Storify of our #bookhour twitter chat on STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel

On Tuesday 28th July, Diletta De Cristofaro discussed Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel with Fran Bigman, Niall Harrison and Dan King. The panel focussed on the contrast between the beauty and violence of the post-apocalyptic world, and whether the novel could be considered a “quiet” post-apocalyptic novel; the structure of the plot and the connections it traces between space and time; the binary “great” art/popular culture – especially in light of the comic Dr Eleven and of the Shakespeare performances – and the lack of creativity of the post-apocalyptic world. Catch up on the storify here. Continue reading

The religious life of Malcolm X

Considering the profound impact Islam had on the life of Malcolm X, particularly in shaping his political views and changing his ideology of racism, Preeti Bath argues, it is an aspect of his life that needs to be further researched in order to truly understand the religious journey of Malcolm X (Malik E Shabazz), from an atheist to a minister for the NOI to a Sunni Muslim. Continue reading

In Memory of E.L. Doctorow (1931-2015)

Tuesday 21 July Great American novelist E.L. Doctorow passed away. Today U.S. Studies Online features a profile of E. L. Doctorow’s life and works as written by Richard H. King, Emeritus Professor of American Studies, University of Nottingham. “Doctorow’s stylistic and novelistic flexibility allowed him to present a much richer and more interesting America than that of his contemporaries Gore Vidal, John Updike and Philip Roth.
We will miss him greatly.” Continue reading

Review: ‘Poetry and Collaboration in the Age of Modernism’ Conference

Because the word “collaboration” can contain so much, ‘Poetry and Collaboration’ brought together scholars with wildly different interpretations of what it means to work together. The opening keynote by Peter Howarth (Queen Mary) set the tone by being generally definitional. For Howarth, the word could potentially replace “context” in discussions of historical environment, in order to give us a more active way to talk about the interactions between artists and their surroundings. Continue reading

As American as Apple Pie: U.S. Female Converts to Islam

As U.S. citizens who understand American cultural and societal norms, American female converts to Islam are in a good position to serve as advocates and agents for change, not only for themselves, but also on behalf of their fellow Muslim Americans. These American voices are offering a challenge to both the greater non-Muslim American community and the Muslim American community in clearly articulated, individual voices saying: I am a ‘real American’, I am a ‘real Muslim’, I am ready to have the conversation. You bring the vanilla ice cream – I’ll bring the apple pie. Continue reading

Youth Politics and Dispelling the Image of The Terrible Turk with Selma Ekrem’s Autobiography, Unveiled

Within the confines of Ekrem’s autobiography rests not only a riveting exploration of the final hours of the Ottoman Empire, but one is allowed a unique glimpse behind the veils of Istanbul. It has further merits in that, through her use of her childhood and female memories, Ekrem was able to begin to dispel the “vague ideas of daggers, veils, ephemeral silks and heavy incense” that dominated one’s perception of Turkey and to chink at the armor of the Terrible Turk, “[a] huge person with fierce black eyes and bushy eyebrows, carrying daggers covered with blood.” Continue reading

Review: 2015 HOTCUS Annual Conference

The conference began with Professor Gary Gerstle’s (University of Cambridge) plenary lecture, ‘Colossus with Feet of Clay: The Troubled State of Government in Modern America’. It was a tour de force of fundamental questions of America’s history: from territorial expansion, to liberty, race and immigration, and even national security. Continue reading

Racializing “Muslims”: Constructing a Muslim Archetype

More recently scholars, including those focusing on European Muslims, have incorporated the racialization framework to complement, rather than replace, Orientalism and Islamophobia to explain how Muslims experience prejudice and discrimination. This paper reinforces the racialization framework by arguing that in the United States Muslims have become victims of race-based violence through the construction of visible archetype of “Muslim” utilizing symbolic markers such as name, dress, phenotype, and language (Naber 2008). How do we explain the experiences of Muslims, who are ethnically, nationally, racially, and phenotypically diverse, in terms of racism? Continue reading

Contemporary Pakistani American Women Writers: Writing their own stories, finding their own voices

Instead of presenting homogeneous views of the Pakistani American experience of immigrant or second-generation women, each of the authors articulates the need to be different in order to define and decide the lives of their women characters in their respective fiction. They present the Pakistani identity as well as the influence of Islam in the lives of their protagonists, not as a central element, but as another trait that adds to the individual characters. They, therefore, voice unique lives and present diverse stories that reflect select stories of the Pakistani American women’s experience in and among the Other in the US. Continue reading

Review: ‘Money Talks: Inequality and North American Identity’ Conference, 19th June 2015

Amy Bride reviews ‘Money Talks: Inequality and North American Identity’, a conference held at Nottingham University on the 19th June 2015, a collaboration between the 49th Parallel, the University of Nottingham, and the University of Birmingham. Continue reading