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'God was with me in a wonderful manner': the Puritan Origins of the Indian Captivity Narrative
By Andrew Panay

Settler on the Mayflower

The origins of the Indian captivity narrative should be understood in the historical contexts of its production in the New World as a narrative that is at once descriptive of the personal experiences of frontier captives of the seventeenth century, and is symbolic too of the Puritan errand of separation, settlement and eventual conquest of the land.
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Volume 19 2012

Linda Nochlin and DaisyAlice Neel Portraits of Women in 1970's America by Loretta Cremmins. This article examines five portraits by the American artist Alice Neel painted between 1970 and 1980. Role of women in society and revealing inner feelings and insecurities. and what it ws like to live in a particular place and time (NYC in the 70's)

Linda Cardinal SchneiderMythology as Depicted in Being There by Linda Cardinal Schneider. Sociological and mystical mythology as depicted in the novel Being There by Jerzy Kosinski, and the subsequent film adaptation Being There by Hal Ashby, reaches its transcendence in the book The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. This paper weaves the underlying mythologies of a hero's journey and his resulting transcendence into a fable about society while questioning the roles, rules, schemes, and manipulations of the social order.

Volume 18 2011

ASToday 2011Read ASToday Issue 20, 2011 as a PDF file

Rappin' on Racial Dualism, by Ashleigh P. Nugent. This article employs 'Racial Dualism' as a lens through which to explore the racial significance of American rap music from the 1990s onwards. Specific reference is made to the rappers Chuck D, Ice Cube, Yo-Yo and Eminem. These artists candidly discuss race and racism and shed light on the divisions that constitute racial dualism. In drawing attention to racial dualism, these rappers have arguably allowed some 'fusion' to develop. 

Why Teach American Studies in a CIS Country? by Carol Orme-Johnson. Carol is currently a Peace Corps Volunteer assigned to Azerbaijan State Agricultural University, where she taught an American Studies class last fall.
Jonathan LethemWhy all the marsupials? An Interview with Jonathan Lethem Conducted by James Peacock. Jonathan Allen Lethem is a novelist whose work is a genre-bendingh mixture of detective and science fiction. In 2005 Jonathan Allen Lethem received a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called “genius grant.” This interview with James Peacock took place on 25 May 2009 in Brooklyn.
Teaching Motherhood, Madness and Murder: The Challenges of Choosing Modern American Literary Texts, by Dr. Raja Khaleel Al-Khalili, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Hashemite University, Jordan. Many of the classical texts of American literature by women writers present a negative image of women as inferiors in a patriarchal society. This prevents a problem for instructors wishing to choose texts as a liberating experience for both teachers and students.

Jack Kerouac © Tom Palumbo
Jack Kerouac © Tom Palumbo

Autobiographical Fictions: Ethnicity and Identity in Jack Kerouac’s Satori in Paris by Eftychia Mikelli. Eftychia Mikelli holds a PhD from the Department of English Studies at Durham University, where she is currently employed as a postdoctoral teaching assistant. Her article aims to explore the fictional aspects of identity formation in Jack Kerouac’s Satori in Paris, departing from previous autobiographical readings of the novel. Drawing upon Derrida’s deconstructive theories, it will explore the ways in which the narrator’s attempts to establish a coherent ethnic identity are undermined by instability and hybridization.

Vol 17 2010

Arklow House, LondonThe American Civil War ended in England, By Thomas E. Sebrell II. Next year it will be 150 years since the American Civil war started. England played a pivotal but often ignored role in the conflict, and Tom Sebrell explores the part played in particular by the cities of London and Liverpool, and outlines his plans to make the commemoration a focus for tourism

Presidetnt Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama and the Contemporary Politics of Race in the United States. Lorraine Evans Orr writes about the impact of the election of America’s first African-American President on people’s perceptions of racial identity.

America’s Midlife Crisis by Gary R. Weaver and Adam Mendelson. The article focuses on the idea of "America's Midlife Crisis," and traces America's cultural development and the ruptures which have occurred over the last decade. The authors draw on history, sociology, political science, and other disciplines to examine this development. They also discuss the places of the Bush and Obama presidencies in this narrative, and how their presidencies reflect American cultural values and development. Finally, they look at the directions in which American culture and cultural values may move in the future.

Public Memorials in American Life by Mona Doreen Greenberg and Robert P. Watson

The Gettysburg MemorialWhat does America’s passion for public memorials tell us about the nation and its people, and what meaning and purpose do memorials have in American life? These and other questions have no simple answer, as there has been insufficient scholarly research into the nature and significance of public memorials. To help answer these questions, this study attempts to identify important physical, political, social, and cultural elements that appear to be common to memorials and to develop a conceptual model of the purpose and meaning of public memorials.

Read American Studies Today 19, 2010 as a PDF file Read American Studies Today vol 19, September 2010 as a PDF file

Why Obama can’t close Guantánamo. One of President Obama's promises at his inauguration was to close the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay. Two years later, it remains open. Professor Dick Ellis explains why.

The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seve Gables in the SnowNazmi Al-Shalabi of the The Hashemite University in Jordan has written two articles about Nathaniel Hawthornes famous novel.

Nathaniel Hawthorne as an Artist: The Use of Color in The House of the Seven Gables. He argues that Nathaniel Hawthorne is fascinated with colors, that color plays a great role in The House of the Seven Gables, and that he uses colors in a number of ways indicative of his skill and creativity.

Landscape in Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables He also argues that The House of the Seven Gables is a representation of the interactive relationship between humans and landscape, which has a temporal dimension  innovatively used by Hawthorne to emphasize its conceptual and cultural significance

Beyond American Borders: The Middle East and the Enigma of Anti-American Sentiments in the Aftermath of 9/11 Marwan M. Obeidat provides a critical and descriptive approach to this fundamentally complex set of Arab and Islamic antipathetic and adverse sentiments against America as it sheds light on its effects on American culture and citizens, eventually to "seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect," to use the words of President Obama.

Howard K Smith interviews Richard Nixon for ABC news, 1971Kicking Nixon: Howard K. Smith and the Commentator’s Imperative. Howard K. Smith was an influential American journalist,. He reported the rise of Nazism and the Second World War, and return,d to America to pioneer a new style of investigative journalism and comment. Jim Kates presents a vivid account of his life and times.

 


Vol 16 2009

Elliott Bristow lectureElliott Bristow brings Road Dreams to Liverpool. Elliott Bristow was this year's guest lecturer at the American Studies Resource Centre. Centre Director Bella Adams has written this report of a fascinating talk in which he spoke of his 500,000 mile (800,000 km) road trip around America, and showed excerpts from the Super 8 film diary which he made of his travels.

More than Sports: how Hubert H. Humphrey and the United Auto Workers Union helped to achieve the Desegregation of Bowling in America 1946-1950. In the year in which Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States, it is hard to believe that, less than 60 years ago, women and black people were not allowed to take part in professional bowling in the United States. Malina Iida and John Walter detail the long struggle of civil rights organisations, with the help of future Vice-President Hubert Humphrey and The United Auto Workers Union, to overcome the intransigent bigotry of the American Bowling Congress and end racial and sexual discrimination in the sport.

