Call for Papers: Culture & International History VI – Visions of Humanity, May 6-8, 2019, John F. Kennedy Institute, FU Berlin
Jul01

Call for Papers: Culture & International History VI – Visions of Humanity, May 6-8, 2019, John F. Kennedy Institute, FU Berlin

Call for Papers: Culture & International History VI: Visions of Humanity 6 – 8 May 2019 in Berlin  John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin   The conference Culture and International History VI will take place from the 6th through the 8th of May, 2019 in Berlin. Siep Stuurman (Universiteit Utrecht), author of The Invention of Humanity: Equality and Cultural Difference in World History (Harvard UP, 2017), will deliver the keynote speech. The conference marks the 20th anniversary of the symposium cycle that began in 1999 and has since taken place in Wittenberg, Frankfurt, Cologne, and Berlin. Key themes and contributions have been published in Berghahn Books’ series Explorations in Culture and International History (Oxford, New York, since 2003). “Visions of Humanity” seeks to address the growing interest in historical ideas, statements, policies and actions invoking transnational, international and global audiences in the name of common values, rights and concerns. These may be manifest in activism relating to human rights, policies invoking humanitarian action, cultural output imagining trans-border societies, ideas wedding technology and the human, international protest against mechanisms of marginalization, cross-cultural canon-building (“the humanities”) and attempts to define “humanity” in academic disciplines. International history is full of people and organizations invoking visions of humanity in an effort to create common notions of identity (“we”) based on international and global reference points. But who constituted “we”? What made “us” similar? Who was part of humanity, who wasn’t? What were the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion in humanity? And who defined and contested these criteria and decisions? The symposium will focus on visions of humanity as they crystallize in the history of diplomatic and informal fora as well as in the context of specific debates. Specifically, the conference seeks to compare 20th century approaches in North American and transatlantic history to other regions and earlier periods. Possible topics include but are not limited to: The human rights diplomacy of indigenous people Arts, international relations and visions of humanity Humanity and the humanities in international exchange The concept of humanity in diplomatic and legal parlance Minority rights vs. universal rights in international history Cultural diplomacy in the name of human rights & humanitarian action We invite students and scholars of International History, Modern History, Area Studies, Theater Studies, Cultural Studies, Musicology, Art History, Psychology, Social Science, Anthropology and related fields to submit proposals before July 8, 2018. Young scholars are particularly encouraged to apply. Proposals should include 1. a brief cover letter, 2. the title of the paper and an abstract of max. 500 words, 3. a one-page CV. All three should be submitted in one pdf file. Proposals for panels will...

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Call for Papers: “The Age of Sharing? Practices of Sharing in Contemporary Media, Literature and Culture” March 20-22, 2019, University Koblenz-Landau
Jun25

Call for Papers: “The Age of Sharing? Practices of Sharing in Contemporary Media, Literature and Culture” March 20-22, 2019, University Koblenz-Landau

The Age of Sharing? Practices of Sharing in Contemporary Media, Literature and Culture (20.-22. March 2019; University Koblenz-Landau/Germany) The concept of sharing has become pervasive in the 21st century. We are encouraged to ‘share’ our digital data (e.g. facebook) and to participate in the ‘sharing industry’ (e.g. Airbnb). Moreover, popular self-help literature emphasizes that we should develop healthy intimate relationships through sharing or disclosing our innermost thoughts and feelings. While these are quite diverse practices, the concept of ‘sharing’ emphasizes a link, endowing them with a positive value. This extraordinary career of the concept ‘sharing’ has led sociologists such as Nicholas John to dub our contemporary time as an ‘age of sharing’. The practices subsumed under ‘sharing’, however, have also given rise to controversy. Critics point to thorny issues such as data protection or challenge what they perceive to be a dubious reduction of the individual to a ‘quantified self’: a self that is measured by and understood through numbers. Big data is used to map the identity of individuals (e.g. consumption habits, credit worthiness). The ongoing controversy on sharing illustrates how closely concepts and practices of sharing are tied to seminal shifts in sociocultural and medial landscapes. This conference seeks to bring scholars from different disciplines together (e.g. media/film, art, literary and cultural studies; sociology; ethnology) to explore the cultural work that key concepts of ‘sharing’ in contemporary culture fulfil. Of particular interest is the contribution of contemporary media, literature, and the arts to critical discussions of ‘sharing’. In what way do representations of sharing in contemporary media and literature provide a new perspective on our understanding of ‘sharing‘? How may contemporary conceptualizations of sharing contribute to our understanding of new medial developments or artistic-economic practices (e.g. new marketing strategies: book trailers in which the author shares personal or fake information about the writing process and/or his life to increase the impression of an intimate text)? Topics for papers may include, but are not limited to: contemporary conceptualisations and critical assessments of ‘sharing’ the use of ‘sharing’ as a concept to understand or analyse contemporary medial, aesthetic and social developments (e.g. participatory media, theatre livecasts, …) representations of and discourses on sharing in the media, literature and the arts the history of self-marketing strategies in literature and art (with a focus on developments in the 21st century, e.g. book trailers as means for both authors and publishers to target audiences and for readers to share their favourite books with other readers, hence creating a ‘communal’ reading experience) Please send your abstract (ca. 250 words) and a short bio blurb to  liedke-heidi@uni-landau.de and butter@uni-landau.de by JULY 15th, 2018.  ...

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Call for Papers: “Intersectionality: Theories, Policies, Practices”  February 14-17, 2019, Grainau, Germany
Mar27

Call for Papers: “Intersectionality: Theories, Policies, Practices” February 14-17, 2019, Grainau, Germany

“Intersectionality: Theories, Policies, Practices” February 14-17, 2019, Grainau, Germany 40th Annual Conference of the Association for Canadian Studies in German-Speaking Countries (GKS) The Association for Canadian Studies in German-Speaking Countries is a multidisciplinary academic association which aims to increase and disseminate a scholarly understanding of Canada. For our 2019 annual conference, we invite papers from any discipline that speak to the conference theme of “Intersectionality: Theories, Policies, Practices” with a Canadian or comparative focus. (Papers can be presented in English, French or German.) We are particularly – but not exclusively – interested in the following four main aspects: 1)      Beyond Race, Class, and Gender: Historical, Sociological, Geographical, and Political Dimensions of Intersectionality 2)     Space and the Politics of Place: Location, Environment, Cross-Border Dynamics 3)     Intersectionality and Education 4)     Intersectional Approaches: Discourses, Representations, Texts. Intersectionality, “both an analytical framework and a complex of social practices” (Hancock 2016: 7), has its roots in U.S. Black feminism, where, since the late 1980s, it has been used to address issues of inequality such as disparate access to social resources. While applicable to both individuals and groups, intersectionality focuses on interlocking categories of difference and their impact on a plethora of decision-making processes. Apart from race, gender, and class, the following mutually constitutive categories have been proposed: ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, bodily ability, religion, education, culture, nationality/citizenship status, language use as well as geographical and environmental location. Next to the relationship between categories, internal differences within categories have been considered, with scholars trying to assess power relations, for instance in terms of voice and agency, and thus identifying advantaged and disadvantaged social positions. Over the years, intersectionality has not only developed into a key concept of women’s and gender studies, but left its mark in many other disciplines, among them history, political science, geography, sociology, psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, and postcolonial studies. In Canada, the experience of discrimination shaped by multiple identities has been recorded in volumes such as Maria Campbell’s Halfbreed (1973), Makeda Silvera’s Silenced (1983), Monique Proulx’s Le sexe des étoiles (1987), Dionne Brand’s No Burden to Carry (1990), or Orville Lloyd Douglas’s Under My Skin (2014). During the time span covered by these publications, Canada witnessed an increasing institutionalization of intersectionality. Scholarly analyses of Canadian society through an intersec­tional lens no doubt contributed to this development. Thus Olena Hankivsky and Renée Cormier pointed to health inequities which, for instance, deny Aboriginal women in nonurban environments vital health care services (2009: 16) and Rita Dhamoon underlined the importance of intersectionality for Canadian solidarity politics (2009). Recent trends in intersectionality research include, first, a more balanced view on processes of marginalization and privileging, acknowledging that a particular group or person might be disadvantaged in one social context...

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Call for Papers: Challenging Comfort as an Idea(l) in Contemporary Literature and Culture,  Dec 8, 2018, University of Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau
Mar24

Call for Papers: Challenging Comfort as an Idea(l) in Contemporary Literature and Culture, Dec 8, 2018, University of Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau

Challenging Comfort as an Idea(l) in Contemporary Literature and Culture, Dec 8, 2018; University of Koblenz-Landau, Campus Landau Contemporary culture has a deeply ambivalent attitude towards comfort. On the one hand, comfort is enshrined as a key ideal in practices from nursing to urban planning. Healthy home and working environments are characterised in terms of comfort levels; ethical behaviour is seen as including comforting others in times of need. On the other hand, comfort is often also seen as an obstacle towards self-growth and achievement. In a neoliberal business environment, we have become used to slogans like “Innovations happen outside of your comfort zone” or “If you never push yourself outside of your comfort zone, you will never improve”. As a prominent cultural idea(l), the concept of ‘comfort’ conjoins bodily, material (e.g. built environments), social, psychological and ethical dimensions. It thus surprising that there is a scarcity of studies exploring competing conceptualizations of comfort and their implications for practices of the self, (ethical) relations, consumerism (e.g. comfort items), and environmental systems. While a research tradition on comfort exists in nursing studies, ethnology, anthropology, architecture and social geography, there is a need for an interdisciplinary dialogue that includes further theoretical perspectives on how comfort is valorized in different social fields and discourses. Literary and cultural studies can offer a vital contribution in analysing the shaping of comfort as a cultural narrative and emotional touchstone. This symposium seeks to address questions such as the following: Which theories or models may be used to conceptualize ‘comfort’? Wherein lies the value of (dis)comfort? How is the concept mobilized by specific discourses or ideologies? How do representations of comfort in literature, the arts or media connect to or complicate existing idea(l)s of comfort? How may the semantics of ‘comfort’ help trace cultural formations? Please send your abstract (ca. 250 words) and a short bio blurb to dorotheebirke@aias.au.dk and butter@uni-landau.de by May 15th, 2018. We are planning to publish selected papers from the conference in an edited...

