarding experience. I would highly recommend fellow postgraduates to seriously consider hosting this most worthwhile and satisfying venture. I would also like to thank the US Embassy and Northumbria University for their very generous financial support, without which we would not have been able to provide this very valuable experience for young researchers. There are numerous others who contributed to the day’s proceedings and thanks go to them all, not least the delegates themselves, but especially to my own PhD supervisor, Dr. Sylvia Ellis, for her unerring support.

Helen Mitchell

BAAS Postgraduate Conference 2010: Call to all Postgraduates

If you would like your institution to be considered to hold the next BAAS Postgraduate Conference (November 2010), could you please contact the BAAS Postgraduate Representative Michael Collins ( before 31 March 2010 to register interest. This year there is a £50 stipend for the lead organiser as well as a small amount of additional funding ringfenced for the conference.

Many thanks,

Michael Collins

BAAS Requests and Notices

Media Contacts Database: Call for Information

As the plans for the REF take shape, it is clear that evaluating the impact of our research will be an increasingly important criterion in the assessment of research activity. Accordingly, BAAS hopes to improve and make more systematic its role as an information gateway for external agencies—especially media—who are seeking to contact experts in British American Studies for the purpose of drawing on their research expertise. We hope to establish a contacts database listing research specialisms and key publications for UK American Studies academics, which will allow media organisations, NGOs, schools, and arts and culture institutions better access to details of the range and location of American studies expertise in the UK.

To that end, we are sending out a call for information to be held by BAAS, and in due course to be made available on our website and in our publications. If you are interested in BAAS passing on your details to such external agencies as a way of helping disseminate your research, please could you respond to Mark Whalan ( with the following information:

  • name, title and academic institution
  • list of 4-5 research specialisms (e.g. American modernist literature; the history of the civil rights movement; contemporary US sitcoms)
  • list of 2-4 key publications
  • your phone number, e-mail, and website URL if available

Many thanks,

Mark Whalan

BAAS Database of Schools Liaison Personnel

Again with the REF and our impact beyond the academic community in mind, BAAS is keen to increase members’ interaction with schools. Accordingly, we hope to establish a contacts database listing details of academic staff and postgraduate students who would be willing to speak to school groups on American Studies topics.

We are therefore issuing a call for information to be held by BAAS, and in due course to be made available on our website. If you are interested in BAAS passing on your details to schools, please write to the BAAS Secretary, Catherine Morley (, with the following information:

  • name and title
  • affiliation with complete contact details including address, telephone, fax, and email
  • list of 4–5 research specialisms

By providing this information, you agree to it being passed on to schools who are seeking a speaker on American Studies or a related discipline.

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 at 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 or your details updated 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

Centre for American Studies

University of Leicester

University Road

Leicester, LE1 7RH

Travel Award Reports

Abraham Lincoln Short-Term Travel Award

My doctoral research explores relationships between early women’s periodicals, antebellum print culture and the characteristics of periodical print as a genre. It focuses primarily on the ways in which women editors of the 1830s used time in their editorial rhetoric as a means of reflecting on their periodicals’ cultural role, their own editorial work and the periodicals’ textual qualities. Access to sources unavailable in the UK is of crucial importance to the breadth of my project and my range of reference. Thanks to the generosity of the BAAS Abraham Lincoln Short-Term Travel Award 2009-10, I was able to spend two chilly December weeks conducting research at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts.

I covered a lot of ground in my fortnight at the archive. I consulted over a dozen periodicals, including women-edited titles such as The Bower of Taste (1828-1830) and the Microcosm, or the Little World of Home (1834-1836). One of the most interesting periodicals I looked at was The Friend of Virtue (1838-1858), which acted as an organ for the New England Female Moral Reform Society. Although I had been aware of women-edited reform periodicals before my trip, I had not been able to consult an example first-hand. The Friend of Virtue raised a number of new and interesting questions for me concerning how time was construed by women collectively as well as the different uses women editors made of their periodicals.

In addition to examining these periodicals, I pursued a second strand to my research at the AAS to support the chapter which I am currently writing. This particular chapter explores the field of women’s periodicals in the broader context of antebellum print culture and seeks to position them in relation to other forms of writing popular during the antebellum era – for instance, annuals, almanacs, letters and diaries. I was directed to some interesting chapbooks and albums owned by women of the 1830s. The hand-written poetry and pencilled messages contained within these beautiful pages spoke of a culture of remembrance and anxiety over time passing, and demonstrated a particularly rich socio-literary experience recently written about by Ronald and Mary Zboray. Reading these unique and individual titles alongside women-edited periodicals helped me to draw links between magazines, journals and pamphlets and this broader literary culture.

The final strand to my research consisted of a day spent deciphering letters contained in the Gilman Family Papers, an archive of letters concerning Caroline Gilman, editor of the Rose magazines (1832-1839) of Charleston, South Carolina. These letters gave a fascinating insight into Gilman’s editorial work and added an extra dimension to a chapter I have written on temporality in the Rose magazines.

I wish to extend my thanks to the staff and resident fellows at the AAS, who were helpful, generous with their knowledge and welcoming. The collegial atmosphere of the Society made a very productive research trip into an enjoyable experience – it was the welcoming nature of the Society as well as the archive itself that has made me determined to return in the future. Although, inevitably, I could while away many more days, weeks (months even!) doing productive work at the AAS, my comparatively short time in Worcester has been of immeasurably larger benefit to my research.

My thanks once again to BAAS for awarding me the Abraham Lincoln Short-Term Travel Award, to which I owe this fantastic experience.

Anna Luker, King’s College London

Barringer Award

The news of receiving the Barringer Award for 2009 came as a shock, partly because I’d not won an award since I was twelve but largely because of excitement at the scale of the award and opportunity. Being a fellow at the Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, Virginia and able to study my favoured themes in American revolutionary history and early constitutional development was a privilege and thrill. Some serious preparation was needed to make the most of the two weeks I had. Narrowing my theme to the relationship between Jefferson and Marshall as a vehicle for broader issues of federalism, judicial review and constitutional development was the first step. Secondly, preparatory reading and basic research of what was available at the Jefferson Library set up the background and direction. When arriving at the library for the first time I met two American Barringers from Washington State who were finishing their visit. Their advice was prescient. Time would fly. Be focused. Visit the University of Virginia special collections. Enjoy the experience and beautiful settings of the Library and Monticello itself. I tried to stick to this during a stimulating, reviving, demanding and thoroughly enjoyable two weeks immersed in American revolutionary and constitutional history in Charlottesville by the Blue Ridge mountains in western Virginia.

Finding my way round the library resources on shelves and online took the first day, learning not to be too diverted onto new routes along the way. As a relative novice in this field of American history I soaked up knowledge and understanding, partly from the reading I was able to do, partly from the first hand experiences of visiting sights (the presidential homes of Monticello, Montpelier, Ash Lawn Highland locally and Williamsburg, Jamestown and Lexington further afield), but mostly through conversations with the scholars working at the library, who were understanding about my occasional naivety and rawness of questioning but very supportive of my projects. Their scholarly outlook and academic expertise was a deep well from which to draw knowledge and inspiration. My particular thanks go to Marie-Jean Rossignol, Michelle Oriole, Bill Merkel, Trevor Burnard of Warwick and Director of the ICJS, Andrew Jackson O’Shaugnessy.

My immediate project was preparation of lessons on the relationship between Jefferson and John Marshall 1801-9 as a vehicle for understanding some key constitutional issues of the early republic. Secondly, I wanted to lay the groundwork for a new A level course I would be teaching, and my final objective was some quality research time for an article on constitutionalism.

Through reading, browsing, thinking, discussing and writing I now more fully appreciate the divisiveness of the leaders in the early years of the new republic. This was not just during the Constitutional Convention but the legacy thereafter and the aggressive factionalism of the Federalist-Republican divide in the 1790s, epitomised by the Jefferson-Marshall conflict. Getting to grips with the Jeffersonian, Hamiltonian, Madisonian and Marshall perspectives on politics and the constitution was a task achieved and well-worthwhile. Focused work on the election of 1800 and backward and forward referencing illuminated the political complexities of the early republic and severe internal disagreements that at times threatened to split the union. In comparing Jefferson with Marshall intriguing similarities and connections emerged whilst not obscuring the prominent and heartfelt mutual distrust and detestation of both men.

My first thanks go to the BAAS awarding committee for giving me this wonderful opportunity and experience. Secondly, thanks to Theresa Saxon for the invaluable organisational help with the award, answering all my pestering emails and getting me out to the Old Dominion of Virginia to start with. Especial thanks go to Joan Hairfield, Mary Scott-Fleming and Andrew O’Shaugnessy alongside the other visiting fellows for providing such a welcoming and intellectually stimulating environment for this particular Barringer Brit. Finally, I cannot thank the Barringer Foundation enough for their great generosity in funding this excellent programme and the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies for hosting me so warmly and generously. I would recommend it to any and every teacher of American history and politics. In my application I talked about academic, professional and personal reasons for applying for the award. All my hopes were handsomely fulfilled.