American Studies at the Hashemite University in Jordan: an Unfulfilled Dream. Professor Nazmi Al-Shalabi discusses the challenge and opportunities of teaching American Literature and Culture in a Jordanian University.

On Misconceptions and other Misdemeanors. The case for abolishing the term anti-Americanism. Is Anti-Americanism a valid definition of a point of view, or is it merely a gatekeeper, seeking to suppress criticism by excluding certain opinions from the ‘responsible’ debate? By examining the definitions attempted by a range of scholars and polemicists, Tabe Bergman seeks to find an answer.

Helen TamburroRoad Dreams Revisited 2007: From New York City to Los Angeles by campervan. In the late summer of 2007, Helen Tamburro travelled across America with 12 strangers in a campervan, and this is her graphic account of her experiences.

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Vol 15 2008

Road Dreams - a Super 8 American film diary 1968-1982: Between 1968 and 1982 Elliott Bristow kept a Super 8 film diary documenting his 500,000 mile (800,000 km) road trip around America, which he subsequently made into a series of TV documentaries. Here he gives an account of his travels and the making of the diary.

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Vol 14 2007

Rhetoric and the Spanish-American War. Michelle Munton examines the role of rhetoric, both by the press and by government, in gaining public support for the Spanish – American War. She examines the belief in America’s “manifest duty” to bring civilisation to the uncivilised world, and draws comparisons with the rhetoric used by the Bush administration to justify the invasion of Iraq.

Loreto goes to Washington: an account of a 6th form trip to the American capital
By Beth English, 6th form student, Loreto College Manchester

Captain America: The United States versus Itself, Through the Eyes of a Wartime Fictional Hero. Christian Dailly shows how the changing incarnations of the comic-book hero from his beginnings as the all-American hero in the struggle against Nazism in 1941 to the troubled and reflective warrior in the post 9/11 era, have reflected America’s changing views of their own society and its place in their world.

Indian Gambling on Reservations - Seventeen years later. C.L.Henson reviews the effects of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.

The Barringer Fellowship, Summer 2006 Kathryn Cooper of Loreto College Manchester is the first recipient of the BAAS Barringer Teacher Fellowship. She has written this account of her study trip to Virginia.


Muhammad Ali: Exemplar to the World by John Walter and Malinda Iida. Muhammed Ali was more than an outstanding athlete: he was a catalyst for social change, a model for positive imitation, an inspiration to generations of people of all races worldwide. John Walter and Malinda Iida esplore his influence through the voices of a wide range of commentators,and conclude that he positively influenced individuals and communities around the world, more than any other person in recent history.

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Will Kaufman sings Woody Guthrie'Hard Times and Hard Travellin' : Celebrating 20 years of the American Studies Resource Centre. A report by Shonagh Wilkie

 



‘Is that you John Wayne? Is this me?’ Myth and meaning in American representations of the Vietnam War, by Simon Newman. John Wayne’s portrayal of Sergeant John Stryker in the Sands of Iwo Jima becam the defining image of the American hero in films of the Second World War. However, attempts by Hollywood to create a similar myth at the time of the Vietnam war foundered because the war experienced by young Americans in Vietnam differed so starkly from the ‘Good War’ of their fathers. Simon Newman explores the way in which the war was portrayed in films from the Green berets to the Rambo series reflected changing public perception of the war and American foreign policy.

An Appeal to Fear Ain’t Nothin’ New: George W. Bush’s Middle East War Rhetoric and Territoriality in American Propaganda Films of World War II By Ralph R. Donald. Ralph Donald examines the similarities between the rhetoric found in war films of the World War II era and the rhetoric used by President Bush in America’s wars against terrorism in Afghanistan and against Saddam Hussein and in Iraq.

Painting It Black? An optimistic and lighthearted look at how the Sixties democratised almost everything by Ed Weeden

Before Katrina - a personal memoir of New Orleans' Mardi Gras festival by Jeanne-Marie Kenny. Jeanne-Marie lived in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina struck, and these are her personal impressions of the Mardi Gras festivities.

America’s “Great Satan” Then And Now In Action and War Films: Subtle Shifts, changing Stereotypes. By Ralph Donald The image of the Great Satan, the archetypal monster who exemplifies the current enemy, has always been a powerful stereotype in Hollywood movies. In this fascinating article, Ralph Donald considers how the model for the beast constantly changes to reflect America’s changing foreign policy objectives over the years.

The Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. The coincidence of the Civil Rights movement with the Vietnamese war helped to radicalise African American servicemen both in Vietnam and on their return. In this article, Brendan Gallagher considers how the two events are inextricably bound up.

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Relations between Hispanic and African Americans in the U.S. today seen through the prism of the "Memin Pinguin" Controversy According to the 2000 Census, Hispanics have now exceeded African-Americans as the largest ethnic minority group in the United States. The recent Memin Pinguin controversy, in which the Mexican post office issued stamps featuring a racial caricature of an Afro-Mexican, highlighted the fact that the Hispanic community is itself racially diverse, and that Afro-Mexicans have been an invisible and underprivileged community. In this lecture, delivered at the Liverpool John Moores University in March this year, Dr. Ezekiel Mobley argues that African Americans should become aware of their Latin cousins, and that the controversy also has lessons which Britain could learn.

Vol 12 2005

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From Winstanley to Washington D.C. and New York by Samantha Jones, a student of Winstanley College, Wigan The politics and law students at Winstanley College, Wigan made a visit to Washington D.C. and New York in February 2005. Student Samantha Jones has written a lively account
Cultural Transformations: Urban Place, Architecture and Rock and Roll Music by Dr Rob MacDonald. This paper is about the cultural flux between America and Liverpool,as represented in urban place, architecture and early rock music. The idea came from ‘’John Lennon’s Juke Box’’ a collection of 40 (45rpm) featured on Chris Walker and Melvin Bragg’s South Bank Show 2003, based on an idea by John Winter.
New Wine in New Skins — Surviving the 1960s By Ed Weeden. For many people, the 1960’s were a golden age of student activism, flower power and rock and roll. What was it really like to grow up in those heady days, and how different is it from the life of today’s students? In this evocative article, Ed Weeden looks back at his own student days in America.

Pam Wonsek Obituary Pam Wonsek 1950-2005 Ian Ralston has written this tribute to a great librarian, educator and friend of the Centre, who died in 2005.

 

Harold Wilson, Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War, 1964-68 by Jonathan Coleman, Prifysgol Cymru, Aberystwyth Britain has long claimed a special relationship with the United States in terms of foreign policy, but this has not always meant giving unquestioning support to American military involvement overseas. Jonathan Coleman explores the strained relationship between Harold Wilson and Lyndon Johnson which resulted from the Labour Government’s refusal to send troops to support the Americans in Vietnam.
Dennis Lee Rogers returns with his Spirit Dancer Tour: a report by David and Valerie Forster. The celebrated Navajo artist and educator Dennis Lee Rogers paid a welcome return visit to Merseyside last year, and this is an account of a memorable performance he gave at the Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl.

Simon goes to Washington. Over the February 2004 half-term break a group of fourteen A Level Politics students and two staff from Cheadle Hulme School in Manchester spent five days visiting Washington DC. The following personal account was written by Upper 6th former Simon Holt. 