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Call for Papers: INPUTS International Symposium “Karl Marx, Marxism, and the Global South”, Bremen
Feb21

Call for Papers: INPUTS International Symposium “Karl Marx, Marxism, and the Global South”, Bremen

Call for papers: INPUTS International Symposium “Karl Marx, Marxism, and the Global South”, University of Bremen, City University of Applied Sciences, Bremen, 4-5 May 2018 Organisation: Dr. Detlev Quintern (INPUTS, FSMV University, Istanbul) Prof. Dr. Kerstin Knopf (INPUTS, University of Bremen) Prof. Dr. Hans-Heinrich Bass (City University of Applied Sciences, Bremen) On 5 May 2018 the 200th birthday of Karl Marx will be commemorated with a variety of events and exhibitions throughout the world. In early 1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published their seminal text Communist Manifesto, which was translated into more than one hundred languages and which today is part of UNESCO’s World Document heritage. The history of societies was understood as a history of class struggle. As a consequence of the break with utopian, reformist and anarchist tendencies, Karl Marx was striving to unveil the inner nature of capital — a theoretical-methodological approach, which was mainly based on a critique and a new interpretation of  economics as developed by the classical thinkers (A. Smith, D. Ricardo, J. St. Mill). The Capital (Das Kapital), first published in Hamburg in 1867, ranks among his most efficacious writings. Because of his theoretical ideas on the economic struggles of the lower classes and on the issue of private ownership, Karl Marx is considered as one of the most influential thinkers on economic justice worldwide. The symposium aims at critically acknowledging, reviewing and discussing Marx’s ideas, influences and legacies from a variety of perspectives of the Global South, focusing on postcolonial interpretations and adaptations as well as on circulations of utopian ideas. During the 20th century and the liberation movements in the Global South, often memorized traditional-societal and Marxist ideas (on modernization) were interwoven into utopian visions of the future (e.g. in the writings of José Mariátegui/Peru, Kwame Nkrumah/Ghana or Ali Schariati/Iran). Marxist thoughts had and still have an effect on visions of a fairer world in the Global South and beyond. The question how more just societies and sustainable modes of production could be designed, is not only a historical and utopian but also a question of contemporary relevance, deserving closer attention in the humanities. The following questions will be addressed, among others: ‒       How did Marx understand the historical-societal developments in Asia, Africa and the Americas? ‒       How did he interpret anti-colonial movements? ‒       What importance within capitalist production was assigned to the Global South in various interpretations of Marxist ideas? ‒       On what kind of understanding of nature was his interpretation of the development of productive forces based on? ‒       How were and are Karl Marx’s ideas received and utilized in the Global South? ‒       What are possible utopian potentials of Karl Marx’s work in today’s globalized world with nations, labour forces, capital,...

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Call for Papers: Where is Home?/Diaspora in Nigeria – International Conference at the University of Abuja, Nigeria
Feb20

Call for Papers: Where is Home?/Diaspora in Nigeria – International Conference at the University of Abuja, Nigeria

Call for Papers: WHERE IS HOME? NIGERIAN DIASPORA / DIASPORA IN NIGERIA AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE at the University of Abuja, Nigeria in collaboration with the University of Muenster, Germany, 19-22 November, 2018       CHIEF HOST Prof. Michael U. Adikwu, FAS, FPSN, FSTAN, MIPAN Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja   Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Bernardine Evaristo, Writer, and Professor of Creative Writing, London Sam Egwu, Professor, Resident Electoral Commissioner, Niger State, Nigeria Siyan Oyewoso, Professor, Director General, Centre for Black Culture and International Studies UNESCO Office, Osogbo, Nigeria Chudi Uwazurike, Professor, Institute for Governance & Leadership in Africa, Abuja   SPECIAL GUEST OF HONOUR Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria Hon. Abike Dabiri – Erewa, Senior Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora   BACKGROUND With global mass migration, transcontinental transport and worldwide instant communication, the set-up, constellations and dynamics of societies is changing rapidly. Whereas the organization in nation states is still widely perceived as the primary ordering principle, incisive change has long set in. New patterns of individual as well as group identity formation and social and cultural belonging have emerged as powerful, often transnational force fields competing with more traditional patterns of identity politics and cultural belonging. Of these, diaspora has evolved as a particularly vibrant and pliable concept which, although not a new phenomenon, has the power to focus important aspects characterizing today’s societies and cultures on the move. With its origins in the migratory patterns going back to Biblical times in Judaism and Greek antiquity, diaspora formations have developed across the globe. With its multi-ethnic and multicultural society, Nigeria is a particularly striking case in point, both as a site of diasporic formations within and across its political, administrative and cultural borders, as well as the country of origin for vibrant Nigerian diasporas around the globe. Nigeria’s multiple indigene-settler issues and diaspora experiences raise fundamental questions: Where is home? Who is a citizen/settler? What are his/her rights and entitlements? How do the arts, including literature, painting, music and theatre refract and shape diasporic experience and identity? What is the impact of indigene-settler and diaspora formations on nation building and global peace? Can diaspora formations which have proved extremely resilient be supportive of constructing peaceful societies? Such and similar questions about diaspora in general and with a special focus on diasporas in Nigeria or Nigerian diasporas world-wide are the focus of this international conference. The conveners invite contributions from suggested multiple sub-themes including (but not limited to): SUB-THEMES Conceptual and theoretical issues of Diaspora Nigerian diasporas and indigene-settler politics Religion and diaspora in Nigeria Nigerian economics and...

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Call for Papers: Context is for Kings – An Edited Collection on Star Trek: Discovery
Feb16

Call for Papers: Context is for Kings – An Edited Collection on Star Trek: Discovery

Call for Papers: Context is for Kings – An Edited Collection on Star Trek: DiscoveryDeadline 15 April, 2018 https://networks.h-net.org/node/73374/announcements/1366448/context-kings-edited-collection-star-trek-discovery 51 years after Star Trek: The Original Series first aired on U.S. American TV, Star Trek: Discovery is updating the franchise for the 21st century. Like TOS was in the 60s, Discovery is firmly rooted in the zeitgeist and current political climate—a fact that has led to surprising amount of backlash from some corners of the fandom. Thanks to the advantage of streaming platforms over network television, the series is also updating the largely episodic structure of the earlier installments to a more serial and coherent storytelling that allows for longer narrative arcs as well as a focus on in-depth character development.Set 10 years before The Original Series, Discovery is notably darker than any of the previous iterations of the franchise. Depicting the Federation at war with the Klingon Empire, the first season raises questions about identity and othering, war and trauma, and the conflict between idealism and pragmatism. It explores how Starfleet, an organization ostensibly dedicated to exploration and diplomacy, deals with the ethical questions surrounding war, and the lengths people are willing to go to win. These questions are deepened and complicated by the fact that the series, unlike any of the previous entries in the Star Trek canon, focuses not exclusively on the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery and the United Federation of planets, but also presents the events from the point of view of the Klingon Empire. A foray into the Mirror Universe dominated by the fascist Terran Empire throws Starfleet’s ideals and the characters’ struggles to live up to them into even sharper relief.In addition to the questions raised by the narrative, Discovery has continued the franchise’s commitment to representing diversity on screen. Featuring a woman of color in the lead role, a racially and ethnically diverse main and supporting cast, and introducing the franchise’s first gay couple (played by out gay actors), the show is even more inclusive than any of the previous Star Trek series. Discovery thus has once more proven Star Trek’s continued cultural relevance and has, after only one season, already warranted an in-depth academic study that engages with the series from the perspectives of a variety of academic disciplines, such as cultural studies, gender and queer theory, political science, philosophy, and more.We thus invite contributions to an edited collection to be published with a notable international publishing house or University Press. The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2018. Please include an abstract (300 words) on the topic you would like to write on, plus a short bio-blurb, and send...

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Call for Articles: American Studies in Scandinavia 
Jan30

Call for Articles: American Studies in Scandinavia 

Call for Articles:  American Studies in Scandinavia is a respected and traditional (established in 1968) peer-reviewed journal in American Studies. It is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, inclusive to academic specialties as varied as history, literature, politics, geography, area studies, media studies, ethnic studies, culture studies, law, economics, and linguistics. We currently draw manuscript submissions from authors around the world. We want to offer an inviting venue for scholars to publish their latest research, express their ideas, and build a sense of academic community.   Send your inquiries and manuscript submissions to the editor Dr. Janne Lahti at janne.lahti@helsinki.fi If you have a book to review or would like to review one, contact Prof. Pirjo Ahokas at piraho@utu.fi For guidelines...

