Editorial: Area Studies Benchmarking: It’s Still Here!
This project is now in the final stages of completion, following the end of the consultative process. It will be important to become familiar with the benchmark, when it is published. I will notify you all on the mailbase when this occurs. The benchmark will appear on the QAA website at: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/crntwork/benchmark/benchmarking.htm
All of us have probably heard by now that following a considerable shake-up at QAA (including the departure of John Randall) and a major rethink of its approach, subject reviews will not take the form they have in the past, and institutional reviews will receive more emphasis. However, despite a few (misguided) rumours to the contrary, benchmarking statements will remain very important, not least because each institution will be required to have in place robust Quality Assurance procedures. The QAA is making it clear that, so far as they are concerned, these statements will retain relevance in any new QA regime. Benchmarking statements are, as we know, not meant to provide checklists (this has been the most frequently asserted theme). But, the argument runs, they will nevertheless stand as ‘authoritative reference points’ — though now no longer used ‘in fear’ in the run-up to a QAA visit, but more constructively. For example they can be used as guidance when re-validating existing programmes or devising new ones.
This expectation is made clear in a letter from Mike Laugharne (Benchmarking Project Manager, QAA) to the LTSN Subject Centre in Language, Linguistics and Area Studies. In this Mike Laugharne says: ‘contrary to views being expressed in some quarters, benchmark information about academic standards remains, and will continue to remain, central to the revised arrangements for review that are being developed currently’.
So, in sum, the Area Studies benchmarking statement remains and will remain a siginificant new aspect of our approach to delivering American Studies. We need to remain, or become, fully familiar with it.
BAAS Annual Conference
Rothermere American Institute,
University of Oxford, 5 – 8 April 2002
Andrea Beighton, RAI
The Annual BAAS Conference will take place this year at the University of Oxford, based at St Anne’s college and hosted by the Rothermere American Institute. We have received a fantastic response to the call for papers, resulting in a programme that will encompass a multitude of disciplines. Attempts are being made to diversify slightly from the standard conference ‘panel’ formula, with opportunities throughout the Conference to view Poster Sessions showcased by individual scholars, as well as hear keynote speakers, guest lecturers and view exhibitions by Publishers.
Aside from the academic content of the conference, there will of course be opportunities to explore the cultural attractions of Oxford, as well as enjoy the all-inclusive evening entertainment, including a night out at a local nightspot, Freuds, an evening sponsored by the Corona Brewing Company, drinks receptions and a DJ night with dancing at St Anne’s.
The Conference application form can be found on the RAI and BAAS websites with full information about registration fees and the provisional programme at: www.rai.ox.ac.uk and http://cc.webspaceworld.me/new-baas-site
There is a limit to space available, so please register early to avoid disappointment. The closing date for registration is 1st March 2002, after which time you may incur a late registration fee.
Please note that due to the generosity of the American Embassy in the UK, BAAS postgraduate students and school teachers who are British or UK-based will be eligible for a special stipend to help cover costs in attending the conference.
Any questions can be directed to:
BAAS Conference Secretary
Rothermere American Institute
1A South Parks Road
Oxford, OX1 3TG
Tel: 01865 282710
Fax: 01865 282720
Donations Needed: BAAS Short-term Travel Awards
Did you know that BAAS awards up to six short-term travel awards for deserving young scholars to undertake research in the United States? This programme contributes considerably to fostering talent among the American Studies community in the UK. However, it does depend for its funds entirely on public contributions, and it can only have a long-term impact if BAAS members and other interested persons continue to be generous with donations. The Treasurer of BAAS therefore welcomes contributions small and large, and invites anyone wishing to support BAAS in maintaining its work in this area to complete and return the donation form at the back of this newsletter.
At the Annual Conference at Keele University, BAAS also launched a new, named, short-term travel award in memory of Malcolm Bradbury. This particular award will be given to the best proposal in the field of American literary studies. We are currently soliciting particular donations to ensure sufficient funds to make this an annual award and to ensure a proper and fitting memorial to Malcolm Bradbury.
In addition to the regular awards, the following specific prizes are now given each year:
THE MARCUS CUNLIFFE AWARD is given to the best proposal in the field of American Studies.
THE JOHN D LEES AWARD is given to the best proposal in the field of American Political Studies.
THE MALCOLM BRADBURY AWARD is given to the best proposal in the field of American Literary Studies.
Funds for these awards come entirely from private contributions, and donations of any amount are always welcome. Please consider adding a donation to your annual BAAS subscription, or send a donation separately to the Treasurer using the form. We would very much appreciate donations of all sizes, from £5 to £5000!
BAAS is a registered charity (No. 1002816). For further details, contact:
Nick Selby (Treasurer)
Department of English Literature
University of Glasgow
Glasgow, G12 8QQ
0141 330 5296
What LTSN can do for American Studies
Mike Kelly, Director, Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies
Americanists will probably be aware that the Learning and Teaching Support Network was set up two years ago by the UK funding councils, to provide information and services for the entire academic community. Its purpose is to help improve the quality of the education we all offer, addressing the needs of teachers in relation to their particular academic disciplines. Twenty-four subject centres now exist, each providing a range of support services for a set of disciplines, sub-disciplines and interdisciplinary groupings. As its title suggests, the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies has the lead responsibility for Area Studies, which covers the teaching of interdisciplinary programmes focusing on a particular country or area, including American Studies. Within the Subject Centre team, Ali Dickens is the academic co-ordinator for Area Studies activities, and to advise us on the kind of activities that Area Studies teachers would find useful, we have established a Specialist Advisory Group, chaired by Dick Ellis.
So how may we help you? May I offer three suggestions?
1. Check out our website www.lang.ltsn.ac.uk, especially the material in the Area Studies pages. We carry a great deal of information on teaching and learning issues which will be of interest to teachers of American Studies, and we are adding to it constantly.
2. Come to one of our events. We organise a programme of workshops and other events, some of which will be of direct interest to you. They are advertised on our website and elsewhere (for example, through the BAAS e-mailbase). In the past, our roadshows have offered a platform for one of the most interesting initiatives in teaching American studies — the FDTL Americanization project.
3. Join our mailing list. We send out regular e-mailings, updating colleagues on forthcoming activities. We also send out information packs, newsletters and other information though the post to our contacts. You can join the mailing list via the website, by e-mail or by writing to us.
We are acutely aware that Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies do not exhaust the disciplinary richness of American Studies. Fortunately, several of our partner subject centres also provide information and services that Americanists may find useful. You may sometimes find your own interests better served by our colleagues in the LTSN subject centres for English, or History and Archaeology, or Economics, or Sociology, Anthropology and Politics, or, again, Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. We are co-operating closely with these centres to provide a higher level of support for disciplines related to Area Studies, and will shortly be announcing the beginning of a programme of joint activities. In addition to trying to ensure that Americanists and other Area Studies colleagues do not fall into the gaps between our disciplinary areas, we shall hope to make a more concerted response to the issues common to interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary studies.
Paradoxical though it may seem, the main strength of the subject centres is not in the expertise we have collected together, but in our ability to put subject specialists in touch with each other. Americanists may well be the best people to help other Americanists. We know that you already have an active association, and other networks and events that support this purpose. The subject centres add another dimension to this supportive network, with a specific focus on tackling your teaching and learning concerns. It is a two-way process and we hope you will add to its effectiveness by contributing your ideas and expertise.
US International Students Tracking Fee
Coordinator for the American Studies Exchange Office, University of Wales, Swansea
Last April the Times Higher Education Supplement reported that the US government ‘plans to charge international students a fee to fund an anti-terrorism monitoring system that will keep track of their address and academic status at all times’ (27 April 2001). Events of 11 September gave an acute sense of urgency to implement the tracking system, initially known as CIPRIS and more recently as SEVIS — Student Exchange and Visiting Information Service — as soon as possible. Originally scheduled to begin in 2003, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported on 10 October that the swift progress of the anti-terrorism bill could mean that SEVIS is introduced in 2002. The scheme has already been piloted by some universities. This means that British students heading to the US for academic and semester programmes in 2002-03 will probably be required to pay the fee, which is expected to be about $95.
Students should be able to pay the fee on-line by credit card to the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) and need to obtain a receipt before applying for their J-1 or F-1 visas, which currently cost £32. Should a student’s visa application be denied, the $95 will not be refunded. BUTEX (British Universities Transatlantic Exchange Association) has been opposed to the fee since its inception, not least because of the additional, unreciprocated cost it puts on our students, the majority of whom are required, under the terms of their visa, to return to the UK to complete their studies, and who are closely monitored by both sending and receiving institutions.
It is inevitable that the fee will be introduced, even though international students make up less than 2% of all visitors to the USA each year. BUTEX is monitoring the issue closely through Nafsa: Association for International Educators and the Visa Section of the US Embassy in London. As soon as a date is known for the implementation of the fee, it will be posted on the BUTEX mailbase and website http://www.butex.ac.uk/butex
Exchange Programmes Talk Shop
Peter Boyle, University of Nottingham
Two main topics were covered, namely, BUTEX (British Universities TransAtlantic Exchange Association) and the establishment of new exchange partners. Annette Kratz, Head of the International Office at the University of Keele, which, since February 2001, has hosted the BUTEX Secretariat, outlined the work of BUTEX and recommended that those who wished further information should visit the BUTEX website when it becomes accessible in May at www.butex.ac.uk/butex.
A brief discussion was held on problems in establishing new exchange partners or increasing the number of students exchanged with existing partners, which was a problem which the University of Sussex was facing as a result of expanding its intake of American Studies students. Different views were expressed on this matter. Some recounted experiences of great difficulty in trying to recruit new partners, with the American universities who were approached expressing no interest, since they already had a sufficient number of exchange partners in Britain and were developing new exchanges in such countries as Australia rather than Britain. Others stated that, with a little perseverance, it proved not too difficult to find new exchange partners, while some American universities were quite willing to expand the number of students on existing exchanges. It was thought, however, that American universities which were available for new exchanges or expansion were not always of a high academic quality, while also the process of pursuing new exchange partners could be quite time-consuming, which made it possible for a department which had administrative assistance for exchanges but which made it more difficult for departments in which exchange programmes were run by an academic.
