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Mankiewicz (1953)
Andrew James Hartley

mob rule, fear of communists, but also a fear of informants and the eyes of the thought-police. Shakespeare’s play becomes a forum for a consideration of an ethics of American identity, and the film maps a moment in history after the triumphs – military and economic – of the previous decade, when men uniquely connected to the popular zeitgeist could feel the culture changing. These changes were

in Julius Caesar
Open Access (free)
Encounters in America
Dagmawi Woubshet

This essay draws on James Baldwin’s ideas on race, immigration, and American identity to examine the experience of contemporary African immigrants in the United States. More Africans have come to the U.S. since 1965 than through the Middle Passage, and only now is their experience gaining the full creative and critical attention it merits. Since becoming American entails adopting the racial norms and sentiments of the U.S., I explore how African immigrants contend with the process of racialization that is part and parcel of the American experience. Drawing on Baldwin’s idea of blackness as an ethical category, I also consider the limits of the concept of Afropolitanism to characterize the new wave of African immigrants in the U.S.

James Baldwin Review
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If honour and principle were the watchwords for Caesars of the nineteenth century, and totalitarianism the core of twentieth, the word which ghosts twenty-first-century productions most clearly is 'spin'. This book traces this evolutionary journey, and discusses productions because they somehow speak to ideas about the play which characterise their period of production, or they have significant features in their own right. It first gives an account of productions of the play prior to the Second World War, right from the stagings at the Globe Theatre's in 1599 to William Bridges-Adams's productions till 1934. The 1937 Orson Welles's production of Julius Caesar, staged at New York's Mercury Theatre was decked out with all the trappings and scenic theatricality of contemporary European Fascism. Shakespeare's play becomes a forum for a consideration of an ethics of American identity with John Houseman's 1953 film. The book discusses three modernist productions of Lindsay Anderson, John Barton and Trevor Nunn, and the new versions of the play for the British TV. The productions under Thatcher's Britain are also focused as well as the unknown accents, especially the Indian and African ones. The productions of Italy, Austria and Germany productions have eschewed direct political association with past or present regimes. The book also presents a detailed study of two productions by a single company, Georgia Shakespeare. In the new millennium, the play's back-and-forth exchange between its long past and the shrill and vibrant insistence of its present, have taken centre stage.

Henry James’s Anglo-American ghosts
Andrew Smith

abstract, or solely artistically considered one, but as we shall see it reworks a more politicisable, if implicit, narrative relating to Anglo-American identity. The emphasis on a counterfeit ghost also suggests the idea of an estrangement from history – one in which signs can no longer be trusted. What the narrator of ‘The Ghostly Rental’ pursues, however, is a version of

in The ghost story, 1840–1920
John Anderson

State, supporters argued that it involved a return to the sort of religious influences that helped to shape American democracy in the first place. Into this debate about ‘a nation with the soul of a church’ weighed Samuel Huntington, though his concerns extended beyond the religious issue to wider questions about American identity. Painting with typical broad-brush strokes, he expressed the fear that a variety of trends might be undermining the ‘Anglo-Protestant culture’ which underpinned American democracy and even American ‘civilisation’ itself. 1

in Christianity and democratisation
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Euro-American orphans, the bildungsroman, and kinship building
Maria Holmgren Troy, Elizabeth Kella, and Helena Wahlström

’s Ellen Foster (1987) and The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster (2006). These novels question widespread assumptions about the benefits of the nuclear family through their orphan protagonists’ explorations of alternative kinship constellations. Because they are orphans, Irving’s and Gibbons’s protagonists are outsiders, but because they are white they may still lay claim to the dominant formulation of American identity; and the challenge they launch against the nuclear family ideal may be effectual precisely because they occupy a position of racial privilege. While we

in Making home
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Orphanhood, kinship, and cultural memory in contemporary American novels

Making Home explores the orphan child as a trope in contemporary US fiction, arguing that in times of perceived national crisis concerns about American identity, family, and literary history are articulated around this literary figure. The book focuses on orphan figures in a broad, multi-ethnic range of contemporary fiction by Barbara Kingsolver, Linda Hogan, Leslie Marmon Silko, Marilynne Robinson, Michael Cunningham, Jonathan Safran Foer, John Irving, Kaye Gibbons, Octavia Butler, Jewelle Gomez, and Toni Morrison. It also investigates genres as carriers of cultural memory, looking particularly at the captivity narrative, historical fiction, speculative fiction, the sentimental novel, and the bildungsroman. From a decisively literary perspective, Making Home engages socio-political concerns such as mixed-race families, child welfare, multiculturalism, and racial and national identity, as well as shifting definitions of familial, national, and literary home. By analyzing how contemporary novels both incorporate and resist gendered and raced literary conventions, how they elaborate on symbolic and factual meanings of orphanhood, and how they explore kinship beyond the nuclear and/or adoptive family, this book offers something distinctly new in American literary studies. It is a crucial study for students and scholars interested in the links between literature and identity, questions of inclusion and exclusion in national ideology, and definitions of family and childhood.

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Anglo-American realities and relations
Dana Cooper

Dana Cooper assesses the cultural power of television in her analysis of Anglo-American narratives within the PBS series Downton Abbey, which became a financial success as well as a cultural phenomenon following its launch in 2010. Pointing out that the show’s aristocratic central family is inspired by the historical ‘dollar princesses,’ the hundreds of wealthy American women who married British men between 1865 and 1945, Cooper scrutinizes how the fictional characters, their dialogue, and their biases reflect American perceptions of themselves and their cultural cousins, and vice versa, and questions just how Anglo-American identity differences transitioned over time from sources of tension to sources of popular entertainment.

in Culture matters
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American horror comics as Cold War commentary and critique

Printing Terror places horror comics of the mid-twentieth century in dialogue with the anxieties of their age. It rejects the narrative of horror comics as inherently and necessarily subversive and explores, instead, the ways in which these texts manifest white male fears over America’s changing sociological landscape. It examines two eras: the pre-CCA period of the 1940s and 1950s, and the post-CCA era to 1975. The authors examine each of these periods through the lenses of war, gender, and race, demonstrating that horror comics are centred upon white male victimhood and the monstrosity of the gendered and/or racialised other. It is of interest to scholars of horror, comics studies, and American history. It is suitably accessible to be used in undergraduate classes.

By expanding the geographical scope of the history of violence and war, this volume challenges both Western and state-centric narratives of the decline of violence and its relationship to modernity. It highlights instead similarities across early modernity in terms of representations, legitimations, applications of, and motivations for violence. It seeks to integrate methodologies of the study of violence into the history of war, thereby extending the historical significance of both fields of research. Thirteen case studies outline the myriad ways in which large-scale violence was understood and used by states and non-state actors throughout the early modern period across Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Atlantic, and Europe, demonstrating that it was far more complex than would be suggested by simple narratives of conquest and resistance. Moreover, key features of imperial violence apply equally to large-scale violence within societies. As the authors argue, violence was a continuum, ranging from small-scale, local actions to full-blown war. The latter was privileged legally and increasingly associated with states during early modernity, but its legitimacy was frequently contested and many of its violent forms, such as raiding and destruction of buildings and crops, could be found in activities not officially classed as war.