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CfA: BAA 10th International Summer Academy, “Questions of the Archive” June 2 – June 10, 2018 in Miami
Jan21

CfA: BAA 10th International Summer Academy, “Questions of the Archive” June 2 – June 10, 2018 in Miami

The Bavarian American Academy in Munich invites applications for its 10th International Summer Academy for Doctoral Students and Junior Faculty in American Studies on “Questions of the Archive” June 2-10, 2018, in Miami in cooperation with Florida International University and Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg. Link to BAA_SummerAcademy2018_CfA Following the widely discussed archival turn in the humanities, this year’s summer school focuses on questions of the archive, its production, authority, and transformation. We seek contributions in the broad interdisciplinary field of American studies that approach questions of the archive with regard to a) poststructuralist scholarship on the contingency of the archive and the epistemic anxieties it reveals, b) assumptions of authority based on power relations (evident in canon debates and absences in the archive), and c) more recent technological developments and the changes they imply (big data, distant reading,  digital humanities). The archive informs both history and memory, and thus the archive can claim to be invested with legitimacy and status. Questions of knowledge production in the present moment are prominently addressed by Diana Taylor (“archive and repertoire”), Ann Laura Stoler (“the colonial archive”), James Clifford (“archival silences”), and Saidiya Hartman (“the archive of slavery”); these scholars call attention to explicit and implicit assumptions about archival energies in both preserving knowledge for future generations and potentially withdrawing it from ongoing public circulation. Next to these theoretical considerations, we will explore different kinds of ‘official’ archives (material, oral, digital, and so forth), forms of subverting the archive (‘ghosts’ in the archive), and alternative archives in a global, postcolonial world. The program of the academy is structured into three parts: keynote lectures by US and European speakers – including, so far, Elisabeth Bronfen (Zurich University), Donette Francis (University of Miami), Gesa Mackenthun (University of Rostock), Donald Pease (Dartmouth College), Janice Radway (Northwestern University), Dan Royles (Florida International University), Barry Shank (Ohio State University), Kathy-Ann Tan (Uppsala University) work-in-progress presentations by the doctoral participants, workshop sessions in which participants discuss key texts in the field. The program also includes a cultural program in and around Miami. We invite doctoral (and postdoctoral) students to apply electronically with a statement of purpose CV a 2-page project description one letter of recommendation Please send your application by March 1, 2018 to: Margaretha Schweiger-Wilhelm:       schweiger-wilhelm@amerika-akademie.de Heike Paul:     heike.paul@fau.de Martha Schoolman:    mschoolm@fiu.edu Participants will be selected based on the strength of their applications. Acceptance to the Summer Academy includes a full academic and cultural program, accommodation, and a travel grant. The tuition fee is 300 €. Find more information on the homepage of the BAA: Summer Academy...

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CfP: “The State of Human Rights: Historical Genealogies, Political Controversies, and Cultural Imaginaries”, Bavarian American Academy, Amerikahaus Munich, July 5-7, 2018
Jan21

CfP: “The State of Human Rights: Historical Genealogies, Political Controversies, and Cultural Imaginaries”, Bavarian American Academy, Amerikahaus Munich, July 5-7, 2018

“The State of Human Rights: Historical Genealogies, Political Controversies, and Cultural Imaginaries” 18th Annual International Conference of the Bavarian American Academy July 5-7, 2018, Amerikahaus Munich – Call for Papers for a Postgraduate Panel – Link to CfP.   “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” — Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)  The BAA’s 2018 international conference investigates the role of human rights, both in diachronic and synchronic perspective and with an interdisciplinary research design. Since their proclamation in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights have become a dominant language in controversies over ethics around the globe and a normative basis for concepts of a just society and ideas of the public good. This concerns a variety of issues, from slavery and warfare through fights over indigenous rights and disputes over preserving the heritage of minorities to same sex marriage debates or current conflicts over asylum law and the status of refugees. The doctrine of human rights has been highly influential, both for states as actors in public policy as well as for non-governmental organizations. In The Idea of Human Rights, Charles Beitz holds that “if the public discourse of peacetime global society can be said to have a common  moral language, it is that of human rights” (1). Yet human rights principles are not viewed without skepticism, as their specific content, nature and legitimacy continue to provoke controversy as  well. These debates concern the status of the term “right” (Shaw 265), their universalist claim, or the question of the inclusion of certain rights (and not others) in the general doctrine. As law professor Samuel Moyn can show, the modern human rights discourse is largely founded on the natural rights concept that became prominent in Enlightenment thinking and was a pertinent influence on both the American as well as the French Revolutions (8). The idea and concept of human rights that we know today gained momentum during the second half of the 20th century. Moyn more specifically identifies 1977 to be a “breakthrough year” (129), as Amnesty International was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, U.S President Jimmy Carter addressed the centrality of human rights in his Inaugural Address, and Charter 77 was published. Canadian scholar and politician Michael Ignatieff has even proposed the term “rights revolution” for the contemporary large-scale phenomenon in which human rights have become a ‘trump card’ in public policy arguments. As a normative basis, human rights discourse operates internationally and claims universality – while the Eurocentric/imperialist bias of a Western conception of human rights continues  to  be  critically  discussed.  And yet, a...

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CfP: “Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies”,  Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, Mainz, June 21-23, 2018
Jan21

CfP: “Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies”, Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, Mainz, June 21-23, 2018

CfP: “Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies” Closing Conference of the DFG-funded research network “Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies” (DFG # BA 3567/4-1) Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, June 21-23, 2018. Conference organizers: Dr. Pia Wiegmink (Obama Institute) and Dr. Birgit M. Bauridl (U Regensburg)   Link to CfP The closing conference of this research network aims at scrutinizing the benefits and limitations of a deeper and more reflective integration of a Performance Studies approach into (transnational) American Studies. It intends to investigate how, which, and with what outcome issues that, in the wake of the transnational turn, have become central to the American Studies agenda can be addressed more adequately by the study of ‘cultural performances.’ We invite papers that zoom in on the idea of culture as a corporeal, communal, and dynamic event rather than a stable textual product and that position the local particularities of cultural performance vis-à-vis the dynamics of global mobility. Potential paper topics could address, but are not limited to the following questions: What is the role and impact of ‘cultural performances’ such as daily rituals, festive occasions, or theatrical events in transnational contact zones, i.e., sites in which cultures meet, grapple with each other? How can cultural performances in contact zones become expressions and negotiations of processes of transnational cultural entanglement? How can cultural performance act as a platform in which diverse and possibly competing (national) identities and cultural belongings are negotiated and experienced by a community? How can ‘cultural performance’ serve as a methodological perspective and thus help understand questions posed by transnational American Studies? I.e. how can ‘cultural performance’ be possibly used as a tool for the analysis of both contemporary transnational processes and historical forms of global mobility and what are its methodological challenges, solutions, and limitations? (How) Does the corporeality, physicality, presence, interaction, and communal character of cultural performance enhance, complicate, or change our perspective on transnational contact zones ranging from immediate local encounters to supposedly immaterial and anonymous global processes and digital environments? How does the study of cultural performance complement and possibly expand prevalent (transnational) American Studies discourses on, for example, affect, corporeality, memory, public (vs. private) space, dissent and cultural resistance, cosmopolitanism, urbanity (vs. rurality), environment and ecology, cultural imperialism, neoliberalism, diasporic identities, social media, tourism, sonic cultures, food cultures, etc.? Confirmed keynote speakers are Denise Uyehara (performance artist) and Prof. Dr. Werner Sollors (Harvard). Active members of the research network will present on and discuss the topic together with further confirmed speakers Prof. Dr. Ben Chappell (University of Kansas), Prof. Dr. Celeste-Marie Bernier (University of Edinburgh). Please send your short abstract (<300 words) and a short CV (300 words) including...

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CfP: Transatlantic Studies Association 17th Annual Conference, University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, 9-11 July 2018
Jan16

CfP: Transatlantic Studies Association 17th Annual Conference, University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, 9-11 July 2018

Transatlantic Studies Association 17th Annual Conference University of North Georgia, Dahlonega, Georgia, USA 9-11 July 2018 Call for Papers Link to: TSA Call for Papers 2018 The TSA is coming to America. For the time since it was established in 2002, the TSA is holding its annual conference on the other side of the Atlantic. TSA is a broad network of scholars who use the ‘transatlantic’ as a frame of reference for their work in political, economic, cultural, historical, environmental, literary, and IR/security studies. All transatlantic-themed paper and panel proposals from these and related disciplines are welcome. This conference thus welcomes papers in the following areas: History International Relations and Security Studies Literature, Film, and Culture Planning and the Environment Economics Proposals that investigate the ‘transatlantic’ and explore it through frames of reference such as ideology, empire, race, religion, migration, political mobilisation, or social movements Proposals that incorporate perspectives that involve north-south and south-south transatlantic connections, as well as north-north Both panel proposals and individual papers are welcome. Panel proposals are encouraged to include a discussant. New members and junior scholars are especially welcome. Please send individual paper proposals (a 300 word abstract + brief CV) and complete panel proposals (300 word overview + 300 word abstracts for the papers + brief CVs) to the conference email: tsaung2018@gmail.com Deadline for panel and paper proposals: 2 February 2018 Conference proposals should be directed to the conference address: tsaung2018@gmail.com For further information or enquiries please contact the following: Chair of TSA / Local Organiser: Christopher Jespersen: christopher.jespersen@ung.edu Further details will soon be posted to the Association’s website:...