Women and War 1941-1975.  Women have often throughout history played a subordinate role in society, but war has been instrumental in giving them a far more prominent status, both as substitute for men’s labour, and, more recently, in combatant roles. However, this change has rarely survives the end of conflict. Talya Schneider considers the effect of wars from the Second World War to the Vietnam War on the status of women. She concludes that their emancipation has been far more permanent in Vietnam than it has been in the United States.

Vol 11 2004

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Eleanor Roosevelt in Liverpool. A dramatic personal account of an fascinating episode in Anglo-American relations

Towards an Alternative American Dream. Dr Rob MacDonald of the Centre for Architecture, Liverpool School of Art & Design, Liverpool John Moores University, has written this extensive review article on two recent and contrasting books on American Architecture. 

Letter From New York: Discovering America in Queens by Lenny Quart. In this evocative article, Lenny shows how the borough of Queens has changed over the last 40 years to become a microcosm of the ethnic diversity of the United States 

Letter From New York: The Weathermen revisited Our regular correspondent from New York, Lenny Quart, is prompted by the release of a new documentary film on the Weathermen to look back to the heady days of student radicalism in New York

Vol 10 2003

C. L. Henson - photo by Linda RileyGaming in Indian Country. C.L.Henson is a former Director of the Special Education Unit of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and a member of the Cherokee nation. In this article he argues that the rapid growth of gaming on Native American reservation has not always been as beneficial as its proponents had hoped.

Fictional Presidents as Antagonists in American Motion Pictures: The New Antihero for the Post-Watergate Era by Ralph R. Donald, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville USA. The portrayal of fictional presidents in American film has changed dramatically over the last half century from respectful, even adulatory portraits in the era of F.D. Roosevelt, to the oily or philandering politician in films like The Pelican Brief and Wag the Dog. Ralph R. Donald shows how the rot set in with Richard Nixon and Watergate, and how presidential office is now fair game for criticism, satire and earthy humour.

Crisis in Iraq 
a special page of comment and links on the current crisis in Iraq

Disney’s Dream Town: Disney theme parks have always offered a sanitised version of the American experience. In Celebration, this vision has now expanded to cover town planning, and, some argue, social engineering. In this slightly sardonic article, Joe Moran explores the reality behind the façade of Main Street come to life

Vietnam: a watershed in war writing: The experience of Vietnam changed forever the nature of writing about war in American culture. Literature on the two World Wars tapped into a sense of cultural identity, masculinity and individual heroism to describe the American response as heroic and victorious and promote an idea of a ‘good war’ in which national interests are ultimately restored. By contrast, the Vietnam War was fought against a background of a culturally fragmented society. By examining the work of writers such as Norman Mailer, Tim O’Brien and Michael Herr, and the photographs of Tim Page, it explores the way in which war was portrayed in a far more realistic, if often ugly light. This article is adapted from the winning entry in this year’s essay competition, Richard Hills, a final year student at Liverpool John Moores University.

Vol 9 2002

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: changing conceptions of the American Dream. Traditionally, Americans have sought to realise the American dream of success, fame and wealth through thrift and hard work. However, the industrialisation of the 19th and 20th centuries began to erode the dream, replacing it with a philosophy of "get rich quick". A variety of seductive but elusive strategies have evolved, and today the three leading ways to instant wealth are large-prize television game shows, big-jackpot state lotteries and compensation lawsuits. In this article,  Matthew Warshauer  Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, examines why so many Americans are persuaded to seek these easy ways to their dream.

Americans: Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC. An exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London which celebrates Americans and American history through portraits from the painting and photographic collections of their sister institution, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

New York Close Up: Views of the City. Colin Harrison spent a month inTrump Tower New York City on a Fulbright program for teachers of American Literature at the New School University in the summer of 2000. What follows are some reflections on architecture and everyday perception in the metropolis. This article was written before the World Trade Center was destroyed on 11th September 2001.

Self Portrait RedAndy Warhol: His Life & Art
Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery

29 March - 14 July 2002
A major retrospective of Andy Warhol's career spanning four decades, organised by the United States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in partnership with The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, comes to Nottingham in March.
Posted 06 March, 2002

Vol 8 2001

September 11th 2001. We at American Studies Today Online have been deeply shocked by the tragic events on New York and Washington on 11th September. We have a number of contributions on the issue. Two of our correspondents who live in New York have sent us accounts of their experiences and reflections on the events. Lenny Quart has sent us two articles: Apocalypse and Apocalypse New York Revisited, and we have an eyewitness account from a paramedic who was on the scene when the second plane hit the tower of the World Trade Center. You may also read Reflections on the events of 11th September, the record of a symposium by academics from the Liverpool John Moores University which considered the implications of the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York

We Shall Overcome Martin Luther King is remembered today for his Martin Luther Kingchampioning of the cause of non-violent direct action as a means of advancing the struggle for Civil Rights, but his views were not shared by all in the movement. This article attempts to set King's views into the context of the struggle, analyses his philosphy and considers what his lasting legacy to Civil Rights has been.The paper was first presented at the ASRC Annual Schools Conference Oct 31st 2001 by Peter Ling, Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Nottingham and the author of a forthcoming biography of Martin Luther King

On the Waterfront One of the most significant films in American cinema history Elioa Kazan's On the Waterfront was not only a commentary on its times, but reflected the director's own crise de conscience as he turned against his former colleagues and testified to the House UnAmerican Activities hearings. This article originally appeared in History Today, and has been adapted by the author.

American Classic Films A one-day conference at the London University Institute of United States Studies on Tuesday 22nd May 2001, reviewed four landmarks of American Cinema: Raging Bull; Chinatown; Dr Strangelove; On the Waterfront. Yannis Tzioumakis, Lecturer, Screen Studies Route Leader School of Media, Critical and Creative Arts at Liverpool John Moores University has written this comprehensive report on the proceedings.

Ezekiel and Saffina go to Washington The centre helped to organse a visit by two young people to Washington as part of the State Department's Youth Exchange programme. Here is a brief diary of their visit.

From L8 to LA: 'Place and Non-Place' and the Urban Experience. A report on the Jim O'Donahue Travelling Scholarships 2000-2001: architectural visits to Hamburg, Boston and Los Angeles. Dr Robert MacDonald, Reader in Architecture, Centre for Architecture, School of Art and Design, Liverpool John Moores University.

Letter from New York by Lenny Quart. Lenny Quart is Professor of Cinema Studies at COSI and the CUNY Grad. Center, and is a frequent contributor to the Berkshire Eagle. This is the first of what we hope will become a regular series in which he reflects on life in New York as reflected in its news and literature.

Grants for teachers from ARNet. We are intending to develop a bank of teaching resources covering American aspects of a wide range of subjects, such as literature, history, politics, geography and environmental studies. Find out how you can contribute to our resource bank.

Vol 7 2000

BAAS Paperbacks A list of all the latest paperbacks from BAAS, with on-line ordering facilities

Writing about fighting: contesting the assumption that "boxing is only like boxing" through an analysis of selected writings on Muhammad Ali. In this stimulating article,  Claire Horrocks of Edge Hill University College; examines the contribution that Ali has made to both sport and civil rights in the USA.

