Application Advice: BAAS Postgraduate Travel Award

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I have applied for the BAAS Postgraduate Travel Award twice, and this year I was lucky enough to win. The Award contributed towards a research trip to the United States to access archival source material and undertake oral histories for my thesis, which centres on attempts at multiracial organising around reproductive rights since the second wave of feminism. Continue reading

Award Experience: BAAS Postgraduate Travel Award

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When I found out I had been awarded the BAAS Postgraduate Travel Award my first feeling was, unsurprisingly, elation. As a student of nineteenth-century U.S. politics I viewed my proposed two week visit to the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., as a pilgrimage to my research Mecca. But beneath my excitement was a ripple of uncertainty. Continue reading

Storify for #bookhour chat on ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW by Nathaniel Rich

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On Tuesday 30th August 2016, Dr Arin Keeble and Dr Lieven Ameel (with questions from Dr Sebastian Groes) joined #bookhour organiser Christina Brennan to discuss Odds Against Tomorrow (2014) by Nathaniel Rich. The discussion explored themes of visibility and time in relation to large-scale environmental decline and climate change. The conversation considered questions relating to ‘slow violence’ and its framing devices in contemporary literary; state complacency in the face of climate change; and the representation of disaster after 9/11. Other themes included questions of individual agency in the aftermath of environmental catastrophe and the ethics of prediction and algorithms in monitoring disaster. Continue reading

American Studies across Borders: International Opportunities for PhDs and Postdocs

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International experience has become a prerequisite for success in academia – but depending on how you look at it, this can be exciting and terrifying in equal measure. I’m launching a new USSO series about how to take your research across borders, talking to representatives of those institutions and programs that can help PhDs and postdocs build an international profile. The Terra Foundation for American Art is my first interview partner. Continue reading

Booker Prize Americanism

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Three years ago, our friends chez Booker changed house rules so that novels by North Americans became eligible for the prize. This provoked a backlash from certain contemporary observers, who augured Americans predominating Booker long- and shortlists going forward. Essentially, this hasn’t happened: two Americans making the six-strong shortlists of 2014 and ’15 is vanishing cause for concern. What this article explores is a corollary issue: whether an influx of American authors necessarily means an influx of an ineffable “American-ness”. Continue reading

Application Advice: Gerald Ford Presidential Foundation

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This month I am visiting the United States for eighteen days to conduct primary source research central to my PhD thesis, ‘Spies, civil liberties and the Senate: the 1975 Church Committee’. It is the first time I have been to the US, and it is mainly due to the award I received from the Gerald Ford Presidential Foundation that I am able to spend such a significant amount of time there. Continue reading

Application Advice: Eccles Centre European Postgraduate Award

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Writing applications can be a scary undertaking, especially if you have only recently graduated and cannot yet boast with an impressive list of publications or extensive work experience in any specific area. You might even feel that you have not achieved anything truly noteworthy so far – except, maybe, making it through college alive. Continue reading

Applying for Research Funding: Four Key Principles

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I have had some success in this area, having raised funds during my PhD and the first five years of my career from the AHRC, BAAS, the British Academy, Duke University, the University of Edinburgh, the Fulbright Commission, and the University of Nottingham. I have also served on the committee of HOTCUS, for which I have judged postgraduate travel awards on several occasions. Continue reading

Review: ‘Writing Back: Subverting Dominant Narratives’

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The ’Writing Back’ conference—engaging with contemporary politics and culture to often overlooked texts and media—provided an exploration of American identity which went beyond canonical texts and dominant areas of scholarly consideration. Continue reading