Review: Border Control: On the Edges of American Art

Tate Liverpool

Liverpool’s Merseybeat sound of the 1960s was influenced by American records brought in by the many US sailors arriving in the port each year. The Atlantic ‘border’ between Liverpool and the USA was wide but porous. Tate Liverpool was a particularly appropriate place, therefore, for the ‘Border Control’ conference, sponsored by the Terra Foundation, one of whose grants funded 21 ‘In Focus’ projects on US artists. Continue reading

July #Bookhour: Ben Lerner’s ‘Leaving the Atocha Station’ (2011)

On Tuesday 27th June 2017, U.S. Studies Online hosted a #bookhour on Ben Lerner’s ‘Leaving the Atocha Station’ (2011). The novel focuses on Adam Gordon, a poet in his mid-twenties completing a fellowship in Madrid. While his aim is to write poetry, he spends his time in Spain taking drugs, … Continue reading

Book Review: Battle for Bed-Stuy: The Long War on Poverty in New York City by Michael Woodsworth

In recent years Brooklyn has become trendy. Young professionals have rushed to buy homes in neighbourhoods like Park Slope and Red Hook, while budding artists, writers, and musicians have flocked to Williamsburg and Green Point. Even those not looking to live in Brooklyn have been drawn to the hip new bars, restaurants, and shops that populate the borough’s newly fashionable neighbourhoods. While the intertwined forces of displacement and gentrification have reshaped only select areas of Brooklyn, there can be no question that the national and international reputation of New York City’s most populous borough has been thoroughly transformed. Continue reading

Review: Lives Outside the Lines: Gender and Genre in the Americas

York University, Toronto

This summer’s biennial meeting of the IABA Chapter of the Americas, convened by Ricia Anne Chansky (University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez) and Eva Karpinski (York University), brought lives and work into the lines while honoring the life and work of Canadian critic Marlene Kadar (York University). Present and engaged in the conference’s work herself, Kadar impressively ensured she met each and every person participating in the event. This conference began the long process of thinking through the practicalities of collaborating with life writing scholars outside of Canada and the U.S. Continue reading

Review: HOTCUS Annual Conference 2017

The tenth annual meeting of Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS) took place in an uncharacteristically balmy Dublin, hosted by University College Dublin situated in the fair city’s south side. The event attracted delegates from Melbourne to Oslo and seemingly everywhere in between, a fitting testament to its growing international appeal. Continue reading

Overcoming Postmodernism

David Foster Wallace and a new Writing of Honesty

The end of postmodernism? Jesús Bolaño Quintero explores David Foster Wallace’s writing, searching for a new form of honesty in American literature after the age of irony. Continue reading

Hannah Murray: My Reflections on winning the 2016 USSO Keynote Competition

The competition posed a welcome challenge disseminating my research for different audiences. It encouraged me to write for an audience that, whilst sharing a broad base of knowledge, are not experts in my specific field of nineteenth-century literature. Furthermore, it challenged me to think beyond the narrow focus of my PhD thesis. Instead of the granular work I often present in a 20-minute paper, the keynote made me think of my work in much broader terms and make connections outside the thesis. Continue reading

Book Review: The Good Occupation by Susan L. Carruthers

Historical amnesia has created the impression that the reconstruction of Germany and Japan along liberal capitalist lines was a foregone conclusion in 1945. In reality, however, the decision to occupy was a contested question for both Washington’s decision-makers and for soldiers on the ground, many of whom would become reluctant participants in America’s project of democratic nation-building. Continue reading

Review: Special Relationships: Poetry Across the Atlantic Since 2000

The one-day symposium held at the Rothermere American Institute (RAI) at the University of Oxford on ‘Poetry Across the Atlantic Since 2000’ featured an arresting array of speakers from both sides of the Atlantic. Ultimately, the conference served to highlight not only the multifariousness of poetic production since the year 2000, but more importantly, how poets and literary critics from the U.S.A., Europe, the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa conceive of their evolving literary concerns and cultural relationships in a rapidly globalizing world. Continue reading

Anglo-American Isolationism: The Case for New Archetypes

Edward Luce recently wrote an article for the New York Times in which he argued that the ‘farce’ made of British governance by the current crop of Tory politicians is indicative of the parochial outlook of ‘post-internationalist’ Britain’s ruling elites. Whereas British politicians like Winston Churchill, Edward Heath, Denis Healy, and Margaret Thatcher demonstrated at least a modicum of understanding about the need for post-war European cooperation, people like Theresa May, David Cameron, and George Osborne seem never to have shown any particular affinity for international affairs. These politicians are not Little Englanders, but they have no serious internationalist hinterland. Continue reading