BOOK REVIEW: HILLBILLY ELEGY: A MEMOIR OF A FAMILY AND CULTURE IN CRISIS, BY J.D. VANCE

Joe Bageant’s Deer Hunting with Jesus (2007) drew a global readership’s attention to underprivileged Appalachian communities. J.D. Vance replicates this with his memori Hillbilly Elegy. Published, like Nancy Isenberg’s White Trash, in 2016, Vance and Isenberg agree that despite constitutionally enshrined freedom, social mobility remains unattainable for many disenfranchised white working-class US citizens. Continue reading

Review: DISCO! An Interdisciplinary Conference

University of Sussex

Review: DISCO! An Interdisciplinary Conference, University of Sussex, 21-23 June 2018 The word ‘disco’ refers to several things, both the genre of music which the OED describes as ‘strongly rhythmical pop music mainly intended for dancing’ that was ‘particularly popular in the mid to late 1970s’, to the nightclub or … Continue reading

Review: The Cartographic Imagination: Art, Literature and Mapping in the United States, 1945-1980

University of Kent

Papers were impressively varied in reach and scope, covering landscape photography, the New York art scene, the refugee crisis, and maps of Disneyland. Though focused on the post-war period in the U.S., discussions, it seemed, could not help being drawn towards the present moment. Continue reading

Book Review: Safeguarding Democratic Capitalism: U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security, 1920-2015, by Melvyn P. Leffler

Safeguarding Democratic Capitalism presents a selection of work from one of the world’s leading scholars of US foreign relations. Together these essays offer an elegant and engagingly written survey of twentieth century US foreign policy and national security debates. Continue reading

Book review: Preparing for War: The Emergence of the Modern U.S. Army, 1815-1917, by J.P. Clark

J.P. Clark combines his military experience and meticulous research in Preparing for War: The Emergence of the Modern U.S Army. The book is an insightful combination of military, political, and social history, and describes the evolution of Army officers’ formal education between 1815-1917 in an attempt to contextualise the shift from nineteenth to twentieth century understandings of military proficiency. Continue reading

Review: ‘It Is True, We Shall Be Monsters’: New Perspectives in Science-Fiction, Horror, and the Monstrous On-Screen

De Montfort University

With 2018 marking the bicentenary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – often cited as the first science-fiction novel – the Cinema and Television History (CATH) Research Centre’s seventh annual postgraduate conference at De Montfort University was particularly timely. Indeed, the genres of horror and science-fiction have enjoyed recent critical and commercial successes, such as Black Mirror (2011-), Stranger Things (2016-), and The Shape of Water (2017). Continue reading

Book Review: Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War by Viet Thanh Nguyen

All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory. In ‘Nothing Ever Dies’, Nguyen deals with the extensive ways of knowing and remembering wars in general, and delineates the identity crisis that arises from grappling with what some name the Vietnam War and what others would call the American War in Vietnam. Continue reading