Muhammad Ali: The Quintessential American. John Walter argues that, In many ways Muhammad Ali is the "Quintessential American.." In his stand   for religious and racial freedom, for his humility, generosity, braggadocio, deep and abiding physical and mental courage, though always larger than  life – Ali exhibited many typical and deep-rooted American traits. He struck a number of positively resonant notes in the American psyche, that make him now a revered person. His life also reflects and contributed to the changing attitude of Americans to Black athletes from the sixties to the present day.

This War is Not Our War! An Analysis and Critique of Forms of Resistance amongst the American GIs during the Vietnam War By Andy Walpole - Liverpool John Moores University (82K) The Vietnam War was a watershed in American history, exposing and increasing cracks in the social structure. The draft discriminated against the poor, the less educated and ethnic minorities. In this article, Andy Walpole demonstrates and how resistance to the war took a variety of forms, from drug abuse to fragging (the assassination of unpopular officers), as well as to more organised and politicised anti-war activity. He also shows how serving in the war helped to increase the political awareness of African-American GI's and helped to inform the Civil Rights movement.

Salzburg Seminarians ponder the impact of Information Technology on the Future of Education: a conference report. The baroque splendour of Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg was the venue for a seminar on Information Technology and the Future of Education in October last year. It was organised by the American Studies Centre at the Salzburg Seminar. The higlights are summarised in this report by David Forster.
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How did Participation in America's Wars affect Black Americans? The treatment of Black soldiers in the American forces reflected the discrimination they suffered at home, but their experience led to increased political awareness and helped the development of the Civil Rights movement. This theme is explored by this year’s essay competition winner, Jill Woodland, a final year student at Liverpool John Moores University.
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Junk-shops, Jesus and Dead: Deer Dispatches from McCormick, South Carolina's lakeside frontier.In this beautifully observed, often lyrical article, Stephen Kenny presents a very personal observation of small town life in South Carolina.
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Slavery - A paper delivered by Professor James Horton of George Washington University, Washington DC and The Smithsonian Institution at Liverpool John Moores University, on Thursday 23 March 2000. Reviewed By Clare Horrocks, Edge Hill College
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Early Lebanese Immigrant Women to the USA - by Professor Najwa S. Nasr ,Professor of English Linguistics, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, The Lebanese University. This article looks at the early Lebanese immigrant woman into the USA on the turn of the twentieth century and traces her contributions in all the phases of life. It begins with a brief overview of the status of the woman in the homeland, and looks at the percentages of immigrant women, life in the New Land, the peddlers, marriage and the scarcity of brides, the changing social role of women, and finally women in the press
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Gentrifying the Lower East Side - by Lenny Quart. Does gentrification of a run-down inner-city area neccessarily result in the dispossession of the existing population, or can it work to their advantage? Lenny Quart's analysis of the Lower East Side of New York City holds lessons for city planners everywhere.
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Vol 6 1999

America's Atomic Monopoly- by David Clensy.  In a new venture this year, the American Studies Centre organised an essay competition for American Studies students at the John Moores University in conjunction with the American Studies Section of the JMU. The first prize winner was David Clensy, with this essay in which he examine the four years following the devastating atomic strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when the United States enjoyed an atomic monopoly. He looks at how the two Superpowers found themselves in the arms race of the Cold War and asks why even America's atomic monopoly could not 'make Russia more manageable' (28k)

The Image of the Pig in Southern Culture - by Stephen C. Kenny - The Hog Series paintings by South Carolina artist Tarleton Blackwell are seen as a paradigm of the importance of the hog as both a practical utility and a cultural icon in Southern culture in this amusing and erudite inaugural Thanksgiving Lecture.Now updated with four pictures from the Hog Series (253 k) 

Problems and Progress: the challenge of teaching A level American history - by Kathryn Cooper of Loreto VI Form College, Manchester - A generation of students who have grown up with American culture in the shops, on TV and on the sports field find American history an increasingly popular option. Teaching it can be fun and rewarding, but there is often a lack of expertise and resources. However, a growing range of publications, access to the Internet, and a sense of community among teachers of American History are among the encouraging signs the author notes. (10k)

How well is American Studies doing in Britain today? Courses with an American content are quite healthy at present, although a minority interest in many schools. Including an American angle does not seem to make much difference to either the stability or the autonomy of courses. These are some of the conclusions we drew from analysing a questionnaire sent out to our subscribers in Autumn 1998. (107k)

American Theme Parks and the Landscapes of Mass Culture - by Steve Mills - Disney World in Florida has become the yardstick by which theme parks throughout the world are judged, but its influence spreads far beyond the design of tourist attractions, and even impacts on the design of shopping malls and residential districts. However, with their emphasis on creating a tidy, idealised and self-contained world, do they run the danger of excluding the poor and the disadvantaged from a growing range of public facilities? In this wide-ranging article, Steve Mills investigates the pervasive influence of the Disney concept and philosophy. (44k)

Vol 5 1998

 

American Studies in the Czech Republic - Stepanka Korytova-Magstadt and Jitka Ramadanova are lecturers in English and American Studies at the Zapadoceska University in Plzen, Czech Republic. Here they write about the successes and challenges of the American Studies program they run.

The Native American Peoples of The United States - Christopher Brookeman is a lecturer in American Studies at the University of Westminster, and has published widely on a variety of aspects of American culture and society. In this article he looks at the way in which native American culture and values have been misunderstood and misinterpreted by mainstream American society. He examines the conflict between their traditional values and pervasive commericalism, and the debates over assimilation versus cultural identity.

The Dancing Ground - Dennis Lee Rogers is a Navajo artist and educator who recently completed a visit to northern England. Here, David and Valerie Forster describe a day course in Navajo culture which Dennis conducted at a local adult education college.

Deferred Dreams : The Voice of African American Women's Poetry since the 1970s - African-American women writers are now regarded as among the best of modern American poets. Their poetry is as very often celebratory of a life that, despite its hardships and injustice, was often happy. In this article, DR. MANOHAR SAMUEL of St Augustine’s University, quotes from writers like Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni in support of his thesis that their poetry not only expresses criticism of discrimination and injustice but also expresses a culture to celebrate.

American Centre Opens with Presidential Approval - Our new resource centre in the John Moores University was opened by Philip Lader, US Ambassador to Britain, in May this year. Read this illustrated account of this milestone in the Centre's history

American English Vs British English: Or whose language is it anyway? - Linda Berube, currently a Fulbright scholar in Norwich, addresses the question of who is responsible for the world-wide dominance of the English language: the Americans or the British.

James Fowler Cooper Exhibition - Observations of Life, Labor and Landscape in the South Carolina Low-Country - As one of a number of events marking the official opening of the American Studies Resource Centre at Liverpool John Moores University, an exhibition of James Fowler Cooper’s prints was held at the Aldham Robarts Learning Resource Centre during March of 1998. Stephen C Kenny, of the Liverpool John Moores University writes about the background.

Text and Context by Judie Newman and Douglas Tallack - American Studies in an ideal medium for creating an understanding of the relationship between text and context in literature, helping to produce the kind of lateral thinking which is highly sought after in today’s job market. The relationship goes beyond merely understanding the historical context in which a book is set, and involves a close reading of both historical fact and literary convention. However, it is unlikely that there will be an American Studies A level in the foreseeable future, so Judy Newman and Douglas Tallack use the example of "The Great Gatsby" to show how this can be achieved within the context of the English Literature A level.