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CfP: “American Im/Mobilities” University of Vienna, Nov. 16-18, 2018
Jan16

CfP: “American Im/Mobilities” University of Vienna, Nov. 16-18, 2018

Call for Papers: “American Im/Mobilities” 45th Austrian Assocation for American Studies Conference 2018 University of Vienna, Nov. 16-18, 2018 Link to Cfp_American Im/Mobilities Geographical and social mobility—often seen as interdependent—have been pivotal tropes throughout American literature and culture. More often than not, American narratives and performances of mobility celebrate individualism, in line with dominant models of American subject formation, in the service of nation building: journeys of exploration and ‘discovery,’ the Puritan ‘errand into the wilderness,’ westward expansion, the upward social mobility associated with the American Dream, or space exploration as the tackling of “final” frontiers are articulated in mobility narratives and performances from the 15th century to the present. Their protagonists—explorers and adventurers, pioneers and immigrants searching for The Promised Land (Mary Antin), pilots and astronauts—have since been cast as heroic figures of exceptional achievement. Recent mobility studies scholarship has called into question such dominant scripts for the ways in which they have served to obliterate American immobilities and forced mobilities, from the Atlantic slave to the Caribbean refugee and the deported migrant (to name but a few). Cultural geographers like Tim Cresswell have shown that forms of mobility which are ideologically and culturally legitimized often depend on types of mobility that are illegal(ized) or socially unsanctioned, as well as on the immobilizing of Others. This is also one of the core perspectives explored by the University of Vienna’s interdisciplinary Research Platform “Mobile Cultures and Societies” (www.mobile-cultures.univie.ac.at). On these grounds, this conference sets out to examine the hegemonic and essentialist notion that “to be an American is to go somewhere” (John Urry), by bringing in sub- and transnational perspectives as well as gender-, race-, and class-critical angles, from the colonial period to the 21st century. We seek papers and panels that problematize dominant scripts of US mobility, reflecting also on an age in which solidifying borders are again on the rise on both sides of the Atlantic and inhibit the mobility of many, while leaving untouched that of a few. Possible topics for presentations may include, but are not limited to: *  the im/mobilities of settler colonialism, US expansionism, and American imperialism *  African American im/mobilities, from the plantation to the Great Migration & mass incarceration *  racialized/ethnicized im/mobilities (e.g. Japanese-American internment, immigrant & border narratives) *  “minor” forms of mobility: everyday/domestic/intimate forms of mobilities *  gendered and queer dimensions of im/mobility (e.g. the representation of “unsafe” spaces) *  mediated im/mobilities and their genres, from travel literature to the road movie *  ecocritical perspectives on mobilities *  alternative and resistant forms of im/mobility *  Great Depression mobilities, from Okies to Arkies *  maritime and outer-space mobilities, from pirates to cruiseship tourism and space exploration *  performances of im/mobility, from heritage tourism to truck...

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CfP: Special Issue “Monsters and Monstrosity in Nineteenth-Century Anglophone Literature”; Anglistik: International Journal of English Studies
Dec15

CfP: Special Issue “Monsters and Monstrosity in Nineteenth-Century Anglophone Literature”; Anglistik: International Journal of English Studies

Call for Papers  Anglistik: International Journal of English Studies Special issue on “Monsters and Monstrosity in Nineteenth–Century Anglophone Literature”  Guest editors: Gero Guttzeit and Natalya Bekhta Anglophone literature in the nineteenth century abounds in monsters that continue to horrify even in the present: vampires, mummies, doppelgangers, ghosts, and zombies as well as Frankenstein’s monster, the Jabberwock, Helen Vaughan, and the Invisible Man. Our aim in this special issue of Anglistik is to remap this monstrous abundance in light of the emerging field of monster studies (Mittman 2016). Monster studies, also termed ‘monster theory’ (Cohen 1996) or ‘teratology’ (Picart and Browning 2012), “use[s] the monsters themselves as theoretical constructs” (Mittman 2016, 9), conceptualizes “monstrousness […] as a mode of cultural discourse” (Cohen 1996, viii), and understands monstrosity as an imposed narrative rather than an intrinsic feature of certain social appearances and behaviours (Wright 2013, 3). Since the nineteenth century has been crucial to the development of monster studies, particularly with regard to the monstrous body (Youngquist 2003), the vampire (Auerbach [1995] 2006) and Frankenstein’s creature (Baldick 1987), a dedicated publication on “Monsters and Monstrosity in Nineteenth-Century Anglophone Literature” will bring together fresh considerations of this historical period and the theory it inspired.  Anglistik: International Journal of English Studies (ISSN: 0947-0034) is the journal of the German Association for the Study of English (Anglistenverband). Further information on the journal can be found here: https://angl.winter-verlag.de/ Full contributions of 5,000 to 7,000 words with MLA formatting will be due by October 1, 2018, and the final issue will be published with open access in late 2019. Please submit a 500-word abstract (excluding bibliography) with a brief biography to the guest editors Gero Guttzeit and Natalya Bekhta at literary.monsters@gmail.com by January 15, 2018. The full Call for Papers can be found here: Call for Papers Monsters and...

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CfP: “New Sincerity – Self-Expression in North American Culture” – International Conference,  January 25–26 2019, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Dec07

CfP: “New Sincerity – Self-Expression in North American Culture” – International Conference, January 25–26 2019, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

 Call for Papers New Sincerity Self-Expression in North American Culture An International Conference January 25 – 26 2019, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena In 1993, David Foster Wallace called for a new generation of sincere literary rebels who would be “willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the ‘How banal’.” If the logical conclusion of postmodern irony had been apathy and solipsism, Wallace argued, writers now had to find different ways of self-expression. This revaluation of sincerity struck a nerve. Its repercussions were not just limited to the domain of literature, however. In varying forms, sincerity has also become a trending aesthetics in music, film, and visual art. This cultural movement has come to be called the New Sincerity. It is characterized by a yearning for interpersonal connection, affect, trust, and belief. Despite poststructural proclamations of the “Death of the Author,” the New Sincerity reframes the artwork as a medium of communication between artists and their audiences.   Our conference brings a transdisciplinary approach to the New Sincerity movement. We would like to discuss not only what the New Sincerity stands for, but also what conceptual foundations it is built on. Why did sincerity emerge as an alternative to postmodern conventions of representation? How does the history of the concept influence its present use? Are there different understandings of sincerity at work in the New Sincerity? Is the movement still productive? Can we agree on a canon of works, or a canon of ideas? Last but not least, we intend to inquire how the New Sincerity is embedded into a specifically North American social and political context.   Contributions can address, but are not limited to, the following topics:   sincerity in contemporary North American literature: How is the aesthetics of sincerity incorporated into, e.g., the prose and poetry of David Foster Wallace, Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, Ben Lerner, Sheila Heti, Tao Lin, Maggie Nelson, Teju Cole, and many more? How do these authors construct sincerity effects, and to what end? How do they trace the permeable boundary between reality and fiction, authenticity and irony? the films and TV series of, for instance, Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze, Miranda July, or Lena Dunham as well as the “Mumblecore” cinema of Lynne Shelton, Joe Swanberg, and others: How can sincere affect be conveyed through images? How does sincerity interact with the aesthetic category of the “quirky”? the music of indie bands such as Arcade Fire or the “New Weird America,” including folk acts like Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, or Devendra Banhart: How do these artists combine instrumentation, lyrics and paratexts to create...

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CfP: “Narrating and Constructing the Beach” International and interdisciplinary conference at the Amerikahaus Munich, 14 – 16 June, 2018
Dec06

CfP: “Narrating and Constructing the Beach” International and interdisciplinary conference at the Amerikahaus Munich, 14 – 16 June, 2018

CFP: Narrating and Constructing the Beach, Munich (Abstracts: 14 January, 2018) International and interdisciplinary conference at the Amerikahaus Munich, 14 – 16 June, 2018 Keynote: Michael Taussig, Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University [deutsche Version unten] The beach has recently become the site of important transformations: understood in the context of mass tourism for many years, nowadays we perceive the beach as bearing witness to the arrival of refugees, to pollution and climate change (e.g. tsunamis, rising sea levels), and to a growing number of sociocultural conflicts (e.g. over dress codes as in the case of burkini / nudist debates). As an area of unregulated movement as well as an institutional / institutionalized border, the beach receives growing media interest, but still remains at the periphery of maritime studies in academia. To do justice to the complex spatial concepts, dynamics, practices, and aesthetics of the beach, the international conference ›Narrating and Constructing the Beach‹ views it as a (border) phenomenon in its own right and sets out to analyze it systematically and historically. The (European) »invention of the beach«, which Alain Corbin situates approximately in the 18th century, is connected to a myriad of discourses and practices which crystallize at, and are projected onto, the beach. In this respect, the conference will trace the manifold, changing, and at times competing representations and experiences of the beach in artwork, culture, and society as well as the many cultural imaginaries of the beach in their global and historical diversity. One focal point will concern the techniques employed to narrate, construct, and reshape ›the beach‹: it is our cultural, artistic, and perceptual practices that produce the beach as an ever changing aesthetic, sociocultural, political, historical, and also geographic space. As such, the beach is at once liminal and multiple, determined by the juxtaposition of land, ocean and sky as well as the blurring of the lines that separate them. It can turn from a representational space to a living space, and is at times perceived as a non-place or a heterotopia. From differing and decidedly interdisciplinary research perspectives, the conference also inquires into how ways of experiencing the beach interact with sociocultural body practices and markers of difference (such as gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, class, age, dis/ability, etc.): locals and travelers alike can perceive the beach as a space of encounter with the – erotic or dangerous – other, leading to (transitory) loss or vehement demarcation of the self. Contributing practices include Grand Tours, medical / health retreats, beach pastimes (swimming, promenading, building sand castles, collecting seashells as well as flotsam and jetsam), (mass-)touristic colonization, gender specific productions of subspaces (e.g. through towels,...

