American Literature

at Cambridge

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Gary Younge on ‘the fact that every day, on average, 7 children or teens, are shot dead in America’

‘… there are things that happen with such regularity and predictability that journalists have simply ceased to recognise their news value – not least if those things are least likely to happen to the people most likely to be journalists. That much of what we have come to accept as commonplace has dulled our curiosity to why so much of what is commonplace is unacceptable; that given the prevailing and escalating inequalities and inequities we simply do not occupy the same worlds we portend to cover – even when those worlds are right on our door step. That there is value in asking:”Why do dogs keep biting people” “Who owns these dogs?” And “Why do the same people keep getting bitten.” I’m going to make the case for why this matters primarily with reference to the United States, since that is where I have been reporting for the past 12 years.’


Gary Younge on why journalists should not ignore the daily murder of young black men on the streets of America.



ProQuest Sources for American Literature: 15th March at Faculty Library

The full programme is described below: the session on American Studies is on 15th March at 11.50am.

Helping humanities scholars achieve better research outcomes is at the
heart of our work at ProQuest. Come and learn about the research value
of our historical, art and film collections, how we work with partners
such as The British Library, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and
Condé Nast to create rich archival collections of magazines,
manuscripts, rare books, periodical archives, official documents, and
ebooks and how ProQuest provides an efficient and productive discovery
experience for researchers and librarians.

*14th March, Monday - Room GR06/07* – Register here
12:00 – Lunch and Refreshments
13:20 – Welcome & Introduction – Jessica Porter, Account Manager and
James Caudwell, Electronic Subscriptions, University Library
13:40 – Bringing rare, faraway collections to arts and humanities
scholars – Hugh Chatterton, History Sales Specialist
14:40 – Break
15:00 – Current ebook trends and usage case studies – Jackie Stringer,
ebook Specialist
16:00 – Close and Drinks

*15th March, Tuesday - Room GR06/07* – Register here

10:00 – Refreshments
10:20 – Welcome and Introduction – Jessica Porter, Account Manager and
Libby Tilley, Faculty Librarian
10:30 – How digitized content can support teaching and research in Film
studies – John Pegum, Senior Product Manager Humanities
11:30 – Break
11:50 – Improving research outcomes with content diversity: American
studies – Hugh Chatterton, History Sales Specialist
13:00 – Close and Lunch

These events present a great opportunity to catch-up with researchers
and library professionals, and build on the shared knowledge of the
community. Together we aim to help you to better meet the demands of
students at the university.

Come and find out how ProQuest is supporting Humanities scholarship.
Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Please feel free to forward
this invitation to your colleagues. Registration for each event is required.

Best wishes,
the ProQuest and Faculty of English Teams

Transatlantic Early American Literature: 23 and 24 Feb

Americanists are warmly invited to two events with Valerie Forman (NYU)
who is currently working on a book project about trade and cultural
relations in the Caribbean, entitled 'Developing New Worlds: Property,
Freedom, and the Economics of Representation in Early Modern England and
the Caribbean.'

1) On Tues 23rd Feb at the Renaissance research workshop, Dr Forman will
be talking informally about doing interdisciplinary and trans-Atlantic
work in the 17th Century. 1-2pm , GR-03. (You are welcome to bring your

2) On Wednesday the 24th Feb, she will be leading a reading group from
12.30-2pm at the Meeting Room in CRASSH (part of the Crossroads of
Knowledge series). The reading will consist of Thomas Southerne's
'Oroonoko' (1695) and Richard Ligon's 'A True and Exact History of the
Island of Barbados' (1657). See below for further notes on the reading
from the seminar coordinator, Rebecca Tomlin.

Notes on the Seminar Reading

The Southerne text is widely available in collections but if you can
obtain the Regents edition ed. by Novak and Rodes (1976) that would be
I have also put a copy of the 1695 text from ECCO in to Dropbox (Warning
before printing: this document is 92 pages long).

I have put a pdf of the original Ligon text from EEBO into Dropbox
(Warning before printing: this document is 85 pages long).
There is also a modern edition edited by Karen Kupperman (Hackett,

Professor Forman would like us to look in particular at :

1) The Dedication (I have put this in Dropbox)
2) Pages from Karen Kupperman edition (2011) based on 1673 edition.
--Introduction: 1-7, 16-19
--Pages 40-1; up until the end of the paragraph started on p. 40
--Pages 51-62; (Cape Verde section); end at middle of page at St Iago
--Page 93-110 (The number and nature of the inhabitants)
--140-69 (Plantain, Banana, Pineapple, and SUGAR)

I have also put scans of these selected extracts in the Dropbox.

Please follow this link to reach the Dropbox folder:

19th US newspapers: New Digital Archive Available

Access is now provided to the digital archive Nineteenth century U.S.

The archive can be accessed via this link

and is linked via the eresources@cambridge index and subject pages and
via the LibGuides A-Z.  Titles in the archive will also be searchable in
the ejournals@cambridge A-Z and in LibrarySearch and LibrarySearch+ shortly.

The archive content can be searched alternatively via the new Artemis
Primary Sources platform either in isolation or in combination with the
other digital archives available from Gale Cengage licensed to the

21st January: Richard Gray on Absalom, Absalom!


INSIDE THE DARK HOUSE: William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! & the writing of  trauma

 Richard Gray  (University of Essex)

 Thursday  21/1/16 at 4.30pm in the  English Faculty Boardroom

American author William Faulkner (1897 - 1962) works on a screenplay at his typewriter on a balcony, Hollywood, California, early 1940's. He is shirtless and wears shorts, heavy wool socks, shoes and sunglasses. (Photo by Alfred Eriss/Pix Inc./Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Early in 1934, William Faulkner sat down at his desk and, in his characteristically spidery handwriting, wrote ‘A Dark House’ at the top of a blank page. It was a title that haunted him. For a while, it was the working title for the story that eventually became Light in August (1932). But now he was thinking of using it for another and even darker narrative: the novel that was eventually published two years later, in 1936, as Absalom, Absalom! The darkest of all Faulkner’s major novels, Absalom, Absalom! is also the most seamlessly concerned with trauma. This talk explores Absalom, Absalom! with specific reference to the personal, historical and intertextual elements that make it such a supreme and complexly layered example of the writing of trauma. ‘A book is… the dark twin of a man,’ Faulkner wrote in his second novel, Mosquitoes (1927). This talk considers how, in what is arguably the finest of his novels, Faulkner encounters a ‘dark twin’ that is at once personal and something that cuts across personal, spatial and textual boundaries.

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