My Research across Borders: Lonneke Geerlings

‘My Research’ is a new feature that aims to introduce and summarise the research of Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers within the field of American and Canadian Studies. Sit back, and get to know some of the craziest, challenging, and rewarding places researchers have been taken to… Continue reading

My Research: Juliet Williams

‘My Research’ is a new feature that aims to introduce and summarise the research and work of Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers within the field of American and Canadian Studies. Sit back, and get to know some of the craziest, challenging, and rewarding places researchers have been taken to… Continue reading

Curating LGBT History Month: Lessons Learned

February 2016 featured the most successful LGBT History month event series the University of Nottingham has ever seen. Hannah Rose Murray, programme organiser, reflects on the challenges she faced when curating the series and what systems of support she needed in place when she began. The post concludes with a series of event reviews from postgraduates in the Department of American and Canadian Studies at the University of Nottingham. Continue reading

Fault Lines in American Studies: Re-evaluating Academic Conference Models

In the first month of my PhD I read Barbara Tomlinson and George Lipsitz’s daring article on academic conferences in American Quarterly. “American Studies as Accompaniment” criticizes, amongst other things, the institutionalized, egotistical model of scholarship that prioritizes the scholar over the work or discussion:

“Because of the publications, presentations, positions, honors, and awards enumerated on it, the CV circulates out in the world as a strange surrogate for the person whose work it describes . . . The CV represents scholarly achievement largely as individual activity capable of being measured in quantitative terms. The work that scholars actually do, however, is innately collective and qualitative . . . scholarly conversations are cooperative creations, the product of collective communications in which all participants play a part.”

In writing this post I intend to expand on Tomlinson and Lipsitz’s reflections to make visible the flaws in our field with regards to conferences and, more importantly, offer feedback to postgraduates in the ways they can approach conference organizing. Continue reading

Teaching American Studies with iPads

My students are technologically savvy in a way I never was; using an iPad is second nature to most of them. But a focused activity like this shows how their digital skills can be applied towards productive research and, beyond that, to source commentary and analysis. As Professor Katherine Aiken has written, “establishing common ground with students is often the first step to effective teaching.” In this light, iPads – rather than being tools of distraction – can be aids to discussion and debate. Continue reading

‘The speed of every incident is unbelievable’: Writer Muriel Rukeyser and the Spanish Civil War

Having been awarded funding through the AHRC International Placement Scheme, I arrived in Washington DC in early October 2014 to begin research in the Muriel Rukeyser Papers held at the Library of Congress. Rukeyser’s diary and notes from Spain at the Library of Congress furthered my understanding of how the article was produced. The sense of speed that characterised ‘Barcelona, 1936’ was even more evident in her diary, which she wrote in short phrases, punctuated by dashes as though she was keen to capture events as they unfolded. As well as her diary, the archive contains lists, maps, sketches and even another passenger’s diary from Spain. I had a sense that Rukeyser had chosen a camera-like aesthetic but the archive revealed just how far Rukeyser had gone to document what she had seen. Continue reading

What We Learned: Organiser’s report on the 1st Americas Postgraduate Conference at the UCL Institute of the Americas

In part two of our 1st Americas Postgraduate conference double header the organisers James Hillyer, Anthony Teitler, Thomas Maier and William Sawyers offer some useful organising tips for next year. Continue reading

There’s still more to be done, says Zalfa Feghali at the end of her two year term as BAAS ECR Representative

In April 2013 Zalfa Feghali was elected Early Career Representative for the British Association for American Studies. At the end of her term she joined U.S. Studies Online co-editor Michelle Green to discuss her time in the post, why she lobbied for this position in the BAAS exec, and where her successor can go from here. Continue reading

Surviving a Long-Distance Research Project

In SHAW’s second post in their series, Charlie Jeffries shares her experiences of embarking upon a PhD about the US in the UK and gives practical tips for others thinking of doing likewise. Continue reading