Invaders in a Foreign Land: Nature, Climate, and the Vicksburg Campaign

By Dr Lindsay Rae Privette, I spent seven years working as a summer seasonal at Vicksburg National Military Park. It was a natural fit. I was born and raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the battlefield had been a staple of my childhood, and I knew its story by heart. Dubbed the “Gibraltar of the Confederacy,” Vicksburg was the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River by … Continue reading Invaders in a Foreign Land: Nature, Climate, and the Vicksburg Campaign

Conference Review: BAAS Postgraduate Conference, December 2019

By Matthew Thorne It was the month of December and London was calling for the British Association for American Studies Postgraduate Conference. The event was held on hallowed ground for academics and sight-seers alike; the British Library, hosted within the Eccles Centre for American Studies. Try as one might, it is difficult to imagine a better venue for a conference on American Studies in the … Continue reading Conference Review: BAAS Postgraduate Conference, December 2019

Models of Black Motion: On the Predictive Policing of Race

By Dr Georgiana Banita     Ever since my first engagement with the traumatic relation between race and policing (the conference, Black America and the Police in 2016), I have sought to trace what I consider to be the guiding principle of repressive state action against communities of color: the anticipation of black violence. This period has also overlapped with technology advancements in digitally-driven predictive … Continue reading Models of Black Motion: On the Predictive Policing of Race

Roads and Walls in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

By Associate Professor Jessica Kim   Much of Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric and policy proposals focus on the closure of borders, the building of walls, and limiting the flow of goods and people across international boundaries. This inflammatory speech belies the deep historical connectedness of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, from migration and employment patterns, to the flow of trade goods and services, to the existence of … Continue reading Roads and Walls in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands

Thinking About Colonial Photography Through the Photographs of the Menage Expedition to the Philippines

By Professor Mark Rice   How should we make sense of colonial photographs that bridge the divide or blur the lines between different colonial regimes who occupied the same place but at different times? That question is at the heart of my current research project, a project that involves more than 150 photographs taken by two young, white, American men in the Philippines in the … Continue reading Thinking About Colonial Photography Through the Photographs of the Menage Expedition to the Philippines

Researching community and conflict in Preston, Idaho

By Elizabeth Miller It’s 7am and I’m standing in the parking lot of a Cabela’s – a hunting and fishing superstore – in the town of Farmington, Utah. There’s only one car in sight. My Uber driver is a bit concerned leaving me alone with the truck. But I was feeling fairly confident in what I was going to do next. The white pickup truck … Continue reading Researching community and conflict in Preston, Idaho

The Decorated Tenement: Reflections on Looking and Seeing

By Dr. Zachary J. Violette   Sometimes important historical evidence — evidence that can allow us to question dominant narratives — can be hidden in plain sight. It can even be part of our daily lives, so common that it easily escapes our grasp. But it is the fundamental premise of vernacular architecture studies that the built environment encodes meaning for their builders and occupants … Continue reading The Decorated Tenement: Reflections on Looking and Seeing

Founding Stories

By Michael A. McDonnell In his best-selling book, 1776, David McCullough introduced readers to John Greenwood, a patriot fifer who served in Washington’s campaign of 1776. McCullough reported that when the sixteen-year old heard news of the bloodshed at Lexington and Concord, he “set off on foot with little more than the clothes on his back” and walked 150 miles to join the patriot forces. … Continue reading Founding Stories

Sympathy over Structure in ‘The Garies and Their Friends’

By Dr Hannah Murray In April, Ancestry.ca broadcast an advert encouraging Canadians to research their family history. The advert, ‘Inseparable’, set in the antebellum South, features a young Black woman and white man in a clandestine meeting; hoping to escape to the free North, the man implores “there’s a place where we can be together across the border. Will you leave with me?”  This brief … Continue reading Sympathy over Structure in ‘The Garies and Their Friends’