Upcoming Seminar with Dr David Sim (UCL) ‘Challenging Unions: the Irish Question and US Diplomacy in the Mid-Nineteenth Century’

Wednesday 4th December 2013, 5pm.

RCAS are delighted to announce our final event of 2013, a paper by Dr David Sim from UCL.

Dr Sim teaches US history at UCL with a particular focus on politics, diplomacy, imperialism and culture during the nineteenth century. He was previously a tutor at Pembroke College, Oxford, and a graduate fellow at the Rothermere American Institute.  David has recently published a monograph through Cornell University Press that investigates the intersection of the Irish question, US foreign policy and Anglo-American relations in the mid-nineteenth-century and is entitled A Union Forever: The Irish Question and U.S. Foreign Relations in the Victorian Age. Details can be found here: http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/book/?GCOI=80140100707580 

Seminar will be held in the School Meeting Room in the Department of history, 9-11 Abercromby Square, University of Liverpool from 5pm. Maps and directions can be found here: http://www.liv.ac.uk/maps/university-map/.

All are welcome. 

‘American Bodies’ Conference: Researcher Profiles

The following researchers will be speaking at the American Bodies Across Time and Space: Theories, Methods and Meanings conference at the University of Liverpool, 25th October.

Naomi Slipp, Boston University

American Bodies paper:  ‘Destabilized Bodies: Thomas Eakins, Anatomization and Fragmentation’

Naomi Slipp attained her MA in 2009 from the University of Chicago and has held positions with the Terra Foundation, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Harvard University Art Museums. She is the 2013 Raymond and Margaret Horowitz Foundation Dissertation Fellow in American Art in the Department of History of Art & Architecture at Boston University. She is currently at work on her dissertation “The Secret Figure: Artistic Anatomy and the Search for the Medical Body in Nineteenth-Century American Art”.

Naomi H. Slipp
Raymond and Margaret Horowitz Foundation Dissertation Fellow
Department of History of Art & Architecture
Boston University
725 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

Sara Polak, Leiden University

American Bodies paper: ‘Franklin Roosevelt’s Disability as Prosthetic Memory for Narrating the American Experience’

Sara Polak is an advanced PhD researcher at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society, LUCAS) and lecturer in modern American literature at the English Department of Leiden University. Her PhD project focuses on Franklin D. Roosevelt as a cultural icon in American memory. She teaches twentieth century American literature and contemporary literature. Her publications include an article on the Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, NY ( “Roosevelt in His Own Museum” – published in Second Lives, Persons and Personas in History and Literature, Amsterdam University Press, 2011), and, together with Paul Knevel and Sara Tilstra, an oral history about the memory of the Dutch slavery history and heritage (Meerstemmig Verleden, Amsterdam: KIT Publishers, 2011). Sara keeps a research blog at www.sarapolak.nl to seek engagement and interaction with a larger public with regard to her research.

Elizabeth Sharp, Texas Tech University/ Durham University

American Bodies paper: ‘Bridal Bodies: Manifestations of the Princess/Bridezilla Paradox’

Elizabeth Sharp is an Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and an affiliate faculty member of Women’s Studies at Texas Tech University and is currently an Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, England. She is the chair of the Feminism and Family Studies section of the National Council on Family Relations (USA) and has published broadly in the fields of Human Development and Family Studies, Sociology, Psychology, and Family Therapy. Recently, she has brought her work in the social sciences into dialogue with that of scholars in the arts and humanities.

Rebecca Scofield, Harvard University

American Bodies paper: ‘Saggin’, Baggin’, and Draggin’: Dolly Parton and the Micro-Politics of the American Body’

Rebecca Scofield received her BA in History from Willamette University, with an emphasis on post-war Japanese girl culture. She pursued this topic during her MA in Regional Studies: East Asia at Harvard University, writing her MA thesis on the bodily manifestations of class and race in the Tokyo acrylic nail industry. After discovering the cross-cultural dimensions of both Japanese and American body cultures, she followed her interdisciplinary interests in gender, fashion, the body into Harvard’s American Studies PhD program. She is currently beginning a dissertation on the performance of sexuality, gender, and race in 20th century American rodeo.