Chris Bates, Kimbolton School, Cambridgeshire

Founders’ Award

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the British Association for American Studies for the Founders’ Award presented to me at the Nottingham conference in 2009. I used this award, in conjunction with an award from my faculty at the University of Hull, to spend two very productive weeks in September 2009 working at the National Archives Records Administration in College Park, Maryland and the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

It was essential to my ongoing work on the US Army chaplains in World War II that I visit these two repositories in order to complete a large section of the overall project. While at the archives I was able to consult the monthly reports of various chaplains in order to ascertain how frequently, if at all, they reported problems with moral issues to the Chief of Chaplains’ office in Washington DC. Thanks to previous visits to the archives and the Library of Congress I was able to approach my search systematically, armed with a list of chaplains whose letters, memoirs and/or diaries I had previously consulted. The record groups I accessed on this trip widened the investigation beyond the records of the Chief of Chaplains’ office itself. The archivists were extremely helpful and genuinely interested in the topic. I left the NARA with a clearer understanding of the workings of the chaplains corps and the working life of the chaplains themselves.

At the Library of Congress I located several more first-hand accounts written by chaplains and accessed the library’s holdings on pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s. The Chief of Chaplains himself worked to have various magazines banned from the postal system and the Library of Congress had several of these titles. Both Argosy and True Story Magazine roused the Chief of Chaplains’ concern because of their implied sexual content. I was also able to look at copies of Esquire from the same period and for the same reasons.

BAAS plays an essential role in promoting research within the American Studies community through its travel awards. A great deal can be accomplished with even a small grant. So again, I thank BAAS and the American Embassy for their continued and unflagging support of our community.

Jenel Virden, University of Hull

Malcolm Bradbury Award

I am very grateful to BAAS for a Malcolm Bradbury Short Term Travel Award which enabled me to visit the Harry Ransom Center (HRC) at the University of Texas, Austin to research the archive of the subject of my PhD study, the American writer James Agee, who died in 1955 and the centenary of whose birth it is this year.

A few months ago there was a BBC Radio 4 programme about the HRC, which was, according to the views rehearsed, voracious in its appetite for writers’ collections at the expense of less wealthy institutions, or a lifeline for impecunious writers, who will their fragments to the HRC and are thus endowed to pursue their calling.

Such considerations are germane to the career of James Agee, who was, perhaps, profligate with his gifts, and who might have been more (pardon the pun) collected. On my first day at the HRC I shook from an envelope a receipt from a hotel in Greensboro, Alabama, evidence of Agee’s stay there in 1936 and his passage towards what would become his greatest achievement, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941). Everybody knows the photographs by Walker Evans that introduce this work and form part of the collective memory of the Depression, but the book itself is unread, or misread, or perhaps read with impatience, since such a gulf seems to divide Agee’s exhaustive prose from Evans’s confident, uncaptioned photographs.

The staff at the HRC were exceptionally welcoming and helpful, especially Molly Schwartzburg, the curator of the American collection. Reading manuscripts and drafts generated a visceral as well as an intellectual rush; it was particularly poignant to see Agee’s tiny, sometimes indecipherable, pencil-writing, which was generally the medium of his first thoughts and impressions, and which seems expressive of all that is hesitant in his work. The surviving elements of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men were tantalising pages numbered in the high three hundreds: where, I asked, were the others? In due course I was shown a manifest from a rare book dealer: ‘The original manuscript [of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men] was given by Agee to Evans in December 1938 but has since disappeared.’

Thus my hope that the archive would furnish conclusive evidence that Agee was the kind of (modernist) writer I believed him to be was only partly fulfilled. Agee’s notebook, in which he recorded his intentions, made his false starts, and revised and revised, reminded me that the aesthetic realisation of his subjects was necessarily incomplete; so too, although my knowledge of Agee was deepened by my research, I was not to ‘get’ him.

In this respect perhaps it is significant that, amongst the drafts that did not achieve published form, but which were to have a secondary ‘found’ life in the archive, two speak to what was provisional between the writer and his material, analogous somehow to one’s burrowing among those not-quite-reaching-fruition words: the first – ‘this volume was made in defiance of its nominal subject’ – anticipated the second and accounts, in large part, for what might be called his critical reception: ‘The parentheses, colons and question marks are intended to indicate what it seemed that words could not as well …’

The unearthing of these and other treasures will be of enormous value to the development of my thesis, and I again extend my thanks to BAAS.

Philip Stogdon

Royal Holloway, University of London

Short-Term Travel Award

I would like to express my deepest thanks to BAAS for a short-term travel award for a vital research trip to the United States between September and November 2009. The key objective of my PhD is to rethink the careers of African American dancers Josephine Baker (1906-1975) and Katherine Dunham (1909-2006) as dynamic sites of identity construction, especially in relation to notions of ‘race’ and ‘gender’. Despite both figures’ centrality to the evolution of twentieth-century dance practices and wider notions of ‘racial’ beauty, the dancing body’s role in identity formation remains an under-explored critical field. My project seeks to rectify this by scrutinising the performative images generated within these artists’ films and writings.

My visit comprised five weeks at different archival locations from the Midwest to New England. My principal purpose was to view ‘Katherine Dunham: Beyond the Dance’, a rare exhibition of original performance material and memorabilia at the Missouri History Museum in St Louis to mark the centenary of Dunham’s birth. The many performance outfits on display included Dunham’s costume from Cabin in the Sky, the 1940 Broadway show that launched her career. Other exhibits were devoted to Dunham’s long-running professional and personal relationship with Haiti, as well as to rehearsal and performance footage, including extracts from the 1980 recording of one of her key works, Rites de passage (1941). The exhibition’s display of a large section from the 22-feet-tall forest backdrop of Rites de passage drew attention to the ambition of Dunham’s artistry. Designed by her husband, John Pratt (1911-1985), the costumes and settings for Dunham’s performances sought to emphasise the aesthetic qualities of her choreography, and thus secure cultural recognition for African diasporic dance forms. Dunham’s extensive collection of anthropological artefacts, collected during her professional travels, brought to light the impact of ethnographic materials on her choreography.

The Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center holds a large portion of Katherine Dunham archives, and my biggest finds here included The Minefield, an unpublished memoir documenting her early performance career (currently under copyright), as well as lengthy correspondence between Dunham and the first president of Senegal, Léopold Sédar Senghor, concerning the First World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar in 1966. Senior Curator Shannon Berry also kindly showed me surviving performance costumes not on display in the exhibition. Whilst deteriorating rapidly, these costumes illuminated Dunham’s careful attention to glamour and elegance in her efforts to counteract minstrelsy-derived representations of African diasporic dance histories.

My next visit was to the University of South Illinois, Carbondale, where most of the material relating to Dunham’s early life and career is held. Much of Dunham’s choreography was based on her experiences as an anthropologist, particularly her fascination with the ritual function of dance forms. At Carbondale I was able to explore Dunham’s notes as a social anthropology student at Chicago University during the 1930s, correspondence between Dunham and her anthropological mentor, Melville Herskovits, and early writings on Haiti, where Dunham undertook most of her scientific fieldwork. These included an original student notebook and a 1938 Chicago Sunday Times article. Dunham’s personal papers are currently restricted under copyright laws, but I was able to access her business papers, including letters and contracts between Dunham and Hollywood producers, which revealed her efforts to challenge racist treatments of African American performers in 1940s Hollywood by attempting to negotiate dignified film roles and retain artistic control over her performances.

The Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University in Atlanta provided access to the Josephine Baker Papers, comprising 1,200 items of personal correspondences and newspaper clippings from around the world. Letters from Baker to the French government and other heads of state revealed her crusade against racism and her determination to establish her own home and adopted family as a symbol of ‘International Brotherhood’. Other letters expressed her suspicion of biographers and disappointments with their efforts to represent her life. I was met with delight by the Curator of African American Collections, Randall K. Burkett, as one of the first researchers to access these papers, others having been put off by the fact that most of them are in French. I also found time to explore the Ada Beatrice ‘Bricktop’ Smith papers, 1894-1984, a collection of letters and photographs relating to an African American nightclub owner in Jazz Age Paris. In the Michel Fabre archives of African American arts and letters, 1910-2003, I found original programmes and playbills relating to key performances by both Dunham and Baker in the 1930s and 1940s. Finally, a quick search through the African American Cinema Collection, 1907-2001, yielded large parts of the original pressbook for Stormy Weather (1943), a film on which Dunham worked as both choreographer and dance star.

