What's Wrong With the United States?

Oakland, California

It’s an interesting time to be alive. It is an even more exciting time to be in the US, no doubt. Having spent some time in the (southern) Midwest and now in the Bay Area, I already got a pretty good impression of some fault lines that run through American society after the recent presidential election. For instance, doing whiskey shots with some history teachers at Arnie’s Bar (10/10 would recommend) in Tulsa, everyone pretty much agreed on how devastating the election will prove for the years to come. That is until a young white guy joined us at the table and started aggressively promoting his ideas of racial segregation, circa 1920. Of course, everyone was quite baffled but we... Read More

Lovecraft in Tulsa

Tulsa, Oklahoma

My panel presentation at the Society of Early Americanists 10th Biennial Conference went pretty well, although, in classic Woellian fashion, I put a spoke in my wheel by starting off by quoting a longish Whitman poem. I guess that baffled some people who where already a little surprised to hear about H.P. Lovecraft in an academic field that cuts its strings at 1800. So if you’re interested how everybody’s favorite racialist cosmic horror author connects to Orientalized colonial spaces of contagion and death (and let’s be real: who wouldn’t be?), what follows is the transcript of my talk. And no, I’m not doing sources or bibliographies or anything like that, this is a blog. Sue me… Read More

The Midwest Appears to be Underrated

Tulsa, Oklahoma

What a great day in Tulsa with Maša and Carl and what an epic way to lose my jet lag, including (but not limited to) cruising around town in a cream-colored 1983 Mercedes on Route 66, eating insanely good BBQ, drinking lots of beer, playing arcade games almost for free, and listening to the local youth picking the Oklahoman banjo. I kid thee not, this has got to be one of the coolest ways to arrive anywhere! On a different note, I will probably puke during my presentation tomorrow in front of a hundred people. Read More