This edited collection seeks to explore the representation of the First Lady in a range of different texts and media. The collection aims to examine the President’s wife in a purely cultural context by investigating the ways in which she has been represented, embodied, characterised and commemorated in film, fiction, memoir, photography and portraiture, television, theatre, education, museum studies, fashion, and social media.

Beyond the White House is an original work that makes use of cultural interpretation to reconfigure the figure of the First Lady as a culturally authoritative individual possessing the ability to sway, change, inspire, and manipulate public attention and opinion. Moving away from biographies and histories, this is the first volume of its kind to consider the representation of the First Lady figure through the prism of popular culture – and therefore consider her impact upon ‘cultural politics’ – and the first to regard her as a strategically important socio-cultural figure.

Removed from the patriarchal hierarchy of White House politics and expectations, the First Lady emerges as a force of her own; she subtly carves out cultural agency and gender identity despite her (in)visibility in the public eye. Simply by being the ‘First Lady of the United States’ she possesses what MaryAnne Borrelli has labelled the “performance of descriptive representation” (Women and the White House: 229). The relationship between the woman and the office is paramount; the existence of the title ‘First Lady’ permits popular culture to tolerate or reject not only political and cultural manoeuvring, but also issues of gender, race, self, location, fashion, identity, satire, memory, authority, and even pedagogy. The office of the First Lady is what the woman makes it, and in Beyond the White House she has become a commanding cultural icon.

 

Possible topics might include (but are not limited to):

 

  • The First Lady in film and on television (both fictional First Ladies and representations of real First Ladies, such as in the new First Ladies series from Showtime)
  • First Ladies in fiction (this might be retellings of the stories of real First Ladies, or new fictional First Ladies)
  • First Ladies and self-representation, life-writing and memoir (i.e. Becoming by Michelle Obama, Hard Choices by Hilary Clinton)
  • First Ladies in education; how the role of FLOTUS is represented and taught in classrooms
  • The First Lady on display; exhibitions, curatorship and portraiture of FLOTUS
  • Photography and portraiture of the First Ladies (in magazines, photoshoots and journalism as well as official portraiture)
  • First Ladies on stage and in theatre
  • Fashion and the First Ladies (from inaugural gowns to Melania’s ‘I really don’t care’ jacket)
  • Self-representation and social media; FLOTUS on Twitter and Instagram.

 

 

Please send 300-500 word abstracts, a short bio to Dr Anne-Marie Evans (a.evans@yorksj.ac.uk) and Dr Sarah Trott (s.trott@yorksj.ac.uk ) by 16th July 2021.

The role
The School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics wishes to appoint a full-time Lecturer in American Modernist literature (Teaching and Scholarship). You will have a PhD (in hand) in a relevant subject area and proven experience in teaching American literature of the first half of the twentieth century to undergraduate students. An expertise in literatures of the Black Atlantic and/or African American literature is desirable.

You’ll be expected to convene a third-year (sole-taught) module in American Modernist literature, contribute teaching to the second-year team-taught module “Modernisms”, and to teach on first-year and MA modules in the area. You’ll also be expected to supervise undergraduate and postgraduate independent work. A record of high-quality research-led teaching in the period is essential.

This post is fixed-term for 12 months and the start date is expected to be 1st September 2021. Find out more here.

 

“Music in American Nineteenth Century History”

 

Co-editors: J. M. Mancini and Billy Coleman

 

Abstracts Due — 30 September 2021

Draft Papers Due — 30 May 2022 

Symposium – mid-June 2022 (tentative)

Full Papers Due for peer review — 30 September 2022
Planned publication — mid-2023

 

In the nineteenth-century United States, music was everywhere: at work, leisure, and prayer; in places of worship and in the home, on the battlefield and on the path of reform; in times of joy, in times of crisis, and in times of mourning.  And yet in comparison to literature or art and material culture, music and musical practice remain largely unsung within nineteenth-century US historiography.  Thus until recently most historians ignored music–or considered its analysis beyond the bounds of historical inquiry.  As a result, music has only begun to be treated as integral to the nineteenth-century experience, or analysed through a historical lens that sees and hears the world first and foremost through historical processes–social, economic, political, cultural, environmental–rather than through practices, parameters, and personnel derived from and internal to the world of music.  

 

Nonetheless, recent developments suggest that nineteenth-century American history is undergoing a musical turn.  The aim of this special issue is to build on this momentum by bringing together members of a growing, but disparate community of historians; musicologists; and historically-minded interdisciplinary scholars, for a timely conversation on music and nineteenth-century American history spanning the Revolution to the invention of recorded sound. Possible topics include:

 

  • What relationships existed between the many profound social transformations of the nineteenth century (e.g., emancipation; mass education/literacy; conquest; mass migration) and musical change?
  • How did the many forms of transregional encounter that characterised the nineteenth-century US (empire/conflict, migration, commerce, evangelism, reform) interact with musical exchange, both inside the US and globally? 
  • How can historians make sense of the many diverse settings for nineteenth-century US music, and the transformations that occurred both within those settings (congregations; domestic spaces; townscapes; military contexts; commercial stages; etc.) and in terms of overall shifts (e.g., the displacement of music-making in informal settings to performance in dedicated, often commercial spaces?) 
  • How did the gendering of music relate to broader historical trends?
  • How did technological rupture–from mass print to recorded sound–transform musical practice and the place of music in American life?  
  • How did music contribute to the construction of race and concepts of racial difference across the long nineteenth century?
  • What was the relationship between music, nation-making, and nationalism in nineteenth-century America? How did it evolve over time and space?
  • How did music practices, or perceptions of musical power, map onto different political ideologies or partisan-based identities?
  • How can historians think through the many binary relationships in nineteenth-century American music such as sacred/secular, commercial/non-commercial, signed/anonymous, individual/communal, private/public, written/oral, recorded/unrecorded, formal/informal?
  • What historiographical trends have shaped the incorporation of music into nineteenth-century American history over time? What new methodological opportunities may offer the most constructive paths forward?
  • How can scholars leverage recent technological and metahistorical developments to make historical music available to listeners and usable in the history classroom?

 

We seek submissions of 300–500 word abstracts proposing articles for consideration for publication, with full manuscripts to follow. In addition to the abstract, please advise us of your interest and capacity to participate in a symposium event for workshopping drafts (whether in-person or in a hybrid digital format).  Please also advise us of your potential interest in, and any musical or technical skills you may be willing to contribute to, a possible soundtrack album aimed at facilitating the use of this research in the classroom. Acceptance of an abstract does not mean acceptance of a paper and submitted papers will proceed through American Nineteenth Century History’s usual peer-review process.

 

Please send abstracts and all queries to J. M. Mancini (JoAnne.Mancini@mu.ie) or Billy Coleman (colemanw@missouri.edu) by September 30, 2021.

 

The IAAS is pleased to advertise that Dr. Alan Gibbs will deliver the W.A. Emmerson annual lecture on Wednesday, 2nd June at 6pm (BST). The lecture, ‘Trauma and Naturalism in the Later Novels of Toni Morrison and Philip Roth’, will be delivered online. Tickets are free. Attendees can register via Eventbrite 

here, and will be emailed the link to the lecture in the days before the event.