The Motion Picture & Television Reading Room at the Library of Congress kindly permitted me to view more than forty video sources relating to Dunham’s career, including first-hand interviews, dance seminars, edited footage from the film Mambo (1954), and anthropological fieldwork footage from the Caribbean and elsewhere. In the African American Historical Newspapers collection in the Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room I explored scores of articles relating to the careers of Dunham, Baker, and Baker’s main theatrical rival in 1920s Europe, Florence Mills (1896-1927). Strikingly, articles from the 1920s and 1930s revealed that, whilst largely unmentioned by mainstream American newspapers following her relocation to Paris in 1925, Baker continued to hold an important place in the African American popular consciousness throughout the 1930s and 1940s.

The Beinecke Library at Yale University provided access to the Henry Hurford Janes-Josephine Baker Collection and the Josephine Baker Papers, both containing personal letters, scrapbooks and unpublished notes by Baker. The latter also held French newspaper reviews and commemorative programmes dating back to Baker’s first performance in Paris in 1925. Programmes and theatre playbills relating to Dunham’s career, as well as an autobiography by Dunham’s promoter, Sol Hurok, revealed a clash between Dunham’s pursuit of artistic dignity and external attempts to market her work as ‘exotic’ entertainment. Surprisingly given her continued exclusion from the modern dance canon, I also found a 1949 book on modern dance, Margaret Lloyd’s Borzoi Book of Modern Dance, which devoted significant attention to Dunham’s work.

I am immensely grateful to all these institutions for allowing me to access their archives, and to the many individual archivists for their hard work, expertise and incredible kindness. Thanks to the funding from BAAS, my PhD has gained an invaluable international dimension and increased scholarly depth and originality.

Hannah Durkin

University of Nottingham

Short-Term Travel Award

In summer 2009, BAAS’s generous award of a Short-Term Travel Grant made it possible for me to research the Saul Bellow Papers which are deposited in the Special Collections Research Center of the Joseph Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago.

My PhD thesis is provisionally entitled ‘The Politics of Fiction: Saul Bellow and Partisan Review, 1941-53’. It was necessary for me to research the political origins of Bellow’s career and his affiliation to the anti-Stalinist Partisan Review circle of New York intellectuals. As a Trotskyist during the 1930s, Bellow had written short pieces of political fiction and radical commentary for his high school newspaper and university socialist clubs, but it was Partisan Review which introduced him to a left-minded national audience in 1941. His connection to the influential magazine afforded him sponsorship and editorial assistance; many of the New York intellectuals not only became his friends but his patrons also.

In the Regenstein I was able to research those letters, papers and manuscripts which grew out of the author’s association with Partisan Review. Armed with permissions granted by Janis Bellow, I was given unrestricted access to the editorial notes and correspondence between Bellow and Partisan Review’s editors-in-chief, William Phillips, Philip Rahv and Dwight Macdonald. This helped me to situate the author and his fiction within the context of the magazine’s politico-cultural debates. In addition, access to Bellow’s personal and professional correspondence with other intellectuals such as Irving Howe, Alfred Kazin and Norman Podhoretz enabled me to chart the author’s early political trajectory, both as a public literary figure and as a private US citizen. Access to this primary source material means that I am now able to assess the extent to which the ideological perspective of the putative author coincides with the politics of the private individual.

I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to consult these correspondence materials, every piece of which will prove crucial to the successful completion of my primary research.

By most standards, the Bellow Papers archive is enormous. Despite superb, long-term efforts made by the excellent staff of the Regenstein’s Special Collection Research Center, the boxes and folders of material contained with the collection remain largely uncatalogued and unprocessed. (The still rudimentary itinerary created by the center’s archivists runs to over 180 pages.) Consequently, the task of retrieving every piece of pertinent correspondence proved to be a little time-consuming. Having said this, I could not have asked to work alongside a more professional, generous and obliging team of archivists than those who assisted me during my time in the Regenstein. With their help, I was able to amass a huge amount of material, a good deal of which I hope to put to use in the preliminary stages of my post-doctoral research.

The research trip means that I am now able to situate Bellow confidently within the New York intellectuals’ milieu during some of the most intriguing and turbulent years of American politics.

In conclusion, I wish to offer my thanks to BAAS for providing me with this invaluable opportunity to visit the US and make use of the vast resources of the University of Chicago’s Regenstein library. I should also express my appreciation to the School of Cultural Studies of Leeds Metropolitan University for awarding a full-time studentship and to the University of Chicago for providing me with additional funds in the form of a Special Collections Research Fellowship. I am confident that the materials I have been able to collect as a result of the BAAS award will provide an impressive core for my thesis, and I look forward to making further research trips to the US in the future.

Richard O’Brien

Leeds Metropolitan University

Short-Term Travel Award

I feel very honoured to have received a BAAS short-term travel award to support my research towards an MA in History, Film and Television. The award made possible a trip to Texas in 2009 which altered the focus of my dissertation and brought me into contact with people who were invaluable to my work.

I embarked on my dissertation in early October 2008 with the intention of exploring the work in Los Angeles of early 20th century architect John Parkinson. He is unknown by many these days outside the study of architecture, but I have a family connection to him (he is my great-great-great uncle on my father’s side) and had researched the family history using available sources in the UK. I became interested in Parkinson’s role in the evolution of architecture, both early in his life in England and later in the USA. Parkinson’s Los Angeles firm was under his control between 1894 and 1935, so his architectural career spans the late Victorian and early Art Deco periods. It was this era that I wanted to focus on, using textual analysis and interviews with historians, combined with my own photography, to try and pinpoint the changes in architecture around that time. Parkinson’s work is acknowledged only relatively briefly in any of the books that I could find in the UK or even the USA, and so it was also my aim to try and fill in as much background information about his work as possible.

I used my travel award to buy a flight to Houston, Texas, so that I could visit the archive of the Parkinson firm, now housed at Scott Field’s company premises in Galveston. After a long journey and a warm welcome in Texas I started to try and piece together the scale of the archive. I had already researched the various eras of the Parkinsons (John Parkinson had worked with business partners before bringing his son, Donald, on board in the 1920s), but on joining the firm in the 1990s Scott had rescued many drawings, sketches, photographs and artefacts that help tell the story of the firm, and which only a visit in person would allow me to appreciate. These included original architect’s drawings, as well as supporting artefacts such as photographs and postcards that fill in some of the buildings’ histories and reveal how they were used and adapted. I was also able to view original furniture and brickwork on site, and had the background to the most important Parkinson projects explained to me.

After four days in Galveston it was time for me to move on by plane to LA. I had allowed roughly two weeks there so as to visit numerous Parkinson-designed buildings, mostly in the Downtown area. I arrived by coach from the airport in the oldest area of the city, at Union Station, one of John Parkinson’s last projects, and stayed in a hostel in the old financial district. My time in L.A. was spent visiting each of the landmarks in John Parkinson’s Los Angeles legacy, and speaking with experts with a professional knowledge of each project. Large-scale projects such as City Hall weren’t difficult to find, but other less prominent residential buildings might have proved more elusive had I not been put in touch with local realtor and photographer Michael Locke, who showed me some of Parkinson’s gems out in the suburbs. Meeting the properties’ current owners turned out to be an unexpected highlight, revealing at first hand about how fit-for-purpose they were. The small scale of the early Los Angeles city plan meant that if a particular appointment fell through I was able to put the allotted time to profitable use at another nearby site. None of my interviewees had met John Parkinson personally but they more than made up for this through their passion for his designs (especially the Art Deco ones).

In order to compare the buildings with images of them from the period, and with prominent trends in architecture at that time, I took notes, photographs and video footage. These constructed a personal document of my research trip to reflect on later and compare with other first-hand accounts and secondary sources. The LA conservancy were very helpful, giving me access to their library and allowing me to record their ‘docent-led’ tours of Downtown LA. Similarly, local resident and playwright Walt Klappert accompanied me on tours of the Old Bank District by day and also in the evening, when once a month the art galleries open late and several Parkinson buildings play host to hundreds of visitors. A few of the contacts I had made through the University of Southern California (whose campus Parkinson had designed) delivered more than I had bargained for by kindly granting me second appointments and access to their libraries.

In summary, my project collated personal findings about the history of Parkinson design with existing studies. Without the financial support of the travel award I would not have been able to assemble such a comprehensive body of research, so once again I would like to thank everyone involved and extend my gratitude and best wishes to BAAS and its members.

Jamie Ryan-Ainslie

Birmingham University

Funding Reports

Mapping the Lost Highway: New Perspectives on David Lynch

Few film directors can claim to have influenced contemporary culture as much as David Lynch. The creator of such definitive works as Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive, Lynch’s presence can be sensed within a vast range of recent art, film and literature. Not for nothing is the slippery term ‘Lynchian’ now firmly embedded in critical parlance – in American Studies and beyond.