Sophie Jones, Birkbeck, University of London

American Bodies paper: ‘“Eisenhower-faced babies”: Sylvia Plath and Maternal Politics’

Sophie Jones is a doctoral researcher in the Department of English and Humanities at Birkbeck, University of London. Her AHRC-funded project examines the relationship between the politics of reproduction and theories of technological mediation in the USA between the 1950s and the 1970s.

sophiealexjones at gmail dot com

Marie Pecorari, Paris-Sorbonne University

American Bodies paper:  ‘The Anxiety of Putrescence: Whiteface and Presidential Remains in Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog

Marie Pecorari has been Associate Professor at Paris-Sorbonne University since 2009. Her area of expertise is American theatre (both text-based and performative strands of dramaturgy). She has published articles on Charles Ludlam (the focus of her dissertation), Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, Tennessee Williams. Her current research interests include documentary forms, kitsch, queer theatre, performance studies and their historiography.

marie.pecorari@gmail.com

Michelle Green, University of Nottingham

American Bodies paper: ‘Fat, Queer, Immature: Re-Reading Ignatius Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces

Michelle Green is a doctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham. Her AHRC-funded project examines the family narrative genre and the relationship between the family and fatness in North American fiction between 1960 and 2013. She is journal editor of 49th Parallel: An Interdisciplinary Journal of North American Studies, and she is on the publicity team for Nottingham’s American and Canadian Studies Impact and Public Engagement series. Michelle’s wider research interests include medical moral panics, gender and genre theory, and contemporary Anglo-American writing.

Jude Riley, University of Northumbria

American Bodies paper: ‘Awkwardly Shifting Legs: Disability, Masculinity and Class in the Works of William Faulkner’

Jude Riley completed an MA in American Studies at the University of Manchester in 2011, writing his dissertation on William Faulkner and disability in the 1920s and 1930s. He is now a second year PhD candidate at Northumbria University and his current project examines the role and function of intellectual disability in modernist literature of the American South.

Laura Key, University of Liverpool

American Bodies paper: ‘Actions Rather Than Words? Vocal and Physical Exchange in Narratives of Racial Passing’

Laura Key took up a teaching post in American Studies at the University of Liverpool in 2012 after completing her MA and PhD in American Literature at the University of Manchester. Her research interests include twentieth- and twenty-first century American literature, American literary modernism and American Cultural Studies, and she is particularly interested in the intersection between literature and economics. Her PhD thesis focused specifically on representations of money in early-twentieth-century American literature and her next research project will look at the relationship between the latest economic downturn and the American literary text. Laura’s paper for the RCAS conference stems from research into the connection between representations of race, class and the economy in modern American literature. She is always eager to talk to people about the above themes and ideas, and can be contacted at l.e.b.key@liverpool.ac.uk.

‘American Bodies’ conference final programme and details

Image

‘American Bodies Across Time and Space: Theories, Methods and Meanings’, University of Liverpool, 25th October.

Registration and breaks will be held in the HLC social space, History Department, 9-11 Abercromby Square (building 145 on campus map)

All panels will be held in Lecture Theatre 3 of the Law Building (recently renamed South Campus Teaching Hub) (building 120 on campus map)

http://www.liv.ac.uk/files/docs/maps/liverpool-university-campus-map.pdf

 

9:15 – 9:45 Registration

9:45 – 11:15 Panel One: Forces and Discourses Coordinating the Female Body

[Opening remarks by RCAS Chair Andrea Livesey (University of Liverpool)]

Chair – Wendy Asquith (University of Liverpool)

Rebecca Scofield (Harvard University), ‘Saggin’, Baggin’, and Draggin’: Dolly Parton and the Micro-Politics of the American Body’

Dr Elizabeth Sharp (Texas Tech University/ Durham University), ‘Bridal Bodies: Manifestations of the Princess/Bridezilla Paradox’

Sophie Jones (Birkbeck, University of London), ‘“Eisenhower-faced babies”: Sylvia Plath and Maternal Politics’

11:15 – 11:30 Tea and Coffee

11:30 – 13:00 Panel 2: Disabled and Dysfunctional Bodies

Chair – Emily Trafford (University of Liverpool)

Jude Riley (University of Northumbria), ‘Awkwardly Shifting Legs: Disability, Masculinity and Class in the Works of William Faulkner’

