Book Review: Awakening: How Gays and Lesbians Brought Marriage Equality to America by Nathaniel Frank

In this book Nathanial Frank traces how marriage became a key debate of the culture wars in the late twentieth, and early twenty-first, centuries. He explores the conflicts within the gay rights movement, conservative resistance, and changing public attitudes towards marriage equality in the United States. Continue reading

Book Review: The Tea Party Divided : The Hidden Diversity of a Maturing Movement by Heath Brown

In the age of President Donald Trump and the rise of the alt-right, it almost seems passé to focus on the Tea Party- the phenomenon that took American politics by storm during and after the Great Recession. However, revisiting the Tea Party not only carries the possibility of discovering something new about the movement and its participants, but also could provide us with important insights on current events. Continue reading

Review: Literary Archives in the Digital Age

Trinity College Dublin

In many ways the innovative conference served to emphasise how literature itself has been interrogating the possibilities of archiving for a long time. With the advent of the digital age it is more pertinent than ever that such connections are highlighted. Continue reading

July #Bookhour: The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen (trans. Andrea Rosenberg)

For July’s #bookhour, Laura Linares, Leona Blair, Julia Hieske and Donna Alexander discussed The Gringo Champion by Aura Xilonen and translated by Andrea Rosenberg. During the course the discussion, topics included the narrative style and translation of the novel. Participants considered the ways in which language highlights cultural fluidity and issues … Continue reading

Review: Transatlantic Studies Association Conference 2017

University College Cork

The ‘unofficial’ theme that permeated the conference was the future of the Anglo-American relationship in the age of Trump and Brexit. As concerns continue to grow on both sides of the Atlantic, scholars are attempting to gauge the wider repercussions of both developments and what this means for the role of the US and Britain in world politics. Continue reading

Review: Queer Subjects and the Contemporary United States

University of East Anglia

Queer Subjects and the Contemporary United States was a colloquium born of the present moment. Focused on discussions of what queerness means under the Trump administration, this conference set out to consider the ways queerness figures within a contemporary social, political, and cultural U.S. context. Continue reading

Review: Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association 2017

Utrecht University, Netherlands

The Posthumanist Modernism stream was prompted by two deceptively simple questions: What is modernism? And what is Posthumanism? The former question has been the subject of debate for years. The latter is the title of Cary Wolfe’s ground-breaking 2010 book on the subject. An international, comparative approach to these slippery concepts was a refreshing alternative to the often Anglo-centric focus of Modernist Studies in Britain. Continue reading

Review: Theorising the Popular 2017

Liverpool Hope University

Although assumptions persist regarding ‘popular culture’ as mass-produced, wholly commercial or vacuous, popular texts and practices are now so deeply embedded in western lifestyles that any supposed distinctions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture require persistent challenging. Continue reading

Review: Border Control: On the Edges of American Art

Tate Liverpool

Liverpool’s Merseybeat sound of the 1960s was influenced by American records brought in by the many US sailors arriving in the port each year. The Atlantic ‘border’ between Liverpool and the USA was wide but porous. Tate Liverpool was a particularly appropriate place, therefore, for the ‘Border Control’ conference. Continue reading

Overcoming Postmodernism

David Foster Wallace and a new Writing of Honesty

The end of postmodernism? Jesús Bolaño Quintero explores David Foster Wallace’s writing, searching for a new form of honesty in American literature after the age of irony. Continue reading