The Salzburg Seminar in American Studies - Celebrating 50 Years in 1997. Marty Gecek, Associate Director of the American Studies Center of the Salzburg Seminar, writes about fifty years of American Studies programs in the heart of Europe. How It All Began - Salzburg, Austria, 1947.

County Government - what is it? One of the most frequently asked questions in the USA is what is county government and how does it differ from state or city government? In this article, Roy Wilson, a County Supervisor in Riverside County, California,explains all.

The Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library Jean Kemble (Bibliographical Editor) writes about the facilities available.

Using the World Wide Web for Research in American Studies Pamela Wonsek, a librarian at Hunter College, City University of New York, sets out some useful strategies for searching the Web and evaluating materials. She also includes a selection of useful Web addresses to get you started.

Vol 3 1996

Hispanic-Americans: an under-represented group in American politics Hispanics are one of the fastest growing groups in the United States, and yet they are under-represented in American political institutions. Here, Maria-Cristina Garcia, of the Department of History of the Texas A&M University, explains why.

The Changing Status of the Black Athlete in 20th Century America - From Jesse Owens to Magic Johnson, Black Athletes have always been in the news, but their path to fame and fortune has never been easy. Only today are they beginning to gain their rightful place in sport's Hall of Fame. Despite this, problems still remain. In this article, John C. Walter, Ph.D. Professor of American Ethnic Studies and Director of the Blacks in Sports Project at the University of Washington in Seattle explains why.

Local Government the Palm Desert Way - Mayor Buford Crites shows how it runs in his part of California

Mike Woolf on the opportunies for study abroad through the Council on International Educational Exchange

Vol 2 1995

Niall Palmer on the Presidency in crisis - The problems of the Clinton Administration and the defeat of the Democrats in this year's Congressional elections cannot all be attributed to defects in Bill Clinton's personality or style of government, but signify a major change in the relationship between the Presidency, Congress and the people.

From War to Self-Determination: A history of the Bureau of Indian Affairs The relationship between the US Government and Native Americans has never been an easy one. C.L.Henson traces its development from attempts to obtain tribal neutrality during the Revolutionary War in 1775, through the assimilation policy of the late 1800's to the modern policy of Self-Determination.

Anne Eyre on the rise of cults Since the Waco siege, interest in religious cults has revived both in Britain and America. This article explores the growth and appeal of cults in America and raises questions about the appropriateness of public perceptions.

Thematic list

Architecture

Towards an Alternative American Dream. Dr Rob MacDonald of the Centre for Architecture, Liverpool School of Art & Design, Liverpool John Moores University, has written this extensive review article on two recent and contrasting books on American Architecture. 

From L8 to LA: 'Place and Non-Place' and the Urban Experience. A report on the Jim O'Donahue Travelling Scholarships 2000-2001: architectural visits to Hamburg, Boston and Los Angeles. Dr Robert MacDonald, Reader in Architecture, Centre for Architecture, School of Art and Design, Liverpool John Moores University.

Art

Americans: Portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC. An exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London which celebrates Americans and American history through portraits from the painting and photographic collections of their sister institution, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

Andy Warhol: His Life & Art
Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery

29 March - 14 July 2002
A major retrospective of Andy Warhol's career spanning four decades, organised by the United States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in partnership with The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, comes to Nottingham in March.
Posted 06 March, 2002

James Fowler Cooper Exhibition - Observations of Life, Labor and Landscape in the South Carolina Low-Country - As one of a number of events marking the official opening of the American Studies Resource Centre at Liverpool John Moores University, an exhibition of James Fowler Cooper’s prints was held at the Aldham Robarts Learning Resource Centre during March of 1998. Stephen C Kenny, of the Liverpool John Moores University writes about the background.

Civil Rights

The Vietnam War and the Civil Rights movement. The coincidence of the Civil Rights movement with the Vietnamese war helped to radicalise African American servicemen both in Vietnam and on their return. In this article, Brendan Gallagher considers how the two events are inextricably bound up.

We Shall Overcome Martin Luther King is remembered today for his championing of the cause of non-violent direct action as a means of advancing the struggle for Civil Rights, but his views were not shared by all in the movement. This article attempts to set King's views into the context of the struggle, analyses his philosphy and considers what his lasting legacy to Civil Rights has been.The paper was first presented at the ASRC Annual Schools Conference Oct 31st 2001 by Peter Ling, Lecturer in American Studies at the University of Nottingham and the author of a forthcoming biography of Martin Luther King

Slavery - A paper delivered by Professor James Horton of George Washington University, Washington DC and The Smithsonian Institution at Liverpool John Moores University, on Thursday 23 March 2000. Reviewed By Clare Horrocks, Edge Hill College
 

Culture



Kicking Nixon: Howard K. Smith and the Commentator’s Imperative. Howard K. Smith was an influential American journalist,. He reported the rise of Nazism and the Second World War, and return,d to America to pioneer a new style of investigative journalism and comment. Jim Kates presents a vivid account of his life and times.

Road Dreams Revisited 2007: From New York City to Los Angeles by campervan. In the late summer of 2007, Helen Tamburro travelled across America with 12 strangers in a campervan, and this is her graphic account of her experiences.

Road Dreams - a Super 8 American film diary 1968-1982 Between 1968 and 1982 Elliott Bristow kept a Super 8 film diary documenting his 500,000 mile (800,000 km) road trip around America, which he subsequently made into a series of TV documentaries. Here he gives an account of his travels and the making of the diary.

Elliott Bristow brings Road Dreams to Liverpool. Elliott Bristow was this year's guest lecturer at the American Studies Resource Centre. Centre Director Bella Adams has written this report of a fascinating talk in which he spoke of his 500,000 mile (800,000 km) road trip around America, and showed excerpts from the Super 8 film diary which he made of his travels.

Captain America: The United States versus Itself, Through the Eyes of a Wartime Fictional Hero. Christian Dailly shows how the changing incarnations of the comic-book hero from his beginnings as the all-American hero in the struggle against Nazism in 1941 to the troubled and reflective warrior in the post 9/11 era, have reflected America’s changing views of their own society and its place in their world.

Painting It Black? An optimistic and lighthearted look at how the Sixties democratised almost everything by Ed Weeden

Before Katrina - a personal memoir of New Orleans' Mardi Gras festival by Jeanne-Marie Kenny. Jeanne-Marie lived in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina struck, and these are her personal impressions of the Mardi Gras festivities.

Cultural Transformations: Urban Place, Architecture and Rock and Roll Music by Dr Rob MacDonald. This paper is about the cultural flux between America and Liverpool,as represented in urban place, architecture and early rock music. The idea came from ‘’John Lennon’s Juke Box’’ a collection of 40 (45rpm) featured on Chris Walker and Melvin Bragg’s South Bank Show 2003, based on an idea by John Winter.

New Wine in New Skins — Surviving the 1960s By Ed Weeden. For many people, the 1960’s were a golden age of student activism, flower power and rock and roll. What was it really like to grow up in those heady days, and how different is it from the life of today’s students? In this evocative article, Ed Weeden looks back at his own student days in America.

