Next month I’m very much looking forward to giving a paper at the 2016 British Association of American Studies Postgraduate Conference. Hosted by the University of Leeds, the conference theme is ‘Negotiating the Borders and Boundaries of Americanism‘.
The title of my paper is ‘Lines Burned Into Minds’: Negotiating and Transgressing the Borders of South Los Angeles, and I’ll be discussing Chester Himes’s If He Hollers Let Him Go (1945) and Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep (1977) in relation to the social and geographical borders and boundaries that constrained the African-American community in LA, from WWII to the post-Civil Rights era.
The programme has lots of fascinating-sounding papers, including discussions of Patricia Highsmith and Raymond Chandler, and a keynote on ‘The Borders of Belonging and Desires for Blackness in America’. And the conference dinner involves an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet – I can’t think of a better way to end the day.