In October 2009, a £300 grant from BAAS contributed to the costs of the largest conference to have explored this Lynchian landscape of uncanny encounters and absurd humour. The central symposium saw leading academics, artists and writers from Britain and America gather in Tate Modern’s Starr Auditorium to discuss Lynch’s career. Four attendant film screenings – two at the Birkbeck Cinema and two at Tate Modern – were also organised. All the events sold out in advance, with over 700 people attending in total.

The symposium began with two investigations into the strangeness and deformity of the Lynchian universe, from Professor Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck) and the writer and artist Tom McCarthy. Their papers – which discussed Lynch in the context of American ‘weird’ fiction and a logic of prosthetics – were followed by presentations from three artists who have explored similar terrain to Lynch: Gregory Crewdson, Daria Martin and Louise Wilson. Later, Lynch’s most recent film, Inland Empire, was the subject of a paper from Parveen Adams, a Fellow of the London Consortium, and a joint presentation by the psychoanalyst Jamieson Webster and Simon Critchley, Professor of Philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York. The final session of the day featured the screening of a specially commissioned video, composed in his own unique fashion, by David Lynch himself, followed by a wide-ranging debate led by filmmaker Chris Rodley and Dr Sarah Churchwell (University of East Anglia).

The conference and screenings were a collaborative project between Tate Modern and the London Consortium – a multi-disciplinary postgraduate programme involving the Architectural Association, Birkbeck, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Science Museum and Tate. In addition to BAAS’s generous support, the events received additional funding from the London Consortium and the London Centre for Arts and Cultural Exchange (LCACE). Footage from the symposium should be available on the Tate Modern website shortly.

Richard Martin

London Consortium

New Clear Forms

‘New Clear Forms: American Poetry and Cold War Culture’ took place on 11 and 12 September 2009 at the University of Glasgow. Taking as its starting point Randall Jarrell’s controversial 1950 proclamation that the new advert-ridden consumer media had ‘destroyed, in a great many people, even the capacity for understanding real poetry, real art of any kind’, the conference aimed to encourage debate and exchange in an effort to further understand the complex relationships between poetics and politics; propaganda and private consciousness; rebellion and art; nation and self during this divisive period of American history. The Cold War was interpreted both as a political context and an historical timeframe for scholars of American poetry to engage with, and the resulting papers were diverse and original. We were delighted by the contributions of all who took part.

The conference brought together an array of postgraduates and established scholars from as far a field as Australia, North America, Taiwan and Spain, ensuring that Glasgow was host to a truly international event. We had three plenary lectures from experts in the field, which were varied in both their subject matter and critical approach:

  • Professor Michael Schmidt (University of Glasgow), ‘Resisting the Contemporary Reader’
  • Professor Geoff Ward (Royal Holloway University), ‘“I announce a new world/ I announce the death of Orpheus”: Poetry and the Rift’
  • Professor Adam Piette (University of Sheffield), ‘Cold War Dissent: Grace Paley, Denise Levertov, Anne Waldman’

The documentary filmmaker Colin Still provided a change of pace with his screening and discussion of clips from his acclaimed Modern American Poets series, and the premiere of Abstract Alchemist of Flesh, a film on the colourful Michael McClure. The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa’s energetic and poignant reading of poems from his Vietnam selection provided an excellent conclusion to the two days of lively discussion.

Panels covered such themes as poetry’s links to other art forms; war and elegy; urban and rural spaces; nuclear anxiety and consumerism. The papers were very well received, met with incisive questions and were supported by substantial and animated discussions.

The organisers would like to thank BAAS for their generous contribution, which allowed us to offer a heavily discounted rate for postgraduate delegates, a number of whom now have their papers under review for publication in US Studies Online.

Ruth Hawthorn

University of Glasgow

Toni Morrison: New Directions

‘Toni Morrison: New Directions’ took place at Durham University on Thursday 25 June 2009. Co-organised by Dr Kathryn Nicol (University College Dublin) and Dr Jennifer Terry (University of Durham), the symposium brought together scholars from the fields of American politics and culture, modern literature and African American studies.During the day’s programme, thirty-one delegates from institutions across seven countries heard ten speakers and took part in discussion sessions. Panels on ‘New Literary Histories’, ‘Revision, Reception and Dissemination’ and on Morrison’s very recent fiction were bookended by two entertaining and stimulating keynote lectures. These were from Professor Justine Tally (Universidad de la Laguna), speaking on the topic of ‘Contextualising Toni Morrison’s Latest Novel: What Mercy? Why Now?’, and Dr Alan Rice (University of Central Lancashire), whose lecture was titled ‘“Summoning the Presences and Recollecting the Absences of Forgotten Peoples”: Toni Morrison’s Fictional and Non-Fictional Works, Memorialisation and African Atlantic Visual and Musical Arts 1970-2008’.

The event had been envisaged as creating an opportunity for fresh appraisal of the position and contribution of the contemporary US novelist and critic Toni Morrison, with particular emphasis on her twenty-first-century publications, her non-fiction and children’s literature, as well as new scholarly approaches to her body of work. The panels and keynote lectures provoked lively discussion and the atmosphere throughout was of a focused yet open forum that allowed crucial space for debate within Morrison studies. One particular feature of the symposium was the presence of several ‘generations’ of Morrison scholars, including a number of postgraduate students, and as a result it offered an invaluable opportunity to reflect on and historicise Morrison criticism itself, both within the specialist field and in relation to its wider subject areas. Debates around Morrison’s public persona and self-fashioning, as well as her potential political legacies in the US and the UK, were particularly thought-provoking. The event also provided a chance for scholars from a number of countries to connect, and it is hoped that the dialogue among delegates will be ongoing. A selection of papers will also feature in a forthcoming Special Issue of MELUS early in 2011. The day was concluded by a public reading by Black British author Laura Fish, from her novels Flight of Black Swans (1995) and Strange Music (2008).

The event received financial support from the British Association for American Studies, the Clinton Institute for American Studies at University College Dublin, and the Department of English Studies and the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Research Fund, University of Durham. The organisers were most grateful for the contribution from BAAS, which funded Professor Tally’s return travel to Durham from Tenerife.

Transatlantic Routes of American Roots Music Conference

University of Worcester, 12 September 2009

The aim of the conference was to bring together academics from the US and the UK, and leading writers/researchers from the public sphere, to discuss the transatlantic movement of roots music (folk, blues, country) between Britain and the United States. In the first year of office of the first black president of the United States, it was particularly auspicious that the musical relationships between the two countries should form the focus of this event, especially with regard to the significant emphasis on the African American contribution which forms part of this dialogue and renewed optimism about British/US relationships.

Three keynote speakers were invited to present to the conference on transatlantic aspects of the blues, country music and British soul respectively. Each of the speakers is exceptionally distinguished in the academic sphere, the public sphere or both.

Professor Paul Oliver’s first book, Bessie Smith, was published in 1959. His second, Blues Fell This Morning, appeared in 1960, accompanied by an LP containing fourteen rare recordings of southern blues singers made between 1927 and 1940. Field recordings and interviews in the South contributed to his Conversation with the Blues (1965). Further books and LPs followed through the 1970s and 1980s and his most recent book, Yonder Come the Blues, was published in 2001. Professor Oliver is also Emeritus Professor of Vernacular Architecture at Oxford Brookes University. In his conference keynote, he examined the early years of the transatlantic connection in examples of blues recordings which illustrated his talk.

Tony Russell is an eminent music historian and ‘roots’ music authority who is in high demand as a researcher, writer and presenter for radio and TV documentaries on music. He has written on country music, blues and jazz in a wide variety of publications and is author of the seminal books Blacks, Whites and the Blues and The Blues from Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. He produced the encyclopaedic Country Music Records, A Discography and his recent book, Country Music Originals: The Legends and the Lost won the Association for Recorded Sound Collection 2008 Award for Best Research in Recorded Music. Tony Russell delivered a plenary lecture on the reception in Britain of hillbilly and country music figures from the 20s and 30s, illustrated with original music recordings.

Professor Brian Ward is Professor of American History at the University of Manchester and is Director of the AHRC network (Understanding the South, Understanding America). From 2003 to 2006 he was Chair of the Department of History at the University of Florida. His publications include the prize winning Radio and the Struggle for Civil Rights in the South (2004) and Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness and Race Relations (1998). His latest book, The 1960s: A Documentary Reader, is to be published later this year. Professor Ward delivered the final plenary of the conference and drew on issues that had been interrogated by speakers throughout the day to make connections with his own paper on the singer Eric Burdon and his band The Animals. Professor Ward explored how ideas about the American South and race relations shaped the repertoire, music, lyrics and racial attitudes of British performers, fans and critics in 1960s British blues.

