Review of the “Alt-American” conference 2014

“Bell should be commended for convening a tremendous conference to do just that, challenging a distinguished group of critics, temporally and geographically dislocated from their subject at a conference in twenty-first-century England, to read the many implausible realities of nineteenth-century America.” Continue reading

Academic Job Applications “Do’s” and “Don’ts”

“Do stay positive. Writing an application is a great way of seeing how far you’ve come in your career and thinking about what you want to do next. Most people do not succeed at first try. You may have made a good impression that will help you in the future, even if you don’t get asked to an interview.” Continue reading

Review of 25th Annual Conference of American Literature Association 2014

“What stood out from the conference was the breadth of American literary studies, both in terms of approaches, historical periods, and geography. There seems to have been no waning in Trans-American Studies (transatlantic, transpacific, transcontinental and more), with the borders of American Literature stretching ever further.” Continue reading

Father of the Year: Bill Clinton’s Paternal Redemption

“Chelsea was the first child to reside in the White House since Amy Lynn Carter in 1979, allowing for the conscious construction of Clinton as Dad, as well as President. At the Democratic National Convention in 1992, Chelsea was pictured holding her father’s hand, and she stood beside him as he took the Presidential Oath at his inauguration in 1993. More casual photographs of father and daughter surfaced on numerous occasions during the campaign, with Clinton cast in the role of ‘ordinary dad’, white-water rafting and playing mini-golf with his family.” Continue reading

60 Seconds With Emma Horrex

How did you come to your current area of research?

“I’d say that I’ve always been interested in gang and prison culture but my current supervisor Dr. Josephine Metcalf really fostered my academic interest during my final year at Uni in the module ‘Doing Time; American Prison Culture in the 20th and 21st Centuries.’ From here, I began to look more specifically at filmic representations and girl gang culture.” Continue reading

Academics speak out: How institutions and academic associations can ease the “oversupply” and low morale of PGRs and ECRs

“As a general principle, improving the working conditions of academics with non-permanent jobs received the highest rating of any suggestion. 86% of respondents said conditions had to be improved for postgraduates and early career researchers, with every identifiable group agreeing that it is important. But some respondents argued that as long as there is an oversupply of academics their labour will be mistreated.” Continue reading

60 Seconds With Ben Offiler

What advice would you give to early career academics?

“I was speaking to a friend today who commented that both during and after the PhD it’s very easy to focus on the negative aspects of academia, all the parts that you find difficult or that others seem so much better at, while forgetting about the things at which you excel. So, I guess my advice would be to accentuate the positive.” Continue reading

Why High School Teachers should teach History through and beyond Narrative

“A postmodernist historian would hold that history, and historiography, cannot be simply quantified and determined as one particular narrative with one particular meaning. The problem with this is that non-narrative history typically represents the larger group – the cohort or mass actor. By contrast, a narrative approach to history-telling is more likely to focus on the individual, a character or narrator who reveals their personal experiences and perhaps their emotional responses to historical events and dilemmas. Students of history can commonly relate more easily to the individual, with whom they may be able to identify common experiences or emotions.” Continue reading