Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Research: Website of the Week: Making of America

This week's online research tool is actually a pair of websites: the Making of America project, hosted by both Cornell University Library and the University of Michigan. In short, Making of America is "a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction." Both sites contain different texts, so if you search in one, make sure to search in the other as well. Perhaps the most significant aspect of these sites is the access they provide to a wide range of important nineteenth century journals - to list a few: Appleton's, DeBow's, Harper's New Monthly Magazine, The Century, and Scientific American. As such, it is a phenomenal research tool for all those working in the nineteenth century.

As a Christmas special, here are a few festive stories from the Making of America archives:
If you've found any online research tools that you'd like to share with the world, leave a comment. The American Studies blog will be back in 2008 - Happy New Year to you all.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

News: 2007 in Review

2007 isn't over yet, but you'd be forgiven for thinking so if you've been paying attention to the internet for the past couple of weeks. As has now become customary, in December the online world is dominated by lists attempting to encapsulate the year just gone. Here's a selection of lists examining various aspects of 2007's cultural output.
  • First, books. The New York Times offers both its 10 Best Books of 2007 and its 100 Notable Books; Salon presents its 2007 Book Awards; and Publisher's Weekly lists its Best Books of 2007.
  • When it comes to music, one site has it covered. Largehearted Boy is again engaged in the quixotic task of tracking down every online 2007 music list here.
  • One of the newer cultural weathervanes is the annual search-engine list. Yahoo presents its top ten most-searched-for here; Google has announced the search terms that have been the fastest rising in 2007 (with a definitive list to follow); Lycos offers a variety of most-searched lists here. Alternatively, Entertainment Weekly reveals its most-searched-for here.
  • And finally: two dictionary companies have announced their words of 2007. OUP and the New Oxford American Dictionary have gone for "locavore"; Merriam-Webster, meanwhile, are riding the zeitgeist with "w00t."
Have you come across any compelling year-end lists? Let us know in the comments.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Research: Website of the Week: JStor

This is the first post in an ongoing endeavour to highlight useful research tools and websites of interest to those of us in the American Studies field. If you look in the sidebar to the right, you can see that there are two links already in existence. The first is a link to the British Association for American Studies. The second is a link to one of the only other American Studies blogs in existence, The Atlantic Community, run by graduate students based in Denmark who got in touch through the blog. Both, in their own way, contain much that is of interest.

But we need more, and so the challenge is thrown open to you. Have you come across a website or a research tool that you think others should know about? Let us know in the comments or via e-mail, and we'll feature them in the weeks to come.

To get the ball rolling, this week the spotlight falls on JStor. Perhaps Jstor needs no introduction, since it is arguably the leading online journal website. But if you haven't yet come across it in your research, you're missing a trick. For those working in the field of American Studies, it provides access to an important list of scholarly, peer-reviewed journals, including American Literature and the Journal of American History. What's more, unlike other online journal hosts, what you'll see is an image of the original journal page, so it's a good as seeing a hard copy. If you're on campus, you have full access. If you're off campus, you can access the site with an Athens password. If you don't yet have one, then ask for one at the library.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Research Seminars: Will Kaufman

A reminder that at this week's special end-of-semester research seminar, Will Kaufman from the University of Central Lancashire, author of The Civil War in American Culture (Edinburgh University Press, 2007), will be performing his acclaimed presentation, "Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin', A Musical History."

As ever, all are very welcome, but please note: this is a ticketed event. Tickets are free, but must be presented for entry on the night as numbers are limited. They can be requested from Phyllida Scrivens on 01953 593564, or at p.scrivens@uea.ac.uk.

Please also note the change of date and venue for this event: Thursday, December 13, John Jarrold Room, UEA Sportspark, 4pm.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Letter from America: Emma Colthup

AMS student Emma Colthup spent her year abroad at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. - and here she is with Congressman Tom Petri:

Emma writes:
"While studying at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. I had the opportunity to do an internship in the U.S. House of Representatives. I spent my Thursdays and Fridays for four months interning in the office of Representative Tom Petri from Wisconsin. I and five other interns did the usual intern tasks of answering the phone, replying to constituent mail, archiving letters and other material from the past two decades that the Congressman has been serving the house and giving tours of the U.S. Capitol building. Giving tours of the Capitol building was particularly interesting and amusing at times since I had to apologise a number of times for the British burning down the original building in 1814! My internship was such a great way to really see law making and politics in action. I got to find out a lot about how party politics and elections worked, as I started my internship just four days into the new 2007-2008 Democratic House. In addition, I got to attend one of the Congressman’s fundraisers, and see how the financial side of politics is important. I also got to learn a lot about American culture and the views of Americans through my conversations with constituents back in Wisconsin. It was especially interesting to learn their views on the war in Iraq and terrorism. About half-way through my internship President Bush proposed the troop surge in Iraq and the House put together a non-binding resolution (a statement not a law) declaring their objection. Congressmen Petri was one of only 17 Republicans to vote in favour of the Resolution. The heated response from his constituents and local party were amazing, but the numbers enthusiastically supporting him were quite remarkable too. Towards the end of my internship the Congressman took several of the staff, including me, on a tour of the dome of the Capitol building. You have to have a member of Congress with you to go on these tours so it was a really unique chance to see more of one of the world’s most famous landmarks. Altogether it was an amazing opportunity and made such a difference to my studies of America."

Wednesday, 5 December 2007


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Tuesday, 4 December 2007


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Research Seminars: Andy Rudalevige

At this week's research seminar, Andy Rudalevige (author of The New Imperial Presidency: Renewing Presidential Power After Watergate, currently visiting AMS from Dickinson College) will be delivering a paper entitled: 'The "Practical Advantages and Grave Dangers" of the American Executive: Is There a New Imperial Presidency?'

As ever, all are welcome: Wednesday, December 5, Arts 2.51, 4pm.

Plus: advance notice about next week's research seminar. In an end-of-semester spectacular, Will Kaufman from the University of Central Lancashire will be performing his one-man presentation, 'Woody Guthrie: Hard Times and Hard Travellin'.' Will has attracted praise from the likes of Tom Paxton and Pete Seeger, and this promises to be quite a special show. As such, the event is going to be ticketed. Tickets are free, but must be presented for entry on the night as numbers are limited. They can be requested from Phyllida Scrivens on 01953 593564, or at p.scrivens@uea.ac.uk.

Please note the change of date and venue for this event: Thursday, December 13, John Jarrold Room, UEA Sportspark, 4pm. All welcome.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

News: Annapolis Conference Assessed

This week saw the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis play host to a potentially historic Middle East peace conference, featuring the participation of over 40 countries. Now that is over, the assessments are beginning.
  • The New York Times reprints George Bush's remarks to the conference here...
  • ...and The Times provides the text of the Annapolis agreement here.
  • The New York Times editorial strikes a cautiously optimistic tone: "We are encouraged that President Bush [...] has finally accepted the challenge of peacemaker."
  • But Michael Oren, also writing in the New York Times, judges that "the chances for any progress emerging from Annapolis seem at best remote."
  • And Fred Kaplan, writing for Slate, ponders a missed opportunity for Condoleezza Rice and George Bush here.
  • Finally, CBS asks, "Now What?"
Have you stumbled across any compelling assessments of the Annapolis Conference? If so, let us know about it in the comments. With thanks to AMS student Tong Xiong.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

News: as|peers - Emerging Voices in American Studies

Michelle Glauser from the University of Leipzig has got in touch through the blog to let us know about a new publishing opportunity for graduate students. as|peers has been established as the first (and currently only) American Studies graduate journal in Europe. Here's an extract from their mission statement:
seeks to give emerging scholars a voice: A platform to showcase their work beyond the graduate classroom and a forum for discussion and exchange. We believe that such wider circulation of graduate scholarship has great potential to further energize the field of American Studies. At the same time, offers emerging scholars the unique opportunity to publish and get recognition for their research at an early point in their careers."
They're currently seeking submissions.

Research Seminars: Geoffrey Ward

At this week's Research Seminar, Professor Geoff Ward (Royal Holloway) , author of The Writing Of America: Literature and Cultural Identity from the Puritans to the Present, will be presenting a paper entitled: "Thoreau / Creeley : Words / Things (and failed revolutions)."

Wednesday 28, 4pm, Arts 2.51 - all welcome.

Monday, 26 November 2007

News: The Right To Bear Arms?

The Supreme Court is to consider whether or not the Second Amendment grants individuals the right to keep guns in their home for private use. Handguns have been banned in the District of Columbia since 1976, but now a private resident has challenged that prohibition, leading to the new case next year - which looks likely to make gun control a key election issue. Read more about the story in the Guardian and the New York Times - and refresh your memory about the Second Amendment here.

