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New Research

Book Review – Harlem Nights: The Secret History of Australia’s Jazz Age by Deirdre O’Connell

In March 1928, Black American jazz musician Sonny Clay, alongside his bandmates who made up Sonny Clay’s Colored Idea, were deported from Australia back to the United States. The group had arrived a few months earlier in January. They were the first ever Black jazz ensemble to undertake a tour in Australia. However, following undeserved […]

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New Research

A Dangerous World: Yankee Voyages to Australia and New Zealand – Professor Dane A. Morrison

By Professor Dane A. Morrison New Zealand “had ever been associated in our minds with all that is barbarous and inhuman in savage life,” the Yankee mariner James Oliver observed when he sailed the South Seas in the 1820s, aboard the merchant ship Glide.[1] Americans had come late to the imperialist game of overseas expansion, […]

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New Research

Urban Archipelago: An Environmental History of the Boston Harbor Islands – Dr. Pavla Šimková

By Dr. Pavla Šimková What comes to your mind when I say “Boston”? The Boston Tea Party? Brick townhouses? The hub of culture on the American East Coast? The Red Sox? The odds are that whatever your choice is, you don’t think about Boston as a harbor city. Or as a city that includes islands […]

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Ask An Americanist New Research

Appalachia as Contested Borderland of the Early Modern Atlantic, 1528-1715 – Q&A with Dr. Kimberly C. Borchard

What led to your interest in this area of study? I was working toward my doctorate in Spanish with a focus on colonial Latin American literature at the University of Chicago when I started noticing references in Spanish and Portuguese to a supposedly gold-rich land by the name of Apalache, beginning with Álvar Núñez Cabeza […]

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Ask An Americanist New Research

A Drunkard’s Defense: Alcohol, Murder, and Medical Jurisprudence in Nineteenth-Century America – Q&A with Dr. Michele Rotunda

This is such an interesting topic. Could you tell us what led to your interest in this area of study?  Actually, I didn’t set out at first to write about murder. I was initially focused on the ways in which physicians applied scientific principles and social concerns related to gender, race, and class to a […]

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Ask An Americanist New Research

Communion of Radicals: The Literary Christian Left in Twentieth-Century America – Q&A with Dr. Jonathan McGregor

What led to your interest in this area of study?  I’ve been interested in both literature and religion as long as I can remember–perusing lyrics in the hymnal during services as a kid was my introduction to poetry, and Bible study taught me how to do “close reading” before I knew the terminology. As my interests […]

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ANZASA Conference New Research

Oceans at Home: Maritime and Domestic Fictions in Nineteenth-Century American Women’s Writing – Dr. Melissa Gniadek

By Dr. Melissa Gniadek During the summer before my final year of university I was subletting an apartment from one of my cousins near Boston, Massachusetts, doing odd jobs to pay the bills, and trying to get started on the senior thesis required by my academic program. I was excited to spend a significant amount […]

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New Research

No Globalization Without Representation: U.S. Activists and World Inequality – Dr. Paul Adler

By Dr. Paul Adler I was a senior in high school in the winter of 1999 when I flipped on cable news and saw something completely unexpected: a big protest in a major U.S. city. The day was Tuesday, November 30. At the time, I lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The protests beaming out […]

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New Research

Massive Resistance and Southern Womanhood: White Women, Class, and Segregation – Dr. Rebecca Brückmann

By Dr. Rebecca Brückmann At first Ruby Bridges thought it was Mardi Gras, which was always noisy. Soon, the six-year-old first-grader, the first and only African American pupil at William Frantz Elementary School in November 1960, realized that the crowds that screamed, scuffled, and pushed were hostile. Six years had passed since the Supreme Court […]

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New Research

A Weary Land: Slavery on the Ground in Arkansas – Dr. Kelly Houston Jones

By Dr. Kelly Houston Jones One of my favorite stories within the book is the story of a man named Jack, sometimes called “Chunky Jack,” who ran away from James K. Polk’s cotton plantation in western Tennessee in 1833. He actually fled repeatedly, much to the frustration of the future president and his overseer. But […]