Review: Marilynne Robinson Symposium

While, as Ames states in Gilead, “Memory can make a thing seem more than it was”, this is certainly not the case for this thought-provoking and timely symposium. In providing a forum for discussion of new perspectives and research on Robinson’s work, the event was a resounding success. Continue reading

Review, ‘An American Toy Story’

Officially launched on 19 March, the museum’s latest exhibition is, ‘An American Toy Story’. From Mickey Mouse to James Bond, the exhibition showcases vintage toys and memorabilia from an eclectic range of films. As explained by Chief Curator Kate Hebert, the exhibition celebrates toys whilst embracing the sense of nostalgia that one feels when recognising a beloved childhood relic. Continue reading

Book Review: Stars, Fans and Consumption in the 1950s: Reading Photoplay by Sumiko Higashi

Sumiko Higashi’s Stars, Fans and Consumption in the 1950s is a book about popular imagery, namely those of the female icons of 1950s movies. Only this isn’t about the movies, rather Higashi’s text investigates the iconography of these women as it is shored up in magazines and on billboards, unveiling not only the rampant commodification of Fifties bodies, but also how and why they were so voraciously consumed. Continue reading

HOTCUS ‘Teaching America’ Introduction

When the idea was initially pitched during a committee meeting that the Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS) could produce a series for U.S Studies Online outlining how the history of the United States was being taught at universities the hope was to showcase both the breath and … Continue reading

The legacy of Black Power Visual Culture in 1990s Hip Hop

Artists such as KRS-One, Public Enemy and Chuck D. position themselves as heirs to the legacy of the Panthers and Malcolm X by creatively updating the “media-conscious iconography of sixties black radicalism for a 1990s constituency”, says Hannah Jeffery. Continue reading

The Promise and Disappointment of 1920’s Paris for “Ebony Venus” Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker’s successful Parisian career is often cited as proof that France was a “colour-blind” nation in the 1920s, says Bethan Hughes, but this overlooks how Baker’s blackness was intrinsic to her success due to French perceptions of black sexuality. Continue reading

R&B entertainers didn’t take too long to get involved in the civil rights movement

Glen Whitcroft re-evaluates the financial and musical legacy of some of America’s most beloved and commercially successful African American entertainers, such as James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Nina Simone. Continue reading

The Significance of “ME” (1915): The Literary Fame of Winnifred Eaton (Onoto Watanna)

Winnifred Eaton’s (Onoto Watanna) novel ME proved a turning point in literary history. Here is a book that is about a half-Asian woman (as readers might have suspected and certainly learned), and she is a half-Asian who is integrated in white society, upper and lower. Continue reading

Round-up of our ‘Women in America’ blog series for Women’s History Month

Our “Women in America” blog series for Women’s History Month 2015 is now drawing to an end. We would like to thank the Society for the Study of American Women Writers (SSAWW) and the Society for the History of Women in the Americas (SHAW) who joined us in putting together this diverse and exciting blog series that ran for five weeks in total and included 16 posts. Here we have collected and summarised all of those posts. Continue reading