With thanks to AMS student Kirsty Callaghan.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

News: Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving, so as America sits down to its first helpings of turkey, you can learn more about this uniquely American holiday:
  • So what, and why, is America celebrating? Angie Leventis meets St. Louis school children learning about a more historically accurate Thanksgiving, in the St. Louis Dispatch...
  • ...and the History News Network opens its Thanksgiving archives, here...
  • ...whilst Robert Jensen argues that the holiday should be transformed into a National Day of Atonement "to acknowledge the genocide of indigenous people that is central to the creation of the United States."
  • You can read the President's Thanksgiving Day Proclamation here, courtesy of The Seattle Times...
  • ...find out which of the Presidential candidates Americans would most like to share their Thanksgiving meal with via Fox...
  • ...and experience Thanksgiving in Iraq with Annie Ciezadlo in the New York Times.
  • And finally: Michelle Tsai asks, "Wherefore Turkey?" in Slate
If you fancy partaking yourself, Vista are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner tonight - from 7pm.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Research Seminars: Will Montgomery

At this week's research seminar, Will Montgomery (Royal Holloway), will be speaking about ‘Style and Affect in Susan Howe’s Pierce-Arrow.’ In advance of the seminar, Will suggests that it might be useful to read Howe's ‘Rückenfigur’ - available here.

Wednesday 21 November, Arts 2.51, 4pm - all welcome.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Research Seminars: Celeste-Marie Bernier

At this week's Research Seminar, Celeste-Marie Bernier from the University of Nottingham, author of the forthcoming Twentieth Century African American Visual Arts (Edinburgh University Press, 2008), will be presenting a paper entitled: "‘Struggle is a Beautiful thing’: Narrative Experimentation and Visual Abstraction in Jacob Lawrence’s Migration of the Negro (1941) and Elizabeth Catlett’s The Negro Woman (1946-47)."

Wednesday 14 November, Arts 2.51, 4pm. All welcome.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

News: Norman Mailer Dies

Norman Mailer has died at the age of 84. The New York Times has a lengthy career overview here; the Guardian has an interview with Mailer from February this year, in which he talks about the publication of his last novel, here. Reassessments of his life and work are sure to follow.

Friday, 2 November 2007

News: Capital Punishment Moratorium

The future of capital punishment in America appears to be uncertain. The Supreme Court granted a last minute reprieve to Mississippi prisoner Earl Berry, scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Tuesday. This decision seems to cement a de facto moratorium on all executions until the Supreme Court reviews the legality of lethal injections next year. Read more about this story in the Guardian, the Washington Post, and listen to an NPR radio programme about it, via Slate.

With thanks to AMS student Kirsty Callaghan.

News: Henry James' "little nameless object"

Nineteenth century literary mysteries are (relatively) big news at the moment. Following last week's possible revelations about Poe's brain, Joshua Glenn, writing for Slate, believes he's found a solution to the long standing question surrounding Henry James' The Ambassadors. What is the "little nameless object" manufactured in Woollett, Massachusetts? Here's a clue: it's not a chamber pot.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

News: Halloween - Caption Competition

Your Caption Here

Happy Halloween! To mark the occasion, a series of Halloween themed links - feel free to leave your caption competition entries in the comments section.
  • Reuters has compiled a brief guide to the history and facts of Halloween...
  • ... whilst the Economist highlights the degree to which the occasion is more popular than ever.
  • Joe Queenan, writing in the New York Times, offers up a tribute to Halloween: "Unlike holidays that have been commandeered by patriots or religious sects or people whose descendants came over on the Mayflower or Nascar enthusiasts, Halloween is not jingoistic or preachy or contrived, has no political subtext and is not rooted in greed."
  • And AMS's Sarah Churchwell attempts to explain the rules of Halloween in The Guardian.
  • But it isn't universally popular: the Herald Tribune examines the Catholic Church's opposition to Halloween celebrations in Mexico.
  • There's been much mixing of Halloween and politics this year: the Republican National Committee has asked people to vote for the Scariest Democrat; the Associated Press and Ipsos have asked which presidential candidate would make the scariest Halloween Costume (reported by the Gothamist). Hillary Clinton fares well in neither poll.
  • And finally: find out what to do with the bits left over from your carved pumpkins.
If you're doing anything for Halloween this year, we would love to see some pictures.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Broadview: AMS Spotlight

This month's Broadview features a special focus on developments on new developments AMS. Click on the image above for a larger, readable version of the article.

Research Seminars: Malcolm Mclaughlin

Following last week's public lecture, AMS's Malcolm Mclaughlin, author of Power, Community and Racial Killing in East St. Louis, will be speaking at this week's research seminar. He'll be talking about "The Pied Piper of the Ghetto: Lyndon B. Johnson, Environmental Justice and the Rat Extermination Bill of 1967."