Other speakers at the conference were drawn from a distinguished range of US and UK scholars. Delegates were particularly excited to have the opportunity to hear the sought-after speaker Elijah Wald talking about Josh White. Wald is the recipient of many awards for his books and recorded productions, and attended the conference in the course of a book tour for his celebrated new book, How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll: An Alternative History of Popular Music (2009). It was also a particular honour to welcome Professor Ronald Cohen from Indiana University. Cohen is the author several books on the US folk movement, has published the selected writings of the ethnomusicologist, folk collector and broadcaster Alan Lomax 1934-97 (2003), and is currently editing letters (1935-45) from the Alan Lomax collection at the Library of Congress. Cohen spoke on the role of Alan Lomax’s BBC radio shows in introducing a British audience to American folk music.

The day’s proceedings were followed by an American themed supper at the nearby Fold Eco-Café with performances by internationally acclaimed musicians who had attended the conference. Tickets were made available to the general public in collaboration with The Fold (a not for profit organisation) and a full house enjoyed performances by:

Will Kaufman – performing a part of his ‘tour’ around Woody Guthrie’s America

Duck Baker – fingerstyle guitarist performing US music of Scots-Irish ancestry

Michael Roach – from Washington, DC, performing traditional East Coast blues

Funding from the United States Embassy contributed to speaker expenses and made possible a reduction in postgraduate fees, and generous funding from the British Association of American Studies contributed to musicians’ fees. Dr Jill Terry (Divisional Head of English and Cultural Studies, Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts, University of Worcester) was supported in convening the conference by Professor Neil Wynn of the University of Gloucestershire with whom she is co-editing a collection of papers from the conference for publication. A film of the event is currently in production by UoW Digital Film Production students.

Reports from Eccles Centre Fellows

Brooke Newman, University of Aberdeen

In the summer of 2009 I spent a month surveying the Caribbean collections at the British Library on an Eccles Centre Fellowship sponsored by BAAS. The fellowship enabled me to conduct research on a wide variety of sources ranging from manuscripts and watercolour drawings to printed material relating to the British West Indian islands during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Archival research in the British Library’s exceptional Caribbean collections made it possible to complete an article entitled ‘Gender, Sexuality, and the Formation of Racial Identities in the Eighteenth-Century Anglo-Caribbean World’, Gender and History 22:3, Special Issue, ‘Historicizing Gender and Sexuality’ (forthcoming, November 2010) as well as to further the revisions on my book manuscript, ‘Mastery and Empire: Metropolitan Culture and Slaveholding in the British Caribbean, 1685–1785’. I was also able to acquire sources needed for a book chapter on Black-Caribs and racial mixture on the islands of St. Vincent and Grenada during the late eighteenth century.

I examined a large number of manuscript sources related to the slave societies of the Anglo-Caribbean during my time at the British Library. The most important of these collections to my own research are the Leeds Papers; the Egmont Papers; the Papers of Edward Long; the Correspondence of the Families of Ricketts and Jervis; the Royal Society Papers; the Sir Hans Sloane Collections; the Papers of Charles Jenkinson; the Holland House Papers; a Collection of Papers Relating to English Affairs in the West Indies; the King’s Manuscripts; the Thomas Clarkson Papers; and abstracts of miscellaneous West Indian wills, letters, testimonies and public monuments. These personal and state letters, plantation accounts, journals, and assorted miscellaneous documents reveal the brutalities and uncertainties of life in mature British Caribbean slave societies prior to emancipation. They also detail the difficulties faced by Britons who attempted to replicate – or expected to find – the familiar social, political, religious, and familial institutions of the metropolis in the West Indies.

Of particular utility to my research has been the Papers of Edward Long. Long’s papers are invaluable to researchers interested in Caribbean history in general as well as in issues relating to notions of slavery and racial difference in Britain, and the debate surrounding the late-eighteenth-century abolition movement. For my own work, the Long papers demonstrate the importance of changing understandings of race, gender and social order to Caribbean plantation society. The confusing blur of racial and national distinctions that Long described in his numerous hand-written diaries, and his annotated History of Jamaica (1774), epitomise how the eighteenth-century Caribbean made concepts like benevolent mastery seem essential to order and efficiency and, at the same time, exceedingly difficult to implement.

During my time at the British Library, I also consulted a large number of printed volumes from the seventeenth through the eighteenth century. These sources include plays such as Thomas Southerne’s Oroonoko (1696) and Richard Cumberland’s The West Indian (1771); poems like John Singleton’s A General Description of the West-Indian Islands (1767); early novels ranging from John Hill’s Adventures of Mr George Edwards, A Creole (1751) and Sarah Scott’s History of Sir George Ellison (1765) to Charlotte Smith’s Desmond (1792) and The Wanderings of Warwick (1794); occasional verses like Timothy Touchstone’s Tea and Sugar, or the Nabob and the Creole (1792); and colonial histories such as William Beckford’s Descriptive Account of Jamaica (1790) and Bryan Edwards’ The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British West Indies (1793). These and many other printed sources add important historical detail about British metropolitan perceptions of plantation slave society in the Caribbean. Indeed, such texts complement the manuscript sources that I have studied by revealing how Britain was increasingly constructed as an ordered, civilised and refined space, whereas the British Caribbean was caricatured as a den of sin, death, and racial mixture and pollution.

In an age when more and more British men and women were literate and concerned about the implications of so-called colonial degeneracy on the metropole, such discursive representations had important implications for emergent notions of national identity. Critical representations of the West Indian colonies – and of tyrannical and licentious masters and overseers in particular – also helped shape the tenor of the slavery debate in Britain after the American Revolution. In fact, as numerous contemporary political caricatures, plays, and novels make plain, it was slavery in the Caribbean sugar islands, rather than the lost American colonies, that would pervade the public imagination in the decades leading up the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire in 1807/08. In addition to the immense wealth generated by the Caribbean colonies, their importance to the slavery debate in and of itself necessitates the centrality of the Caribbean collections to British history and, consequently, to the British Library and its users.

I am very grateful to the British Association for American Studies, the Canadian Association for American Studies, and the Eccles Centre at the British Library for the wonderful opportunity afforded by my receipt of a 2009 Visiting Fellowship at the Eccles Centre. Additionally, I look forward to spreading the word about the Eccles Centre and its many events and to thanking BAAS, the Eccles Centre, and the British Library for their generous support in future publications.

Crandall Shifflett, Department of History, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

In Summer 2009 I was in residence at the British Library as the Eccles Centre Visiting Professor in North American Studies. My research project, entitled ‘“The Death of My People Thrice”: Indians and English in Early America and the World They Made’”, is a study of English and Indian encounters between 1585 and 1700. In these haunting words, Powhatan characterised the contacts between the Powhatan Indians and strangers to John Smith in 1608. The major research issue is how encounters and the resulting exchanges may be ‘read’ as understandings of one another during what Richard White has termed ‘a process of cultural production’. The British Library holds a wealth of materials – textual, cartographical, and graphical – on English–Indian relations in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. But during the course of the fellowship I broadened my research to include comparative work on French, English, Dutch and Spanish interactions with native peoples.

At the British Library I researched many collections, a sample of which includes:

  • Drawings of native peoples in Sloane Manuscript (Add 5253)
  • ‘The Original draughts of habits, towns, customs…’ (Sloane 5270)
  • ‘Chronicles of the Indians of North America From the Earliest Accounts of them to the present time. 1492-1836’ (Add 25699)
  • Documents Relating to the Foundation of the Colony in Virginia, 1609. British Library (Add 21993)
  • ‘The manner how to bringe the Indianss into subjection, without making an utter exterpation of them together with the reasons’ (Add 12496)
  • ‘An Account of the present State and Government of Virginia, by Henry Hartwell, James Blair, and E. Chilton’ (Add. 27382)
  • The Present State of New-England Being a Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New-England… by Walter Hubbard
  • A Description of the Island of Jamaica with the Other Isles and Territories in America, to which the English are Related…(Rare Books and Music)
  • Grasset de Saint-Sauveur, Jacques. Encyclopedie des Voyages…. 1259.b, Vol. 17.
  • Weekly statistics of burials in London from the plague and otherwise, 24 Dec. 1602 – Dec. 1603, and 6 Jan. – 22 Dec. 1625
  • Journal of Batts and Fallam in Their Discovery of the Western Parts of Virginia in 1671 (Add 4432)
  • Narratives of Ralph Hamor, William Strachey, and Thomas Hariot

In addition the collections of the British Museum (especially Prints and Drawings and the Centre for Anthropology), the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Gallery, the National Archives and Kew Gardens provided valuable resources.

While based at the Eccles Centre I also participated in the conference at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, 8–10 July 2009, on ‘Indigenous Bodies: Reviewing, Relocating, Reclaiming’. And at the ‘Electronic Visualization and the Arts’ conference, British Computer Society, 6–8 July 2009, I presented a paper on my work on the Indian Village of Paspahegh that was published in the conference proceedings: Paspahegh: visualizing a seventeenth-century Algonquian Indian village in the Virginia Chesapeake.