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CfP: American Counter/Publics, 65th Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies
Dec06

CfP: American Counter/Publics, 65th Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies

CALL FOR PAPERS: American Counter/Publics 65th Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies (DGfA), John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, May 24-27, 2018 Deadline: January 10, 2018   All members of the association and those interested are invited to submit paper proposals for the 2018 Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies “American Counter/Publics”. The “public sphere”—an idea with deep roots in the European enlightenment—has always been a contested concept in American culture and society. Almost by default, American intellectuals, artists, politicians, and activists have stressed the non-unitary, diversified, and oppositional dynamics of all things public. In this manner, the US Constitution, while based on enlightened principles of free debate and rational deliberation, already eschewed a philosophy of consensus building in favor of a philosophy of multi-interested checks and balances. Not the expressiveness of Rousseau’s volonté générale but the procedurality of Madison’s extended republic stood at the beginning of American notions of democratic governance. As a consequence, “public opinion” in the United States could never easily be identified with the “public good,” but has always been open to multiple sub- and non-public (private, corporate, technological, etc.) influences. Thus, from the early days of the American republic, competing interest groups and commercial mass media (first newspapers, novels, and the theater, then radio, television, and the internet) have worked to pluralize public speech and public action—and ultimately the notion of “publicness” itself. Numerous social, political, and aesthetic developments throughout American history can be (re)described against this background as struggles for publicity, waged against the power of elites to define or usurp the national agenda. Two of the most important American contributions to the theory of the public sphere—Walter Lippmann’s The Phantom Public (1925) and John Dewey’s rejoinder The Public and Its Problems (1927)—despite their ideological differences concur that the public sphere is not a realm of unbiased exchange and unanimous agreement. Rather, in the United States, the public sphere becomes visible as a multi-agential, commercially embattled, highly mediated, and eventually trans-nationalized aggregate of publics and counterpublics. Numerous later discussions of American counter/publics—from Nancy Fraser, Seyla Benhabib, and Michael Warner to Robert Darnton, Michael Hardt, and Catherine R. Squires—have further refined this self-conceptualization of democratic speech under the conditions of capitalist mass media. Recent accounts frequently stress the deterritorialized—though regularly Anglophone—nature of counter/public communication in global digital networks. In particular, the communication of public trust—within political contexts naturally inclined to distrust—has been a central topic in and for American culture.   The 2018 Convention of the German Association of American Studies (DGfA) will deal with questions of publics, counterpublics, publicity, and public (dis)trust in...

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Call for Papers: Heidelberg Center for American Studies – Spring Academy Conference
Aug17

Call for Papers: Heidelberg Center for American Studies – Spring Academy Conference

The Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) invites applications from international Ph.D. students for its fifteenth annual HCA Spring Academy conference on American Culture, Geography, History, Literature, Politics & Religion. The conference will take place in Heidelberg from March 19 to March 23, 2018. Further information and the online application form are available from August 15 on,...

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Call for Workshop Proposals: 65th Annual Conference of the GAAS/DGfA “American Counter/Politics”, May 24-27, 2018
Jul24

Call for Workshop Proposals: 65th Annual Conference of the GAAS/DGfA “American Counter/Politics”, May 24-27, 2018

American Counter/Publics 65th Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies (DGfA), John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, May 24-27, 2018 Deadline: October 1, 2017 Local Organizers: Irwin Collier (Economics), Jessica Gienow-Hecht (History), Ulla Haselstein (Literature), Frank Kelleter (Culture), Christian Lammert (Political Science), Harald Wenzel (Sociology) The “public sphere”—an idea with deep roots in the European enlightenment—has always been a contested concept in American culture and society. Almost by default, American intellectuals, artists, politicians, and activists have stressed the non-unitary, diversified, and oppositional dynamics of all things public. In this manner, the US Constitution, while based on enlightened principles of free debate and rational deliberation, already eschewed a philosophy of consensus building in favor of a philosophy of multi-interested checks and balances. Not the expressiveness of Rousseau’s volonté générale but the procedurality of Madison’s extended republic stood at the beginning of American notions of democratic governance. As a consequence, “public opinion” in the United States could never easily be identified with the “public good,” but has always been open to multiple sub- and non-public (private, corporate, technological, etc.) influences. Thus, from the early days of the American republic, competing interest groups and commercial mass media (first newspapers, novels, and the theater, then radio, television, and the internet) have worked to pluralize public speech and public action—and ultimately the notion of “publicness” itself. Numerous social, political, and aesthetic developments throughout American history can be (re)described against this background as struggles for publicity, waged against the power of elites to define or usurp the national agenda. Two of the most important American contributions to the theory of the public sphere—Walter Lippmann’s The Phantom Public (1925) and John Dewey’s rejoinder The Public and Its Problems (1927)—despite their ideological differences concur that the public sphere is not a realm of unbiased exchange and unanimous agreement. Rather, in the United States, the public sphere becomes visible as a multi-agential, commercially embattled, highly mediated, and eventually trans-nationalized aggregate of publics and counterpublics. Numerous later discussions of American counter/publics—from Nancy Fraser, Seyla Benhabib, and Michael Warner to Robert Darnton, Michael Hardt, and Catherine R. Squires—have further refined this self-conceptualization of democratic speech under the conditions of capitalist mass media. Recent accounts frequently stress the deterritorialized—though regularly Anglophone—nature of counter/public communication in global digital networks. In particular, the communication of public trust—within political contexts naturally inclined to distrust—has been a central topic in and for American culture. The 2018 Convention of the German Association of American Studies (DGfA) will deal with questions of publics, counterpublics, publicity, and public (dis)trust in US politics, society, history, and culture, examined through the lenses of...

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Call for Papers: The American Weird: Ecologies & Geographies
Jul18

Call for Papers: The American Weird: Ecologies & Geographies

“The one test of the really weird is simply this—whether or not there be excited in the reader a profound sense of dread, and of contact with unknown spheres and powers.” —H.P. Lovecraft, “Supernatural Horror in Literature” (1927)   “This whole world’s wild at heart and weird on top.” —David Lynch, Wild at Heart (1990)   For H.P. Lovecraft, the weird conveys “a subtle attitude of awed listening, as if for the beating of black wings or the scratching of outside shapes and entities on the known universe’s utmost rim.” Taking its cue from Lovecraft’s enduringly influential conceptualization, this conference examines and broadens the notion of weirdness towards an ecology and geography of the weird as a new field of theoretical and practical resonances. What we call The American Weird comprises not only an aesthetics evoked by literary practices or films from the genres of the gothic or horror, but also by other forms of cultural expression, such as music, sculpture, photography, and performance art. The conference theme also aims to address new theoretical perspectives on humanity’s relation to the world, perspectives that have recently been proposed by what might be called the “new demonologists” (e.g. Graham Harman, Eugene Thacker, and others). Against the backdrop of new ontologies and epistemologies of the weird, the following questions will form the conceptual backbone of The American Weird: What are the ecologies and geographies of the weird today, and how are they conceived, perceived, and reworked? Which strands of contemporary critical theory and philosophy have engaged in a dialogue with the discourses of and on the weird, and what is specifically “American” in The American Weird? If weirdness is more than a mere index of parody and/or subversion, how might one conceive of a politics or an ethics of the weird? These and related questions on The American Weird will be explored in a three-day conference at the University of Göttingen. Possible topics, which can come from different genres, historical periods, and/or media include, but are not restricted to:  American literature from Charles Brockden Brown and Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories to the authors of “the new weird,” like Jeff VanderMeer, China Miéville, and Thomas Ligotti. What are the aspects and intricacies of the literary evolution of the weird in America? What is specifically American about this evolution? What has changed in weird literature since the publication of Lovecraft’s essay on “Supernatural Horror in Literature,” on both a poetic and political level? the sculptural work of artists such as Lydia Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Charles Ray, and others. How does this type of artistic practice negotiate normativities and weirdness? How do the materials,...

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Call for Contributions by the German Association for American Studies (GAAS)
Jun26

Call for Contributions by the German Association for American Studies (GAAS)

Deadline: August 1, 2017 Call for Contributions for the workshop „Diversity and/in the GAAS“ to take place in cooperation with the Bavarian American Academy at the Amerikahaus in Munich on Friday and Saturday, October 20-21, 2017. We seek position papers (5 to 10 minutes in length) on issues of gender, sexuality, race, whiteness, ethnicity, class, (dis)ability, and the overall conceptualization of diversity as political indicator and as category for reform and social and cultural change. The workshop will begin with a key-note address on the evening of October 20 (tba) and will run parallel working sessions in the morning of October 21 for which we invite contributions. A plenary afternoon panel will draw together the discussions of diversity in order to identify further measures to be implemented by the GAAS. Please send an abstract of your suggested contribution to Philipp Gassert, president of the GAAS, and to Margaretha Schweiger-Wilhelm, executive director of the BAA, no later than August 1, 2017, under the following E-mail address: diversity@amerika-akademie.de. We will notify all submitters and post the final workshop program by the end of August. All active participants will have their accommodation in Munich during the workshop covered. For further information please contact Philipp Gassert (gassert@uni-mannheim.de) or Heike Paul Paul (heike.paul@fau.de), Director of the BAA....

