Book Review: Downwardly Mobile: The Changing Fortunes of American Realism by Andrew Lawson

“In Downwardly Mobile: The Changing Fortunes of American Realism Andrew Lawson traces the origins of literary realism to a fear of downward mobility that stemmed from the economic uncertainty caused by the growing instability of material wealth and the destabilising effects of the credit and market system. For Lawson, realism is a concrete genre that responded to a very un-concrete, pervasive economic anxiety.” Continue reading

#Bookhour storify: Phil Klay’s REDEPLOYMENT, 27th January 2015

On Tuesday 27th January 2015, 9-10pm GMT Assistant Professor Aaron DeRosa (California State Polytechnic University), Dr. Peter Molin (Rutgers University) and Associate Professor Patrick Deer (New York University) joined co-editor Michelle Green (University of Nottingham) to discuss REDEPLOYMENT by Phil Klay, the winner of the 2014 National Book Award, for our twitter chat #bookhour. During this hour long discussion … Continue reading

Book Review: Gesturing Toward Reality: David Foster Wallace and Philosophy edited by Robert K. Bolger and Scott Korb

“Allard den Dulk provides by far the most impressive essay in the collection, suggesting a Sartrean model of pre-reflection as an ideal philosophical model for Wallace’s characters, an assertion that goes against the dominant critical consensus that Wallace was a proponent of choice.” Continue reading

American Studies in Europe: Interview with Constantijn Smith, University of Groningen

“No field of study should be mono-disciplinary, and the best way to comprehensively immerse oneself, especially when studying a region and a people, is to approach issues, events and phenomena from different perspectives, and to look for intersections. For example, one cannot simply take (or teach) a class on race without taking into account issues of class and gender. Similarly, since the United States is an immigrant nation with a rich colonial history, traces of which stretch the entire hemisphere, students do not solely study ‘America’, but rather ‘the Americas’.” Continue reading

60 Seconds With Peter Molin

To usher in a new series of 60 seconds interviews for 2015 we have invited contemporary war literature experts Assistant Professor Aaron DeRosa (California State Polytechnic University), Assistant Professor Peter Molin (Rutgers University) and Associate Professor Patrick Deer (New York University) to tell us a little bit more about themselves and their expertise.

DeRosa, Molin and Deer will lead our January #Bookhour discussion on Phil Klay’s REDEPLOYMENT on the 27th January 2015, 9-10pm GMT.

“How did you come to your current area of research?”

“My own military deployment to Afghanistan in 2008-2009 inspired me to begin reading contemporary war literature. I started my blog Time Now: The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars in Art, Film, and Literature to publicize great work and initiate conversations on the subject.” Continue reading

American Studies in Europe: Interview with Jack Thompson, University College Dublin

“As scholars such as Richard Pells have observed, the United States initially encouraged American Studies in Europe after the Second World War as a way to tie the Old World more closely to the New, and many Europeans were eager to learn about the new superpower. American encouragement and money combined with European curiosity to create a thriving field of study. Of course, over time, American Studies in Europe evolved in directions that early Cold War policymakers in the US could not have imagined, or would have necessarily always welcomed. However, the incredible richness of the field today emerged thanks to this close, if not always stress-free, post-war transatlantic relationship.” Continue reading

Clinton’s Ghost: Bill’s Foreign Policy and What It Tells Us About a Hillary Presidency

The recent decision by the Obama administration to move towards the normalisation of diplomatic relations with Cuba marks perhaps the most significant foreign policy decision of his presidency. Indeed, of all the decisions made in the past 6 years, this is one of the few that do not relate back … Continue reading

Conference Review: ‘Protest: Resistance and Dissent in America’

Bianca Scoti and Dr Tomas Pollard review a selection of panels and the keynote lectures at the BAAS Postgraduate Conference (15 November, 2014) Continue reading

American Studies in Europe: Interview with Gözde Erdoğan, Hacettepe University, Ankara

“In my own academic career, there has been a natural trajectory from more literature-based research towards popular culture. After the emergence of neo-Marxism, post-structuralism, semiotics and postmodernism, I think the boundaries are collapsing and popular culture is becoming more and more a legitimate field of sociological study. I am also aware of the need for an interdisciplinary approach no matter what the field of research. Again, from my own research, I think Gothic studies are becoming more and more relevant, and should be explored as a wide interdisciplinary field.” Continue reading