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The RAI draws particular attention to the fact that views expressed in blog posts are those of the individual authors, and not those of the Rothermere American Insitute.
After seven years, writes RAI Director Nigel Bowles, I have decided to step down as Director of the RAI and to retire from the University. By the time that I return from annual leave in early August, Professor Jay Sexton will have become Acting Director of the RAI, whilst Professor Michèle Mendelssohn will be the Acting Deputy Director. In their hands, the Institute will go from strength to strength.
The RAI would like to draw attention to two travel awards offered by the American Politics Group of the Political Studies Association:
Through the generosity of its members, the PSA American Politics Group is able to offer two grants of £750 each to help support research trips to the USA for work on projects related to American politics.
The RAI congratulates Professor Desmond King on his elections as an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. A Fellow of the British Academy since 2003, Professor King is Andrew Mellon Professor of American Government at Oxford University, Professorial Fellow of Nuffield College, Director of Graduate Studies in Oxford’s Department of Politics and International Relations, and Emeritus Fellow of St John’s College.
The RAI congratulates Tessa Roynon, Supernumerary Research and Teaching Fellow on being awarded the Toni Morrison Society Book Prize 2015 for best single-authored book for her recent book, Toni Morrison and the Classical Tradition: Transforming American Culture (Oxford University Press).
Hailed by a committee of Morrison scholars as “a landmark contribution to Morrison scholarship” and “an insightful intervention in American cultural studies”, the book was judged to be the best of the eleven book-length studies of Morrison published by major presses between 2012 and 2015. The award was announced at the American Literature Association conference in Boston at the end of May.
Tickets are now on sale for Testament: An Evening of Flannery O’Connor’s South on Friday 3rd July. Specially commissioned by the RAI, Testament is the Institute’s latest garden play from acclaimed playwright and performer Elisabeth Gray. Taking inspiration from the great Southern writer Flannery O’Connor, who once wrote that the South was “Christ haunted”, Testament will explore the continued imprint of Biblical narratives on the Southern psyche. Award-winning folk musician Jack Harris accompanies Gray with authentic Southern music. The performance will begin at 6pm, with tickets priced at £15 (adult) and £10 (concessions).
Work is well underway on the resurfacing of the RAI’s car park and service area. As part of a month-long project, worn paving in the car park is being replaced and the layout of the service area remodelled. The project is scheduled to be completed by Friday 17th July.
The RAI congratulates Mark Petersen, who completed his doctorate in American History at the Institute in 2014, on his appointment as Assistant Professor of History at the University of Dallas. The tenure-track position will begin in August 2015. Located in Irving, Texas, the University of Dallas is a small, Catholic institution, with a strong commitment to liberal education and a core curriculum that critically engages with the Western Tradition. A specialist in U.S.-Latin American relations, Petersen’s doctorate was entitled ‘Latin American Approaches to Pan-Americanism, 1889-1939’.
A video recording of the inaugural Ambassador John J. Louis Jr. Lecture in Anglo-American Relations, given by the Chancellor of Oxford University, Lord Patten of Barnes, CH, is now available here. Generously made possible by the Louis Foundation, the lecture is in honour of John J. Louis Jr., United States Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s under President Ronald Reagan between 1981 and 1983.
A major international conference at the RAI in April 2015, ‘Gold Rush Imperialism: Gold Mining and Global History in the Age of Imperialism, c.1848-1914’ explored the global, transnational and imperial dimensions of nineteenth and early twentieth century gold rushes. To accompany the conference, the Vere Harmsworth Library hosted an exhibition of relevant materials from the collections of the Bodleian Libraries.
The RAI welcomes Donald and Lisa Drakeman (right) to deliver the latest in its series of ‘American Business: Past, Present and Future’ lectures on Wednesday 10 June at 5pm: ‘Following the Map of the Genome: The Biotechnology Industry and its Future’. All are welcome. Donald Drakeman, JD, PhD, is a Venture Partner with Advent Life Sciences and a Fellow in Health Management at the University of Cambridge. Lisa Drakeman, PhD, is the Chair of Volunteers in Medicine, a large charitable clinic for the medically underserved located in coastal South Carolina.