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Postgraduate Conference: Life Writing in the Digital Age: Quantification, Optimization and the Self
Apr26

Postgraduate Conference: Life Writing in the Digital Age: Quantification, Optimization and the Self

University of Mannheim, September 29-30, 2017 Deadline: June 30,2017 The research project “Probing the Limits of the Quantified Self – Human Agency and Knowledge in Literature & Culture of the Information Age,” funded by the German research association (DFG), invites scholars to submit proposals for its postgraduate conference – Life Writing in the Digital Age: Quantification, Optimization and the Self. Recent years have seen a surge in the popularity and proliferation of life writing, both in terms of academic analysis and the sheer number of readers interested in the material. At least one reason for this can be found in the way digital technology has changed how subjects communicate, think, and of course also consume products of literary or artistic imagination. The continued spread and improvement of smart devices such as smart phones, tablets, or smart watches, paired with the constantly advancing quality and availability of high speed internet has created a situation in which “life writing” can no longer be understood solely on literary terms. Contemporary subjects record their experiences via video, photo, text, and even emojis, and new studies of “writing” thus need to account for the popularity of vlogs, blogs, and “stories”, the new feature in popular apps such as Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp that lets users record, upload, and share moments that will automatically – and supposedly permanently – be deleted within 24 hours. Another influential factor is the general trend towards ever increasing efficiency, optimization, and control that can be tied to both the economy of the Information Age and the prevalence of neoliberal ideals of subjectivity. The so called “Quantified Selves” emerging from this context are commonly characterized as subjects that utilize quantitative methods to track every aspect of their lives and bodies in order to build a better version of themselves. According to this logic, every human being can playfully track, control, and maximize their experience of life with the help of smart devices. These are often infused with gratification mechanics adopted from video games, sparking debates about the “gamification” of tracking and its effects. Ultimately, so the argument goes, the “truth” about the self can only be accessed through numbers and data and not by mere reflection or introspection. The goal of this conference is to analyze and question how a belief in the absolute truth and rationality of numerical data changes both the way subjects think about themselves and the way they choose to record and express their experience of the world. We invite abstracts focusing on any of the topics proposed below (without being restricted to these): Theories of Quantification and the Quantified Self Apps and Gamification Processes Video...

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Call for Papers: The Revolution Will Not Be Peer-Reviewed: American Disconnects and the Production of Knowledge
Dec15

Call for Papers: The Revolution Will Not Be Peer-Reviewed: American Disconnects and the Production of Knowledge

Graduate Conference at the Graduate School of North American Studies John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin May 5 and 6, 2017 Postmodern Western societies have long been marked by deep cultural and economic divisions that inhibit successful communication between social groups. As a sense of disconnect grows in the current political climate, the academic world finds itself increasingly implicated, often refraining from direct intervention by maintaining its own specific language and social position and thereby consolidating its relative isolation within society. Although this is by no means a new development, recent events – including the 2016 US presidential election, the Brexit vote, and heated debates over immigration on both sides of the Atlantic – have been extraordinarily illustrative of the disconnect between academic and wider social discourses. Surmounting this particular disconnect is made even more difficult by the new normalization of populist rhetoric in politics and media and the intense anti-intellectual resentment of the right. As different social groups and movements battle for the meaning and self-image of “America,” the discipline of American Studies is potentially an important agent within these debates. And yet both American Studies and the larger academic world to which it belongs – divided into subdisciplines, theoretical schools, and research traditions – grapples with its own set of disconnects. It is thus more essential than ever for academics to adequately theorize the complex set of current social, cultural, and economic disconnects and the (real or imagined) emergence of the oft-invoked “post-factual age,” in which the classical intersectional triad of race, class, and gender seems entangled in ever more tumultuous ways. How can the quest for inter-, trans-, and postdisciplinarity contribute to effective communication across camps and advance our understanding of cultural and social realities “on the ground”? Which theoretical projects are best suited to make sense of “American disconnects” and build bridges across fault lines? What are the key historical developments that play a part in the genealogy of the current political moment? Can present forms of knowledge production and critical theory be continued in a way that makes them once again relevant beyond academia, or do we need new forms of intervention that speak to a public whose relationship to the question of “truth” is increasingly at odds with academia’s? Can we envision engaged scholarship that not only analyzes the present disconnects and their historical background, but also launches the project of reconnection? Topics may include, but are not limited to: Academia, knowledge production, and political activism Inter-, trans-, and postdisciplinarity as ideal and practice Institutionalization, incorporation, and containment of dissidence within academia Affective politics as a challenge for academic discourse Academia and...

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14th Annual Spring Academy Conference, HCA
Aug23

14th Annual Spring Academy Conference, HCA

The Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) invites applications from international Ph.D. students for its fourteenth annual HCA Spring Academy conference on American History, Culture, and Politics. The conference will take place in Heidelberg from March 20 to March 24, 2017. Further information and the online application form are available from August 15 on, at:...

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Call for Papers: The United States and World War I: Perspectives and Legacies
Jun16

Call for Papers: The United States and World War I: Perspectives and Legacies

39th Annual Conference of the Historians in the DGFA/GAAS (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien/German Association for American Studies) February 10-12, 2017, Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) 2017 will mark the centennial of U.S. entry into World War I. The war had a profound impact on the United States and on its global role. Well before the country entered the war, the U.S. had become a key supporter of the Allies, shifting the global balance of power to set the stage for what has been called the “American century.” This conference provides an opportunity to reassess the war’s significance in U.S. history by focusing on the historical context of an emerging American commitment abroad. While we invite contributions that reflect current scholarship on any political, economic, military, social, and cultural aspect of American history during World War I, we would like to draw attention to three distinct perspectives. The first perspective concerns a reassessment of the neutrality period between 1914 and 1917. While important work focuses on transatlantic diplomacy and American politics to characterize the American response to the war abroad, more recent work has also emphasized cultural and intellectual responses to the “European War” in all areas of American society. The range of issues that could be addressed here includes reassessments of policy decisions, economic issues, as well as cultural phenomena such as a contemporary celebration of France by urban elites or support efforts by immigrant communities such as German and Italian Americans. All these developments were discussed and reflected upon by an emerging and invigorated cast of public intellectuals. A second perspective concerns a reassessment of periodization. While the canonized dates of 1914, 1917, and 1918 provide the traditional framework, Adam Tooze has recently pointed to 1916 as a key year during which the U.S. became both the world’s largest economy and its banker, putting the country in a position to help define the postwar world order. Taking this observation as a clue, what historical trajectories emerge from the war’s diverse economic, political, social, and cultural dimensions? A third perspective is provided by a global view on the United States. As a “world war,” the conflict had implications for regions and countries around the globe – developments caused or felt by the United States. What new perspectives on the war can we open up by broadening the traditional narrative to include wartime diplomatic or cultural relations with, for example, South America and Asia? In what way do global developments such as the influenza epidemic expand the story? And what perspective on American military history may be gleaned from a global perspective? Finally, important questions must be asked about...

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Call for Papers: Postgraduate Forum (PGF)
Jun01

Call for Papers: Postgraduate Forum (PGF)

Deadline: July 15, 2016 The organizers of the 2016 Postgraduate Forum (PGF) of the German Association for American Studies (DGfA/GAAS) are delighted to announce the annual call for submissions for this year’s conference to be held at the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Hamburg from October 6–8, 2016. The PGF is an annual forum where young scholars working in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies who have completed their MA (or equivalent) can present their current research as work in progress and discuss it among their peers. Participants are welcome to give an overview of their (post)doctoral project, discuss case studies, or focus on methodological or theoretical questions as well as present essays or dissertations. We welcome traditional paper presentations as well as alternative formats from the various disciplines affiliated with the field of American Studies without topical restriction. We cordially invite you to submit an abstract of 200–300 words by July 15, 2016. In addition, proposals should include a brief biographical sketch, detailing your academic background, your university affiliation, the status of your project, and your research interests. We especially encourage young researchers who have little or no conference experience to participate. Presentations must not exceed 20 minutes as we seek to facilitate lively discussions. Speakers will be required to send one-page summaries or updated abstracts of their papers, which will be distributed to the other participants prior to the conference, by September 15, 2016. Please send all proposals to: pgf@dgfa.de Selected contributions will be published in the peer-reviewed online journal Current Objectives in Postgraduate American Studies (COPAS). Please visit our website regularly for further information on the conference, its venue, accommodation options, and more: https://pgf2016blog.wordpress.com/. We also kindly ask all participants (presenting and non-presenting) to register for the conference in Hamburg no later than August 31, 2016 via this website. Your PGF-Team 2016 Marius Henderson, Jasmin Humburg, Julia Lange (Hamburg) Paula von Gleich, Mariya Nikolova, Samira Spatzek...

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Call for Papers: Summer School “Inside/Outside: Queer Networks in Transnational Perspective”
May10

Call for Papers: Summer School “Inside/Outside: Queer Networks in Transnational Perspective”

September 11. – 16. 2016, Hannover, Germany This summer school aims to bring together scholars and activists from Central and Eastern Europe with peers from the United States and scholars of North American Studies. It reflects on the current cultural, legal, and political conditions of representation, articulation, and critique in Central and Eastern European societies, focusing on the very varied responses to sexual diversity, including the academic establishment of gender and queer studies. In some countries the efforts inside and outside academia to live, express, and explore non-normative sexualities have brought about robust and visible structures of organization, which reach into the academic sphere, while in other countries LGBTI activists are threatened and forced underground, so that the cultural and academic organization of the field runs up against heavy obstacles. In all of these cases, the current debates around sexual rights and the strategies of political activists gesture to earlier struggles and movements, and to a history of queer protest, consciously and unconsciously responding to longstanding patterns of political assertion and cultural self-fashioning. The U.S. minority movements form one particularly intriguing point of reference for the current developments in Europe, and the summer school is interested in exploring the intersections between historical and present, Western and Eastern formations and figurations, and to review them comparatively in their unfolding across social spheres and national boundaries. Political strategies, cultural theories, and modes of meaning-making and organization cannot be simply transposed from one context to another. Still, theorists, academics, and activists cooperate and communicate, they observe and appropriate, borrowing political strategies, and research methodologies across borders and drawing on a joint repertory of queer rhetoric and ritual. It is the interest of the summer school to investigate how such processes of transfer and translation operate, and how they can be put to use in a constructive fashion. The planned summer school aims to facilitate processes of exchange and inspiration, and to provide an arena to not only discuss research proposals and papers but also explore other modes and formats of social and cultural work. It plans to provide a space for people from different regional and professional backgrounds to come to terms with joint goals, expectations, and trajectories of action, and to discuss the significance and impact of local specificities and needs, and their dynamics. To emphasize its situatedness at the intersection of the academic and the public, the summer school will take place in a public site – at the socio-cultural center Pavillon in Hannover, which is located in the middle of the city, and attracts an audience with a broad spectrum of cultural interests. We encourage participants with extra-academic backgrounds...

