Storify of #bookhour chat on THE MANDIBLES by Lionel Shriver

October 2016 marked our two year anniversary of #bookhour, and to celebrate this ongoing feature former U.S. Studies Online co-editor Michelle Green hosted a discussion of ‘financial crisis dystopia’ The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver with a panel of US and UK researchers. During the discussion Dr Kirk Boyle, Amy Bride, Sarah McCreedy and Michelle Green discussed Shriver’s depiction of material culture, emotions and capitalism, and to what extent the novel is a dystopia or plays with dystopian tropes. Debates arose around how self-conscious Shriver’s novelistic writing is, and if the novel is a Libertarian Candide or postmodern parody. The panellists ended the discussion by returning to The Mandibles as a neonaturalist novel, and left the chat asking, do the Mandibles achieve their capitalist utopia, and is a capitalist utopia achievable? Continue reading

Review: ‘American Studies after the Digital Turn’

Beyond the classroom, more visualisations and apps may allow a broader audience to engage with the outcomes of American Studies research. A barrier to digital presentation is that it often does not receive the same credit as a monograph or a peer-reviewed journal article. Even when a website or an app is an obvious outlet to publish a mixture of different sources, scholars still feel compelled to publish a book. Continue reading

Introducing ‘The American South’: A Free Online Course from the Institute of Humanities at Northumbria University

On 31 October 2016, over 4,600 learners across the world will begin a unique, five-week online education experience. Encouraged to ponder all things southern – from Martin Luther King, Jr. to the mint julep – these learners will explore this most intriguing yet often maligned region of the United States, guided by experts from the Institute of Humanities at Northumbria University. Continue reading

Review: Quill Project Launch and Digital History Conference, Pembroke College, Oxford

Grace Mallon reviews the Quill Project Launch and Digital History Conference – a platform that will soon become the definitive source available for studying the origins of the text of the Constitution of the United States (and, subsequently, other state constitutions) and transform access to the founding documents of American constitutional law. Continue reading

In The Fields Of Democracy: The Midwest In World War I

World War I generated a new narrative in American national identity. The easterly crusade to save the Old World, or, in President Wilson’s words, to make the world ‘safe for democracy’, reversed the nation’s foundational movement of western exploration and settlement leading away from Europe.[i] As Joseph Urgo describes it, ‘[t]he close of the old frontier’ was followed by ‘the opening of the global imperial frontier’, inaugurating America’s status as a superpower. Continue reading

Review: Images of America: Reality and Stereotypes

In 1947 Harvard graduate Clemens Heller envisioned an academic community in which former enemies could discuss, analyse, and critique the culture of the United States as the new post-war superpower. Almost seventy years on and the Salzburg Global Seminar is still going, stronger than ever and attracting leading academics and professionals from major institutions across the world. Continue reading

The Last Time I Saw Richard: Post-Postmodernism and the Contemporary Case for Richard Yates

Ninety years since his birth, a familiar argument recurs in discussions of Richard Yates’s critical underappreciation. It holds that a dedication to a stylistically and formally conventional form of fiction, one preoccupied with the mimetically realist representation of a particular set of social mores and their psychological impacts, placed him out-of-step with the experimental currents of the postmodern period. Continue reading

My Research across Borders: Lonneke Geerlings

‘My Research’ is a new feature that aims to introduce and summarise the research 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

Review: The US and Us: American History in Britain in the Twenty-First Century

Studying American history in the UK poses a number of challenges for scholars – not least in terms of accessing primary sources. More than this, the workshop provided a space for early career researchers to discuss and identify the problems they face at this stage in their career, as well as the opportunities they have to shape the nature of US history in UK Higher Education. Continue reading