This research has caused me to rethink and perhaps reconceptualise my initial project on the Chesapeake Algonquians. I foresee a more comprehensive, comparative and thematic approach to the study of colonisation and native peoples. Encounters and outcomes took different forms in colonies settled under Puritan, Jesuit, Catholic, and Anglican domination. Religion shaped understandings of the ‘other’ and influenced the intensity, intolerance and general tenor of relations between colonisers and the colonised. Praying towns, trading posts, missions, and reserves sprang from a combination of religious and economic motivations that had different consequences for native peoples. This is only one example of how this research may shape my future work. Regardless of the direction, my study will take a holistic approach. All related works should be considered, whether cartographical, archaeological, textual, visual, ethnographical or ecological. The final result will likely lead to a reinterpretation of colonisation from the perspective of native peoples.

At the British Library Carole Holden and Matthew Shaw could not have been more helpful. They pointed out collections that I might find useful and were always eager to answer questions and make suggestions to facilitate my research. I want to say how thankful I am to have been an Eccles scholar and for this terrific experience. The gift of free time for research and writing is the most precious commodity any scholar can receive. To combine that with the compensation that covered most of the expense is a dream. I look forward to publications as a result of the Eccles fellowship, which I will gratefully acknowledge.

Eccles Centre Postgraduate Travel Grants

Laura Inglis, Brasenose College, University of Oxford

In autumn 2009 an Eccles Centre Postgraduate Fellowship enabled me to commute between Oxford and London in order to conduct research at the British Library. I had a very productive time, and was able to consult some important primary sources that are not available in Oxford.

I am working on the early history of substantive due process, a legal doctrine that allows the U.S. Supreme Court to create new constitutional rights at will. This doctrine was invented by the courts of New York State in the early to mid-19th century. Substantive due process developed in New York because the jurists in that state were unusually suspicious of legislative authority. This distrust was especially evident at the constitutional convention of 1777 and 1821. At the Library, I was able to consult the records of these conventions. The information I gathered enabled me to complete a chapter of my dissertation and finish the research for a second chapter.

This fellowship has been very significant in the progress of my doctorate, and I am deeply grateful to the Eccles Centre and BAAS for making it possible.

Will Smith, School of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham

In August 2009 I conducted research towards my PhD thesis at the British Library funded by the Eccles Centre Postgraduate Award in North American Studies. Taking advantage of prolonged access to the library collections, I was able to view materials on contemporary Canadian literature unavailable elsewhere in the UK. Using the extensive general collection of Canadian publications, I was able to survey a range of critical studies, literary works and journals. With time on my side, I also found unexpected sources of information which I believe will prove invaluable to my research.

My PhD thesis is provisionally entitled ‘Contemporary Literary Narratives of Toronto’, and examines how contemporary literature situated in Toronto functions as a ‘representational space’. This is approached by two interlinked perspectives, focusing both on literary form and narrative space. My initial impulse was to survey the amount of critical work in contemporary periodicals being devoted to space and place in Canadian literature. Moreover, I sought to develop an appreciation of the kinds of methodologies being developed by current scholars. However, with Canadian periodicals often straddling creative work and critical studies, and a parallel interest in contemporary creative practice, my survey broadened to include a number of periodicals, such as Queen’s Quarterly, English Studies in Canada, University of Toronto Quarterly, Open Letter, BRICK, ARIEL, The Dalhousie Review and TOPIA. Such a survey is obviously expansive, but was often illuminating as articles referenced new critical publications and book reviews offered new critical perspectives on pertinent academic studies. Of particular note was Patrick Coleman’s review of Downtown Canada in the Spring 2008 issue of TOPIA. The scope of the British Library’s collection allowed this survey to develop into a targeted study of particular critical works, such as Priscila Uppal’s recent study of the English-Canadian elegy, We Are What We Mourn (2009), and past studies of Canadian literary landscapes such as David Staines’ edited collection The Canadian Imagination (1977).

The British Library enabled me to review early career poetry by two figures key to my study, namely Michael Redhill and Maggie Helwig, which would have otherwise been unavailable to me. I was also able to view several early twentieth-century works of literature set in Toronto such as Isabelle Hughes’ Serpent’s Tooth (1947) and Morley Callaghan’s Strange Fugitive (1911). Viewing these primary texts alongside the coeval literary critical discussions greatly increased the synthesis of my research. The extent of Canadian literary texts and periodicals held by the library was remarkable and a prolonged period of study at the library enabled my research to gain much breadth and depth.

I am extremely grateful to the Eccles Centre and BAAS for the funding which made this invaluable research period possible.

Nicholas Witham, University of Nottingham

I was lucky enough to receive an Eccles Centre postgraduate award to support research undertaken at the British Library during July and August 2009. My doctoral project, entitled ‘After the New Left: Cultures of Anti-Imperialism in Late Cold War America’, considers the intellectual and cultural history of Left anti-imperialism during the late Cold War (1973-1991), particularly in relation to US involvement in Latin America. Chapter 3 of the thesis focuses on The Nation magazine, a significant point of reference for the mainstream Left throughout the period, and a journalistic institution that has received scant scholarly attention.

Nottingham furnishes limited access to this resource but the British Library holds the entire collection. My Eccles Centre award therefore provided the opportunity to examine the particular brand of anti-imperialism put forward in the regular columns of Alexander Cockburn and Christopher Hitchens, as well as in editorials, longer articles by guest authors, book reviews, and advertisements for anti-imperialist books, films and political organisations. Contact with hard copies of each and every issue of The Nation published between 1973 and 1991 allowed me to carefully examine its broad editorial framework, as well as to focus on specific articles and journalists.

The process enabled me to collect information that expensive online access through the magazine’s website or inter library loan photocopies would not. The work I undertook with the help of an award therefore significantly bolstered the originality of my project, giving me a chance to map the political and intellectual coordinates of a critical institution in the development of anti-imperialist print culture during the late Cold War.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of BAAS and the staff at the Eccles Centre for giving me this valuable opportunity.

Awards and Fellowship Opportunities

Eccles Centre Visiting Professorships, Fellowships and Postgraduate Awards 2010

Applications are invited several awards in 2010 to help support scholars who need to visit London to use the British Library’s collections relating to North America.

Eccles Centre Visiting Professor in North American Studies 2010

One award to be made to post-doctoral scholar resident in the USA or Canada whose research, in any field of North American Studies, entails the use of the British Library collection. The award holder must plan to be in research residence at the British Library for a minimum of three months. The Eccles Centre Visiting Professor will be entitled to an award of £6,000 for travel and other expenses connected with the research visit to London. The award holder will have privileged access to the collections and the curatorial expertise of the British Library. It is anticipated that the Eccles Visiting Professor is likely to be on research sabbatical from his/her university/college in North America, and that the award will supplement other research funds in order to help the professor undertake a period of research at the British Library.

Eccles Centre Visiting Fellows in North American Studies 2010

Three awards to be made to post-doctoral scholars normally resident in the UK (based outside the M25) whose research, in any field of North American Studies, entails the use of the British Library collection. The award holder must plan to be in research residence at the British Library for a minimum of one month. Each Eccles Centre Visiting Fellow will be entitled to an award of £2000 for travel and other expenses connected with the research visit to London. The award holder will have privileged access to the collections and the curatorial expertise of the British Library.

Eccles Centre Postgraduate Awards in North American Studies 2010

Five awards to be made to graduate students normally resident in the UK (outside the M25) whose research, in any field of North American Studies, entails the use of the British Library collection. The Eccles Centre Postgraduate Fellows will be entitled to an award of £500 for travel and other expenses connected with the research visit to London.

Eccles Centre Visiting European Fellow in North American Studies 2010

One award to be made to a post-doctoral scholar normally resident outside the UK, in a European country that has membership in the European Association for American Studies, whose research, in any field of North American Studies, entails the use of the British Library collection. The award holder must plan to be in research residence at the British Library for a minimum of one month. Each Eccles Centre Visiting European Fellow will be entitled to an award of £2,200 for travel and other expenses connected with the research visit to London. The award holder will have privileged access to the collections and the curatorial expertise of the British Library.

Eccles Centre European Postgraduate Awards in North American Studies 2010

Two awards will be made to graduate students normally resident outside the UK, in a European country that has membership in the European Association for American Studies, whose research, in any field of North American Studies, entails the use of the British Library collection. The Eccles Centre European Postgraduate Fellows will be entitled to an award of £700 for travel and other expenses connected with the research visit to London.

