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Events and conferences 2010

The Eccles Centre for American Studies regularly organises and supports conferences, seminars, lectures and other events on North American and transatlantic themes, often in partnership with other institutions and organisations. Below here is a list of recent events.

Conference: Can Government Be Repaired? Lessons from the USA
Tuesday December 14 2010, 10:30 to 17:00

Programme (PDF format) 65KB

In November 2008 the election of Barack Obama as America's 44th president seemed to herald the end of the Age of Reagan and a new era of progressive activism in US politics and government. Two years later the mood of optimism about national renewal had given way to pessimism about leadership failures and intransigent deadlock within American government. The performance of the American government has immense significance for the rest of the world because of international dependence on the United States to be the engine of global economic growth. What has sapped the energy of the American model?

This conference, organised by the American Politics Group of the UK (APG), was supported by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, the Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA) at the University of London, the US Embassy in London and the Political Studies Association.

Voices of Rap and Hip Hop
Friday 26 November 2010, 18.30 - 20.00

Rap and hip hop are among the most influential cultural forms of recent times. KRS ONE, one of the legendary voices of Hip Hop, together with some of the sharpest UK artists, Akala and Lowkey discussed how the words impact at street level.

Suppported by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at The British Library

Understanding U.S. Politics 2010
Two One-Day Conferences for 6th Form Students
Monday, November 8, 2010 & Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Speakers on both days were former U.S. Congressmen Jim Kolbe and David Minge, Professor Philip John Davies, Dr Ross English, Professor Robert McKeever (London Metropolitan University), Professor Iwan Morgan (University of London) and Dr Andrew Moran (London Metropolitan University).

These conferences took place with the generous support of the US Embassy London and the British Association for American Studies.

No More Secrets: or, How To Get The Most Out Of The American Foreign Policy Resources At The British Library
Monday 8 November 2010, 15.00 - 17.00

Convenors: Professor Matthew Jones (University of Nottingham) and Dr Steven Casey (London School of Economics)

This workshop introduced researchers, including postgraduate MA and PhD students, to American foreign policy primary sources at the British Library. It highlighted the Library's ever-expanding digital collections, as well as its printed document collections, newspaper resources, and microfilm holdings, with particular emphasis on materials on the twentieth-century.

The workshop was sponsored by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.

Promoting the Wonders of Science
The Benjamin Franklin House Symposium
Monday 20 September 2010

Brian Cox 15K Professor Brian Cox shared his expertise as a member of the High Energy Physics group at the University of Manchester and the ATLAS experiment on CERN's Large Hadron Collider. This lecture celebrates the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society, where Franklin was a celebrated member.

Presented by Benjamin Franklin House, the Royal Society and the Eccles Centre for American Studies, the British Library.

The 2010 Mid-Term Elections: Driving Forces, Likely Outcomes, Possible Consequences
Monday 20 September 2010

With Thomas E. Mann, the W. Averell Harriman Chair and senior fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution.

With the support of the PSA American Politics Group, the British Library Eccles Centre and United States Embassy.

Challenges and Opportunities in Higher Education
Wednesday 15 September 2010

Martin Bean explored the trends and shifts in global higher education provision and the rich potential of new technologies to deliver innovative educational solutions over coming years.

Martin Bean is Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, which is the UK's largest academic institution and a world leader in the provision of flexible, innovative and accessible education.

Lord David Puttnam was unavoidably prevented from giving his advertised talk on "The Challenge of Climate Change"

Presented by the US-UK Fulbright Commission and the Eccles Centre for American Studies, the British Library.

I Am an American Poet: This is American Poetry
Tuesday 20 Jul 2010

American poets James Cihlar, Shana Youngdahl, Laressa Dickey, Éireann Lorsung, Zachary Carlsen and Kerri French gave readings highlighting the diversity and dynamism of contemporary American poetry. This event followed four days of craft talks, workshops, readings, and individual conferences in Nottingham.

Presented by the Nottingham Poetry Series, with the generous support of the Eccles Centre.