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GSNAS Graduate Conference 2016: Flows and Undercurrents. Dimensions of (Im)mobility in North America
Dec09

GSNAS Graduate Conference 2016: Flows and Undercurrents. Dimensions of (Im)mobility in North America

June 2-4, John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin From lived realities to theoretical discourses, issues of mobility are at the core of many contemporary debates both within North America and globally. (Im)mobility transcends disciplinary boundaries and topics, generating disparate perspectives surrounding movements of people, capital and ideas. Migration, in particular, has become the focus of much recent analytical attention. As movements of people continue to gain focus, practices of immobility and exclusion are underscored. This conference, hosted by the Graduate School of North American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, will examine mobility and explore its relevance across numerous disciplines. How is mobility framed in various discourses? How does mobility manifest itself in the context of North America and transnationally? What are the determinants and barriers to mobility in its various iterations? What are the counternarratives to notions of mobility? What kinds of analysis are opened up through the lens of (im)mobility? We welcome abstracts from graduate (M.A. and Ph.D.) students, post-docs and other scholars of political science, economics, literature, cultural studies, sociology and history as well as related fields. Papers may explore, but are not limited to, the concept of mobility in the following contexts:     (Im)mobility as a spatial, historical and conceptual phenomenon     Immigration, migration, refugees     Transatlantic and transnational movements     Globalization     Diaspora(s)     Travel culture, tourism and travel narratives     Transportation and communication infrastructures     Illegal movements of goods and people     Flows of labor, currency, capital and investments     Urban and rural mobility and transformation     Race, class, gender mobility     Socio-economic mobility     Movement of ideas     Militarism and prison systems as mobilizing/immobilizing     Censorship and hidden forms of cultural mobility     Translation and interstitial spaces     Manifestations of mobility across various media Abstracts should be limited to 300 words and be accompanied by the author’s name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation, discipline(s) and a short CV. The deadline for submissions is February 7, 2016. A confirmation e-mail will be sent upon receipt of your abstract. Those selected to present will be notified by late February 2016. Please submit all abstracts and questions to: gsnas.conference2016@gsnas.fu-berlin.de. The conference will be held in English....

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Call for Papers: DGfA Annual Meeting “The United States and the Question of Rights”, Osnabrück, May 19-22, 2016
Nov27

Call for Papers: DGfA Annual Meeting “The United States and the Question of Rights”, Osnabrück, May 19-22, 2016

Deadline: January 11, 2016 All members of the association and those interested are invited to submit paper proposals for the 2016 Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies “The United States and the Question of Rights“. The  2016  convention  will  attempt  to  tackle  the  question  of  rights  in  the  context  of  U.S.-American  politics,  society,  history,  and  culture  from  the  diverse  angles  of  literary  and  cultural  studies,  media studies,  the  arts,  history,  political  science,  sociology,  economics,  and  legal  studies. For further information on the general topic and the venue please consult the DGfA homepage https://dgfa.de/annual-meeting/. Please send your paper proposals directly to the workshop organizers listed below. Each workhop will have six slots for presentations. A minimum of two presentations have been submitted in advance and will appear in the workshop descriptions below. The deadline for further submissions is January 11, 2016. Speakers at the conference must be members of the Association or of one of its international sister organizations in American Studies. It is not necessary to become a member until the paper proposal has been accepted. Please find the list of workshops here ....

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Call for Proposals: Urban America: Mediating City Space as Place
Nov25

Call for Proposals: Urban America: Mediating City Space as Place

Fifth American Studies Leipzig Graduate Conference Deutsches Literaturinstitut Leipzig April 2, 2016 With the Fifth American Studies Leipzig Graduate Conference “Urban America: Mediating City Space as Place,” we seek to investigate the cultural, social, and political production of spatial realms and places in an interdisciplinary framework. As a platform to discuss the complexity and representations of urban spaces and places, our conference invites all interested graduate students and professionals in the field of urban research. Within this unique forum, participants will have a chance to present their work to an international audience, allowing for excellent networking opportunities. Please submit your proposal (ca. 300 words) for a 20-minute presentation including your name, current level of graduate study, research interests, affiliated university or current occupation, and email address to asl-gradconference@uni-leipzig.de by January 8, 2016. We will notify all contributors by January 25, 2016. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at the address given above....

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Call for Papers: The Beautiful Game: The Poetics and Aesthetics of Soccer in Transnational Perspective
Oct28

Call for Papers: The Beautiful Game: The Poetics and Aesthetics of Soccer in Transnational Perspective

University of Basel June 30-July 2, 2016 Confirmed Speakers: Simon Critchley (New School for Social Research) Eva Lavric (University of Innsbruck) Emily Ryall (University of Gloucestershire) This conference, scheduled to take place during the 2016 European Championship and hosted by the University of Basel’s Department of English, takes up soccer with a special focus on its poetics and aesthetics. The conference particularly seeks to scrutinize the poetics and aesthetics of the game in light of comparative as well as transnational, transcontinental, and global perspectives. In doing so, it aims to shed light on the poetics and aesthetics of all aspects of soccer, from the actual game to fan chants and choreographies, from representations in the arts to the aesthetics of media coverage, from the poetics of live commentary to institutional image cultivation (MLS, FIFA, UEFA, etc.), from aspects of design (jerseys, balls) to recent developments in stadium architecture. Given this range and diversity of the forms in which the poetics and aesthetics of soccer manifest themselves, the conference by necessity is interdisciplinary in nature, with possible contributions coming from fields such as literary and cultural studies, philosophy, linguistics, visual studies and the arts, design, and architecture to name but a few. Possible topics include but are not limited to: • the poetics and aesthetics of the game • “skill,” “creativity,” “intuition,” and “style” in soccer • soccer and the notions of the beautiful and the sublime • fan chants • fan choreographies • Ultra aesthetics • the aesthetics (and politics) of institutional image cultivation via the staging of events such as opening ceremonies, fixture draws, player award ceremonies, etc. • languages of/in soccer • the poetics and rhetoric of soccer live commentary • the poetics, rhetoric, and aesthetics of soccer media coverage • representations of soccer in the arts (including literature and film) • the aesthetics of stadium architecture • design in soccer: jerseys, balls, gear, club emblems, etc. In addition to academic talks, the conference will also include an art event, exhibiting some of the original art that is the basis for tschuttiheftli’s sticker collection they create for every World Cup and European Championship (http://www.tschuttiheft.li/). Please send your 300-word abstracts and 100-word bios to: soccerconf-dslw@unibas.ch. The deadline for submissions is December 14, 2015. The conference organizers plan to publish a collection of essays based on selected contributions to the conference. Conference Organizers: Dr. phil. des. Ridvan Askin and Dr. Catherine Diederich, Department of English, University of Basel, Nadelberg 6, CH-4051...

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Call for Papers: Disrespected Neighbo(u)rs – Cultural Stereotypes in Literature and Film
Sep15

Call for Papers: Disrespected Neighbo(u)rs – Cultural Stereotypes in Literature and Film

21.-23.4. 2016, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena Caroline Rosenthal, Laurenz Volkmann, Uwe Zagratzki Neighbourly relations frequently position a self against an Other. This is the case between individuals, nations or within various cultural groups of a nation. Our racial, ethnic, social, or gender identities are created in demarcating ourselves from others who differ from us in culturally significant ways. These processes of identity formation are often spurred by stereotyping the Other. Sometimes these stereotypes take the form of humorous teasing or satirizing critique. Often, however, stereotypes turn into petrified value judgements of others and lead to discriminatory acts, violence, and sometimes culminate in warfare and genocide. Disrespect of the immediate neighbour based on stereotypical pre-conceptions and cultural bias may lie dormant for a long time and then, activated by changes in the economic and political macrocosm, surfaces instantly and fuels economic exploitation, political suppression, destructive propaganda and, ultimately, pogroms. What had up to this point been recognised as a familiar neighbour, who was defined through linguistic, cultural, and religious distinctions, now not only transmutes into the unfamiliar, but the disrespected and, finally, hateful, Other. A more detailed look at the rhetoric of recent conflicts around the globe related to religious fanaticism, economic crises, racism, or sexism reveals deeply entrenched pre-conceptions of the gendered, ethnic, or social Other. Such stereotypical representations of the Other are shaped and disseminated through fictional and non-fictional texts, television, films, and the internet as well as in everyday cultural practices.  As a result, media products feature prominently in producing, propagating, and maintaining cultural difference in ideologically effective ways. Degrees of covert or overt forms of disrespect range from conventional hetero-stereotypes (e.g. Southern laziness, African inertia, Polish cunning, Greek economy, Scottish meanness, Irish drunkenness) in everyday encounters to open de-humanisation (axis of the evil, unbelievers, terrorists) in times of heightened ideological or military tensions.   The conference aims to probe the liminal spaces of construction and perception in literary and media representations. It aims to lay open the interplay of textual and media representations and other ways of producing stereotypes; and it intends to shed light on the issue of how such representations both react to as well as impinge on the spheres of cultural, political, and economic practice. The focus of this conference will be on discourses in four geographical areas: (1) North America, (2) Europe, (3) UK/Ireland/Scotland/Wales (4) the Commonwealth. We are interested in, e.g.: nation states and their  “neighbourly relations” (e.g. Poland and Germany, Europe and Russia; Europe and Greece, the US and Canada; England and Scotland; India and Pakistan) tensions between regions, cities, neighbourhoods, and cultural groups within a nation as represented in literary and...

