Book Review: Jimmy Carter and the Middle East: The Politics of Presidential Diplomacy by Daniel Strieff

There is no final evaluation of diplomacy, only a continued reimagining in the face of expanded information. In this spirit, Daniel Strieff’s Jimmy Carter and the Middle East: The Politics of Presidential Diplomacy mines a presidency almost forty years old for reclamation. Continue reading

Review: ‘Collaboration in America and Collaborative Work in American Studies’

Co-organised by postgraduates at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, the conference charted the range of collaborative practices that are emerging in American Studies, whilst also recognising the wider responsibilities of researchers to work beyond traditional academic spaces and foster partnerships with educational, cultural and public bodies. Continue reading

Book Review: American Fiction in Transition: Observer-Hero Narrative, the 1990s, and Postmodernism by Adam Kelly

American Fiction in Transition focuses on four novels from the ‘long 1990s’ – Philip Roth’s The Human Stain (2000); Paul Auster’s Leviathan (1992); Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides (1993); E. L. Doctorow’s The Waterworks (1994) – that are emblematic of what Kelly convincingly argues is a significant contemporary literary genre: the observer-hero narrative. Continue reading

Book Review: Philosophy and Literature in Times of Crisis: Challenging Our Infatuation with Numbers by Michael Mack

Philosophy and Literature in Times of Crisis is, very consciously, a timely book. The crisis of the title is the political climate in which higher education in the arts and humanities currently finds itself. In the face of demands to demonstrate its economic contribution, arts education and research has been encouraged to make sometimes questionable claims for its ‘impact,’ its transferable values, or, in the event that its economic worth is not so readily visible, to make equally grandiose statements in support of its ethical or philanthropic mission. Continue reading

Book Review: Radicals In America: The U. S. Left Since The Second World War By Howard Brick and Christopher Phelps

With the apparent urgency of recent radical activities in the United States, including Black Lives Matter and the Occupy movement, the publication of Radicals in America by Howard Brick and Christopher Phelps arrives at an opportune time. Continue reading

Resisting First Nations Stereotypes in banned YA Novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

Since the book’s publication in 2007, Part-Time Indian has been ranked in the top five every year since 2010, reaching the top spot in the most recent list (2014). The reasons stated for the challenges include, but are not limited to; anti-family, cultural insensitivity, sexually explicit and depictions of bullying. However, Alexie “seamlessly layers class and racial identities on top of … more familiar adolescent struggles” ensuring that the novel can reach beyond the well-worn tropes of indigenous stereotype. Continue reading