In the coming weeks, US Studies Online will feature a series of interviews with early career scholars in American Studies who are teaching and researching at institutions across Europe – from western Spain to central Turkey, via Copenhagen, Warsaw and Timisoara. We’ll hear from PhD students, post-doctoral researchers, lecturers and associate professors working in literary studies, film studies, history and cultural studies. Continue reading
We started the afternoon discussing The Leavenworth Case. A classic yet little-read piece of detective fiction, the novel opens with news of the death of retired New York merchant Horatio Leavenworth, murdered in his Manhattan mansion. Continue reading
To look at jazz’s preeminent players and albums, or its popular historical narratives, one would think a “Native American” had never picked up a horn. Indeed, finding Native Americanism in a so thoroughly African-American art form may seem offbeat even for jazz. Yet a “Native jazz” tradition does exist— has … Continue reading
In High Fidelity, Rob (John Cusack) muses on the art of making a mixtape: “The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.” Designing a module is a similar balancing act. 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
“The academic analysis of popular entertainment can serve to bridge the chasm between traditionally “highbrow” literature and the more populist media that often defines a student’s pre-existing cultural experience. One educator, Rana Houshmand, describes this practice as the “scaffolding [of] difficult literacy skills” – a strategy which has proven remarkably successful in foundational projects where the critical analysis of hip-hop lyrics has been used as means of connecting students’ contextual experiences with the analytical skills developed in the classroom.” Continue reading
The American Dream is a concept and ideal that millions of people around the word subscribe to wholeheartedly, to the extent that huge numbers risk everything just to have a chance of achieving it. Chasing the American Dream explains just what that dream is, what it means to a plethora of Americans striving for it and assesses whether it is still possible to achieve in the context of an economic downturn. Continue reading
What has been your most memorable career moment so far?
Giving up my first career in order to start my PhD. Continue reading
Will the sacrifices of the dead suddenly take on a new importance as the one hundred year mark passes? Will American neutrality continue to be highlighted alongside the United States’ absence from the causes of the war, separating the nation from its European counterparts? Continue reading
“How did you come to your current area of research?”
After doing my M.A dissertation on Toni Morrison’s trilogy Beloved, Jazz and Paradise, I really wanted to expand my research on Black Women’s literature. This interest introduced me to Maya Angelou’s autobiographical oeuvre, which became the focus of my PhD research. Continue reading