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Research Outputs

The American Studies Research Group has a diverse range of interests across the history, literature, and culture of the pre-1776 North American colonies, the United States, and the Caribbean.


Publications and Bidding

Staff affiliated with the group have published monographs and other works with leading academic presses and authored articles that have appeared the pre-eminent journals in the field. Recent publications by our staff include:

Brycchan Carey, with Nicole Aljoe, Thomas Krise (eds.), Literary Histories of the Early Anglophone Caribbean: Islands in the Stream (New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).
This collection explores the development of a ‘native’ Caribbean literary culture, prior even to the arrival of the printing press in 1718, challenging the idea that the region did not evolve a significant literary culture until the early twentieth century.

Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative (1789), edited with an introduction, notes, and index by Brycchan Carey (Oxford: Oxford University Press World’s Classics, 2018).
A new edition of Equiano’s 1789 slave narrative, which helped establish him as one of the foremost figures in the British abolitionist movement. Prof. Carey provided an introduction that considers Equiano’s life and context, as well as explanatory notes, a glossary of unfamiliar terms, and a gazetteer of places visited.

Claire Elliot, ‘William Blake’s American Afterlives: Transatlantic Poetics in Emerson and Whitman,’ in Annika Bautz, Kathryn Gray (eds.), Transatlantic Literature and Transitivity, 1780-1850: Subjects, Texts, and Print Culture (Taylor and Francis, 2017)

---------------,‘An Enemy Abroad: The Transnational Politics of Francis Jeffrey in the War of 1812,’ Open Library of the Humanities, 3(2):9 (2017), pp. 1-21
This article follows Edinburgh Review founding editor Francis Jeffrey’s journey to the U.S. in 1813, amidst the War of 1812, using his journal of the trip to investigate Jeffrey’s reactions to America’s society and landscape and the way his observations complicate our expectations about national identifications.

Henry Knight Lozano, ‘Race, Mobility, and Fantasy: Afromobiling in Tropical Florida,’ Journal of American Studies, 51:3 (2017), pp. 805-831
This article explores the tourist activity of ‘Afromobiling’ (travelling in a wheelchair propelled by African-American hotel employees) in exclusive resorts like Palm Beach in Jim Crow Florida. Drawing on promotional literature and literary sources, it argues that the Afromobile supported white fantasies of racial hierarchy and colonial-style tropical leisure.

Brian Ward, Martin Luther King in Newcastle upon Tyne: The African American Freedom Struggle and Race Relations in the North East of England (Tyne Bridge Publishing, 2017)
This book tells the inside story of Martin Luther King’s visit to Newcastle on November 13, 1967, puts it into the context of the many, often surprising connections between the North East and the African American Freedom Struggle, and uses those links to explore changes in North East race relations over the course of several centuries.

Staff have also had excellent success with bidding activity.  Members have secured grants with the US Embassy London, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Fulbright Commission, the Leverhulme Trust, the Huntington Library, the British Academy, and the John Templeton Foundation.


Conferences and Events

The 2018 British Association of American Studies (BAAS) Postgraduate Conference will be held at Northumbria University thanks to the efforts of the student organising committee: Rowan Hartland, Simon Buck, Gabriel Hogg, and Natasha Neary. Northumbria previously hosted BAAS’s 50th anniversary conference in 2015. Further details and call for papers to follow. 

In 2016, Northumbria hosted the postgraduate conference for Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS), bringing together scholars from across the UK and US. That Northumbria has hosted so many postgraduate conferences in recent years is testament to the ambition and initiative of our postgraduate community.

The American Studies Research Group – and its predecessor research groups – sponsors a variety of seminars, symposia, and conferences and continues to draw scholars from the UK and abroad. In addition to our regular seminar series, recent special events have included, Selma and Voting Rights Act, 1965-2015 (April 2015), American Religious History: A Roundtable (March 2015; co-sponsored with the Americas Group at Newcastle University), and 1964 as a Watershed Year (May 2014). Members have also led in the organization of conferences held at Northumbria, including the Historians of the Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS) in 2013, and the Presidential History Network twice, in 2014 and 2016.

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