As I enter my first year as Early Career Representative for BAAS, a priority of my agenda is to help members combat the isolation, demoralisation, and demotivation that can sometimes plague this stage of the academic career, writes Rachel Williams. Following on from the launch of the Adam Matthew Digital essay prize and BAAS Survey pioneered by my predecessor Ben Offiler, I plan to support the early career community through a series of events, such as peer-review workshops, that will help ECRs maintain momentum and enthusiasm in their research, and build a sense of community and solidarity among young scholars of American Studies in this country.
As the new EAAS representative for BAAS, I hope to build on the success of my predecessor Martin Halliwell by forging stronger connections and knowledge-sharing between the members of BAAS and EAAS, writes Sue Currell. During my term I will be looking at best-practice in EAAS as an organization, as well as offering my knowledge of outreach, inclusivity and media communications as a former Chair of BAAS.
The BAAS Founders’ Research Travel Award enabled me to carry out an invaluable archival trip to the University of Hawaii to research United States’ Pacific expansion and the California-Hawaii relationship in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, writes Henry Knight Lozano. The archives reveal how California and Hawaii were tied together in promotional visions from the U.S. acquisition of California in 1848 to the Second World War.
The BAAS Marcus Cunliffe Travel Award enabled me to gather new material on George A. Romero’s film production company Laurel Entertainment Inc. and track developments within American independent film, writes Tom Fallows. My visits to Columbia University in New York and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh demonstrate how geographic, economic, legal and institutional forces feed into independent films as cultural objects.
With the Eccles Centre Visiting Canadian Fellowship I was able to pursue my research into French Canadian Loyalism between the 1763 cession of Canada and the 1840 Act of Union, writes Damien-Claude Bélanger. The British Library’s excellent material relating to parliamentary debates and committees was important to my research and reveals new insights into French Canada’s relationship with Britishness and the Empire.
The British Library’s collections enabled me to explore the popular culture of 20th-century polar exploration and the changing nature of American cultures of masculinity, writes Marionne Cronin. The British Library’s strong collection of American periodicals and newspapers provided important insights into the ways in which the flight of American aviator Richard Byrd in particular was represented for specific audiences – particularly how notions of masculinity and technological heroism were presented to women and children.
The Eccles Centre Postgraduate Fellowship has proven to be vitally important to the direction of my studies into the media strategy of President Lyndon B Johnson, writes Ben Quail. The materials in the British Library on Vietnam in particular – one of the first widely televised wars – show the influence of media and public perception on Presidential reputation and credibility.
The Eccles Centre Fellowship provided me with the opportunity to research key aspects of Appalachian culture for my PhD in creative writing, writes Kevan Manwaring. The Fellowship granted me time in the archives but also time to go on an Appalachian field trip that has helped add telling detail to my novel and bring alive specific scenes.
Report from Rebecca Harding, Eccles Centre Postgraduate Award in North American Studies recipient 2015
During my time as an Eccles Centre Postgraduate Fellow I was able to gain access to a large body of alternative readings of Don DeLillo’s fiction, writes Rebecca Harding. Accessing the British Library’s materials has suggested new ways of thinking about the body in DeLillo’s work.