Disney’s Dream Town: Disney theme parks have always offered a sanitised version of the American experience. In Celebration, this vision has now expanded to cover town planning, and, some argue, social engineering. In this slightly sardonic article, Joe Moran explores the reality behind the façade of Main Street come to life

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: changing conceptions of the American Dream. Traditionally, Americans have sought to realise the American dream of success, fame and wealth through thrift and hard work. However, the industrialisation of the 19th and 20th centuries began to erode the dream, replacing it with a philosophy of "get rich quick". A variety of seductive but elusive strategies have evolved, and today the three leading ways to instant wealth are large-prize television game shows, big-jackpot state lotteries and compensation lawsuits. In this article,  Matthew Warshauer  Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, examines why so many Americans are persuaded to seek these easy ways to their dream.

New York Close Up: Views of the City. Colin Harrison spent a month in New York City on a Fulbright program for teachers of American Literature at the New School University in the summer of 2000. What follows are some reflections on architecture and everyday perception in the metropolis. This article was written before the World Trade Center was destroyed on 11th September 2001.

Salzburg Seminarians ponder the impact of Information Technology on the Future of Education: a conference report. The baroque splendour of Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg was the venue for a seminar on Information Technology and the Future of Education in October last year. It was organised by the American Studies Centre at the Salzburg Seminar. The higlights are summarised in this report by David Forster.
 

Junk-shops, Jesus and Dead: Deer Dispatches from McCormick, South Carolina's lakeside frontier.In this beautifully observed, often lyrical article, Stephen Kenny presents a very personal observation of small town life in South Carolina.
 

The Image of the Pig in Southern Culture - by Stephen C. Kenny - The Hog Series paintings by South Carolina artist Tarleton Blackwell are seen as a paradigm of the importance of the hog as both a practical utility and a cultural icon in Southern culture in this amusing and erudite inaugural Thanksgiving Lecture.Now updated with four pictures from the Hog Series (253 k)  Or read a text-only version of the lecture. (43 k)

American Theme Parks and the Landscapes of Mass Culture - by Steve Mills - Disney World in Florida has become the yardstick by which theme parks throughout the world are judged, but its influence spreads far beyond the design of tourist attractions, and even impacts on the design of shopping malls and residential districts. However, with their emphasis on creating a tidy, idealised and self-contained world, do they run the danger of excluding the poor and the disadvantaged from a growing range of public facilities? In this wide-ranging article, Steve Mills investigates the pervasive influence of the Disney concept and philosophy. (44k)

American English Vs British English: Or whose language is it anyway? - Linda Berube, currently a Fulbright scholar in Norwich, addresses the question of who is responsible for the world-wide dominance of the English language: the Americans or the British.

Text and Context by Judie Newman and Douglas Tallack - American Studies in an ideal medium for creating an understanding of the relationship between text and context in literature, helping to produce the kind of lateral thinking which is highly sought after in today’s job market. The relationship goes beyond merely understanding the historical context in which a book is set, and involves a close reading of both historical fact and literary convention. However, it is unlikely that there will be an American Studies A level in the foreseeable future, so Judy Newman and Douglas Tallack use the example of "The Great Gatsby" to show how this can be achieved within the context of the English Literature A level.

Education

American Studies at the Hashemite University in Jordan: an Unfulfilled Dream. Professor Nazmi Al-Shalabi discusses the challenge and opportunities of teaching American Literature and Culture in a Jordanian University.

Problems and Progress: the challenge of teaching A level American history - by Kathryn Cooper of Loreto VI Form College, Manchester - A generation of students who have grown up with American culture in the shops, on TV and on the sports field find American history an increasingly popular option. Teaching it can be fun and rewarding, but there is often a lack of expertise and resources. However, a growing range of publications, access to the Internet, and a sense of community among teachers of American History are among the encouraging signs the author notes. (10k)

How well is American Studies doing in Britain today? Courses with an American content are quite healthy at present, although a minority interest in many schools. Including an American angle does not seem to make much difference to either the stability or the autonomy of courses. These are some of the conclusions we drew from analysing a questionnaire sent out to our subscribers in Autumn 1998. (107k)

American Studies in the Czech Republic - Stepanka Korytova-Magstadt and Jitka Ramadanova are lecturers in English and American Studies at the Zapadoceska University in Plzen, Czech Republic. Here they write about the successes and challenges of the American Studies program they run.

Using the World Wide Web for Research in American Studies Pamela Wonsek, a librarian at Hunter College, City University of New York, sets out some useful strategies for searching the Web and evaluating materials. She also includes a selection of useful Web addresses to get you started.

Mike Woolf on the opportunies for study abroad through the Council on International Educational Exchange

Film

An Appeal to Fear Ain’t Nothin’ New: George W. Bush’s Middle East War Rhetoric and Territoriality in American Propaganda Films of World War II By Ralph R. Donald. Ralph Donald examines the similarities between the rhetoric found in war films of the World War II era and the rhetoric used by President Bush in America’s wars against terrorism in Afghanistan and against Saddam Hussein and in Iraq.

America’s “Great Satan” Then And Now In Action and War Films: Subtle Shifts, changing Stereotypes. By Ralph Donald The image of the Great Satan, the archetypal monster who exemplifies the current enemy, has always been a powerful stereotype in Hollywood movies. In this fascinating article, Ralph Donald considers how the model for the beast constantly changes to reflect America’s changing foreign policy objectives over the years.

Fictional Presidents as Antagonists in American Motion Pictures: The New Antihero for the Post-Watergate Era by Ralph R. Donald, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville USA. The portrayal of fictional presidents in American film has changed dramatically over the last half century from respectful, even adulatory portraits in the era of F.D. Roosevelt, to the oily or philandering politician in films like The Pelican Brief and Wag the Dog. Ralph R. Donald shows how the rot set in with Richard Nixon and Watergate, and how presidential office is now fair game for criticism, satire and earthy humour.

On the Waterfront One of the most significant films in American cinema history Elioa Kazan's On the Waterfront was not only a commentary on its times, but reflected the director's own crise de conscience as he turned against his former colleagues and testified to the House UnAmerican Activities hearings. This article originally appeared in History Today, and has been adapted by the author.

American Classic Films A one-day conference at the London University Institute of United States Studies on Tuesday 22nd May 2001, reviewed four landmarks of American Cinema: Raging Bull; Chinatown; Dr Strangelove; On the Waterfront. Yannis Tzioumakis, Lecturer, Screen Studies Route Leader School of Media, Critical and Creative Arts at Liverpool John Moores University has written this comprehensive report on the proceedings.

Foreign Affairs

On Misconceptions and other Misdemeanors. The case for abolishing the term anti-Americanism. Is Anti-Americanism a valid definition of a point of view, or is it merely a gatekeeper, seeking to suppress criticism by excluding certain opinions from the ‘responsible’ debate? By examining the definitions attempted by a range of scholars and polemicists, Tabe Bergman seeks to find an answer.

Beyond American Borders: The Middle East and the Enigma ofAnti-American Sentiments in the Aftermath of 9/11 Marwan M. Obeidat provides a critical and descriptive approach to this fundamentally complex set of Arab and Islamic antipathetic and adverse sentiments against America as it sheds light on its effects on American culture and citizens, eventually to "seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect," to use the words of President Obama, .

