Storify of #bookhour chat on GOLD FAME CITRUS by Claire Vaye Watkins

#Bookhour is an open forum twitter discussion between scholars and the public that takes place the last Tuesday of the month unless otherwise stated. Find out more here. On 28th March 2017,  USSO hosted a #bookhour to discuss Claire Vaye Watkins’ Gold Fame Citrus (2015). During the discussion Dr Iain Williams, Pat Massey, Hollie … Continue reading

The Best of 2016, and What’s next in 2017

2016 has been an eventful year for USSO, marked by much excitement and many firsts. Aside from the redesign of our newsletter and a few tweaks of our website, we’ve said our thanks and goodbyes to our previous editors, and have welcomed a new editorial team, who were introduced to the wider AM/CAN community — alongside new members of the BAAS Executive Committee — in a revival of our ‘60 Seconds With’ feature. 2016 also saw the appointment of our first European Relations Assistant Editor, Katharina Donn. Continue reading

Most Viewed Posts of 2016

10) Film Review of Trumbo (2015) by Hannah Graves Working from Bruce Cook’s recently re-issued biography, Trumbo (2015) follows Communist Party member Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) from his appearance before HUAC in 1947 through his jailing, his years writing screenplays pseudonymously, and, finally, his blacklist-breaking accreditation as the writer of … Continue reading

Review Responses: HOTCUS Postgraduate Conference, ‘Winning Minds and Hearts: Constructing National Identity in US History’

Following our review series of the HOTCUS Postgraduate Conference, the panelists were given the opportunity to respond to the reviews; discussing questions posed, expanding on specific areas of interest, and addressing issues raised. The responses which follow—from Simon Buck (Northumbria University), Mark Eastwood (University of Nottingham), and Lauren Mottle (University of Leeds) serve to continue the conversation beyond the day itself. Continue reading

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

Storify for #bookhour chat on ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW by Nathaniel Rich

On Tuesday 30th August 2016, Dr Arin Keeble and Dr Lieven Ameel (with questions from Dr Sebastian Groes) joined #bookhour organiser Christina Brennan to discuss Odds Against Tomorrow (2014) by Nathaniel Rich. The discussion explored themes of visibility and time in relation to large-scale environmental decline and climate change. The conversation considered questions relating to ‘slow violence’ and its framing devices in contemporary literary; state complacency in the face of climate change; and the representation of disaster after 9/11. Other themes included questions of individual agency in the aftermath of environmental catastrophe and the ethics of prediction and algorithms in monitoring disaster. Continue reading

Storify of our #bookhour on HYSTOPIA by David Means

On Tuesday 2nd August 2016, Dr Dorothy Butchard, Dr Ciarán Dowd, Dr Deirdre Flynn, and Dr Dan King joined #bookhour organiser Dr Diletta De Cristofaro to chat about David Means’ Hystopia, in the longlist for the Man Booker Prize 2016. The discussion focused on the form of the novel, both in its postmodern nested narratives and framing devices, and in its various story arcs; on the relationship between alternate history and trauma, as well as on that between individual agency and state intervention; and, finally, on the text’s use of Baudrillardian tropes and its problematic depiction of women. Continue reading

Just one day to go: primaries are nearly over

California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota are still missing but today, 7 June, the Democratic and Republican primaries are finally going to be over (the former, in fact, will have to wait until 14 June for the result of the District of Columbia). Since the competition is almost over, the debate seems to be less focused on polling data and more concentrated on looking forward to the conventions, which await both parties in the next few weeks. Continue reading