Wednesday 24th October, Room A2.51, 4pm - all welcome.

News: Poe's Brain

The cause of Edgar Allan Poe's death in 1849 has long been one of American literature's most compelling mysteries. Now, author Matthew Pearl thinks that he might have found the answer: a brain tumour. Read the whole story in the Observer.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Norfolk Black History Month: Public Lecture

As part of the events celebrating Norfolk Black History Month, AMS's very own Malcolm Mclaughlin is giving a public lecture tonight: Elizabeth Fry Building, 6pm.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Faculty Newsletter: Year Abroad

The American Studies Year Abroad Programme is featured on the cover of the latest issue of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Newsletter.

Research Seminars: Research Roundtable

This week's research seminar will be held on Wednesday at 4pm in A2.15. It's going to take a different format than normal research seminars: a research roundtable, it will feature PhD and MA students discussing their research with each other and with faculty. All are welcome.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Letter from Canada: Alexia Smith

This week's year abroad memories come from Alexia Smith. Alexia studied at Carleton University in Ottowa, Canada.

"This is a view of Montreal, where we went for Christmas and New Year. The photograph was taken from one of the city's islands, which was home to a famous race track and casino. It was utterly beautiful, and well worth the journey through ice-rain!"
"The next picture was taken at a hockey match we went to - Canadians are obsessed with hockey! This was an Ottawa 67's game, who are in a slightly younger league than the NHL. We had a great time though. It was even better than the NHL game we saw. The whole crowd was really into it. The 67's won, which was good, and it was a great match."

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

News: New York African Burial Ground National Monument Unveiled

Sixteen years after the rediscovery of the New York African Burial Ground, a National Monument commemorating the site was officially opened last Friday. In use for approximately a century from 1690-1790, the cemetery is thought to have been the final resting place of approximately 15,000 Africans and African-Americans. Find out more about the cemetery and the opening ceremony courtesy of the New York Times, the Voice of America, and the New York Public Library.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Letter from America: Tom Urwin

This week's Letter from America comes from Tom Urwin, who studied at San Francisco State University:

"On my year abroad in San Francisco, I took an internship at 826 Valencia, San Francisco's only independent Pirate Supply Store. Originally I did it to get a visa extension (who wouldn't want an opportunity to stay in SF as long as possible?), but it ended up being the focus of my second semester.

As well as the store front, which sells compasses, spare peg legs, hats, eyepatches, glass eyes, lard, and everything else the working pirate needs, 826 Valencia is a non-profit writing workshop for kids aged 8-18, set up by author and publisher Dave Eggers in 2002. They run various free programs in 3 main areas: in-schools programs, where volunteers go into a local school to work on existing projects set up by teachers, everything from checking and helping with college entrance essays to writing Shakespearean sonnets (I have a thank-you note with a picture of me as William Shakespeare from one kid); field trips, where up to 30 kids come into the workshop to create a book in a 2-hour session; and after school homework drop-in, which also serves as a free childminding service for parents who can't get out of work to pick up their kids. The workshop is in the middle of the Mission district, a largely latino/hispanic area, and focuses on working with kids from immigrant families, especially where English isn't a primary language.

As an intern, I worked on all the above projects, as well as doing various tasks related to keeping the whole non-profit organisation ticking over. Mainly this involved photocopying and phoning up regular volunteers to beg, cajole and threaten them into helping out on the projects. Probably the most fun were the field trips. Most mornings, a class of kids would come in to make a book, with the help of a group of volunteers. The kids would usually be aged 8-11, though in the summer we had an unplanned group of about 40 6-year-olds come in, and I got roped into leading the whole trip! The kids sit in rows facing a projector screen, where the story appears in front of them, typed up by a volunteer at a computer. The field trip leader goes through the basics of a story - characters, setting, conflict etc - and the kids build the story
themselves. Another volunteer, usually a local artist, brings the characters to life on a drawing board at the front, and after two or three pages have been completed in the group, the kids are given paper and pencils, and each one has to finish the story by themself.

While this goes on, interns and volunteers take the completed pages and illustrations, photocopy them and collate them together, and when a kid has finished, the book is bound there and then in the workshop. Now, as well as the leader, artist and typist, there's one other person who helps out with the field trips, and that is the terrifying Mr Blue. Mr Blue is a cranky old publisher, who lives in the attic above the workshop, is never seen, and has read everything ever written by anyone, ever. This ensures all the characters are original, and there's no Spongebobs or anything else like that. He periodically shouts down at the kids and generally grumbles about the state of the stories he has to read. At the end of the session, all the finished books get sent up for his approval. Amazingly, he is blown away by the quality of writing, and each book gets his stamp of approval. I spent many happy mornings hiding up the ladder shouting at children.