Government

County Government - what is it? One of the most frequently asked questions in the USA is what is county government and how does it differ from state or city government? In this article, Roy Wilson, a County Supervisor in Riverside County, California,explains all.

Local Government the Palm Desert Way - Mayor Buford Crites shows how it runs in his part of California

History

Eleanor Roosevelt in Liverpool. A dramatic personal account of an fascinating episode in Anglo-American relations

September 11th 2001. We at American Studies Today Online have been deeply shocked by the tragic events on New York and Washington on 11th September. We have a number of contributions on the issue. Two of our correspondents who live in New York have sent us accounts of their experiences and reflections on the events. Lenny Quart has sent us two articles: Apocalypse and Apocalypse New York Revisited, and we have an eyewitness account from a paramedic who was on the scene when the second plane hit the tower of the World Trade Center. You may also read Reflections on the events of 11th September, the record of a symposium by academics from the Liverpool John Moores University which considered the implications of the terrorist attacks on Washington and New York

Kicking Nixon: Howard K. Smith and the Commentator’s Imperative. Howard K. Smith was an influential American journalist,. He reported the rise of Nazism and the Second World War, and return,d to America to pioneer a new style of investigative journalism and comment. Jim Kates presents a vivid account of his life and times.

Literature

The House of the Seve Gables in the SnowNathaniel Hawthorne as an Artist: The Use of Color in The House of the Seven Gables. Nazmi Al-Shalabi of the The Hashemite University in Jordan argues that Nathaniel Hawthorne is fascinated with colors, that color plays a great role in The House of the Seven Gables, and that he uses colors in a number of ways indicative of his skill and creativity. Photograph © Richard Scott

 

Deferred Dreams : The Voice of African American Women's Poetry since the 1970s - African-American women writers are now regarded as among the best of modern American poets. Their poetry is as very often celebratory of a life that, despite its hardships and injustice, was often happy. In this article, DR. MANOHAR SAMUEL of St Augustine’s University, quotes from writers like Sonia Sanchez and Nikki Giovanni in support of his thesis that their poetry not only expresses criticism of discrimination and injustice but also expresses a culture to celebrate.

Native Americans

Indian Gambling on Reservations - Seventeen years later. C.L.Henson reviews the effects of the the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.

Dennis Lee Rogers returns with his Spirit Dancer Tour: a report by David and Valerie Forster. The celebrated Navajo artist and educator Dennis Lee Rogers paid a welcome return visit to Merseyside last year, and this is an account of a memorable performance he gave at the Pavilion Theatre, Rhyl.

Gaming in Indian Country. C.L.Henson is a former Director of the Special Education Unit of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and a member of the Cherokee nation. In this article he argues that the rapid growth of gaming on Native American reservation has not always been as beneficial as its proponents had hoped.

The Native American Peoples of The United States - Christopher Brookeman is a lecturer in American Studies at the University of Westminster, and has published widely on a variety of aspects of American culture and society. In this article he looks at the way in which native American culture and values have been misunderstood and misinterpreted by mainstream American society. He examines the conflict between their traditional values and pervasive commericalism, and the debates over assimilation versus cultural identity.

The Dancing Ground - Dennis Lee Rogers is a Navajo artist and educator who recently completed a visit to northern England. Here, David and Valerie Forster describe a day course in Navajo culture which Dennis conducted at a local adult education college.

From War to Self-Determination: A history of the Bureau of Indian Affairs The relationship between the US Government and Native Americans has never been an easy one. C.L.Henson traces its development from attempts to obtain tribal neutrality during the Revolutionary War in 1775, through the assimilation policy of the late 1800's to the modern policy of Self-Determination.

 

News

The Barringer Fellowship, Summer 2006 Kathryn Cooper of Loreto College Manchester is the first recipient of the BAAS Barringer Teacher Fellowship. She has written this account of her study trip to Virginia.

'Hard Times and Hard Travellin' : Celebrating 20 years of the American Studies Resource Centre. A report by Shonagh Wilkie

From Winstanley to Washington D.C. and New York by Samantha Jones, a student of Winstanley College, Wigan The politics and law students at Winstanley College, Wigan made a visit to Washington D.C. and New York in February 2005. Student Samantha Jones has written a lively account

Obituary Pam Wonsek 1950-2005 Ian Ralston has written this tribute to a great librarian, educator and friend of the Centre, who died in 2005.

Simon goes to Washington. Over the February 2004 half-term break a group of fourteen A Level Politics students and two staff from Cheadle Hulme School in Manchester spent five days visiting Washington DC. The following personal account was written by Upper 6th former Simon Holt. 

Ezekiel and Saffina go to Washington The centre helped to organse a visit by two young people to Washington as part of the State Department's Youth Exchange programme. Here is a brief diary of their visit.

Grants for teachers from ARNet. We are intending to develop a bank of teaching resources covering American aspects of a wide range of subjects, such as literature, history, politics, geography and environmental studies. Find out how you can contribute to our resource bank.

American Centre Opens with Presidential Approval - Our new resource centre in the John Moores University was opened by Philip Lader, US Ambassador to Britain, in May this year. Read this illustrated account of this milestone in the Centre's history,  (130k) or read a text-only version. (5k)

The Salzburg Seminar in American Studies - Celebrating 50 Years in 1997. Marty Gecek, Associate Director of the American Studies Center of the Salzburg Seminar, writes about fifty years of American Studies programs in the heart of Europe. How It All Began - Salzburg, Austria, 1947.

The Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library Jean Kemble (Bibliographical Editor) writes about the facilities available.

Niall Palmer on the Presidency in crisis - The problems of the Clinton Administration and the defeat of the Democrats in this year's Congressional elections cannot all be attributed to defects in Bill Clinton's personality or style of government, but signify a major change in the relationship between the Presidency, Congress and the people.

Politics
Beyond American Borders: The Middle East and the Enigma of Anti-American Sentiments in the Aftermath of 9/11 Marwan M. Obeidat provides a critical and descriptive approach to this fundamentally complex set of Arab and Islamic antipathetic and adverse sentiments against America as it sheds light on its effects on American culture and citizens, eventually to "seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect," to use the words of President Obama.

Race and ethnicity

More than Sports: how Hubert H. Humphrey and the United Auto Workers Union helped to achieve the Desegregation of Bowling in America 1946-1950. In the year in which Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States, it is hard to believe that, less than 60 years ago, women and black people were not allowed to take part in professional bowling in the United States. Malina Iida and John Walter detail the long struggle of civil rights organisations, with the help of future Vice-President Hubert Humphrey and The United Auto Workers Union, to overcome the intransigent bigotry of the American Bowling Congress and end racial and sexual discrimination in the sport.

Relations between Hispanic and African Americans in the U.S. today seen through the prism of the "Memin Pinguin" Controversy According to the 2000 Census, Hispanics have now exceeded African-Americans as the largest ethnic minority group in the United States. The recent Memin Pinguin controversy, in which the Mexican post office issued stamps featuring a racial caricature of an Afro-Mexican, highlighted the fact that the Hispanic community is itself racially diverse, and that Afro-Mexicans have been an invisible and underprivileged community. In this lecture, delivered at the Liverpool John Moores University in March this year, Dr. Ezekiel Mobley argues that African Americans should become aware of their Latin cousins, and that the controversy also has lessons which Britain could learn.