Peter Boyle stated that an Exchange Programmes web page had now been established on the BAAS website, which can be visited at http://cc.webspaceworld.me/new-baas-site. Details of the exchange programmes of about fifteen institutions are listed on the web page. Exchange tutors in institutions which have exchange programmes and which are not listed on the web page are urged to send details (names of exchange partners, length and timing of the period of study on exchange) by e-mail attachment to Graham Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Useful information, as well as comment and opinion, on matters related to exchange programmes, should similarly be sent to Graham at the above e-mail address.
The Exchange Programme Talk Shop follows from similar lunchtime meetings at the BAAS conferences at Glasgow and Swansea. It is hoped that Talk Shops at the annual conference and the BAAS web page will provide a useful means for the communication of information and stimulation of discussion for exchange tutors.
BAAS Paperbacks: News from the Series Editors
George McKay, University of Central Lancashire
Having proudly seen in the past few months the publication of the tenth and eleventh books in this series from Edinburgh University Press, the editors thought it would be a good idea to elongate the feelgood factor by sharing a progress report with ASIB readers.
Since the first books appeared in 1997, the series has established itself as a significant contribution to American Studies scholarship by British and international specialists. This is recognised by Professor Douglas Tallack, who has called the series ‘a fine resource for students of the United States’. A common feature has been the interdisciplinarity of the studies — for example, Peter Townsend’s Jazz in American Culture weaves together discussion of music, literary and autobiographical representations, and historical context. Others, such as Kenneth Morgan’s Slavery and Servitude in North America, 1607-1800, have necessarily been more single-discipline oriented, in this instance in order to provide a detailed historical narrative of one defining feature of American identity.
Many of the books have been highly praised. Reviews have frequently commended features such as the clarity of writing and the helpfulness of the annotated bibliographies. Books published on cultural and literary studies have focused on film, music, visual culture, while we look forward to Paul Wells’ forthcoming book on American cartoon cultures, currently at press. As for reviews, according to The British Library journal, Stephen F. Mills’ The American Landscape is ‘a well-written book offer[ing] a substantive exploration of the creation, interpretation, representation and familiarization of American landscapes’.
In history and politics, the Paperbacks series has published on political scandals, the New Deal, the Marshall Plan, the decade of the Sixties. John Killick’s The United States and European Reconstruction, 1945-1960 was described in International Affairs as ‘a commendably well organised and clearly written account … an ideal first text on the issue’. Our most recent publication, Michael Heale’s The Sixties in America: History, Politics and Protest, was reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement as ‘an authoritative and lucid guide to the public events of the 1960s and to the larger significance of the era’. Books under commission include a study of America’s role in World War Two, and one of the Vietnam War.
Key issues in American Studies have been the subject of other books-slavery, exceptionalism, religion, the West, for instance. Deborah Madsen’s American Exceptionalism was reviewed in these pages as ‘a clear and concise introduction … the inherent complexity of charting American exceptionalism as it influenced and was influenced by the evolution of diverse cultural identities, is accommodated in a coherent and comprehensive account’.
To date all books have been co-published in the USA by university and academic presses, which is a further sign of the solid reputation the series has established. The series editors are Professor Philip Davies, De Montfort University email@example.com and Professor George McKay, University of Central Lancashire firstname.lastname@example.org. To give a provisional idea of where we may like the series to go, our priorities for future commissioning include books which deal with aspects of the South, Hollywood, American popular music, American literature, or perhaps key decades. We are happy to discuss these or other proposals and suggestions for the series. Do get in touch.
American Studies Resources Centre Annual Report 2000-2001
The academic year 2000-2001 has seen a number of important developments within the work of the ASRC as well as an increase in uptake, both nationally and internationally, of its services. This report will outline these developments, but will also identify changes – which we hope to be temporary – that will impact on all our future operations.
ASRC Conferences and Lectures
The annual ASRC schools/FE conference, held again at the Maritime Museum in Liverpool, attracted a capacity audience of 200 students and teachers, including groups from both JMU and LCC. The topic this year was the 2000 Presidential Election. The speakers were: Niall Palmer (Brunel University) who spoke on the role of the media in presidential elections; Edward Ashbee (Denstone College) on the process of the elections; and Esther Jubb (John Moores University) on building electoral coalitions. The final session of the day involved a lively debate between representatives of Republicans and Democrats Abroad. Andy Gordon (Democrats) and Joseph King (Republicans) responded to pre-fielded questions submitted by students and teachers. As with our previous election conferences, the debate covered both the domestic and foreign policy agenda.
The ASRC, in conjunction with the School of Media, Critical and Creative Arts also hosted lectures by a number of visiting US academics and writers. Worthy of note were the visits of the Pulitzer prize winning poet John Ashbery, who gave readings from his work, including his latest publication ‘Your Name Here’ and the writer and academic Todd Gitlin, who spoke on America in the 1960s. Both lectures were well attended by staff and students from JMU, LCC and other HE institutions on Merseyside.
Towards the end of the academic year the ASRC, in conjunction with the Institute for US Studies at the University of London, organised a one-day conference on classic Hollywood movies. Hosted by IUSS, the conference attracted not only a substantial audience, but also extensive media coverage on both national and local radio, as well as a report on a digital TV station and the national press. Speakers included the film critic Roger Ebert (who spoke on Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull), the writer and director Alex Cox (on Kubricks Dr Strangelove), as well as the academics and writers Ian Scott from the University of Manchester (speaking on Polanski’s Chinatown) and Brian Neve from the University of Bath (on Kazan’s On the Waterfront.)
The annual Thanksgiving Lecture at JMU was given by Steve Mills from the Department of American Studies at the University of Keele. Steve’s topic examined America’s love-hate relationship with the city through its representation in The Simpsons.
Our thanks go not only to all our speakers, but also to the School of Media, Critical and Creative Art for all their support.
ASRC Website (ARnet)
The ARnet website continues to grow, thanks not only to all its contributors, but also to the hard work of David Forster. By the end of the academic year the site had received nearly one million hits since its re-launch in March 1998. However, plans to include on-line teaching materials have been postponed. The reasons for this will be outlined at the end of this report.
Requests and Student Visits to the ASRC
At the end of last academic year the Centre relocated to a new base within the Aldham Robarts Building of JMU. This has given us not only significantly more room to expand, but also placed us in a more ideal location for both teacher and student visits. This has added to a very substantial increase in visits, both from school parties, and also JMU and LCC staff and students. The growth and success of the website and its on-line response forms, also contributed to a growth in the number of requests from all over the world.
Powell-Straw Exchange Programme
The ASRC was pleased to be asked to take part in a new exchange programme launched by US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and British Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, in June 2001. The ASRC helped identify one of the two students who took part. Ezekiel Taffari, from Liverpool Community College, and Saffina Ali, from Leeds City School, were accompanied by ASRC Director, Ian Ralston, on a week-long visit to Washington and New York.
During their visit, Saffina and Ezekiel spent a full day with Secretary Powell getting a ‘hands-on approach’ to the workings of US government. The maturity of the students was emphasised when Ezekiel read a press statement in front of the world’s media at a State Department briefing. The students also spent time in Congress with Senator Chuck Hagel, and visited the Supreme Court where they were met by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Briefings from representatives of various other US government agencies were also included in their programme. In addition, the students had guided tours of the Holocaust Museum by curator Bruce Butterworth, AOL head offices in Washington, the NYSE, a leading African American Radio station (where Ezekiel met with Isaac Hayes and station staff), as well as meeting with American high school students and attending a Baltimore Oriels baseball game as guests of the team owner. Ezekiel and Saffina also were guests of British Ambassador, Sir Christopher Meyer, at the British Embassy.
A fuller report of the visit is carried on the ASRC website and Ezekiel and Saffina will add to this with personal reports. Needless to say, these events attracted major news coverage in both the US (on NBC television) and in the UK, where reports were carried in the national press and on BBC, ITV and Sky News.
Despite these important developments, the ASRC will not be operating a full service in the coming academic year. This has been brought about by a partial withdrawal of support for our services by one of our sponsors, Liverpool Community College. ASRC staff are working closely with the University in order to resolve this problem. In the meantime, the ASRC will be operating on a more limited basis than in previous years, with the postponement of some projects.
Update on PGCE Applications and American Studies Students
Heidi Slettedahl Macpherson, University of Central Lancashire
Colleagues may be aware of the debate regarding American Studies graduates and PGCE teacher training places. Below is an update of the report published in the last issue of ASIB. Professor Philip Davies wrote to Barry Sheerman, MP, in May, putting forward the American Studies community’s views on this matter. Mr Sheerman then contacted Mike Tomlinson, Chief Inspector of Schools, OFSTED, and Stephen Timms, Minister of State for School Standards, for their input.
Mr Tomlinson commented that the issues raised regarding PGCE places were mainly the province of the DfES and the TTA (Teacher Training Agency) rather than OFSTED, and so his comments must be seen in that light. Indeed, he noted quite clearly that OFSTED does not, in the current inspection programme, actually report on selection procedures (nor, it seems, does the DfES, leaving an important gap through which some of our graduates fall). Mr Tomlinson did stress that his team focused on the ‘output’ requirement of trainees: ‘provided that the course enables trainees to remedy any initial weaknesses in subject knowledge, providers have nothing to fear from OFSTED in recruiting people with relevant “non-standard” degrees’. He also insisted OFSTED has not ‘intentionally contributed’ to the confusion surrounding the interpretations of the DfES Circular 4/98, which sets out the requirements for initial teacher training, though he was aware that some quarters had attributed blame to OFSTED.