The photo above (which is on the 826 Valencia homepage) was taken on my first day working there. They put me with Arkangel, who I later learned was one of the big initiation rites for volunteers - he was very easily distracted! All he had to do was sit and read to me a chapter or two of his book, but he managed to find a million little distractions. So, since his book was about pirates, we popped into the pirate store up front, borrowed a couple of hats and an eyepatch and bingo! he's reading and happy.

In my time there I got to meet Dave Eggers, Valentino Achak Deng (the inspiration behind What Is The What) and a whole load of writers, journalists and generally inspirational Bay Area creative minds, a large number of whom were under 18. Other highlights included the summer writing camp, a week-long program for high school students, where I got to know some of the kids really well, and who I hung out with (I'm not ashamed to say) at the Harry Potter final book launch midnight party."

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Literary Festival Videos Now Online

Videos from the archives of the Arthur Miller Centre for American Studies International Literary Festival are being made available on-line. The authors featured in the interviews and readings form a veritable who's who of contemporary writing, and these videos are an invaluable and recommended resource. At present, featured guests from 2006-present are available here; from 2000-2005 here; and from 1991-1999 here.

Research Seminars: Graham Thompson

This semester's research seminar series begins on October 10 (4pm, 2.03): Graham Thompson, author of American Culture in the 1980s, will be speaking about "American Products and Cultural Forms in the Long 1980s." All are welcome.

Postgraduate AMS students should also note that on October 17, the research seminar is being given over to a Research Roundtable, a chance for all of our PhD and MA students to discuss their research with each other and with faculty members. See you all there.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Open Day

The next UEA Open Day is this Saturday, October 6. If you're coming along to find out more information about American Studies, we look forward to meeting you!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

News: What's the Matter With College?

The New York Times has revealed the winners of its student essay competition, all of which are available to read online. Entrants were asked to write in response to Rick Perlstein's essay, "What's the Matter With College?" Could you have done a better job?

Saturday, 29 September 2007

News: Roundup

This week America witnessed the continuation of a number of stories which have achieved notoriety over the past few months - all of which, in some fashion, touch upon explosive areas of racial tension.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Letter from America: Rebecca Hunt

In the first of an ongoing series in which AMS students share some of their Year Abroad experiences, Rebecca Hunt gives us two glimpses of her time at the University of Redlands, California.

"During my time at Redlands, it snowed for the first time in 10 years. Many of my friends had never seen snow before and we all went out in our pyjamas (as it was early in the morning!) and made snow balls."
"This photo was taken whilst driving along the Pacific Coast Highway to Orange County from Santa Barbara. Just after I took it I saw two dolphins swimming in the sea which was pretty amazing!"

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

News: Little Rock, 50 Years On

One of the most dramatic moments in the history of the American Civil Rights Movement took place 50 years ago today, on 25 September 1957, when nine black students desegregated Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas.

For weeks the pro-segregationist governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, had defied the law by ordering the state's National Guard to surround the school and prevent any black students from entering.

Finally the long stand-off was ended when President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock. On 25th September the nine students were escorted under armed guard past jeering white mobs and into the school.

In defiance of powerful southern segregationists the President threw the weight of the federal government behind the legal rights of the black students, thus helping to energize the emerging Civil Rights Movement. Occurring under the glare of national and international media publicity, the Little Rock crisis became an iconic and defining moment in modern American history.

Read more about America’s commemorations in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Monday, 24 September 2007


A warm welcome to all new AMS students; welcome back to those who are returning; bon voyage to our year abroad students. Good luck to all for the forthcoming semester.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

News: Florida Student Questions Kerry, Tasered

Controversy reigns in America about the restraint and tasering of University of Florida student Andrew Meyer. Florida police officers attempted to remove Meyer from a political debate featuring John Kerry; when he resisted, they tasered him. Video of the incident can be seen below:

The full story can be followed in the Gainesville Sun; comment can be found in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Today, University of Florida students have been staging marches and sit-ins in protest. Meyer's plea to police, "Don't tase me, bro," has become a rallying cry.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Conference: 1968: The Year of Living Dangerously

This weekend, AMS is very happy to be hosting its second international conference in two weeks. Following the signal success of Race, Memory and Reclamation, this weekend's 1968: The Year of Living Dangerously American Studies Network conference will be exploring the events of that tumultuous year from a variety of perspectives. A warm welcome to all those attending.

