Transnational Boundary Crossing in Fictional Lagos

 In 2018, the website Ozy famously crowned Nigerian Americans as the most successful ethnic group in the United States. Nearly 30 percent of Nigerian Americans over the age of 25 held graduate degrees—almost three times the overall average within the general U.S. population. “Among Nigerian-American professionals, 45 percent work in education services … many are […]

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Fiction and the City 2018

When the Modern Language Association (MLA) and the American Historical Association (AHA) announced that they would both be hosting their 2019 conferences in the capital of the Midwest, Chicago, during always balmy January, it was not surprising. The two often overlap, particularly in the convention-friendly Windy City. However, what did create shouts of joy was […]

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Children’s Fiction in the City

By Avigail Oren, with contributions from Kevin Seal, Melanie Newport, and other #twitterstorians I’m spending the month of February living in the bedroom I occupied as a teenager, in the house my parents have lived in for almost twenty years, which is mercifully located in the warm and sunny state of Florida. In the parlance […]

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Romance Novellas and the Postcolonial African City

By Emily Callaci In the late 1970s, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania was one of the most rapidly growing cities in the world. Each year, thousands of young men and women left their rural homes and made their way to the city, expanding the squatter settlements and the ranks of the city’s youth population. The global […]

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Race, Sexuality, and Noir in Chester Himes’ Wartime Los Angeles

Recently, UHA member, historian and social media personality extraordinaire Kevin Kruse tweeted out a thread of advice on writing in which the Princeton professor noted that historians, young and old alike, would do well to read outside of the field. Though the thread covered a great deal of territory, Kruse emphasized the need for historians […]

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The View from 71st and Jeffery

By Carlo Rotella The best spot for ectoplasmic people-watching in South Shore is the raised wooden platform of the Bryn Mawr Metra station at 71st and Jeffery. This is the old Illinois Central station that formed the principal bud from which this neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago grew in the late nineteenth century, […]

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Crabgrass Chaos: Failed Suburbs in Science Fiction

By Carl Abbott The picture window in the modest suburban house in Belle Reve, New Jersey is marred by a long crack from top to bottom. Built for World War II veterans, its foundation is cracking after a dozen years and there’s no money to fix the fifteen-foot window that supposedly signaled upward mobility. Forward […]

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The urbanization of Chinese fiction

By Kristin Stapleton Over the past thirty years, Chinese cities have boomed – more than 100 Chinese cities have populations of over a million, and the world’s newest skyscrapers are continuously reshaping their skylines. Fiction that can be characterized as “urban” is less common in China than in many other parts of the world, however. […]

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