Friday 22 July 2011

News: 150th Anniversary of the First Battle of Bull Run

The Battle of Bull Run

Yesterday was the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Bull Run - the first "real" battle of the Civil War. In keeping with the coverage that the sesquicentennial has received so far, the internet has provided a number of rich ways to mark the anniversary.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Friday Night Lights

Following yesterday's thoughts on a recent crop of American television landmarks, Christopher Bigsby has second thoughts on Friday Night Lights...

Monday 18 July 2011

News: Explaining America on Screen

Christopher Bigsby provides you with a few American Studies viewing recommendations for wet summer days or cold autumn evenings.

Friday 15 July 2011

Research News: Becky Fraser on Nineteenth Century Gender ideals and their regional adaptation

The Sphere of Women, Godey’s Lady’s Book, March 1850
Becky Fraser charts in this recently published journal article for Slavery and Abolition the ways in which Sarah Hicks Williams, an elite white woman from New York state, adapted to the gender ideals of the South following her marriage to Benjamin F. Williams, a physician and slaveholder from Greene County, North Carolina, in 1853. 

Through the letters she wrote to her parents from the Williams' plantation, Clifton Grove, Sarah communicated her observations on the "peculiarities" of southern life including the manner in which they lived, North Carolina's lack of religious privilege, and of course, the institution of slavery, which in Sarah's opinion, was structured by relations of familiarity and intimacy between master and slave. The complexities of her transition toward the ideal southern plantation mistress were often fraught with difficulties not least because of her new mother-in-law, Avey, who part-owned Clifton Grove, and her sister's husband, James Brown, who was a committed abolitionist. Sarah struggled to make sense of the cultural landscapes of the South and the roles and responsibilities that were expected of her. Yet, by the late 1850s Sarah had successfully transformed herself into the ideal southern woman. Her life had proved complicated during these years as she underwent the adjustments necessary for her but eventually she succeeded in becoming a true southern woman living as wife, mother, and plantation mistress in the southern world. Enjoy!

Tuesday 12 July 2011

News: East St Louis Toodle-oo

Malcolm McLaughlin is just back from his trip to East St. Louis, IL, and brings us a few snaps from his travels around town.

Monday 11 July 2011

News: North and South (Yorkshire)

As the Civil War Sesquicentennial rolls forward, a different perspective. You might not know it but the American Civil War has been raging in the north of England for almost 40 years. Follow the link to see some wonderful photographs, courtesy of The Guardian,.of a recent battle between the Union Army and the Confederate forces of General Lee at Cusworth Hall, South Yorks., all thanks to the UK’s American Civil War Society, founded 1975.

Monday 4 July 2011

Première of The Lost Ones!

On Wednesday July 6th, at the Norwich Forum, a documentary based on the work of AMS's Jacqueline Fear-Segal will receive its European première! Below, you can watch the trailer. And below that, you can see the press release.