Mr Timms pointed out that nothing in the ‘Requirements for Courses of Initial Teacher Training’ prevented providers from accepting American Studies graduates onto their courses. Indeed, he noted that no graduates should be turned away simply because their degrees were not in a National Curriculum subject. From his perspective, the most important element in the mix was that a student met exit standards — something for which the PGCE providers themselves were clearly responsible. Indeed, this may appear to be part of the problem, and DfES is unwilling and unable to intervene in the way that providers accept or decline applicants. Mr Timms seemed to suggest that most American Studies applicants wished to undertake a History PGCE, a fact that is not entirely supported by our survey; if, however, this is a significant point, then it is worth pointing out to students that there is not currently a shortage of history teachers. Thus if they intend to pursue this route, they will be in competition with History graduates, whom panels may consider more qualified.
Anyone advising final year students who are intent on securing a PGCE place should have a look at the latest revised qualifications on the Teacher Training Agency website http://www.dfes.gov.uk/consultations/tta/index.htm
Americanization and the Teaching of American Studies (AMTAS): Workshops go Live!
Alan Rice, Project Manager for the Americanization Project (AMATAS)
The Americanization and the Teaching of American Studies Project (AMATAS), based at the University of Central Lancashire with partners at the University of Derby and King Alfred’s College, Winchester, is available for any British academic to use over the next year. It is not just available to departments of American Studies but can be accessed wherever it is felt to be useful. We have a variety of workshops that you are welcome to invite into your institution as samples of teaching American Studies through the lens of the Transatlantic and/or Americanization. You can integrate these two-hour sessions into your programme as a replacement for a week’s teaching on a module or access them as a special, extra session for your students. Lecturer, Jill Terry, reports on the success of the very first workshop the project presented, at Worcester College of Further Education: ‘The workshop on “The Titanic and the Transatlantic” was delivered by Dr Alan Rice to Media and Cultural Studies students in the third week of their first year course. The workshop enabled students to interrogate their personal constructions of the Titanic story and recognise that their version was merely one of many. From their exposure to a fascinating range of primary material – from a facsimile handkerchief for the use of mourning relatives, to a “street rap” recording on the sinking, it became abundantly clear that to historicise the disaster it is necessary to embrace the cultural myths that have been constructed by different groups with different national, racial and ethnic agendas on both sides of the Atlantic.
‘In particular the different versions constructed by American financiers, Northern Irish Shipbuilders and African Americans (in the main excluded as passengers and crew) provoked very productive work on representation. Consequently, we have been able to use the example of the Titanic as a reference point in subsequent classes in semiotics and myth. As many of the students at the workshop also take a first year module that introduces American writing, they have had the additional benefit of being able to draw on the workshop in discussions of “the American dream”, immigration, and racial politics. It has helped to make their work reflect an international rather than a narrow national perspective on culture. It was very useful and enjoyable for the students, and enabled them to have access to a different voice, and for us as teachers, for at least one week of a very busy semester, to be thoroughly engaged spectators rather than instructors.’
As you can see from the list below, the workshops encompass a variety of topics from many disciplines, including history, social studies, film studies, literary studies, visual studies and cultural studies. The teachers are all experts in their fields, who have been granted time off, or paid a consultancy fee by the project to write up dynamic workshops. They include distinguished professors in British Social History, Popular Music and Cultural History. For colleagues in England there is no cost. Unfortunately, because the project is funded by HEFCE, we are unable to pay the travelling costs for our workshop deliverers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The workshops delivered there, as elsewhere, will, however, accrue no other costs to the hosting institution.
The project has produced an attractive booklet with full descriptors of all the workshops, and this can be ordered direct from the project. We already have significant bookings, so please book early to avoid disappointment. You can book by use of the tear-off slip in the back of the booklet. Alternatively, book by e-mail email@example.com or write to:
Department of Cultural Studies
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE
tel: 01772 893125
fax: 01772 892924
Professor Andrew John Blake
‘Sonic Americanization (Americanization and Popular Music)’
King Alfred’s College of Higher Education
Availability: January-October 2002
Dr Neil Campbell
‘The Landscapes of Americanization/Transatlantic Photography’
University of Derby
Availability: December 2001-January 2002
Dr Jane Darcy
‘Disney and the European Fairy Tale’
University of Central Lancashire
Availability: From January 2002
Dr Jude Davies
‘American Princess? Diana Princess of Wales and the Paradoxes of Americanization’
King Alfred’s College of Higher Education
Availability: From May 2002
Dr Janet Floyd
‘The Quilt: Anglo-American Perspectives’
King Alfred’s College of Higher Education
Availability: February-November 2002
Dr Paul Grainge
‘Brand Identity and Resistance’
University of Nottingham
From January 2002
Dr Alasdair Kean
‘”Travelling Blues”: American Popular Music in Britain’
University of Derby
Availability: From January 2002
Dr Jason Lee
‘”New” Hollywood’s Europeanization-Americanization of the World’
University of Central Lancashire
Availability: From November 2001
Professor Scott Lucas
‘Americanization and the Cultural War’
University of Birmingham
Availability: to be advised
Professor George McKay
‘Americanization and Cultural Theory: Liberation and/or Cultural Imperialism?’
University of Central Lancashire
Availability: From October 2001
Dr Michael Paris
‘Inside Nazi Germany: The View From Hollywood’
University of Central Lancashire
Availability: From November 2001
Dr Alasdair Pettinger
‘Jim Crow in Britain’
University of Central Lancashire
Availability: From November 2001
Dr Eithne Quinn
‘Discourses of Americanization and Black Intellectuals in Europe: The Case of Chester Himes’
University of Central Lancashire
Availability: From November 2001
Dr Alan Rice
‘The Titanic and the Transatlantic Imagination’
University of Central Lancashire
Availability: From October 2001
Ms Carol R Smith
‘Portraying the Black Atlantic’
King Alfred’s College of Higher Education
Availability: From June 2002
Mr Alasdair Spark
‘Americanization and the Exchange Experiences of UK and US Exchange Students’
King Alfred’s College of Higher Education
Availability: March-November 2002
Dr John Walton
‘The Transatlantic Seaside’
University of Central Lancashire
Availability: From October 2001
Check out our website on www.amatas.org for latest news on the project. There is a discussion page which is providing a focus for views on the events of September 11 with international postings.
Travel Award Reports
Marcus Cunliffe Travel Award Report: Eric White, Clare College, Cambridge
I am pleased to report that my research trip of July-August 2001 to the Lockwood Memorial Library at the State University of New York, Buffalo, was a success on several levels. As anticipated, the resources available in the Lockwood collection have become a crucial component of my research.
The opportunity to examine original issues of Alfred Kreymborg’s Others (1915-1919), William Carlos Williams’ and Robert McAlmon’s Contact (1920-1923), and dozens of other contemporaneous little magazines has enhanced my arguments concerning the role that typography played in the development of American Modernist writing. These publications reveal the competing, yet often complimentary, visions for Modernist writing played out in the little magazine scene. In terms of format and content, Contact, the focus of my doctoral thesis, is in some respects a refinement of (and a departure from) the design and policies of Others. However, I found that Williams’ innovative method of branding and localising American Modernism is rooted in his tenure with Others, and that there are significant analogues between the publications. Such comparisons are borne out in the calculated typographic minimalism favoured by Williams, and in anecdotal details that emerge in the correspondence between the doctor-poet, Kreymborg, McAlmon, and Kenneth Burke.
Further unpublished letters to Williams from Maxwell Bodenheim, Edmund Brown (of Boston-based publishers The Four Seas Company), Ezra Pound, and Broom editors, Harold Loeb and Lola Ridge (to name but a few) proved a rich source of narrative evidence for my re-evaluation of Others and Contact as literary institutions. The extensive trail of manuscripts, paperwork and ephemera in the Lockwood collection provided me with a factual framework for this alternate reading. In addition, Williams’ own manuscripts dating from and concerning the Contact era, including an unpublished piece entitled ‘McAlmon’, are of particular literary importance to my thesis.
My time at the Poetry and Rare Books Room in the Lockwood Memorial Library has built a solid foundation for my PhD thesis, and I would like to thank the British Association of American Studies for enabling me to pursue an exceptional opportunity.
Annie Kirby, University of Wales, Swansea
Annie Kirby, University of Wales, Swansea
The funding generously supplied by BAAS and the University of Wales, Swansea Graduate School supported an essential trip to the US for research into Native American film enabling me to view films not only from the Library of Congress’s excellent collection of silent movies containing representations of Native Americans, but also their collection of Native American documentaries, including many contemporary films produced and directed by Native Americans. I was also able to take the opportunity to visit the Human Studies Film Archive at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC, the Pequot Museum at Mashantucket in Connecticut and the Film and Video Center at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York. Study of these films is essential to my thesis, which analyses strategies for the subversion of the Hollywood Indian stereotype in film and literature. The opportunity provided by this funding was invaluable, allowing me access to over fifty films.
The silent films at the Library of Congress revealed fascinating variations on the invented Hollywood Indian stereotype which was to emerge later in the century. White Fawn’s Devotion (1910) was most probably directed by James Young Deer (Winnebago), a leading figure in the Pathe Frere Studio company, while The Silent Enemy (1930), which had a virtually all-Native American cast, included a prologue by Chauncey Yellow Robe (Rosebud Sioux) and depicted the struggle of a group of pre-contact Ojibwe to stave off starvation during a harsh winter.
The Vanishing American (1925) cast Richard Dix, a well-known white actor, to play the romantic Native American lead, but included Native American actors in a number of supporting roles and dealt with such controversial issues as the appropriation of reservation land and the mistreatment of Native American First World War Veterans. However, the film rationalized such white behaviour by depicting it as symptomatic of a natural process of Social Darwinism, with the Native American race doomed to vanish as a result of the emergence of the superior white race.
Other films, such as the Battle of Elderbush Gulch (1914), directed by DW Griffith, which portray Native Americans as dog-eating, bloodthirsty savages, reveal the depressing route which representations of Native Americans were to follow in later Westerns. Contemporary films directed by Native Americans provide a remarkably consistent framework for subversion of the invented Indian stereotype and the privileging of a Native American audience. George Burdeau (Blackfeet), in Backbone of the World (1997) and Pueblo Peoples: First Contact (1990), encircles his factual narratives within traditional stories recounted by tribal elders in Native American languages, and adopts a collaborative approach to filmmaking, mirroring the reciprocal, participatory orientation of oral literature and communal identity common in many Native American cultures.