Further information

The British Library website, including public access to the catalogues, can be found at Enquiries regarding the British Library’s North American holdings can be directed in the first instance to Dr Matthew Shaw (US curator), Philip Hatfield (Canadian curator) or to the Eccles Eccles Centre does not house a collection separate to that of the British Library, and the bibliographies on the Eccles Centre webpages give only a snapshot of some of the items in the British Library collection. For details of Eccles Centre activities see

General terms and conditions

Research visits should take place in the period April 2010 – September 2011. The detailed administration of the awards will be managed by the British Association for American Studies. All award holders will be required to submit a financial report on their visit to the Treasurer of the British Association for American Studies, Dr Theresa Saxon ( All award holders will also be required to submit a short report on their visit to the British Association for American Studies and to the Eccles Centre. This report will be published in American Studies in Britain or in an Eccles Centre publication. All award holders will agree to acknowledge the support provided by the Eccles Centre in any publication resulting from this research visit, and to inform the Eccles Centre of any such publications. If the opportunity arises, it is expected that the award holders will present their work at an appropriate Eccles Centre/British Library seminar or conference. No extra funding will be available. Candidates must ensure that they have sufficient funds to cover their own needs and the needs of any dependants during their stay. Award holders from outside the UK are individually responsible for fulfilling any regulatory requirements to enter the UK. None of the organisations or individuals connected with this award is in a position to arrange travel or organise accommodation for award holders.


Applications should be in the form of a brief CV (no more than two pages), and a document explaining the nature of the North American Studies research being proposed at the British Library (no more than two pages). Four copies of the application must be submitted in hard copy. Applications by fax will not be accepted. Applications should be sent to:

Professor Ian Bell

Chair, BAAS Awards Sub-Committee

American Studies

Keele University

Keele, Staffs ST5 5BG

Closing date: 5 p.m. on 28 February 2010

BAAS Monticello Teachers’ Fellowships

The British Association for American Studies (BAAS), in conjunction with the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (TJF) and the International Center for Jefferson Studies (ICJS), is delighted to announce an award, now in its fourth year, for teachers with at least three years’ experience who cover the American Revolution, the Constitution and related materials in their A level or Advanced Higher teaching of history and politics. It is expected that the award will be of particular interest to teachers interested in the new Edexcel History Paper ‘From Colonies to Nation 1763-87′, as well as to those teaching other 18th century history and American politics topics at A level, such as the American Revolution, slavery and the development of American constitutional government.

Closing date for applications: 26 February 2010

Newberry Library Fellowships in the Humanities, 2010-11

The Newberry’s fellowships support humanities research in our collections. Our collections are wide-ranging, rich, and sometimes a little eccentric. If you study the humanities, chances are good we have something for you. We promise you remarkable collections; a lively interdisciplinary community of researchers; individual consultations on your research with staff curators, librarians, and scholars; and an array of scholarly and public programs. The deadline for long-term fellowships has passed but there is still time to apply for short-term fellowships.


Ph.D. candidates and scholars with a doctorate are eligible for short-term travel-to-collections fellowships. Short-term fellowships are usually awarded for a period of one month. Most are restricted to scholars who live and work outside the Chicago area. Stipends are $1600 per month.

NEW: We invite short-term fellowship applications from teams of two or three scholars who plan to collaborate intensively on a single, substantive project. $1600 per fellow per month. Teams should submit a single application, including cover sheets and CVs from each member.

Deadline: 1 March 2010

For more information or to download application materials, visit our website at:

Or contact:

Research and Education

The Newberry Library

60 West Walton Street

Chicago, IL 60610


MA and PhD Scholarships in the School of American Studies, UEA

i) MA Studentships 2010-11

Following our successful bid for AHRC studentships for 2009-13, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce that it will be nominating 7 AHRC MA studentships starting in September/ October 2010. For UK residents awards consist of fees and maintenance and for EU residents awards are on a fees only basis.

AHRC awards are available to UK/EU residents in the following subjects:

  • Film Studies and Television Studies
  • History
  • History of Art, Architecture and Design
  • Interpreting and Translation
  • Librarianship, Archives, Record Management and Information Science (MA in Film Archiving)
  • Music
  • Museum Studies

The Faculty is also pleased to offer a number of MA scholarships available to students from within or outside the EU in the subjects listed above and also:

  • American Studies
  • Literature and Creative Writing
  • Language and Communication Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Political, Social and International Studies.

Application deadline is 1 March 2010 (please quote ref: Guardian10).

More information and details of how to apply can be found at:

Alternatively please contact the Admissions Office

e-mail: or Tel: (01603) 592154

ii) PhD Studentships 2010-11

Following our successful bid for AHRC studentships for 2009-13, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities is pleased to announce that it will be nominating 8 AHRC PhD studentships starting in October 2010. For UK residents awards consist of fees and maintenance and for EU residents awards are on a fees only basis.

AHRC awards are available to UK/EU residents in the following subjects:

  • Creative Writing
  • English Language and Literature
  • Film Studies and Television Studies
  • History
  • History of Art, Architecture and Design

The Faculty is also pleased to offer a total of 24 additional University-funded PhD studentships available to students from within or outside the EU. Schools of study:

  • American Studies
  • Film and Television Studies
  • History
  • Literature and Creative Writing
  • Language and Communication Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political, Social and International Studies
  • World Art Studies and Museology

Application deadline is 1 March 2010 (please quote ref: Guardian10).

More information and details of how to apply can be found at:

Alternatively please contact the Postgraduate Research Office

e-mail: or Tel: (01603) 592546

Rothermere American Institute Fellowships

A Senior Visiting Fellowship and three Visiting Fellowships are available at Rothermere American Institute (RAI), University of Oxford. The RAI is a centre for interdisciplinary research in the fields of American politics, history, literature and culture. It houses the Vere Harmsworth Library, with specialist collections of American materials.

The following Fellowships are available:

1. Senior Visiting Fellow, September 2010 – August 2011

2. Visiting Fellow, September – December (Michaelmas Term) 2010

3. Visiting Fellow, January  – April (Hilary Term) 2011

4. Visiting Fellow May – August (Trinity Term) 2011

Each fellow is provided with a fully equipped, modern office right in the heart of Oxford. In addition, every fellow has access to the University’s Bodleian and other libraries. No stipends are offered but the RAI provides a £200 per term travel grant for research purposes. The Senior Visiting Fellow also has the opportunity to become a member of a College Senior Common Room.

For more details of the posts and how to apply, please visit the Fellowship page at or contact

The Arthur Miller Centre Prize

The Arthur Miller Centre Prize of £500.00 is awarded annually by the American Studies Sector at the University of East Anglia for the best journal-length article on any American Studies topic in the preceding calendar year by a United Kingdom citizen based at home or abroad or by a non-UK citizen who publishes their essay in a United Kingdom journal, providing that the entrant is a member of the British Association for American Studies in the year of submission.

Those interested in entering an article for consideration should submit three copies of the essay, including publication details, to: The Arthur Miller Centre Prize Committee School of English and American Studies University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ UK.

Deadline: 1 March in the year for which they wish to be considered for the Prize.

The Awarding Committee includes a representative from the American Studies Sector at UEA and the Chair of BAAS. In years which include an entry from a member of the UEA faculty, a past winner or BAAS Chair will be invited to take the place of the UEA representative. The winner will be announced at the British Association for American Studies annual conference. The Awarding Committee is unable to notify unsuccessful applicants or to return copies of articles submitted for consideration.

Publication Opportunities

CFP: Borderlands issue, Journal of American History

The Journal of American History is calling for papers that exemplify recent and important trends in North American borderlands history—broadly construed to include indigenous, imperial, transnational, interracial, and/or continental perspectives (time period open). We especially welcome research-based articles that expand the field’s conceptual, methodological, or disciplinary frameworks. Selected articles will appear in the September 2011 issue. To be considered for publication, manuscripts must be received by 4 June 2010 and should not exceed 10,000 words (including notes). See

for journal formatting style.

Two hard copies of submissions (with abstract pages) included should be mailed to:

Borderlands Issue

Journal of American History

1215 East Atwater Avenue

Bloomington, Indiana 47401-3703


An electronic version should also be sent to:

Please indicate in the e-subject line that your submission is for the ‘Borderlands Issue’.

Call for Book Reviews: American Studies Today

We are seeking book reviews for American Studies Today and American Studies Today On-Line. The journal is an accessible collection of essays, articles and book reviews by students and academics affiliated with the subject of American Studies. Print copies are sent to 800 schools, colleges and universities in the UK and abroad, whilst the website has had over 18 million visitors. The readership of the magazine and website is wide-ranging; it includes teachers and lecturers as well as college/A-level, undergraduate and postgraduate students. As such we request that the review’s tone and style should be comprehensible to this audience, as well as to general readers.

Books for review are available in the areas of cultural studies/cultural theory, history, literature and arts, film/media and politics. Books are sent out on a first come, first served basis, to be returned at reviewers’ discretion.