Sara Polak (Leiden University), ‘Franklin Roosevelt’s Disability as Prosthetic Memory for Narrating the American Experience’

Michelle Green (University of Nottingham), ‘Fat, Queer, Immature: Re-Reading Ignatius Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:30 Panel 3: Bodily Performance

Chair – Angel O’Donnell (University of Liverpool)

Naomi Slipp (Boston University), ‘Destabilized Bodies: Thomas Eakins, Anatomization and Fragmentation’

Dr Laura Key (University of Liverpool), ‘Actions Rather Than Words? Vocal and Physical Exchange in Narratives of Racial Passing’

Dr Marie Pecorari (Paris-Sorbonne University), ‘The Anxiety of Putrescence: Whiteface and Presidential Remains in Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog

15:30 – 15:45 Tea and coffee

15:45 – 16:45 Keynote Address

Introduced by Dr Stephen Kenny (University of Liverpool)

Chair – Jack Webb (University of Liverpool)

Dr Sue Currell (University of Sussex), ‘Forgotten Bodies: Visualizing “Human Rubbish” and the Invisible Gene’

Online registration can be completed here: http://ow.ly/p9Ckk

This will close on 23rd October.

8 October – Professor Connie Schulz: ‘Slaves Named and Un-Named: New Sources for Understanding Enslaved Experience and Identity in South Carolina’

Professor Connie Schulz, Professor Emerita of History at the University of South Carolina, will be sharing her research on ‘New Sources for Understanding Enslaved Experience and Identity in South Carolina’, on Tuesday 8th October. The talk is part of the Centre for the Study of International Slavery seminar series, and is jointly hosted with RCAS.

Everyone is welcome to attend. The seminar will be held at 5pm in Lecture Theatre 1 of 9 Abercromby Square.

For more information: http://www.liv.ac.uk/csis/

Postgraduate bursaries available for American Bodies conference

Harperart

Due to generous funding from the AHRC, we are able to offer a limited number of postgraduate bursaries to help towards the cost of travel to the conference on 25th October. Postgraduates can apply for reimbursement up to a maximum of £50, and must provide travel receipts and fill in a form for reimbursement on the day. Awards will be made on a first come, first served basis, so please apply early to avoid disappointment.

If you would like to apply, please send an email to rcas.nw@gmail.com with the following information:

Name:

Institution:

Programme and year of study:

Thesis title:

Approximate cost of travel:

Please remember to also fill in our online registration form, which can be found here: http://ow.ly/p9Ckk

Postgraduates from the North West of the UK are particularly encouraged to apply.

Provisional programme and online registration for ‘American Bodies Across Time and Space’ conference.

Image

We are pleased to present the *provisional* programme for our upcoming conference, ‘American Bodies Across Time and Space: Theories, Methods and Meanings’, at the University of Liverpool on Friday 25th October 2013.

9:15 – 9:45  Registration

9:45 – 11:15 Panel One: Forces and Discourses Coordinating the Female Body (Chair TBC)

‘Saggin’, Baggin’, and Draggin’: Dolly Parton and the Micro-Politics of the American Body’, Rebecca Scofield (Harvard University)

‘Bridal Bodies: Manifestations of the Princess/Bridezilla Paradox’, Dr Elizabeth Sharp (Texas Tech University/ Durham University)

‘“Eisenhower-faced babies”: Sylvia Plath and Maternal Politics’, Sophie Jones (Birkbeck, University of London)

11:15 – 11:30 Tea and Coffee

11:30 – 13:00 Panel 2: Disabled and Dysfunctional Bodies (Chair TBC)

‘Awkwardly Shifting Legs: Disability, Masculinity and Class in the Works of William Faulkner’, Jude Riley (University of Northumbria)

‘Franklin Roosevelt’s Disability as Prosthetic Memory for Narrating the American Experience’, Sara Polak (Leiden University)

‘Fat, Queer, Immature: Re-Reading Ignatius Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces’, Michelle Green (University of Nottingham)

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 15:30 Panel 3: Bodily Performance (Chair TBC)

‘Destabilized Bodies: Thomas Eakins, Anatomization and Fragmentation’, Naomi Slipp (Boston University)

‘Actions Rather Than Words? Vocal and Physical Exchange in Narratives of Racial Passing’, Dr Laura Key (University of Liverpool)