Victor Masayesva (Hopi) framed the multi-media images in Imagining Indians (1992) within another type of story — a visit to the dentist by a Native American woman who is obliged to sit mute while the white dentist extracts a tooth and meditates on his ‘spiritual connection’ to Kevin Costner and the potential profitability of a Native American ‘sweat-lodge’ he is organising for rich white businessmen. The Native American patient, though literally and metaphorically speechless, finds an effective weapon to fight back — the dentist’s own drill, although unfortunately she doesn’t use it on the dentist, but on the stereotypical images which have sought to render her mute in contemporary society, as the dental treatment has compelled her silence in the dentist’s chair.
Masayesva and Shelley Niro (Mohawk), in Ritual Clowns (1988) and It Starts with a Whisper (1993), respectively explore the importance of sacred clowns in the structure and identity of some tribal communities while simultaneously undermining the stereotype of the stoical, humourless Indian. Cree playwright and director Shirley Cheechoo stars as a bottle-blonde Cree in her own disturbing 2000 feature Backroads, where a bear-walker wreaks malevolent havoc on the lives of four reservation sisters, proving that Native filmmakers can be scary too.
This research trip exceeded all expectations in terms of material accessed and networking opportunities. I would therefore like to thank BAAS for its generous support, not only financially, but also psychologically, in choosing to fund my research.
Gabriella Treglia, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University
In February 2001 I received an Award of £400 from BAAS to help finance a research trip to the US. At the time I was an MPhil student at Cambridge University, specialising in Native American history. My dissertation explored the so-called ‘New Deal’ for Native Americans that characterized US government policy towards indigenous peoples from 1933 to 1945, under the aegis of John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs during the Roosevelt era. My focus was on the ‘New Deal’ programmes pertaining to education, religion, and arts and crafts. Although the University Library at Cambridge is well-stocked with secondary literature relating to Native American history, the primary material upon which I hoped to base much of my dissertation, was located in the US, at the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale, New Haven. The papers are not available online, therefore a trans-Atlantic research trip was mandatory (and a welcome mid-term interlude).
The Sterling Memorial Library is an impressive building, both to look at and in terms of the facilities offered. The Office Files of John Collier, 1922-68, which were to constitute the bulk of my research, were available as a microfilmed collection, and I got to know the microfilm reading room at Sterling very well over the two weeks of my visit. As an added bonus, I discovered that the periodical ‘Indians at Work’ published by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) during Collier’s commissionership, is also held at the Sterling Memorial Library in microfiche form. This pamphlet series provides an interesting insight into the individual activities of BIA employees (notably schoolteachers and craft experts) and Native American cooperative groups on the reservations. For myself, it was particularly invaluable for the coverage devoted to the socio-cultural programmes implemented during the ‘New Deal’.
During my stay I also visited Columbia University in New York City. At the Oral History Research Office I viewed the transcript of an interview with Rene d’Harnoncourt, chairman of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board established by Collier, which sought to introduce Native American goods to wider markets and so both preserve traditional production methods and crafts, and provide financial benefit to Native American artists and craftsmen. Recorded in 1968, the interview offered a glimpse into the mindset of one of Collier’s ‘New Dealers’.
The research I conducted during my US trip constituted the backbone of my MPhil dissertation. The sheer extent and volume of the archives at Yale was very encouraging and I have chosen to spend the first year of my PhD there to continue researching the socio-cultural dimension of John Collier’s ‘New Deal’ for Native Americans. The award from BAAS was particularly welcome for my last trip, not only for the air fare, and rail travel from New Haven to New York, but also for the large photocopying bill I ran up as it became apparent that two weeks was by no means sufficient time to do justice to the Collier Files.
European Historians of the United States
Peter Boyle, University of Nottingham
European Historians of the United States held their regular biennial conference at the Roosevelt Study Center in Middleburg in the Netherlands on 18-20 April 2001. The topic was ‘Nation on the Move: Mobility in US History’. Papers were presented on various aspects of this topic by historians of the United States from many countries, including Norway, Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, France, Sweden, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The papers brought out the profound and varied political, social, economic, religious and ideological implications of the mobility of Americans. Papers covered topics from the colonial period to contemporary America, such as James Baird (USA) on the turnover of overseers on plantations in colonial Virginia, Joseph Smith (UK) on the travels of a British diplomat in the United States in the 1820s, Serge Ricard (France) on squatter expansionism and continental aggrandizement, Giovanni Fabbi (Italy) on black migration in South Carolina in World War I to Northern cities and to army camps, Klaus Vowe (Germany) on the Hollywood cult of mobility. The British contingent was well-represented among the presenters of papers, including Rob Lewis (Birmingham), Howell Harris (Durham), Joseph Smith (Exeter), Melvyn Stokes (UCL), David Brown (Northampton) and Louis Billingham (Hull). David Adams (Keele), the Founding Father of European Historians of the United States, and Steve Ickringill (Coleraine) chaired sessions, while Peter Boyle (Nottingham) acted as conference reporter.
It is hoped that a volume will be published of an edited selection of the papers, as has been done for previous conferences. The volumes for the first three conferences were on display at the Edinburgh University Press stand at the Keele BAAS conference at a special conference price of £8.00 each. Edited by David K Adams & Cornelius A van Minnen, the titles are: Reflections on American Exceptionalism, Aspects of War in American History, and Religious and Secular Reform in America.
The volume for the fourth conference was edited by Sylvia Hilton & Cornelius A van Minnen, Federalism, Citizenship and Collective Identity in U.S. History (Amsterdam: VU Press, 2000).
The conference of European Historians of the United States at the Roosevelt Study Center in Middleburg every second year has become well-established, since its first meeting in1993. The next meeting will be in April 2003. The topic will be announced and a call for papers will be made in due course.
De Montfort Teachers’ Conference, 6 October 2001
Kathryn Cooper, Head of History and Politics, Loreto Sixth Form College
In spite of missing a college open day and an England match, a colleague and I drove down to Leicester from Manchester on a sunny Saturday to attend a conference for teachers of history and politics. Even though we got stuck in an horrendous traffic jam on the way down and missed Beckham’s goal on the way back, it was a day well spent and thoroughly enjoyed.
The conference, organised by Jason McDonald, began with a presentation by Derrick Murphy of the current state of US topics in the new History and Politics AS and A level syllabuses. Derrick is familiar to many teachers having been the Chief Examiner for American history at AQA, and now fulfilling the same position at OCR. His introduction was a useful summary for anyone thinking of developing American topics, and for the university staff present to update them on the situation in schools and colleges. The heartening news for all enthusiasts of American Studies is that US topics are thriving, and even on the increase.
There followed a series of lectures on political and historical topics. As a history teacher I wanted lots of useful detail that I could pass on to students. I wanted my own knowledge to be confirmed and updated, but also increased with some new information or insights. This is what busy teachers want from most conferences. Lectures on esoteric research subjects are fun when we have the time, but for a busy weekend in a busy term I needed the De Montfort conference to help me do my job. It did. The history lectures were all on syllabus topics or topics students choose for coursework and the presentation was uniformly excellent.
Professor Tony Badger from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge gave a lecture entitled ‘The New Deal and the Great Society: Strengths and Weaknesses of American Liberal Reform’. He began with the seeming similarities of both programmes, and how the American right sees FDR and LBJ as the creators of big government. He then went on to highlight some notable differences, for example Johnson was working in a time of extraordinary affluence, where Roosevelt was tackling the worst Depression the USA had ever seen. Or how much of the New Deal legislation was from or a reaction to, Congress while the Great Society was very much top down from the Administration, and interestingly how change, especially in the area of rights, was coming from non-elected people such as judges. What I found most intriguing was the idea that while the New Deal showed how government could engineer solutions to problems, the Great Society’s inability to manage its programmes well was one of the reasons why people lost faith in the federal government’s ability to deliver improvements.
For a teacher of history I found this lecture drew some nice clear themes that I can develop with my students. My colleague, who teaches politics, also felt these themes were important to her student’s understanding of the development of federal power. But though the lecture was very useful, just as importantly, Professor Badger was, as always, simply very interesting to listen to.
The home team did itself proud with Jason McDonald and David Ryan giving us the historiography of the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War respectively.
Dr McDonald talked about the early liberal tradition that saw Civil Rights as a ‘top down’ movement, essentially led by King, that moved from Montgomery to Memphis in a straight line. This was replaced in the 1970s and 1980s with a revisionist view that went back further than 1955 and looked at the pressures from the grass roots Civil Rights Movement as well as the leadership. This view argues that even had King lived, the movement would have changed in 1968 because the legislation they had fought for had been achieved. The current consensus has focused around a post-revisionist view that the interaction of the leadership and the grass roots is what needs to be studied. Dr McDonald then went on to look at the major themes in Civil Rights; the status of African Americans in the USA, the attitudes of whites in the North and South, the role of the government, and the varieties of protest.
David Ryan followed a similar course looking at the historiography of the Cold War. He outlined the orthodox interpretation prevalent in the 1940s and 1950s that American policy was a reaction to Soviet expansion. This view was attacked in the 1960s by the revisionists who argued that US economic expansion was more aggressive. The post-revisionists in the 1970s, such as Gaddis, have tried to synthesise these two views, but also to look at personalities and domestic issues when explaining foreign policy. The 1980s and 1990s, unfortunately for students, have seen a plethora of differing interpretations (and one suspects that in the aftermath of the Afghan War this will increase still further). Dr Ryan also summarised the arguments of the latest writings on the Vietnam War since the mid-1990s, showing that there is just as much disagreement here. One crucial current question is whether the Vietnam War was a Cold War conflict or an imperial conflict.