Revolutions! U.S. and Spanish-American Independence Compared
Wednesday 2 June 2010

America South as well as North has been home to revolutionary fervour, with states rising from revolution, and the continuing heated debates sparked by this heritage. Sir John Elliott, prize winning author and Regius Professor Emeritus of Modern History at Oxford, was joined by three eminent historians of both the U.S. Revolution and the Spanish-American movements for independence, Professors James Dunkerley (Queen Mary University), Simon Newman (Glasgow), and Anthony McFarlane (Warwick), to examine what it is about the social, intellectual, political and cultural dimensions that make revolutions similar, and different, in the American continents.

This event was sponsored by the The Institute for the Study of the Americas of the University of London and the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.

Women and US Foreign Policy
Friday 21 May 2010

Keynote speaker: Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, President Clinton's NSC Staff Director (1993-97), US Ambassador to the United Nations (1995-2001), and author of The Superpower Myth: The Use and Misuse of American Might (2005).

Organised by The Institute for the Study of the Americas of the University of London, in partnership with the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library

15th Annual Douglas W. Bryant Lecture
Anti-Americanism in the 21st Century, by Simon Jenkins
Monday 17 May 2010

The Early Obama Presidency
Friday 14th May 2010

George C. Edwards (Texas A&M University) Strategic Assessments in the Early Obama Presidency; Stephen Wayne(Georgetown University) Obama's Personality and its Impact on his Presidency; Gary C. Jacobson (UCLA) Obama's Evolving Public Support; James P. Pfiffner (George Mason University) Organizing the Obama Presidency; John E. Owens (University of Westminster) Obama and the Democratic Congress; Richard M. Pious (Columbia University) Prerogative Power in the Obama Administration; James A. Thurber (American University) Changing the Way Washington Works? Obama, Congress and Lobbyists.

Conference sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Democracy in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster, and the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library

Talk and discussion
American Afflictions at Home and Abroad: New analyses of the USA
Wednesday 28 April 2010

The first decade of the 21st century has been a time of extraordinary challenges for the USA at home and internationally. The authors of three new books came together to debate the lessons that can be drawn by American and the international community. Tristram Riley-Smith's book The Cracked Bell: America and the Afflictions of Liberty has its origins in his observations of the USA while based at the British Embassy in Washington DC, where he arrived shortly after the 9/11 attacks; former BBC correspondent, Deepak Tripathi, examines the foreign policy adventures of the 43rd president in Overcoming the Bush Legacy in Iraq and Afghanistan; Stuart Price, in Brute Reality: Power, Discourse & the Mediation of War begins at 9/11 and brings his analysis forward to the policies of the Obama presidency.

This event was sponsored by the American Politics Group of the UK and the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.

Talk and discussion
Dressing Edith Wharton: Fashion, Material Culture and Literature
Wednesday 3rd March 2010

Katherine Joslin 2009 12kb Katherine Joslin's work brings together social, intellectual and political history with literature in the best American Studies tradition. Joslin's writing on Edith Wharton has been reviewed as 'deliciously witty', and 'a feminist reading which gives Wharton back her social and intellectual control'. Drawing on her most recent book, Edith Wharton and the Making of Fashion (University Press of New England, 2009), Joslin places fashion history and dress at the centre of Wharton's thinking about art and culture, in her knowledge both of the couture houses of Paris, and of the workshops where seamstresses, milliners and textile workers laboured.

The Launch of 1960s Civil Rights Protest: The 50th Anniversary of the Greensboro Sit-Ins and the Formation of the Student Non-Violent Coordination Committee
Tuesday 2 March 2010

This conference examined the development of the student protest in Greensboro, North Carolina against segregated lunch counters at the local Woolworth stores and other restaurants, and the consequent development of the SNCC as a forum of youth protest for civil rights. Leading UK students of 1960s black civil rights presented papers on the development of the local protest, the national significance of the SNCC in the achievement of the civil rights revolution and the consequences of the organization's post-1964 radicalization.

The conference was cohosted by the Eccles Centre for American Studies and the Institute for the Study of x the Americas, University of London

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