Early Lebanese Immigrant Women to the USA - by Professor Najwa S. Nasr ,Professor of English Linguistics, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, The Lebanese University. This article looks at the early Lebanese immigrant woman into the USA on the turn of the twentieth century and traces her contributions in all the phases of life. It begins with a brief overview of the status of the woman in the homeland, and looks at the percentages of immigrant women, life in the New Land, the peddlers, marriage and the scarcity of brides, the changing social role of women, and finally women in the press
 

Hispanic-Americans: an under-represented group in American politics Hispanics are one of the fastest growing groups in the United States, and yet they are under-represented in American political institutions. Here, Maria-Cristina Garcia, of the Department of History of the Texas A&M University, explains why.

Religion

Anne Eyre on the rise of cults Since the Waco siege, interest in religious cults has revived both in Britain and America. This article explores the growth and appeal of cults in America and raises questions about the appropriateness of public perceptions.

Sport

More than Sports: how Hubert H. Humphrey and the United Auto Workers Union helped to achieve the Desegregation of Bowling in America 1946-1950. In the year in which Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States, it is hard to believe that, less than 60 years ago, women and black people were not allowed to take part in professional bowling in the United States. Malina Iida and John Walter detail the long struggle of civil rights organisations, with the help of future Vice-President Hubert Humphrey and The United Auto Workers Union, to overcome the intransigent bigotry of the American Bowling Congress and end racial and sexual discrimination in the sport.
Muhammad Ali: Exemplar to the World by John Walter and Malinda Iida. Muhammed Ali was more than an outstanding athlete: he was a catalyst for social change, a model for positive imitation, an inspiration to generations of people of all races worldwide. John Walter and Malinda Iida esplore his influence through the voices of a wide range of commentators,and conclude that he positively influenced individuals and communities around the world, more than any other person in recent history.

Writing about fighting: contesting the assumption that "boxing is only like boxing" through an analysis of selected writings on Muhammad Ali. In this stimulating article,  Claire Horrocks of Edge Hill University College; examines the contribution that Ali has made to both sport and civil rights in the USA.

Muhammad Ali: The Quintessential American. John Walter argues that, In many ways Muhammad Ali is the "Quintessential American.." In his stand   for religious and racial freedom, for his humility, generosity, braggadocio, deep and abiding physical and mental courage, though always larger than  life – Ali exhibited many typical and deep-rooted American traits. He struck a number of positively resonant notes in the American psyche, that make him now a revered person. His life also reflects and contributed to the changing attitude of Americans to Black athletes from the sixties to the present day.

The Changing Status of the Black Athlete in 20th Century America - From Jesse Owens to Magic Johnson, Black Athletes have always been in the news, but their path to fame and fortune has never been easy. Only today are they beginning to gain their rightful place in sport's Hall of Fame. Despite this, problems still remain. In this article, John C. Walter, Ph.D. Professor of American Ethnic Studies and Director of the Blacks in Sports Project at the University of Washington in Seattle explains why.

War

Rhetoric and the Spanish-American War. Michelle Munton examines the role of rhetoric, both by the press and by government, in gaining public support for the Spanish – American War. She examines the belief in America’s “manifest duty” to bring civilisation to the uncivilised world, and draws comparisons with the rhetoric used by the Bush administration to justify the invasion of Iraq.

 ‘Is that you John Wayne? Is this me?’ Myth and meaning in American representations of the Vietnam War, by Simon Newman. John Wayne’s portrayal of Sergeant John Stryker in the Sands of Iwo Jima becam the defining image of the American hero in films of the Second World War. However, attempts by Hollywood to create a similar myth at the time of the Vietnam war foundered because the war experienced by young Americans in Vietnam differed so starkly from the ‘Good War’ of their fathers. Simon Newman explores the way in which the war was portrayed in films from the Green berets to the Rambo series reflected changing public perception of the war and American foreign policy.

 Harold Wilson, Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War, 1964-68 by Jonathan Coleman, Prifysgol Cymru, Aberystwyth Britain has long claimed a special relationship with the United States in terms of foreign policy, but this has not always meant giving unquestioning support to American military involvement overseas. Jonathan Coleman explores the strained relationship between Harold Wilson and Lyndon Johnson which resulted from the Labour Government’s refusal to send troops to support the Americans in Vietnam.

Women and War 1941-1975.  Women have often throughout history played a subordinate role in society, but war has been instrumental in giving them a far more prominent status, both as substitute for men’s labour, and, more recently, in combatant roles. However, this change has rarely survives the end of conflict. Talya Schneider considers the effect of wars from the Second World War to the Vietnam War on the status of women. She concludes that their emancipation has been far more permanent in Vietnam than it has been in the United States.

The legality of the United States intervention in Afghanistan. Sulman Hassan, graduate in law from Liverpool John Moores University, assesses the validity of the US contention that the Article 51 ‘right to self-defence’ is applicable in response to the September 11 atrocities in the light of the modern rules of International law.

Crisis in Iraq 
a special page of comment and links on the current crisis in Iraq

Vietnam: a watershed in war writing: The experience of Vietnam changed forever the nature of writing about war in American culture. Literature on the two World Wars tapped into a sense of cultural identity, masculinity and individual heroism to describe the American response as heroic and victorious and promote an idea of a ‘good war’ in which national interests are ultimately restored. By contrast, the Vietnam War was fought against a background of a culturally fragmented society. By examining the work of writers such as Norman Mailer, Tim O’Brien and Michael Herr, and the photographs of Tim Page, it explores the way in which war was portrayed in a far more realistic, if often ugly light. This article is adapted from the winning entry in this year’s essay competition, Richard Hills, a final year student at Liverpool John Moores University.

This War is Not Our War! An Analysis and Critique of Forms of Resistance amongst the American GIs during the Vietnam War By Andy Walpole - Liverpool John Moores University (82K) The Vietnam War was a watershed in American history, exposing and increasing cracks in the social structure. The draft discriminated against the poor, the less educated and ethnic minorities. In this article, Andy Walpole demonstrates and how resistance to the war took a variety of forms, from drug abuse to fragging (the assassination of unpopular officers), as well as to more organised and politicised anti-war activity. He also shows how serving in the war helped to increase the political awareness of African-American GI's and helped to inform the Civil Rights movement.

How did Participation in America's Wars affect Black Americans? The treatment of Black soldiers in the American forces reflected the discrimination they suffered at home, but their experience led to increased political awareness and helped the development of the Civil Rights movement. This theme is explored by this year’s essay competition winner, Jill Woodland, a final year student at Liverpool John Moores University.
 

America's Atomic Monopoly- by David Clensy.  In a new venture this year, the American Studies Centre organised an essay competition for American Studies students at the John Moores University in conjunction with the American Studies Section of the JMU. The first prize winner was David Clensy, with this essay in which he examine the four years following the devastating atomic strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when the United States enjoyed an atomic monopoly. He looks at how the two Superpowers found themselves in the arms race of the Cold War and asks why even America's atomic monopoly could not 'make Russia more manageable' (28k)