April 2013

Tim Lustig and James Peacock are the editors of Disease and Disorders in Contemporary Fiction, an essay collection which has just been published by Routledge. 

The collection addresses the current preoccupation with neurological conditions in contemporary British and American literature.  The book places these fictional treatments within a broader cultural and historical context, exploring such topics as the two cultures debate, the neurological turn, and transatlantic responses to September 11th.

Considering a variety of materials including mainstream literary fiction, graphic novels, popular fiction and autobiographical writing, contributors consider the interface between the sciences and humanities.  They also develop the debate about 'post-postmodernism' as a new humanism or a return to realism and investigate questions of form and genre.  From different perspectives, the contributors argue that the current preoccupation with neurological conditions presents us with a new and distinctive form of trauma literature, one concerned less with psychoanalysis than with the physical and evolutionary status of human beings.

American Studies PhD student, Katie McGettigan, has created an online map of Herman Melville's associations with Liverpool, in collaboration with Diana Powell of Liverpool University. Produced as part of the 'Moby Dick on the Mersey' festival, which celebrates Melville's connections with Liverpool and the city's whaling heritage.  'Mapping Melville's Liverpool' charts the Liverpool locations used in Melville's 1849 novel, Redburn, and those visited by Melville himself during his stay in the city in 1856.  Katie is particularly interested in the ways in which digital technologies and literary cartography might provide new perspectives on texts, and there are plans to expand the project to map other fictional portrayals of Liverpool, and aspects of its maritime history.  The map can be viewed and downloaded for free at http://mobydickonthemersey.org/melvilles-liverpool/

March 2013

 It is with great regret that we announce the death of Colin Charles Bonwick, aged 77, on 4 March 2013. Colin came to Keele from Magdalene College, Oxford, in 1964. His initial appointment was as an assistant lecturer in History. But when the American Studies department was created in 1965, Colin began to teach American colonial and revolutionary history – an area of study to which he committed himself for the remainder of his career. Colin was the author of two distinguished studies in the field, both of which remain in print: English Radicals and the American Revolution (1977) and The American Revolution (1991). Following his retirement in 2001, Colin was Emeritus Professor of American Studies at Keele. Colin was the husband of Mary, the father of Jonathan and Andrew, and the grandfather of Alejandra and Santiago. His funeral takes place at Bradwell Crematorium on Tuesday 12 March 2013.

Novel Communities

James Peacock interviews Jonathan Lethem on Thursday, March 7th at 4.15 p.m. in the Ena Thompson Reading Room, Crookshank Hall.

For further details please see James Peacock's interview with Jonathan Lethem


February 2013

Amy Tunstall, a second year English and American Literatures student, has been elected Editor-in-Chief of Concourse for 2013/2014 in the recent Keele Student Union Elections. She will be coordinating a team of fellow students to release regular issues of the student magazine. The editorship has only been voted in by students for the past couple of years and is now a voluntary part-time role. Amy oversees the magazine in its third year of being a Student Led Service, and her goal is to increase circulation and awareness of Concourse and other SLSs that provide so much for the student body. She believes that the student voice is hugely important, both individually and collectively.

We are delighted to announce that Professor Oliver Harris, Dr. Tim Lustig, Katie McGettigan and Dr. James Peacock were all nominated by their students for a Keele Teaching Experience Award this year.