BrANCH News and Announcements 13.05.2015

Dear all,

Please find below the recent announcements and calls for papers received by BrANCH:


  1. Announcement: Peter Parish Fund

The BrANCH committee is pleased to announce that we are accpeting applications to the Peter Parish Fund. Please see our website here.


  1. Announcement: European Journal of American Studies

The European Journal of American Studies has published a special issue on Women in the United States. Please see


  1. Announcement: Eccles Centre for American Studies



Greetings from all at the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library. Below you will find details of our summer 2015 programme. With the Magna Carta exhibitionin full swing we have a number of events focusing on the legacy of the document in the US and beyond, including an evening of spoken word, a talk on the constitutional legacy of Magna Carta, a discussion of the power of iconic documents and events with civil rights activist Jesse Jackson and legal activist Bryan Stevenson. We do hope you will find time to visit the exhibition and see the wonderful American loans first-hand: we have Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence and the State of Delaware’s copy of the Bill of Rights on display. The Library will be hosting a morning of Americana on Saturday 4th July so we hope you may be able to join us then. Our other events take us through more recent American classics with Sarah Churchwell discussing the 90th anniversary of The Great Gatsby, and the Burning Man festival visiting the Library. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Late at the Library: Freedom of Expression, featuring Saul Williams and Tongue Fu

Friday 15 May 2015, 19:30-23:00, British Library Entrance Hall, £20 Book tickets

A night of extraordinary words, performance and sounds, free speech and beats. We are proud to present an exclusive European appearance by incomparable emcee, poet and rap artist Saul Williams, together with his band. In addition, spoken word collective Tongue Fu present some of the best in the UK: DizraeliSalena GoddenVanessa Kisuule andChris Redmond plus Belgium’s Baloji. And if this wasn’t enough, DJ Norman Jay MBE will play a special music selection. Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy will be open on the night and entry is included in the ticket price. Read more…

Inventing The Great Gatsby: 1922-1925

Monday 18 May 2015, 18:30-20:00, British Library Conference Centre, £10/£8/£7 Book tickets

Marking The Great Gatsby’s 90th anniversary, Sarah Churchwell tells the story of F Scott Fitzgerald’s developing ideas and the ways in which he conceived his novel, and the different ways it has been received in the decades since its publication. Sarah Churchwell is Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities, UEA and Eccles British Library Writer in Residence for 2015In collaboration with Sulgrave Manor. Read more…

Magna Carta’s American Adventure

Monday 1 June 2015, 18:30-20:00, British Library Conference Centre, £10/£8/£7 Book tickets

Magna Carta has left an indelible mark on American constitutionalism.  Carried to America with the first colonial charters, Magna Carta was invoked by Americans who objected to British policies on the eve of revolution.  Professor A E Dick Howard discusses Magna Carta’s legacy in America including the rule of law, constitutional supremacy, due process of law, and the idea of an organic, evolving constitution. In collaboration with Benjamin Franklin House and the US Embassy London. Read more…

Crossroads of Curiosity: The British Library meets Burning Man

Saturday 20 June 2015, 19:00-late, British Library Conference Centre & Piazza, £15/£12/£10 Book tickets

On the summer solstice, we celebrate the unveiling of a major installation at the British Library, Crossroads of Curiosity, originally exhibited at the Burning Man Festival 2014. The artwork was created using copyright-free images from the British Library’s Mechanical Curator project, available on Flickr. The evening starts with talks from speakers including the creator of the installation, David Normal, and Larry Harvey, founder of Burning Man. The installation unveiling at dusk is accompanied by a series of outdoor performances and displays from artists, musicians, comedians and digital researchers. Read more…

The Power of Iconic Documents

Monday 29 June 2015, 18:30-20:30, British Library Conference Centre, £15/£12/£10 Book tickets

Once written down, some texts take on a power that makes them touchstones of human wisdom; inspiring movements, brave individuals and even whole nations. At this exceptional event hear Geoffrey Robertson on Magna Carta, Jill Lepore on the US Bill of Rights and Michael Ignatieff on The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This will be followed by a discussion chaired by Sarah Churchwell, Professor of American Literature and Public Understanding of the Humanities, UEA and Eccles British Library Writer in Residence for 2015. Read more…

Independence Day

Saturday 4 July 2015, 10:00-14:00, British Library Piazza, Free

Calling all US expats and lovers of Americana. Get your tickets for the Magna Carta exhibition (ticket charges apply) and pay your respects to the Declaration of Independence while enjoying a morning of razzmatazz, live music, food and fun around the building. Read more…

Bryan Stevenson: Just Mercy

Tuesday 14 July 2015, 18:30-20:00, British Library Conference Centre, £10/£8/£7 Book tickets

Bryan Stevenson was a young Alabama lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need; the poor, the wrongly condemned and the mentally disabled, trapped in the farthest reaches of the criminal justice system. He has gone on to be one of the most celebrated and influential crusaders for justice alive today. Read more…

Jesse Jackson in Conversation

Friday 21 August 2015, 18:30-20:00, British Library Conference Centre, £20/£18/£17; Booking will open shortly

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is one of America’s foremost civil rights, religious and political figures. Over the past forty years, he has played a pivotal role in virtually every movement for empowerment, peace, civil rights, gender equality, and economic and social justice. At this special event he talks about the present state of equalities and rights in the US and beyond.


Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy

Open until 1 September 2015; PACCAR Gallery; £12.00 full price, concs available Book tickets

Since 1215, Magna Carta has evolved from a political agreement to an international symbol of freedom. Uncover the story of how its power has been used – and abused – from its genesis through to today’s popular culture, in the largest exhibition ever staged about this world-famous document.

Together, for this once-in-a-lifetime moment marking the 800th anniversary, are the iconic documents and artefacts that tell the story of Magna Carta: two of the four original 1215 Magna Carta documents, Jefferson’s handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence and one of the original copies of the US Bill of Rights, both on display in the UK for the first time, together with stunning manuscripts, paintings, statues and royal relics. Read more…


America and Britain in the 21st Century by Ambassador Sir Nigel Sheinwald

American Red: The Public Debt in US History by Iwan Morgan, University College London

Parrots, Pasta and the Politics of Language: Making the Ethical Case for Language Policy and Planning in Quebec by Leigh Oakes, Queen Mary University of London

Lincoln’s Just Laughter: Humour and Ethics in the Civil War Union by Richard Carwardine, University of Oxford

For more research resources, explore our bibliographical guidesplenary lecture PDFs and DW Bryant lecture PDFs.

Eccles Centre for American Studies

The British Library | 96 Euston Road | London | NW1 2DB


  1. CFP: 49th Parallel

49th Parallel is delighted to announce an upcoming special issue devoted to the theme of economic inequality and North American identity. Articles should be between 6000-8000 words and adhere to Chicago Manual of Style referencing. For full submission guidelines, please see the Submissions page on the 49thParallel website.The deadline is 1st July 2015. Please submit articles and direct any enquiries to

This special issues arises out of a conference that 49th Parallel is hosting at University of Nottingham on Friday 19 June 2015 titled ‘Money Talks: Inequality and North American Identity’. Information about this conference, including the details of our keynote speaker, Dr Paul Crosthwaite (University of Edinburgh) can be found here:


BrANCH is looking to update our list of recent publications and our research and teaching resources. Please let us know if you want to submit an entry.

Best wishes,

The BrANCH Committee


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