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

Mission (almost) accomplished: Trump, Hillary, and parties in transformation

The campaign for the November elections can officially begin, at least for the Republican Party. On 26 May, the Associated Press announced that Donald Trump has won the Republican nomination. Trump passed the threshold of 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination of the party with the support of delegates elected to the convention but not linked to a candidate, which would have decided to support the only candidate left in the running. Nevertheless, the establishment is still not confident with Trump, with prominent figures such as the Bush and the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan still not publicly endorsing the now certain nominee. Continue reading

Storify of our #BOOKHOUR on ZERO K by Don DeLillo

On Tuesday 31st May, Dr Kasia Boddy, Dr Catherine Gander, Dr Doug Haynes, Dr David Hering, and Professor Mark Osteen joined guest #bookhour organiser Rebecca Harding to discuss Don DeLillo’s Zero K. The discussion explored the way themes from DeLillo’s earlier fiction resurface in the novel, and the effect of this reusing of material. The conversation also focused on the presence of various art forms in the text and DeLillo’s continuing interest in visual art in his work. Questions were also raised about the success of the novel’s narrative techniques, and the role of humour, capital, and political elements in the text. Continue reading

Kentucky: Between Populism and Creationism

On 17 May the state of Oregon voted for both parties and gave, on the Republican side, an expected victory to Donald Trump, and a less predictable Bernie Sanders victory on the Democratic side. Sanders beat Clinton by 12 points and won 34 delegates out of 73. On the same day the Democratic party also voted in Kentucky (Republicans had voted on 5 March), where Clinton gained 0.5% more votes than Sanders, but both received approximately the same number of delegates. Continue reading

The Campaign of Miracles?

The week was undoubtedly marked by events of the Republican party. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were both victorious in Indiana, with 53% of the votes for each. Most of the attention of the columnists and commentators however, was directed to the GOP due to Ted Cruz and John Kasich announcing that they were pulling out of the race. Continue reading

There’s No Place like Home: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Conquered New York

19 April marked one of the most important events of the 2016 primary elections: the vote in New York State. The results did not dispute the previous day’s polls: Republican Donald Trump won by getting 60.5% of the votes (89 delegates), John Kasich received 25% of the votes (3 delegates), Ted Cruz, 14.5% and no delegates. For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton got 57.9% (139 delegates) and Bernie Sanders 42.1% (106 delegates). Continue reading

My Career Story: Matthew Shaw, Librarian

U.S. Studies Online is excited to introduce our new segment “Career Stories”.  Our “Career Stories” feature is an attempt to incorporate more professional development posts on U.S. Studies Online and address some of the wider anxieties in the postgraduate and early career cohorts regarding employment, employability and the options available. We hope to … Continue reading