I found both of these lectures not only fascinating but also immensely useful to me as a teacher. Teachers simply do not have the time these days to update themselves on current thinking and lectures like this are immeasurably helpful. (The list of web sites David Ryan gave us has simply been copied at my school and given straight to the students!) For any teacher just starting to teach either of these topics, the lectures could not have been a better introduction to the areas of debate.
During the two politics lectures I could sit back and just enjoy listening. My colleague, Colleen Harris, who is Chief Examiner for American politics at AQA seemed to find the talks as useful for her and her students as I did the history talks. Professor Philip Davies talked about Florida and the 2000 election. He talked about the situation in Florida and how it affected the overall election result, but he put the debacle into the wider context of voting in the USA. With many amusing anecdotes and the use of visual aids he effectively illustrated the complexity of American democracy. Dr Davies had ballot papers from several towns and states. Just looking at the number of posts to be elected and the propositions to be voted for made my brain hurt. The lecture raised fascinating questions about the nature of democracy, and in fact I have used some of the material with students studying parliamentary reform in nineteenth-century Britain to discuss just these kinds of questions.
Undoubtedly the lecture by Dr Edward Ashbee of Denstone College raised the most questions. He spoke on ‘September 11th: The Domestic Policy Consequences’. Dr Ashbee listed several possible effects of the attack, such as the probable economic slump and the coming together of the parties in a sense of patriotism. Most interesting was his argument that American government is frequently paralysed due to the nature of the system of checks and balances, and it is only when there is a crisis such as a war, the Depression, or an event like September 11 that things can be significantly moved on. It may be too soon to judge the effects of the attack in New York but Dr Ashbee gave us much to think about and to look for in the months ahead.
On top of all of this Dr McDonald and his team put on a very fine lunch and even gave us doggie bags to take some home in. Anybody knows the real test of a conference is the food, and De Montfort’s was delicious. But the other important thing about a conference is that it gives people the chance to meet. I know Colleen had some very useful conversations with other politics teachers, and I was able to discuss resource with teaching colleagues and ideas with the lecturers, as well as just chat over tea and biscuits.
It was a well-organised, well-presented and valuable day. My only suggestion is that in future if the history and politics lectures were run at the same time in separate rooms we might have more time for discussion. There were probably around two dozen teachers there and this was a shame as I know more would have found it useful. All of this sounds terribly positive and verges on the gushing, but it was quite simply a very good conference.
Conference, Workshop and Journal Announcements
US Studies Online: The BAAS Postgraduate Journal
Issue 2 of this new, fully-refereed e-journal is now available http://https://www.baas.ac.uk/usstudiesonline
Sarah Wood, University College, London, ‘Private Properties, Public Nuisance: Arthur Mervyn and The Rise and Fall of a Republican Machine’
John Fagg, University of Nottingham, ‘Parody, Sincerity and the Martial Ideal in the Literary Impressionism of Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage’
Zoe A Greer, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, ‘Jail-no-Bail Comes of Age: the Freedom Rides and the Use of Prison as a Platform for Racial Protest’
If you would like to submit an article for consideration by the journal please send three hard copies in the first instance to Graham Thompson, Editor, US Studies Online, Department of English, De Montfort University, Leicester, LE1 9BH firstname.lastname@example.org
Starbursts: Seminar in Early American Writing and Culture
The political independence of the USA, and its ensuing socio-cultural challenges, motivated writers to produce a number of intriguing narrative and discursive texts that sought to address, resolve, or reconfigure the political and ideological conflicts of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Post-revolutionary, pre-industrial era fiction has been traditionally overlooked in studies of the United States because fiction of the early American Republic cannot easily be reduced to narratives of heroic national independence or the rise of capitalist industry. Outside of American Studies, the traditional framework of Romanticism, with its bias to poetry, has often ignored the flurry of creative output in North America.
To confront these research problems, we invite you to a new reading lab, ‘Starbursts: Seminar in Early American Writing and Culture’, which will begin in October 2001 under the auspices of the IUSS at Senate House.
The aims of the reading lab are threefold: to promote general familiarity with the period’s texts, with special dedication to those texts that are still not readily available or easily accessible to readers; to provide a common forum that will nurture a collegial network of early Americanists in England, Scotland, Wales, and the Irelands; and to forge new methods of approaching, researching, and teaching this material.
We will meet on Fridays at 4pm, on the 3rd floor of Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1. To facilitate advance reading, photocopies of the texts will be available (for the cost of the xeroxing) from the IUSS office, Senate House (020 7862 8693).
The lab will differ from other seminars in that we will not hear from an individual, presenting her or his research. Instead, meetings will be devoted to collective discussion and exploration of the texts as a means of generating a shared sense of the pertinent issues in ways that will nourish a collegial community.
We invite all to join, regardless of your academic background or affiliation, for what we hope will be the flowering of public and institutional interest in early American material.
Schedule for 2002:
Friday 8 February 2002 : Tabitha Gilman Tenney’s Female Quixotism
Friday 1 March 2002: S.S.B.K. Wood’s Dorval, or, The Speculator
Friday 22 March 2002: Charles Brockden Brown’s Edgar Huntly, or, Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker
‘Intersections’, Australia and New Zealand Association for American Studies Conference (ANZASA)
Deakin University, Geelong, Australia, July 2002
The next ANZASA Conference will have a particular interest in cross-disciplinary engagements and comparative studies — in ‘intersections’ — but the organising committee also welcomes proposals in any field of American (US) Studies that draws principally on a major discipline such as History, Literature, Sociology, Cultural Studies or Film Studies.
Proposals (with abstracts from 100 to 300 words) should be received by 30 November 2001. Offers can be directed to Brian Edwards at email@example.com or by regular mail to The Organising Committee, American Studies 2002, School of Social Inquiry, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria 3217, Australia, Fax: 61 3 5227 2916
‘WEB DuBois and Frantz Fanon: Postcolonial Linkages and Transatlantic Receptions’, An International, Inter-disciplinary Confere
University of Stirling, Scotland, 16-17 March 2002
Details for the submission of papers and can be found at http://www.commonwealthstudies.stir.ac.uk/DuBoisFanon.htm
Nathaniel Hawthorne Society Biennial Summer Conference
Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, 20-23 June 2002
While all Hawthorne-related proposals will be featured, the following themes exist:
- Hawthornian geographies: how does his work explore or illuminate the distinctive ‘spaces’ of nineteenth century culture — e.g., the terrains of leisure and tourism, Concord, England, Europe
- Hawthorne in the culture of letters: questions of reception, the literary career, critical history
- Hawthornian histories: new contextual work of all sorts
- Hawthorne and the writing of childhood
Sesquicentennial reflections: situated between last summer’s celebration of The Scarlet Letter at 150 and the 2004 celebration of Hawthorne’s bicentennial slated for Salem, this conference is our chance to consider anew the cultural force of The House of the Seven Gables, The Blithedale Romance, and A Wonder-Book.
Registration materials and information on housing options, costs, etc. will be forthcoming in a separate mailing. Housing will be available inexpensively at a Smith College dormitory (with some meals available), and at nearby hotels and motels.
Smith College is located in the small city of Northampton, in western Massachusetts. It is served by Bradley International Airport (Hartford-Springfield), forty-five minutes away (both shuttle service and rental cars are available). It is a two-hour drive from Boston, a three-hour drive from New York City; bus service is available from both those cities.
For further information, please contact: Richard Millington, Department of English, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063 firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Citizens, Nations, and Cultures: Transatlantic Perspectives—An Interdisciplinary Conference’
The Maastricht Center for Transatlantic Studies, Maastricht, The Netherlands, 16-19 October 2002
The Atlantic has been a crossing-point for people, ideas, and commodities for centuries. This conference will broadly explore what the ‘transatlantic’ means for the people of Africa, the Americas, and Europe. More specifically the conference will address three interlocking dimensions of the transatlantic experience. Firstly, it will consider the lessons of the dynamics of transatlantic relations. At a time when globalization, which for some has its origins in the history of the transatlantic experience, raises concerns about the impact of westernisation or, more specifically, Americanization on the rest of the world, the conference will ask what a study of the transatlantic can tell us about how people have adapted to cultural exchanges in the past. How have these exchanges impacted on cultures and identities in the transatlantic world? Secondly, the conference will examine the transatlantic experience as a focus of enquiry. Thus, contributions might consider how artists, scholars, and writers have come to explore transatlantic connections in the course of their work. Finally, the conference will ask what we can learn by the comparative experiences on the different sides of the Atlantic. What, for example, can comparative studies tell us about the relative experiences of citizenship, nation, and race?
Located at the Maastricht Center for Transatlantic Studies, Netherlands, the overall aim of the conference is to bring together scholars from across the world to discuss the development of citizens, nations, and cultures through the lens of the transatlantic relationship. The city of Maastricht has been a crossing-point for European cultures through history, and as 2002 marks the anniversary of the Treaty on European Union, signed in the city, and which formally established EU citizenship, it is both an ideal location and an opportune time to consider the changing relations between citizens, nations, and cultures.
The organisers invite contributions from any discipline. The organisers especially welcome contributions from young scholars and postgraduates. All papers must nevertheless have the transatlantic relationship as the underlying theme.
Further information from Neil Wynn or Andrew Thompson, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Glamorgan, Treforest, Rhondda Cynon Taff, CF37 1DL.
Transatlantic Studies Conference
Launch of the Transatlantic Studies Association and the Journal of Transatlantic Studies
West Park Conference Centre, Dundee, 8-11 July 2002
The Atlantic region forms a focus for research which the Journal of Transatlantic Studies will service as a dedicated publication. Lord Robertson, Secretary-General of NATO, has kindly agreed to speak. The aim of the conference, the Association and the journal (Edinburgh UP, forthcoming in 2003) is to stimulate multi- and interdisciplinary research in the field.
The Conference is sponsored by the University of Dundee, Scotland, and the University of Baylor, Texas.
Cost: £195, which includes the cost of two years’ subscription to the Journal and the Association.