If you would like to review a book, or would simply like more information, please contact the Editorial Assistants, Caroline Russell & Nick Williams by your preferred method.

Tel./Fax: 0151-231-3241

Post: Aldham Robarts LRC, Maryland Street, Liverpool, L1 9DE

New Members

Jonathan Mark Beeley is a second-year PhD student at Sheffield Hallam University, studying the impact of President Carter’s human rights policies on US national security, with a specific focus on Central America. His work has benefited from research periods at the Department of State in Washington DC and the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta.

Lucy Bond is a first-year doctoral student at Goldsmiths, University of London, researching the commemoration of 9/11. She is interested in all aspects of American memorial culture, and its intersections with international commemorative practices. Her research particularly focuses upon literary and architectural aspects of remembrance, and she is keen to analyse the political uses to which ideologised and mythologised memory has been put in the aftermath of 9/11. Lucy holds a BA in English from the University of Cambridge, and an MA in cultural memory from the IGRS, University of London in 2008.

Nicola Brindley is a PhD student in American Studies at Keele University. Her research addresses the representation of complex systems and the posthuman within contemporary American fiction, with a particular focus upon the novels of Richard Powers.

James Callanan is a teaching fellow in the history department at Durham University. He specialises in US foreign and defence policy, with a particular focus on the role played by the American intelligence community in advancing/impeding those policies from World War II to the end of the Cold War. His forthcoming book, Covert Action in the Cold War: US Policy, Intelligence and CIA Operations, is based on research at the Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy presidential libraries and the National Archives in Washington DC. James has previously taught as a visiting lecturer at the universities of Durham, Newcastle and Sunderland.

Ian Cowlishaw is head of history at King Edward VII and Queen Mary School in Lytham, Lancashire, where sixth formers undertake studies of African American Civil Rights 1950-68 and US foreign policy 1890-1991.

Paula Dalziel is studying for a PhD at Edge Hill University. Her thesis title is ‘America’s construction of otherness in religion and identity politics, post 9/11’, and her research focuses on how the US president utilises American religious myths to promote patriotism following 9/11. Her project also highlights the significance of 9/11 cultural epistemology and she envisions a future path of continued research concentrating on American culture/politics/identity.

Daniel Geary is the Mark Pigott Lecturer in US history at Trinity College, Dublin. From 2005 to 2008 he was a lecturer in American Studies at the University of Nottingham, having received his PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2004. He is the author of Radical Ambition: C. Wright Mills, the Left, and American Social Thought (2009).

Ashley Harper is in the first year of a PhD on American and Canadian First World War fiction in the English Department at the University of Strathclyde.

Laura Helyer is a graduate of the MLitt in creative writing at the University of St Andrews and is an associate lecturer with the Open University. Her current research interests include the relationship between American lyric poetry and epistolary practice, ecopoetics, Elizabeth Bishop, Lorine Niedecker, Louise Bogan, Wallace Stevens and Charles Wright. She is also working on a first collection of poems and a novel.

Tim Jelfs is a PhD student and graduate instructor in the American Studies department at King’s College London. His research focuses on the depiction of material culture in US literature and his doctoral thesis explores representations of objects and their consumption in American fiction of the 1980s.

Emeline Jouve is an assistant lecturer in the Department of Anglo-Saxon Studies at the University of Toulouse II-Le Mirail, France. She obtained her agrégation in 2007. Her master’s thesis, entitled ‘Susan Glaspell’s doll’s houses: a drama of threshold’, examined the symbolic dramatization of space in Glaspell’s plays. Emeline is currently doing doctoral research on the theatre of Susan Glaspell under the direction of Professor Aurélie Guillain, Toulouse University, and Professor Matthew Roudané, Georgia State University. She is a member of the Susan Glaspell Society and has participated in several international conferences.

Karen Karbiener received her PhD from Columbia University and teaches at New York University. A scholar of nineteenth-century American literature and culture specialising in Walt Whitman, she is a New York City public scholar who has created and developed several events (such as New York’s annual ‘Song of Myself’ marathon and a 2005 exhibition entitled ‘Whitman and the Promise of America’ at the South Street Seaport Museum). The editor of Leaves of Grass: First and Death-bed Editions (Barnes & Noble Classics, 2005), she is currently at work on Walt Whitman and New York: The Urban Roots of Leaves of Grass.

Victoria Kearley holds a BA in film and English and an MA in film studies from the University of Southampton, where she is currently studying part-time for a PhD in film. Her thesis evaluates the representation of Hispanic masculinity in contemporary Hollywood cinema, with reference to genre, stardom and machismo. Her wider research interests include screen representations of ethnicity and gender in contemporary US film and television, popular film genres such as the action-adventure film and the biopic, and the films of Robert Rodriquez

Adrian McBreen is enrolled on the combined MPhil/DPhil programme at the University of Sussex. His research interests are in the social impacts of the rise of religious conservatism in US culture. In particular, he plans to examine the effect of apocalyptic imagery on the American collective consciousness from the time of the Founding Fathers to the present moment.

Ewa Morawska is Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex. Her specialisation is comparative-historical sociology of international migration and ethnicity, focusing on patterns of incorporation into the host society, transnational engagements, and forms of coexistence between these two processes among immigrants in the United States. She is author of A Sociology of Immigration: (Re)Making Multifaceted America (2009) and Insecure Prosperity: Jews in Small-town Industrial America, 1890-1940 (1996), and is co-editor, with M. Bommes, of International Migration Research: Constructions, Omissions, and Promises of Interdisciplinarity (2005). She is currently working on: a comparative examination of the ideas and practices of democracy among East European immigrants in Berlin and New York; and a study of changing images of America in Europe from the American Revolution to the present day.

Irene Musumeci is a PhD student in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex, researching post-9/11 American cinema and visual culture. Her research interests range across American narrative cinema an documentary film; Shakespeare on film; early modern drama; performance theory and practice; directing and dramaturgy; popular culture; graphic novels and illustration, and children’s literature.

Alexander Runchman is in the second year of a PhD at Trinity College Dublin. His research re-evaluates the oeuvre of Delmore Schwartz, with particular regard to his international consciousness and his unique sense of the American dream. Alexander did his BA in English at the University of Oxford and gained an MPhil in American literature from Cambridge in 2004. He contributed an essay entitled ‘Berryman, Lowell and the Twentieth-Century American Sonnet’ to Philip Coleman and Philip McGowan (eds), After Thirty Falls: New Essays on John Berryman, and has pieces on Schwartz forthcoming in the Irish Journal of American Studies and the online poetry journal, POST.

Mark Shanahan is a mid-career writer and editor and a mature research student in the Department of Politics and History at Brunel University. His doctoral research studies the impact of the media on the formulation and implementation of US space policy from the Sputnik crisis to the last man on the moon.

Dorette Sobolewski received a BA in American Studies in English from the University of Dundee. An undergraduate literature, history and culture which was reflected in her undergraduate dissertation on ‘Race, Class and the Southern Plantation Mansion in William Faulkner’s Fiction’. She is currently doing an MLitt in American Studies at the University of Glasgow.

Ellie Stedall read English at Oxford and then completed an MPhil in American literature at Cambridge, with a dissertation on the sea stories of Herman Melville. She is currently working towards a comparative DPhil on Melville and Joseph Conrad at St John’s College, Cambridge.

Theodore Sweeting is a first-year PhD student in the Department of American and Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham. The focus of his research is on the interaction between liberalism and radicalism at the close of the 1960s, with particular regard to the representation of student radicalism within intellectual and cultural history.

Robert Vile is studying for A-levels at St Edmund’s School, Canterbury.

Rachel Mizsei Ward is a postgraduate research student in the School of Film and Television, University of East Anglia, working on the connections between tabletop role-playing games and film. Her other research interests include blaxploitation, computer games, transnational cinema, Asian film and Asian stars in the West.

Eva von Wyl received an MA in contemporary and modern history and journalism at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) in 2008 and is now enrolled on the PhD programme at the University of Zurich. Her research concerns American influence on the Swiss diet after World War II within the context of broader interests in the cultural influence of North American on postwar Switzerland, mass consumption and Swiss culture in the 1950s and 1960s.

Members’ News

Karen Karbiener has won awards to research two new publications. As a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress from February to July 2010, Karbiener will continue work on Walt Whitman and New York: The Urban Roots of Leaves of Grass. The book reconstructs Whitman’s life and career through his most productive and yet most obscure period: 1842-1862, when he was living in and writing about his beloved Brooklyn and ‘Mannahatta’. Karbiener has also been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia. She will be working on a literary biography of her family, survivors of a largely untold ethnic genocide in postwar Yugoslavia. She will also be teaching a Master’s class on Whitman which will be documented on an NEH-supported blog. Keep track of her whereabouts, progress and discoveries at: