During this 90 minute chat we discussed the representation of “good” and “bad” blackness in the novel, and how this resonates with Adichie’s refusal of the Afropolitan label and Ifem’s “blackless” Nigeria. We debated what the novel loses in prioritising the love story at the close of the narrative, and some of the weaker aspects of the writing, such as Adichie’s representation of success, contemporary media and blogging as a form of social commentary. Finally we ended the discussion with reflections on Americanah’s effortlessly successful heroine, Ifem – how much does femininity help Ifem in America? How do we make sense of her success in relation to Obinze who more fittingly reflects the Afropolitan theme of being “hungry for choice and certainty”? Is the title a critique on her development and her story? Continue reading
Throughout December 2014 and January 2015 U.S. Studies Online has published a series of interviews with postgraduate and early-career researchers working in the broad field of American Studies across Europe. Dr Richard Martin spoke to scholars based in western Spain to central Turkey, via Copenhagen, Warsaw and Timisoara about their wide-ranging research interests and the state of American Studies in their countries. This is a round-up of the series all in one place. Continue reading
On Tuesday 27th January 2015, 9-10pm GMT Assistant Professor Aaron DeRosa (California State Polytechnic University), Dr. Peter Molin (Rutgers University) and Associate Professor Patrick Deer (New York University) joined co-editor Michelle Green (University of Nottingham) to discuss REDEPLOYMENT by Phil Klay, the winner of the 2014 National Book Award, for our twitter chat #bookhour. During this hour long discussion … Continue reading
As we enter a new year, here at U.S. Studies Online we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to reflect on what a fantastic 2014 we have had and look ahead to some of the exciting projects we have in the pipeline for 2015. In keeping with the tradition of festive toasts given by inebriated relatives after the Turkey has been sliced but before anyone has had chance to tuck in, this post will be just a little rambling, contain a few mixed metaphors, and be more sentimental than the adopted child of Love, Actually and the end of A Christmas Carol (Christmas, Actually. Quick! Does anyone know Richard Curtis’s phone number?). Continue reading
On Monday 29th December 2014, 9-10pm GMT scholars Jennifer Daly (TCD) and Dr. Gillian Groszewski (TCD) joined Co-Editor Michelle Green (University of Nottingham) to discuss the fourth instalment in Richard Ford’s Bascombe series, his 2014 novella Let Me Be Frank With You. Check out the storify below to catch up on their conversation which tackled Ford’s controversial representation of race, place, Hurricane Sandy and Obama’s legacy. Find out what they thought of Frank’s character development (does he develop?), his contradictions (can he really say “place means nothing” now?), and his future (is the last we have seen of Ford’s “uncommon man”?). Continue reading
In December 2014 we asked you what are the very best podcasts for students and scholars in American Studies. Here is the list we received!
Podcasts that made the list include the popular Serial, This American Life, Love+ Radio, Planet Money, Night Vale and BackStory to some surprising scientific recommendations, including NASA Science Casts and StarTalk! Continue reading
In last night’s first ever #bookhour twitter chat, Marilynne Robinson scholars Dr. Rachel Sykes, Anna Maguire and Jenny Daly joined U.S. Studies Online Co-Editor Michelle Green to discuss Marilynne Robinson’s latest publication, Lila, the final novel in Robinson’s Gilead trilogy.
What emerged was an insightful and fast-paced discussion in which the group explored the idea of Robinson as the true central character of the series, and to what extent Robinson’s Gilead trilogy can be described as a series of “shared intimacies” with Ames. They rounded on the question, is Lila an American novel, and if so whose “America” is this? How ordinary or extraordinary is Lila and her circumstances? Does Lila include a social reformist message, and does it translate to our era? Continue reading
Throughout October 2014 U.S. Studies Online has published a series of posts by U.K. and U.S.-based academics of all levels in honour of the UK’s Black History Month. This is a round-up of the series all in one place. Continue reading
As it reaches the end of the UK’s Black History Month the U.S. Studies Online editorial team have rounded up some of the our favourite BHM posts on the web.
Check out our must-reads, and let us know yours! Continue reading
Over the last few weeks we have published a series of 60 Second interviews with the BAAS Executive Committee. They gave such brilliant answers that we decided to collect their advice for ECRs in one place. Continue reading