Any queries to Professor Alan Dobson, Politics Department, University of Dundee email@example.com +44 (0)1382 344588. Conference Secretary: Carol Benoit-Ngassam firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)1382 344648 [afternoons only]
The New England American Studies Association Conference, 2002 ‘Globalizations: Cultural, Economic, Democratic’
‘”The Tyranny of Facts”: Cultural Institutions and the Authority of Evidence’
Boston, 26-28 April 2002
To be held at the site of the Massachusetts Historical Society, one of the country’s oldest and most respected archives, the 2002 NEASA conference will explore the connections between cultural institutions, evidence, and the process of instituting culture throughout the American experience. The theme of this year’s meeting (the title of which comes from Warren Goldstein’s review of Dutch, the fictionalized biography of Ronald Reagan by Edmund Morris) raises such issues as:
- What ‘counts’ as facts, data, or evidence? How have ‘facts’ been used in American culture to construct mythologies of race, class, gender, or power?
- What is the role of evidence in academic research, and particularly in interdisciplinary approaches such as American Studies? When is it appropriate to interweave fact and fiction? How do we reconcile different elements of scholarship to create a ‘braided narrative’? How has the construction of a ‘usable past’ marked American thought, and American Studies scholarship?
- How (either historically, or now) do ‘gatekeepers’ of facts such as the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Smithsonian Museum, the United States Information Agency, or local historical societies, influence American culture? How have people in the United States and abroad responded to such cultural institutions?
As always, NEASA welcomes participation by public intellectuals and activists without university affiliations — e.g., secondary school teachers, journalists, community organizers, archivists, curators, artists, and independent scholars. To support broader participation in the conference, and to reward excellent papers (the award carries a stipend), NEASA again will offer the Mary [C.] Kelley Prize for the best paper by a graduate student or non-tenure track scholar.
Inquiries for the 2002 NEASA conference should be directed to Lisa MacFarlane, EASA Program Chair, Department of English, Hamilton Smith Hall, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824 email@example.com
New Frontiers in Early American Literature’
University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, 8-10 August 2002
The University of Virginia Library’s Electronic Text Center, with the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, announces its ‘New Frontiers in Early American Literature’ conference which will bring together scholars exploring the Early American literary period in all its facets. Presentations on all authors and all genres are welcome. Interdisciplinary approaches are also encouraged.
This conference is inspired by our work in creating the ‘Electronic Archive of Early American Fiction’, an expansive on-line collection of American novels and short stories written between 1789 and 1875. The texts chosen for the project are drawn from the UVA Library’s world-renowned collection in Early American materials and include works by well-known authors such as James Fenimore Cooper, Edgar Allan Poe, and Charles Brockden Brown, as well as lesser-known writers such as Catharine Maria Sedgwick and Rufus Dawes.
Papers, poster sessions, and panel proposals from all areas of studies in Early American Literature will be considered, though possible topics include Exploring the Frontier, Popular and Domestic Fiction, the Literary Marketplace, Femininity and Masculinity, and Literature and the Civil War.
We also welcome papers related to these proposed sessions:
- Textual Editing
- Creating Digital Archives
- Using Digital Resources for Scholarship, Teaching, or Pleasure Reading
We encourage submissions from various constituencies, including graduate students, academic computing experts, and faculty members. Proposals for digital or multi-media presentations are welcome. If you require A/V equipment for your presentation, please include details in your proposal to facilitate room arrangements.
The conference will take place in the central grounds of the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. Participants and attendees will have the opportunity to attend a private tour of Jefferson’s Monticello and a dinner in the University of Virginia’s Rotunda.
We will be awarding 4 travel stipends of up to $250 to eligible graduate students. Please note on your submission that you would like to be considered for one of these travel grants. Please include your name, telephone number, e-mail address, and your institutional and departmental affiliation.
For more information about the Electronic Text Center’s Early American Fiction project, please visit http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/eaf
One page abstracts are due 15 February 2002. Please e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or send to Jennifer McCarthy, Electronic Text Center, Alderman Library, University of Virginia, PO Box 400148, Charlottesville, VA 22904
New York, Chicago, Los Angeles: Cultures and Representations II
An International Conference to be held at The University of Nottingham, U.K., April 4-5 2003
Following the success of the first ‘New York, Chicago, Los Angeles Cultures and Representations’ Conference (Birmingham UK, Sept. 1999) which saw the participation of over 65 academics from 10 counties, the Three Cities project team is pleased to announce its final international conference, to be held April 4-5, 2003, at the University of Nottingham, UK. We invite papers from scholars working on New York, Chicago or Los Angeles in any period and from any disciplinary orientation.
The project members and many of our associates work on representations of urban space in literature, photography, fine art, visual culture, maps, architecture, popular art, advertising, television and film and many draw on contemporary work in urban and visual theory, cultural studies and cultural geography. We would be pleased to see papers reflecting these emphases. The project has developed the use of multimedia for the study of visual, literary and cultural representations of urban space and we would particularly welcome papers that seek to utilise or address the use of new technologies for the study of city spaces CitySites an electronic book was published in December 2000 and is currently available at www.citysites.org.uk
Although the primary foci of the conference will be the cities of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles we welcome comparative papers that set these cities in a wider national or international context.
Papers should be 25-30 minutes in length. We are open to papers that think creatively about the paper presentation – whether this is through the use of video, computer or visual presentation. We also welcome proposals for whole panels,
short roundtable discussion panels, or presentation and response sessions.
The deadline for proposals is 31 October 2002, and proposers will be informed of their acceptance by 15 December. Proposals should be submitted on paper and disc and should be no more than 300 words in length. The proposal should be accompanied by a covering letter detailing institutional affiliation (where appropriate), contact address and email address. Please sent to Dr Anna Notaro, School of American & Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD (UK). Proposals can also be submitted electronically
Further details of the conference cost and plenary speakers will be posted in early January 2002. Further details on the Three Cities project can be found on the project’s web site at www.3cities.org.uk. Please check this site regularly for updates.
Andrew Pepper, The Contemporary American Crime Novel: Race, Ethnicity, Gender, Class
Edinburgh University Press, 2000. ISBN 0 7486 1340 4 (paper).
U.S. hard-boiled crime fiction is perhaps one of that culture’s most distinctive literary forms and is still, in terms of the critical response to it, an under-explored area. Kathy Reichs’s Deadly Décisions starts off:
Her name was Emily Anne. She was nine years old, with black ringlets, long lashes, and caramel-colored skin. Her ears were pierced with tiny gold loops. Her forehead was pierced by two slugs from a Cobra 9-mm semiautomatic.
When we come across a narrative beginning like this, we immediately know what kind of generic world we enter, and (to an extent) what we can expect as we proceed. In his book, Pepper suggests that such expectations can be belied, as he critically charts something of the variety and ‘elasticity’ of the genre. Basically his argument moves in two related directions. His agenda is multiculturalist, and he is interested in the way that the various types of conflict and difference (see his sub-title) that play themselves out in what is, mainly, recent American crime fiction. He sees in the results, however, no ‘moralistic, preachy…homogeneity’ but ‘a fractured, hot-blooded, transgressive heterogeneity’ where textual inconsistencies act a sign of the ruptures and contradictions of the American social landscape.
Pepper is also interested, though, in the various critical arguments about the conservative or radical nature of the genre: the former aware of the role of the detective or policeman as s/he who reaffirms the dominant social order; the latter arguing (in Woody Haut’s words) for the genre’s destabilizing qualities, its ‘uncertainty, deviancy, moral ambiguity, iconoclasm and a narrative suggesting cultural and psychological fragmentation’. Pepper carefully steers his way between these two positions arguing that the genre is ambiguous and contradictory, most often characterised as neither ‘left’ nor ‘right’, ‘hegemonic’ nor ‘counter-hegemonic’, but possessing a ‘cultural politics [that] have always been deeply ambivalent’. Pepper is aware of the considerable differences, both ideological and aesthetic, that exist between the various novelists in this field. He chooses to focus his own interests, though, on ‘those novelists who deliberately steer their texts into rough, open waters, not ideologically safe harbours, and those detectives whose interventions transgress traditional boundaries, disrupt hierarchies, question traditions and traditional assumptions and provoke contradiction’, thus ‘opening up and exposing tensions at play in society as a whole’.
There is something at times a touch programmatic in Pepper’s focus on cultural diversity here, despite his real awareness that traditional axes of race, gender etc. are often very slippery indeed. He starts off looking at those white male writers that he sees as most revealingly illustrating ‘the uneasy relationship between American crime novels and the “dominant” culture’ (Hammett, Thompson, Behm, Ellroy). He then focuses on the particular issue of whiteness as a marker of cultural worth and the problematization and destabilizations of white identity, as it negotiates a broader social world, in fictions by Ellroy (again), Blauner, Price, and O’Conell. He also examines, in this same chapter, the work of female detective writers (Paretsky, Smith, Wilson, Hendricks) and, to conclude, the work of James Lee Burke, whose politicised vision, and crossings of the boundaries of race and class, are strongly praised.
Two chapters then follow on Black Crime Fiction. The first shows how African American writers, both female (Wesley, Neely, Carter) and male (Phillips, Haywood, Baxt, Phillips), utilise the codes of the genre but mould them to their own purposes. He also looks here at the work of James Sallis, whose fictions, and use, as a white writer, of an African American protagonist, are also praised (‘a daringly original body of work’). The chapter that follows, on ‘Social Protest and Racial Politics, gives extended treatment of Chester Himes – a figure whose importance in the American literary tradition is becoming increasingly recognised – and Walter Mosley. Pepper shows how both authors push at the boundaries of the crime fiction genre, as they look to use it as ‘a vehicle for black social commentary’, to the point that ‘it dissolves in their hands’.
The final chapter, ‘America’s Changing Colour: Towards A Multicultural Crime Fiction’ portrays something of the extreme diversity that marks the contemporary American crime novel, and extends his survey of the genre to include crime fictions written by Jewish Americans (Faye Kellerman, Freidman, Charyn) and by Latino / Hispanic Americans (Abella and Nava). The problem here, and throughout, of shunting disparate ethnic groups into a homogeneous category is clearly recognised, though (see below), not always entirely resolved. There also sections in this chapter crime fictions by and about Native American (Hillerman, laFavor) and by the Korean-American, Chang-Rae Lee.