Friday, 7 September 2007

News: The 'N' Word

Another news update to mark the start of Race, Memory and Reclamation today. Following this summer's well publicised Big Brother / Michael Richards / Don Imus 'n' word debacles, black American comedian Eddie Griffin was last night removed from stage for repeatedly using the word - as reported by the Guardian. This is symptomatic of a wider movement in America, spearheaded by the Abolish the N-Word organization.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Conference: Race, Memory and Reclamation

A warm welcome to all of those who are attending this weekend's AMS conference, Race, Memory and Reclamation. A full conference programme, including abstracts of proposals, is available here.

News: Slavery and Memory

In keeping with the theme of this week's AMS conference, a few recent news stories about slavery and memory:
  • Brown University has launched a commission "to consider how best to publicly acknowledge Brown's ties to the transatlantic slave trade and the history of slavery in Rhode Island"
  • Historian J. R. Kerr-Ritchie asks, "Whatever Happened to August First?" - the traditional celebration of the British abolition of colonial slavery
  • London mayor Ken Livingstone apologised for Britain's role in the slave trade at the first Annual Slavery Memorial Day ceremony last week, and called for the event to become UK wide next year

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

News: New Orleans - Two Years On

Two years after Hurricane Katrina devastated large parts of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, the recovery effort continues - slowly.
  • As it did during the disaster itself, the New Orleans Times-Picayune leads the coverage of Katrina commemorations, and provides an archive of its hurricane editions
  • Historian and New Orleanian Douglas Brinkley accuses the government of "Reckless Abandonment" of the city in the Washington Post...
  • ...whilst Tim Shorrock reports on alleged attempts by casino and real estate investors to turn the Mississippi Gulf Coast into a "little Las Vegas" for Salon.
  • The Washington Post accompanies George Bush on his tour of the disaster zones; meanwhile, the New York Times reports on the presidential hopefuls who have descended on New Orleans to call for renewed rebuilding efforts
  • To mark the anniversary, BBC4 is showing Spike Lee's award winning documentary, When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts, in its entirety.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

News: The King

Elvis Presley died 30 years ago today. Celebrations and reassessments of America's - if not the world's - most influential performer are taking place around the world. A few internet highlights:

Wednesday, 11 July 2007


Congratulations to all those graduating tomorrow - enjoy the day, and keep in touch with all your exciting endeavours in the future.
Concrete has a review of the year here.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

News: Independence Day

It's Independence Day, so why not refresh your memory about what America is celebrating? You can examine the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives, read Thomas Jefferson's account of its creation, find out how today's political hopefuls are using the day, and take a look at the the ways in which America is celebrating.

Friday, 29 June 2007

News: Supreme Court Rules On Race In School

Yesterday, Supreme Court judges ruled that race can't be used as a factor to determine where a student can go to school, thereby limiting the ability of schools to promote integration. The move has been interpreted by many as a rolling back of the landmark 1954 Brown vs Board of Education ruling that declared segregation in the education system to be unconstitutional. As the New York Times editorial put it:

The Supreme Court ruled 53 years ago in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated education is inherently unequal, and it ordered the nation's schools to integrate. Yesterday, the court switched sides and told two cities that they cannot take modest steps to bring public school students of different races together. It was a sad day for the court and for the ideal of racial equality.

Slate Magazine examines the internet's reaction to the ruling; The Village Voice highlights Justice Stephen Breyer's dissenting opinion; learn more about Brown vs Board of Education here.

Conference: Race, Memory and Reclamation

This September, the School of American Studies will be hosting Race, Memory and Reclamation, a two-day international conference. Running from the 7th-9th, it will use the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the international slave trade to explore a variety of questions relating to subaltern people within the United States and the ways in which they have sought to reclaim the histories of their ancestors.

The booking deadline is July 31 - a booking form and further information are available here. Alternatively, contact Rebecca Fraser, becky.fraser@uea.ac.uk.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Open Day

The next UEA open day will be held on Friday 6 July. More information is available here and here.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007


Welcome to the American Studies at the University of East Anglia blog - an informal guide to news, events and matters of interest related to the School, its staff and students, and our discipline.

If you have any American Studies information that you would like to share with the wider world, please e-mail us: americanstudies.blog@googlemail.com.

If you would like some further information about the School of American Studies at the University of East Anglia, please visit our official homepage.