‘The Anxiety of Putrescence: Whiteface and Presidential Remains in Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog’, Dr Marie Pecorari (Paris-Sorbonne University)

15:30 – 15:45 Tea and coffee

15:45 – 16:45 Keynote Address: ‘Forgotten Bodies: Visualizing “Human Rubbish” and the Invisible Gene’, Dr Sue Currell (University of Sussex)

Online registration is now live, and can be accessed here: http://ow.ly/p9Ckk

The conference is free for all attendees, and a buffet-style lunch will be provided. There will be a post-conference dinner (for which payment can be made on the day) – please indicate if you wish to attend at the registration check out.

There are a limited number of travel bursaries available for postgraduates who wish to attend, which have been generously provided for by the AHRC. PGRs in the North West of the UK are particularly encouraged to apply. To apply for a bursary, please send an email to rcas.nw@gmail.com

The conference will be held on the University of Liverpool campus. For directions, please refer to: http://www.liv.ac.uk/maps/visiting/

Registration and breaks will be held in the HLC social area, which is located in the History department at 9-11 Abercromby square (building 145 on the campus map). Panels will be held in Lecture Theatre 3 in the Law Building – recently renamed South Campus Teaching Hub (building 120 on the campus map). Please refer to the campus map here: http://www.liv.ac.uk/files/docs/maps/liverpool-university-campus-map.pdf

For more information, please contact the RCAS committee via email at rcas.nw@gmail.com

UoLUoMAHRC

Call for Papers for the First RCAS Conference: ‘American Bodies Across Time and Space: Theories, Methods and Meanings’

We are pleased to announce our first conference to be held at the University of Liverpool on 25th October 2013, with keynote speaker Dr Susan Currell, from the University of Sussex. Please see the call for papers below.

American Bodies Across Time and Space: Theories, Methods and Meanings

This interdisciplinary one-day conference will seek to address the study of American bodies and the meanings that have been attached to them in different time periods and locations from the pre-colonial era to the present day. Acknowledging the centrality of the body as a category of analysis in a variety of academic disciplines, we will use this focus to, firstly, foster debate on meanings attached to American bodies and insights that can be gained from their study, and secondly, to explore new and established theories and methodologies. Papers should include both of these elements. We welcome proposals with a focus on any area of North America.

Topics may include, but are not limited to an engagement with the following ideas:

  • Intersections between ‘race’, region, gender, migration, nation, sexuality, disability, and class as manifested or performed through the body
  • Embodiment as experience, as a process, as a problem
  • Forces and discourses coordinating bodies in time and space
  • The commodification, pathologisation, objectification, categorisation, regulation, surveillance, extermination, display and performance of the body
  • Current body-related issues such as exercise, obesity, cosmetic enhancement, pornography, addiction, amputation, and abortion
  • The value and relevance of non-human bodies – animal, insect, alien, cyborg, plastic and post-human – to the study of American society and culture
  • Deviant bodies, dysfunctional bodies, disembodiments, bodies and emotions, transnational bodies, environments and the body, bodies and senses, experimental bodies, workers’ bodies, violence and the body, and dead bodies.

We encourage proposals from postgraduates and early career researchers, particularly those in the North West. Papers should be 20 minutes in length, and the deadline for proposals is 30 August 2013.  Please send a 250 word abstract of your paper, together with a one-page CV to rcas.nw@gmail.com.  Successful papers/proposals will be informed by 6 September 2013. Postgraduates and early-career researchers may apply for bursaries to attend the conference provided through the support of the AHRC. Speakers will receive preference. The conference will be hosted by the University of Liverpool on Friday 25 October 2013.

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr Susan Currell of the University of Sussex, editor and contributor to Popular Eugenics: National Efficiency and American Mass Culture in the 1930s (2006), and author of The March of Spare Time: The Problem and Promise of Leisure in the Great Depression (2005), and American Culture in the 1920s (2009).

RCAS North-West is a joint postgraduate initiative based at the University of Liverpool and the University of Manchester, which aims to promote the study of the United States and forge links between Americanists in all North West universities. For more details see rcasnorthwest.wordpress.com or our twitter page @rcasnorthwest.

UoLAHRCUoM

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