Pepper’s organisational framework and the argument that runs through his book about ‘the fragmented, provisional nature of identities and the intersecting modalities of race, ethnicity, class gender, and sexuality’ are (despite his best efforts) in some tension with one another throughout this book. The material on reader response – reader, as much as author and critic, ‘reconfiguring the social and cultural landscape of the United States’ – is undeveloped. There is the odd tendency too toward the large-scale claim: that ‘hope for the future’, for instance, Pepper sees in the cross-racial bridges in Sallis’s novels. One might question the way, too, that ambiguity and contradiction are privileged as necessarily positive values. But this is still a useful and timely book. The list of authors given above suggests the range of Pepper’s interests and reading and, in this respect, he offers good guidance for those who wish further to explore the field. Both a survey of the genre, and one that offers a series of interesting, and generally acute, critical analyses of the texts with which it engages, this is a book that anyone interested in American crime fiction will want to read.
Peter Messent, University of Nottingham
Dayton Duncan, Miles from Nowhere: Tales from America’s Contemporary Frontier
Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2000. 320pp. ISBN 0-8032-6627-8. £11.50
What is it about Iowa? Is it by chance that America’s best travel writers (well, two anyway) have come from Iowa? If Dayton Duncan isn’t as funny or well-known as his compatriot Bill Bryson, he has the same eye for detail, penchant for the unusual, and storyteller’s grasp of the many and the varied. Where else would you find the fascinating fact that, on the whole, the elevation of sparsely populated places in the US exceeds their population? A compelling mixture of personal narrative, travelogue and regional history, Miles from Nowhere chronicles the fates of various inhabitants of America’s least inhabited places. Duncan begins with the 1890 census which historians have often used to signal the end of the American frontier, defined as an area that had less than two people per square mile; more than that number indicated a settled area. Today, 132 counties in the 48 contiguous states of the USA are still, by that definition, unsettled, and Duncan set out to examine them all.
His introduction provides his itinerary, motivation, and justification. He argues that America’s ‘contemporary frontier’ is not an ‘abstraction’ but ‘real’, and he drives 30,000 miles to prove it. His itinerary, he readily admits, is ‘the virtual opposite of most modern travelers’ — and all the richer for it. With only his twentieth century prairie schooner (a GMC Suburban) to accompany him, he sought out the least suburban places that the US had to offer. He notes the irony that many of these least inhabited places ‘conform to the popular image of what the old West looked like’ precisely because ‘so many television series and movies, from ‘The Lone Ranger’ to Dances With Wolves, were filmed there’. He doesn’t use the theoretical jargon of simulacra or hyper-reality, but the concepts underlie the surface of what he experiences on his year on the road.
Chapter One, ‘The Big Dry’, focuses on Jordan, Montana. After a catalogue of place names that belie the white settlers’ fears and experiences (‘Dirty Devil River’, ‘Hell’s Half-Acre’, ‘Skeleton Canyon’ and ‘Despair’ are representative examples), Duncan introduces the reader to his first ‘pioneer’ — Margaret Stafford, an 84-year old woman who lives without running water or electricity in a small hut 43 miles from the nearest town, the aforementioned Jordan (population 494). He then moves back in time 100 years to the founding of Jordan and an historical account of the American West, before returning to the present and the contemporary stories that make up his book. He is clear that the inhabitants of these small places do not consider themselves unfortunate, though their lives are hard. They know of the difficulties of unpeopled places — no hospitals, few doctors of any kind, one-room schools that seem unbelievably quaint, given that schools in urban places are overcrowded, violent, and policed. But they also know the benefits — good, individual education (if they can keep the teachers), no discernible crimes, and a sense of hard-won community. In Jordan, there is one of every thing — hair salon, drug store, funeral parlour — and seven churches. It has twice as many professional coyote trappers as lawyers. The narratives of the inhabitants, Duncan suggests, follow a familiar pattern: ‘hopeful arrival, the hard times, the neighbours’ departures, more hard times, the children’s departures’. The people who stay — far outnumbered by those who leave — see themselves as ‘living embodiments of America’s promise’ — both immigrant success stories and settlers of the West. In an era in which both of these narratives have been unpicked by academics, it seems startling to see them claimed so forcefully by the people themselves — yet claimed they are.
Chapter Two, ‘Violence’, examines the role of the ‘right to bear arms’ in the ‘cultural tradition’ of the West and focuses on De Baca County, New Mexico. Duncan gives an historical account of frontier violence, before examining contemporary ‘violent deaths’ — from car accidents, the lethal environment, hunting accident (few contemporary Western gun deaths are the result of murder). Finally, he retraces the convoluted narratives of Billy the Kid, from outlaw to legend to money-maker, for towns with no other discernible reason for existence. Chapter Three, ‘Escape’, begins by examining the religious and mystical reasons for living where few others do and focuses equally on the Mormons (and various polygamous offshoots) and New Age spiritualists. Primarily examining Saguache County, Colorado, this chapter also explores the tensions between wealthy investors selling an escapist fantasy, and local residents who live in such places year round. Duncan here also confronts the frontier’s historical (and contemporary) racism, giving the Seminole Negroes particular space. Since ‘Seminole’ means ‘runaway’, the implicit connection to ‘escape’ is forged — but really this is a narrative of capture. Seminole Negroes were, on the whole, freed or runaway slaves who found themselves servant and ally to the local Indian population. They acted as go-betweens with the local whites, and fought alongside the Indians in the infamous Seminole Wars, which they subsequently lost. Forced to emigrate from Florida to Oklahoma, many of them died along the way; others became Cavalry scouts when moved again to Mexico. That this was not an escape is patently clear. Yet this fits in with the ideas behind the chapter as a whole, which indicate that escape itself is not a general motive for moving to the frontier.
Chapter Four, ‘Boom and Bust’, examines the role of mining in relation to the frontier. Whether it’s gold or oil, what the inhospitable land can provide is a major motive in moving to an area, and various booms (always followed by busts) characterize the fluctuating population of these small towns. Here Duncan introduces his concept of ‘Municipal Darwinism’ and survival of the fittest, noting that in some of these counties, only the county seat now remains. Indeed, sometimes all it takes is advertising: one road, characterized as the ‘loneliest road in America’, saw a huge increase in traffic as contemporary travellers wanted to traverse it. As Duncan sardonically notes, ‘there are roads lonelier than Highway 50 and towns lonelier than Eureka.… But I’m not going to say where they are. It might set off a boomlet nobody could control’. In his wry refusal of the role of travel writer, Duncan injects the occasional humorous moment into his book.
Chapter Five is the shortest chapter of the book, and not surprisingly is called, ‘Below the Irreducible Minimum’. Exploring what happens to a place which shrinks so small that it is in danger of disappearing, this chapter analyses Mentone (inhabitants 17), in Loving County, Texas (the least populated county in the country with 107 people in total). Duncan notes that despite its name, Loving County was ‘the most socially claustrophobic and fractious place’ he had encountered on his journey, and was the one place where he couldn’t find a single cemetery; even the dead leave Loving County.
Chapter Six, ‘Rainbow of the West’, explores the ‘other’ frontier experiences: of women, and of people of colour. Duncan notes that the West was the first area of the US to give women political rights, including the vote, and while the frontier experience was (and is) measurably different for frontier women, it is also a place where individual rights, regardless of gender, are paramount. In contrast to the historical frontier, however, the contemporary frontier is more racially split, with many of the towns he visited containing only people of European extraction. Sadly, though, battles between local whites and Native Americans are as rife as ever, with issues such as poverty, lack of facilities, and lack of education exacerbating problems. Political solutions such as voting Native American officials into local government rarely appeal to the disenfranchised reservation inhabitants.
Chapter Seven, ‘El Despoblado’, takes its name from the desert area of southwest Texas. This is the least cohesive of the chapters, but interesting nonetheless in its exploration of workers (including ministers and UPS drivers) who have to cross vast spaces in a day’s work.
Chapter Eight, ‘Dumping Ground’, is the least optimistic, in its inexorable list of the hazards of living with ‘The Syndrome of Open Spaces’. In such places, one’s relatively weak political power means that the area is disproportionately full of waste dumps and high security prisons. It is subject to water grabs from more populated areas, and, famously, in Nevada, to nuclear testing and other military operations on a massive scale. In addition, the benefits of, say, tourism do not outweigh the drawbacks, and environmentalists who espouse the values of Buffalo Commons or other similar schemes are given short shrift by the locals — and by Duncan, who feels that they do not understand the contemporary experience of the frontier.
The final chapter, ‘Old Frontier, Contemporary Frontier’, explores the competing academic definitions of the frontier, and acknowledges that it is a convenient, if inaccurate, term for the area Duncan explored. It is, moreover, the ‘repository of many national myths’ – which is why, despite its small population, it retains a large space in the contemporary imagination, and in academic textbooks.
This is a fascinating mixture of sociological analysis, personal narrative, and history. The majority of the stories told are stories of white settlers, but Duncan does not neglect the harsher fates of Native and African Americans, though they are tellingly outnumbered by their white counterparts. Despite its occasional sombre note, Miles from Nowhere is an enjoyable book, and it attempts to give voice to the relatively voiceless. It doesn’t shy away from difficult political questions, but it also doesn’t attempt to give any final solutions. Published initially in 1993, this new paperback edition is as fresh as if it had been written yesterday, though one can’t help wondering if, in the last census, more or fewer places became ‘frontier’ country. If, in places, an Americanist may have wished for more cogent analysis, the lay reader will find it a source of many interesting anecdotes, historical facts, and captivating characters.
Heidi Slettedahl Macpherson, University of Central Lancashire
Dr David Anfam is commissioning Editor at Phaidon Press Ltd, London and special Adviser to C & M Arts, New York. His publications on American art include Abstract Expressionism (1990), Franz Kline: Black & White 1950-1961 (1994) and Clyfford Still: Paintings, 1944-1960 (2001). His Mark Rothko: The Works on Canvas (1998) was the result of nine years of research in the US and received the 2000 Mitchell Prize for the History of Art. Currently Dr Anfam’s interests are focused on the art and culture of the Cold War era.
