Book Review: Irish Nationalists in America by David Brundage

David Brundage, Irish Nationalists in America: The Politics of Exile, 1798-1998 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). pp.312. $36.95. £26.49. Irish Nationalists in America provides a thorough survey of centuries of Irish nationalist politics, distinctions in the Irish diaspora, and transnational cooperation. It is a valuable contribution to scholarship on the … Continue reading

Review: ‘The “Not Yet” of the Nineteenth-Century U.S.’, BrANCA Symposium

University of Exeter

Primarily literary in focus, the panellists nevertheless marshalled current political and institutional debates through and alongside their readings of texts, demonstrating the ways in which nineteenth-century U.S. scholarship often hinges on interdisciplinary methodologies. Continue reading

Review: ‘The “Not Yet” of the Nineteenth-Century U.S.’, British Association of Nineteenth Century Americanists Symposium

University of Exeter

Alert to forms of belatedness and anachronism, and attuned to the variously apocalyptic and utopian temporalities of the era, this timely conference on untimeliness suggested that the future is bright for BrANCA and for the field. Continue reading

Review: Magazines on the Move: North American Periodicals and Travel

Nottingham Trent University

In our contemporary moment, technological advances in print and online publications increase the speed and ease of the movement of ideas, developments which mirror the technological advances that impact how people are transported from one place to another. Continue reading

Review: Bluecoat 300: Charity, Philanthropy and the Black Atlantic

International Slavery Museum

2017 marked two anniversaries in Liverpool: the tercentenary of the Bluecoat building, a contemporary arts centre which was originally constructed as a charity school in 1717, and the tenth anniversary of the International Slavery Museum. Like many institutions founded in eighteenth-century Liverpool, Bluecoat was supported by funds derived from maritime trade; in particular, the transatlantic slave trade. As part of Bluecoat’s year-long anniversary programme, special attention has been paid to exploring the building’s connections to slavery. Continue reading

Book Review: Noise Uprising by Michael Denning

The State of the Discipline Series: Part I

As Benedict Anderson’s concept of nationalism relies on the omnipresence of ‘print capitalism’, so Michael Denning here argues that decolonisation depended on an era of ‘sound capitalism’ – a new, urban, plebeian music that circled the world. In this sense, then, while there is no clear moment when the ear was ‘decolonised’, the battle over sound and music was central to the struggle over colonialism. Continue reading

Book Review: The Saltwater Frontier by Andrew Lipman

The State of the Discipline Series: Part I

Most historical accounts of the colonisation of New England focus on  territorial claims made on certain swathes of land between the Hudson River and Cape Cod. Not so Andrew Lipman. Unequivocal in his rejection of ‘surf and turf’ histories, in The Saltwater Frontier Lipman argues that by focusing on the ocean itself as a paradigm of shifting territories, his book offers ‘a new way of thinking about Indian history and a new way of understanding this all-too-familiar region’. Continue reading

Review: Investigating Identities in Young Adult (YA) Narratives

University of Northampton

Despite divided opinion regarding characterisation, the conference demonstrated that YA fiction undoubtedly offers the opportunity for a wealth of analysis in relation to identity. Regardless of the medium, YA narratives present journeys through the liminal space of adolescence towards identity creation and this, perhaps, is their defining characteristic; whether a cohesive genre or not. Continue reading

Zora Neale Hurston: Life and Works

A series to commemorate the historic publication of 'Barracoon: the Story of the Last Black Cargo' (Harper Collins, 2018)

“Of all the millions transported from Africa to the Americas, only one man is left. The only man on earth who has in his heart the memory of his African home; the horrors of a slave raid; the barracoon; the Lenten tones of slavery; and who has 67 years of freedom in a foreign land behind him.” Continue reading

Book Review: An American Genocide by Benjamin Madley

In ‘An American Genocide’, Benjamin Madley analyses the devastating demographic decline of California Indians. California’s Native American population declined from about 150,000 people to 30,000 in the period 1846-1873. Madley draws heavily on the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. As he explains, this convention provides a powerful analytical tool to help scholars explain what happened to California’s indigenous people. Continue reading