Review: Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas: “Food and Work in the Americas” edited by Susan Levine and Steve Striffler

The essays in Labor seek to provide its readers with sustainable analysis of the unbreakable linkage of food and labor in different periods and locations of the Americas, thus successfully unveiling food as the crucial but often hidden aspect of production work. Continue reading

Idealist or not? Hamlet 2.0: New Hampshire election results

The Primaries in New Hampshire ended with victories for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. The former closed with a clear lead of 22 points over Hillary Clinton, while Trump left behind the uncertain John Kasich, with a 20% advantage. U.S. Studies Online and the Italian Association for North American Studies postgraduate group (www.ceraunavoltalamerica.it) present a summary of key developments and reflections following the latest events in the race to the White House. Continue reading

Feel the Bern, find the Cruz: Iowa election results

On the 1st of February, the American electoral machine was officially set in motion with caucuses in Iowa.

Both the Cruz victory and the Sanders’s arguable success are indicators of a polarization inside the American electorate, characterized by anti-politics and anti-establishment trends. Continue reading

The Indentured Atlantic: Bound Servitude and the Literature of American Colonization (Part Three)

The tricky challenge that the Indentured Atlantic presents to scholars is to recover, as far as is possible, the reality of bound servitude while navigating and comprehending the multiple ways in which this reality was articulated, ignored, appropriated, and imagined as part of a diverse range of social, political, economic and racial agendas. The eight dialectical categories and concepts I have broadly sketched out in these posts – singing, ventriloquizing, captivities, slaveries, falling, rising, life-writing, and forgetting – offer one chart for my ongoing research, and perhaps for that of others. But they can surely be joined by others. The Indentured Atlantic, hopefully, will flow on. Continue reading

The Indentured Atlantic: Bound Servitude and the Literature of American Colonization (Part Two)

In concluding the first post in this three-part series I asked how scholars can begin to address the challenge of recovering the transient and elusive oral culture of colonial-era indentured servants. One answer, perhaps, lies in dedicating greater attention to the conceptual rubric of singing, as a mode of communal vocalization that can be connected to the distinctively cohesive and mobile culture of circum-Atlantic performance delineated by theatre scholars such as Joseph Roach, Peter Reed and Elizabeth Maddock Dillon. Continue reading

The Indentured Atlantic: Bound Servitude and the Literature of American Colonization (Part One)

“There was some sleeping, some spewing, some pishing [sic], some shitting, some farting, … some darning, some Blasting their legs and thighs, some their Liver, lungs, lights and eyes. And for to make the shene [sic] the odder, some curs’d Father Mother, Sister, and Brother.”1 As accounts of transatlantic shipboard crossings during the eighteenth century go, this one stands out for its vivid corporeality. But what is truly unusual about it is that it was written by an indentured servant. Continue reading

Review: ‘Money Talks: Inequality and North American Identity’ Conference, 19th June 2015

Amy Bride reviews ‘Money Talks: Inequality and North American Identity’, a conference held at Nottingham University on the 19th June 2015, a collaboration between the 49th Parallel, the University of Nottingham, and the University of Birmingham. Continue reading

God and the Revolution: Christianity, the South, and the Communist Party of the USA

In an article written for the Financial Times in October 2013, the journalist Robert Wright claimed that “[o]rganised labour has never taken hold in the American South, where unions are viewed with suspicion”. He quoted Nelson Lichtenstein, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who argued that … Continue reading

May Day and the future of workers’ internationalism

The conference “Workers of all lands unite? Working class nationalism and internationalism until 1945,” (University of Nottingham) highlighted how workers, now more than ever, need an international movement, one that can tackle the issues raised by a globalized system of production. (Review by co-organisers and labour scholars Lorenzo Costaguta and Steven Parfitt) 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