Sophy Anson is studying for a Masters in American Poetry at the University of Essex. She is most interested in the writing of the American South and in particular the work of Faulkner.
Michailidou Artemis is a doctoral candidate at the University of Exeter. Her research interests focus on American Modernism and Contemporary Women’s Writing.
Brian Baker is a lecturer in media at the North East Wales Institute of HE, Wrexham. He completed a PhD in postwar American dystopias in 1998 at the University of Liverpool, after completing an MA in American Studies at UEA. He has published on American science fiction and is currently researching screen masculinities and New Wave science fiction.
Emily Barker is currently undertaking a Masters in American Poetry and Prose at the University of Essex. She intends to proceed to doctoral study. Her subject of interest is American crime and detective novels, particularly Chandler, Hammett, Himes and, more recently, Paul Auster.
Denise Bassy, a doctoral student at Yale, is currently based in London conducting dissertation research on the British colony of Carolina for a project that examines North American-colonist relations with a focus on Native American labour, slavery and captivity. Her teaching and research interests are in Native American Studies, ethnohistorical methods and colonial North and Latin American histories.
Howard Cunnell is a doctoral candidate at the Institute of United States Studies, researching a study of contemporary American fiction writers whose work engages with and abrades dominant cultural ideas and expectations about gender, identity, race and class.
Anthony Emmerson is a Senior Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Ulster. His research interests are in railroads and the West, the New Deal and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Andrew Flint is a PhD student at Anglia Polytechnic University. His doctoral research is on the presidency and post-presidential work of Jimmy Carter. This project will seek to present a new reading of Carter. Drawing extensively upon primary resource material housed in the Carter presidential library and invoking themes and ideas from International Relations and Economics, he will seek to valorise Carter’s conception of the modern presidency.
Heidi Funderburk is a doctoral candidate at the University of Northumbria, undertaking research into African American women playwrights.
Rebecca Griffin is currently studying for a PhD in American History at the University of Warwick. Her research is concerned with the discourses of love and romance that structured the internal world of African American slaves in nineteenth-century North Carolina. To this end, she has been based in North Carolina from September 2001 to December 2001.
Dr Deborah Lovatt recently completed her PhD on ‘Representations of the Sublime in a Selection of American Films, 1968-1992’. Her doctorate was awarded at the Nottingham Trent University in November 2000. She is currently teaching at Staffordshire University. Her particular interests are the Technological Sublime, Consumerism and Commodity Aesthetics. Current research interests: the ‘Cinema of Astonishment’ and the uses of special effects.
S. Putnam is Head of History at St Wilfrid’s CofE High School, Blackburn. She would welcome advice on available resources — free or otherwise — on American History and American Politics (which her school is commencing to teach in 2001).
Dr Alex Seago is Chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Richmond American International University in London. He completed his first degree at the University of Birmingham and an MA in American Studies at the University of Kansas. He is the author of Burning the Box of Beautiful Things (OUP, 1995), a study of the influence of US graphic design on UK graphic designers in the 1950s and 1960s. He was winner of the Stone-Suderman Prize, awarded by MAASA for best American Studies article of 2000 for ‘”Where Hamburgers Sizzle on an Open Grill Night and Day”: Global Pop and Americanization’. His interests focus on music, graphic design and Americanization.
Mark Newman has recently seen through the publication of Getting Right with God: Southern Baptists and Desegregation, 1945-1995 (Tuscaloosa and London: University of Alabama Press, 2001). ISBN 0-8173-1060-6. The book was the winner of the Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize.
David Murray has been awarded a Chair at the University of Nottingham.
Margaret Walsh has been awarded a Chair at the University of Nottingham
American Studies Research at the University of Central Lancashire
Current research projects by the UCLAN team continue to place American Studies in an international context. In addition to directing the ongoing project on Americanization and the Teaching of American Studies (AMATAS), Alan Rice has completed a monograph, Radical Narratives of the Black Atlantic, to be published by Continuum in July 2002. New Perspectives in Transatlantic Studies, edited by Heidi Macpherson and Will Kaufman, will be published by the University Press of America in December. Further transatlantic developments include the key roles played by members of the team in the upcoming Transatlantic Studies conference to be held at Dundee in July. Will and Heidi will be organising a series of panels, and will participate in the launch of the Transatlantic Studies Association and the new Journal of Transatlantic Studies (Edinburgh University Press). Will Kaufman is series editor for the ABC-Clio Transatlantic Relations Encyclopaedia Series, which is to include volumes on the Black Atlantic (ed. Alan Rice), the Iberian Atlantic (ed. Mike Gonzalez), the French Atlantic (ed. Bill Marshall), and the British Atlantic (eds. Kaufman and Macpherson). Alasdair Pettinger, author of Always Elsewhere: Travels of the Black Atlantic, has been appointed Visiting Research Fellow, and the university has recently hosted the Leverhulme Visiting Professor, Gary Cross, from Penn State University. George McKay and Eithne Quinn have each received AHRB Small Research Grants, and Professor McKay is an editor of Social Protest Studies: A Journal of Social, Cultural and Political Protest, to be launched in February 2002 by Taylor and Francis.
Newberry Library Fellowships in the Humanities, 2002-03
The Newberry Library, an independent research library in Chicago, Illinois, invites applications for its 2002-03 Fellowships in the Humanities. Newberry Library fellowships support research in residence at the Library. All proposed research must be appropriate to the collections of the Newberry Library.
Our fellowship program rests on the belief that all projects funded by the Newberry benefit from engagement both with the materials in the Newberry’s collections and with the lively community of researchers that gathers around those collections. Long-term residential fellowships are available to postdoctoral scholars (and Ph.D. candidates in the case of the Spencer and Kade Fellowships) for periods of six to eleven months. Applicants for postdoctoral awards must hold the Ph.D. at the time of application. The stipend for these fellowships is up to $40,000. Short-term residential fellowships are intended for postdoctoral scholars or Ph.D. candidates from outside of the Chicago area who have a specific need for Newberry collections. Scholars whose principal residence or place of employment is within the Chicago area are not eligible. The tenure of short-term fellowships varies from one week to two months. The amount of the award is generally $1200 per month. Applications for long-term fellowships are due January 21, 2002; applications for most short-term fellowships are due February 20, 2002.
For more information or to download application materials, visit our Web site at www.newberry.org If you would like materials sent to you by mail, write to Committee on Awards, 60 West Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610-3380. If you have questions about the fellowships program, contact email@example.com or (312) 255-3666.
Dr Steven Casey informs us that, four years after BAAS provided him with a Marcus Cunliffe Award in 1997, enabling him to visit the FDR Library in Hyde Park in order to start work on his doctoral thesis, he has been able to get two publications out of this research that BAAS helped to fund: Cautious Crusade: Franklin D. Roosevelt, American Public Opinion, and the War against Nazi Germany, 1941-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001)
‘Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ernst “Putzi” Hanfstaengl, and the “S-Project”, June 1942-June 1944’, Journal of Contemporary History (2000). Dr Casey provided an acknowledgement in both pieces, but would like to take this opportunity to thank BAAS for their generous support.
Anthony Marasco informs us that the paper he presented at the BAAS Keele conference will be published in a book on New York edited by Bill Boelhower (Amsterdam UP). In the first note, he tells us, he included the following mention: ‘A working draft of this paper was read at the Annual Meeting of the British Association for American Studies at Keele, Staffordshire, April 7, 2001’.
BAAS Membership of Committees
(including co-opted members and invited observers)
Executive Committee Elected:
Professor Philip Davies (Chair, first elected 1998, term ends 2004)
Dr Nick Selby (Treasurer, first elected 2000, term ends 2003)
Dr Jenel Virden (Secretary, first elected 1998, term ends 2002)
Professor Janet Beer (first elected 2000, term ends 2003)
Professor Susan Castillo (first elected 2001, term ends 2004)
Professor Dick Ellis (first elected 1999, term ends 2002)
Dr Paul Giles (first elected 1999, term ends 2002)
Dr Michael McDonnell (first elected 2000, term ends 2003)
Dr Heidi Macpherson (first elected 2000, term ends 2003)
Dr Simon Newman (first elected 1999, term ends 2002)
Dr Carol Smith (first elected 2001, term ends 2004)
Dr Graham Thompson (first elected 2001, term ends 2004)
Ms Celeste-Marie Bernier (first elected 2000, term ends 2002)*
Professor Richard Gray (Editor, Journal, term ends 2001)
Dr Iain Wallace (Chair, Library & Resouces Subcommittee)
Ms Kathryn Cooper
Development sub committee
Dr Paul Giles (Chair)
Professor Phil Davies
Dr Heidi Macpherson
Dr Simon Newman
Ms Celeste-Marie Bernier (post-grad)
Dr Iain Wallace (ex-officio)
Publications sub committee
Professor Janet Beer (Chair)
Dr Jenel Virden
Professor Susan Castillo
Professor Dick Ellis (Editor, American Studies in Britain)
Dr Graham Thompson (webster)
Professor Richard Gray (Editor of Journal of American Studies)
Professor George McKay (Associate Editor of Paperbacks)
Professor Richard Simmons (Editor of BRRAM)
Ms Kathryn Cooper (co-opted)
Conference sub committee
Dr Michael McDonnell (Chair)
Dr Nick Selby
Dr Carol Smith
Miss Andrea Beighton (Oxford, Conference Secretary 2002)
Professor Alan Ryan (Oxford, Conference Secretary 2002)
Dr Tim Woods (Aberystwyth, Conference Secretary 2003)
Libraries and Resources Subcommittee
Dr Kevin Halliwell
BAAS representative to EAAS
Prof Mick Gidley (term ends 2002)*
[* indicates this person not eligible for re-election to this position. All co-optations must be reviewed annually.]