Storify of our #bookhour twitter chat on CAPE COD by Henry David Thoreau

During May’s #bookhour discussion Dr. Ben Pickford, Dr. Michael Collins, Dr. Thomas Ruys Smith and Joanne Mildenhall discussed the practical and literary economies of Thoreau’s Cape Cod (1865), the role natural and human histories play in the narrative, and the book’s place in Thoreau’s canon as well as in the larger arena of American literature. Catch up on the chat here. Continue reading

Enemies at Home: THE AMERICANS Season Three

For all its frequent use of Russian language (the extensive use of subtitles is striking in an American TV show) and Soviet protagonists, the heart of The Americans plays into the most mythic US trope of them all: the individual in the wilderness. Continue reading

Book Review: Embodying Masculinities: Towards a History of the Male Body in U.S. Culture and Literature edited by Josep M. Armengol

It is a tricky thing, in a culture that still clings to the vestiges of a patriarchal structure, to make a legitimate case for the study of those who – knowingly or not – benefit most from such a power structure. Continue reading

God and the Revolution: Christianity, the South, and the Communist Party of the USA

In an article written for the Financial Times in October 2013, the journalist Robert Wright claimed that “[o]rganised labour has never taken hold in the American South, where unions are viewed with suspicion”. He quoted Nelson Lichtenstein, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who argued that … Continue reading

Review (Part Two) of IAAS Annual Conference

The design and implementation of a runaway artificial intelligence was a concern felt by many of the panellists. An AI that proved particularly threatening was one that may be built upon the incorporation of human minds into a computer network. The potential for an omnipresent surveillance filtered into an important term used at the conference – ‘hive mind’. Continue reading

Review (Part One) of IAAS Annual Conference

Usually in conferences, there are one or two panels that do not quite fit the theme. Not this year. Tied together by an excellent plenary from Dr. Lee Jenkins (University College Cork) it demonstrated the power that sight, surveillance, and vision possess on a multi-disciplinary scale. Continue reading

The Significance of “ME” (1915): The Literary Fame of Winnifred Eaton (Onoto Watanna)

Winnifred Eaton’s (Onoto Watanna) novel ME proved a turning point in literary history. Here is a book that is about a half-Asian woman (as readers might have suspected and certainly learned), and she is a half-Asian who is integrated in white society, upper and lower. Continue reading

Review of ‘Avant-Gardes Now!’ Symposium

Throughout the whole day there were repetitions of specific phrases which became tagged to the definition of avant-garde. Notions of simulation and mimicry were frequently raised in relation to the differences between what is imagined, and what is supposed. Continue reading