Book Review: Rethinking the 1950s: How Anticommunism and the Cold War Made America Liberal by Jennifer A. Delton

Because Dwight Eisenhower was the only Republican President between 1933 and 1969, it is naturally tempting to argue that his eight-year tenure in the White House (1953-1961) was a more conservative period compared to his Democratic predecessors and successors. Continue reading

Conference Review: ‘The War on the Human: Human as Right, Human as Limit and the Task of the Humanities’

The conference touched upon a variety of topics and disciplines, bridging ancient Greek philosophy with deconstruction, experimental poetics with pedagogy, medicine with narratology, textuality with anthropology, the law and institutional policies with literary studies, ethics and politics with metaphysics. Continue reading

Merging aesthetics and politics: Toni Morrison’s jazz affect in JAZZ (1992)

Morrison produces an aestheticism that is driven by her own political impulse, which means that her political impulse – to protest against American history – is felt rather than known. As a result the untold stories of black America become real. Because Morrison writes American history through feeling, sense, and blurred images, not through definitive, clear information and files of data, to the reader her history of America becomes more than a history, it acts like a memory. Continue reading

Film Review: In P.T. Anderson’s Inherent Vice Pynchon’s “Badass” prevails

Pynchon mentions, and praises, the “Badass” in one of his few essays: “when times are hard, and we feel at the mercy of forces many times more powerful, don’t we, in seeking some equalizer, turn, if only in imagination, in wish, to the Badass… who will resist what otherwise would overwhelm us?” Ultimately breaking noir convention, Inherent Vice does turn, if only in part, to the Badass detective. Bigfoot’s diligent respect for his deceased police partner’s memory, which further distances him from any thug-cop stereotype, leads him to have a very personal stake in Doc’s case and he ends up working more or less alongside the stoned PI. Continue reading

Deconstructing ‘Uncle Tom’ Abroad: The Case of an American President

The character of Uncle Tom experiences the benevolent paternalism and cruel exploitation of chattel slavery, and eventually dies at the hands of a malicious master. What does it mean for a twenty-first century presidential candidate, who became the 44th President of the United States, to be described in such terms? The rhetorical implications of this epithet demonstrate how media and popular culture shape ideas about history, race, and politics, even beyond the United States. Continue reading

Book Review: The American President in Film and Television: Myth, Politics and Representation by Greg Frame

Greg Frame’s work, The American President in Film and Television: Myth, Politics and Representation, is a tour-de-force of analytical investigation into the iconographical development and narrative frameworks of the fictionalised presidential genre. Continue reading

American Studies in Europe Roundup: U.S. Studies Online Special Series

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

Book Review: Downwardly Mobile: The Changing Fortunes of American Realism by Andrew Lawson

“In Downwardly Mobile: The Changing Fortunes of American Realism Andrew Lawson traces the origins of literary realism to a fear of downward mobility that stemmed from the economic uncertainty caused by the growing instability of material wealth and the destabilising effects of the credit and market system. For Lawson, realism is a concrete genre that responded to a very un-concrete, pervasive economic anxiety.” Continue reading

#Bookhour storify: Phil Klay’s REDEPLOYMENT, 27th January 2015

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