Primaries as Sports and Spectacle: Sports Metaphors in Twenty-First Century Presidential Primary Debates

‘The Brawl Begins’, an article about the 2016 primaries in The Economist provides the most overt manifestation of how a discourse of sports has permeated contemporary political reporting. Describing elections as a “jaw-dropping spectacle” or referring to the Iowa caucuses as the “opening round” in a political boxing match, a prime example of horse-race journalism, is particularly prevalent in presidential primary elections. Continue reading

“FACTS TAKE A BACKSEAT TO MYTHS” – BREXIT FROM AN AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE. An Interview with Leif Johan Eliasson

As the UK is still waking up to a radically changed political, social and economic outlook, our European Relations Katharina Donn editor asked Prof. Leif Johan Eliasson for his take on the Brexit referendum. The author of America’s Perceptions of Europe (Palgrave Macmillan 2010) offers a sobering perspective on transatlantic relations in the face of populism, regionalism, and domino effects. Continue reading

My Research: Juliet Williams

‘My Research’ is a new feature that aims to introduce and summarise the research and work of Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers within the field of American and Canadian Studies. Sit back, and get to know some of the craziest, challenging, and rewarding places researchers have been taken to… Continue reading

“You Think I’m Joking”: The Weaponized Comedy of President Obama’s Stand-up Addresses at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

“Obama Out.” As President Obama finished his last stand-up comedy address at the 2016 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, dropping the microphone to an ensuing mix of laughter and applause from the audience, a curtain fell on Obama’s considerable reshaping of this tradition.[2] The annual presidential comedy address at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner has become an increasingly popular aspect of American culture. Continue reading

Review: Marilynne Robinson Symposium

While, as Ames states in Gilead, “Memory can make a thing seem more than it was”, this is certainly not the case for this thought-provoking and timely symposium. In providing a forum for discussion of new perspectives and research on Robinson’s work, the event was a resounding success. Continue reading

Review: ‘Ideas and Transformations in the Americas’, UCL Institute of the Americas PG Conference

Interdisciplinary panels, ranging from the ‘Unheard Voices of the Caribbean’ to ‘Transnational Perspectives of the US’, stimulated lively debate and reflection between chairs and audiences. These, and others, engaged with a range of historical approaches and topics. Continue reading

Night: Another Frontier in American Wilderness Studies?

In his groundbreaking book, At Day’s Close (2005), A. Roger Ekirch deftly reveals one of the significant differences between the pre- and post-industrial world: the overwhelming darkness of night in the absence of electric lighting. ‘Night brutally robbed men and women of their vision, the most treasured of human senses. None of sight’s sister senses, not even hearing or touch, permitted individuals such mastery over their environs’ (8). In a world of perpetual light, we post-industrialists have lost the sense of terror within the pre-industrialist’s night. Continue reading

Review: ‘Radical America: Revolutionary, Dissident and Extremist Magazines’, The Second Network of American Periodical Studies Symposium

The legacies of these radical publications are still being felt, even as scholars continue to explore the origins, struggles, and issues surrounding a movement that, though it may appear in different places and at different times, often finds itself struggling with the same debates around politics, publication, and censorship wherever and whenever it might manifest. Continue reading