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Call for Workshop Proposals: 63rd Annual Conference  of the German Association for American Studies (DGfA),  Osnabrück (Germany), May 19-22, 2016
Jul21

Call for Workshop Proposals: 63rd Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies (DGfA), Osnabrück (Germany), May 19-22, 2016

“The United States and the Question of Rights” Deadline: October 01, 2015 In U.S.-American politics, society and culture, questions concerning the justification, attainment and protection of human and civil rights have always been essential. Despite its obvious legal connotations, however, the intense concern with the question of rights cannot be understood exclusively from a legal perspective. The conviction that humans as citizens possess natural and constitutional rights and that they are defined through these very rights as humans and citizens is an integral part of the historical, political, social, and cultural self-conceptualization of the United States. This basic understanding is both constitutive as well as formative, i.e. it serves as the foundational argument for a number of interconnected, yet often also conflicting narratives, discourses, and practices through which the question concerning the rights of humans and citizens is constantly being re-negotiated. The history of the U.S. may be – or even must be – viewed as an ongoing struggle about the realization and protection, but also the limitation and violation of rights. The emphatic understanding of the fundamental status of rights in U.S.-American history and culture has also found expression in international and intercultural relations and controversies, as, for instance, contemporary debates about the NSA or the U.S. support (or lack thereof) for human rights groups and their struggles in non-democratic regimes clearly suggest. The “question of rights” is thus not merely constitutive of the self-understanding of the United States, it also—and with the same intensity—affects its perception from outside. The key theme of the 2016 convention is meant to encourage much more than the mere reproduction and reflection of historical controversies or more current political debates in the context of an academic conference. On the one hand, due to its historical depth and its significance across different disciplines and fields, the question of rights addresses all areas of American Studies and thus serves as a fulcrum of any research focused primarily on the United States. On the other hand, the fact that the field of American Studies itself—in its development, its central questions and objectives, and its changing self-understanding—time and again has been, and continues to be, influenced by a fundamental concern for justice and rights, endows the conference theme with a distinct potential to reflect upon the discipline’s central concepts and theories. The 2016 convention will attempt to tackle the question of rights in the context of U.S.-American politics, society, history, and culture from the diverse angles of literary and cultural studies, media studies, the arts, history, political science, sociology, economics, and legal studies. Exemplary general topics for workshops include, but are not limited to: The history...

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Call for Papers: Surveillance │ Society │ Culture, International Conference, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, February 26-28, 2016
Jul16

Call for Papers: Surveillance │ Society │ Culture, International Conference, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, February 26-28, 2016

International Conference, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, February 26-28, 2016 Deadline: September 21, 2015  Have we grown accustomed to living under constant observation in what sociologist David Lyon has called a “surveillance society”? What only a few decades ago would have been considered a totalitarian nightmare seems to have become reality: surveillance practices and technologies have infiltrated all aspects of our lives, forcing us to reconsider established notions of privacy, subjectivity, and the status of the individual within society. The United States is central to contemporary concerns about surveillance. American companies are at the forefront of developing surveillance technologies; internet corporations such as Google or Facebook have brought the accumulation and commercialization of “big data” to an unprecedented level of efficiency; and in the wake of 9/11 and the ongoing “war against terror,” governmental agencies such as the NSA are gathering and monitoring communication on a global scale. Therefore American Studies offers a fruitful place to begin discussing the impact of surveillance on society and culture. Nevertheless, the discussion will have to extend beyond disciplinary boundaries just as the impact and etiology of surveillance extend beyond the borders of the nation state. This broad view of the multiplicity of viewpoints is an acknowledgment that the ubiquity of surveillance makes it difficult to assess. Surveillance takes many forms; works in innumerable areas of private, public and professional life; performs multiple functions; serves countless masters; utilizes a variety of strategies, techniques and technologies. One way to render this polymorphous and elusive socio-cultural phenomenon tangible is to study its representations in literature, film, and art. This conference therefore aims to study the cultures and society of surveillance. The goal is to bring together literary, cultural and surveillance studies to provide a transdisciplinary framework and generate new approaches to fundamental questions: How has surveillance changed historically and how have these changes been discussed both in the American and in the transnational context? How have these changes been represented in literary and visual culture? What is the ideological significance of surveillance-related genres like the detective or spy novel? Is there an “ethics” of surveillance and how are ethical questions negotiated in literature and culture? How is “meaning” produced textually and semiotically in a surveillance situation? How can cultural artifacts like novels or films operate as actors in the multiple networks of surveillance? How can the processes of subject formation that constitute the observers as well as the observed be described? How do the arts reflect the challenges to the individual posed by technological development? How does the omnipresence of various gazes affect cultural narratives of the “self”? Possible topics could include but are certainly not limited to:...

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Call for Papers: Annual Conference of the Postgraduate Forum (PGF)
Jun22

Call for Papers: Annual Conference of the Postgraduate Forum (PGF)

The 2015 Postgraduate Forum (PGF) of the German Association for American Studies (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Amerikastudien, DGfA) calls for submissions to this year’s conference. The PGF is an annual forum for young scholars working in the field of American Studies who have completed their MA (or equivalent) to discuss their work and meet their peers. This year’s PGF is jointly organized by PhD candidates from the University of Bamberg and the University of Bayreuth. The conference itself takes place at the University of Bamberg from November 6 to 8, 2015. During this three-day conference, young scholars in the field of American Studies are invited to present their current research – such as essays or dissertations and postdoc projects. The PGF offers participants a platform to address various issues. There is no topical restriction, although we especially encourage paper proposals on North American poetry, animal studies, comic studies, food studies, as well as on war and illness in American literature, culture, history and politics. We would like to invite you to submit an abstract of 200–300 words by July 31, 2015. Your proposal should be in English and should include a brief biographical sketch of 150–200 words stating your academic background, your university affiliation, your research interests, and the current status of your project. We especially encourage young researchers who have little or no conference experience to participate and present their current research. In order to leave enough time for lively discussions, presentations must not exceed 20 minutes. Please send all proposals to: pgf@dgfa.de Selected contributions will be published in the peer-reviewed online journal COPAS (Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies). Further information regarding this year’s PGF in Bamberg, including the conference program, travel directions, accommodation options and more will be available on our website: https://pgf2015bamberg.wordpress.com We kindly ask all participants (presenting and non-presenting) to register no later than September 30, 2015 via our website. Your PGF-Team 2015 Laura Oehme, Judith Rauscher, Theresa Roth, Mareike Spychala Download: Call for Papers...

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Call for Papers:  “Interdisciplinary Crossroads: Performance Studies in Transnational American Studies”
Feb18

Call for Papers: “Interdisciplinary Crossroads: Performance Studies in Transnational American Studies”

“Interdisciplinary Crossroads: Performance Studies in Transnational American Studies” Opening Conference DFG Research Network DFG # BA 3567/4-1 ***23-25 July 2015, Regensburg*** Conference Organization: Dr. Birgit M. Bauridl (U Regensburg), Dr. Pia Wiegmink (U Mainz)   The conference opens the DFG research network “Cultural Performance in Transnational American Studies,” which explores the potentials of an integration of Performance Studies approaches into the field of (transnational) American Studies. The network investigates how, which, and with what outcome issues that, in the wake of the transnational turn, have become central to the American Studies agenda can be addressed more adequately by the study of ‘cultural performances.’ Based on the idea of culture as a corporeal, communal, and dynamic event rather than a stable textual product, the individual projects arranged in three culturally and spatially specific clusters—the city, the nation, the globe—position the local particularities of cultural performance vis-à-vis the dynamics of global mobility. Firstly, they examine the role and impact of ‘cultural performances’ as particular acts of cultural expression (like daily rituals, festive occasions, or theatrical events) in transnational contact zones—sites in which cultures meet, grapple with each other, and inevitably negotiate questions of socio-political agency, representation, and power. Secondly, they develop and evaluate ‘cultural performance’ as a methodological approach for the study of transnational processes. In sum, the network scrutinizes the benefits and limitations of a deeper and more reflective integration of a Performance Studies approach into American Studies. By bringing together scholars of Performance and American Studies from the US, Europe, and Asia, it constitutes an exemplary site of transnational collaboration and establishes a dialogue across disciplinary boundaries.   The opening conference aims at establishing a framework for a Performance Studies approach in (transnational) American Studies via both theoretical/conceptual/methodological reflections and the discussion of specific case studies. Confirmed keynote speakers are: Michael Bachmann (Theatre Studies, University of Glasgow); Ben Chappell (American Studies, University of Kansas); John Carlos Rowe (American Studies, University of Southern California). In addition to contributions by network participants and workshops papers, ‘Research Meets Practice’ sections will foster the exchange between academic scholars and experts/practitioners.   We INVITE PAPERS that explore aspects that, in the wake of the transnational turn, have become central to the American Studies agenda—e.g. issues such as cultural encounters and contact zones, the (non-)porousness of national and cultural borders, or the perceived dichotomy of local or national particularities and global mobility—via an investigation of ‘cultural performances,’ i.e. diverse affirmative or disruptive cultural practices and events ranging from theater, musicals, pop concerts, sports events and commemorations to tourist performances, street parades, political spectacles, and historical reenactments etc. and/or papers that address conceptual/methodological questions such as:...

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Call for Papers: GSNAS Graduate Conference 2015
Feb14

Call for Papers: GSNAS Graduate Conference 2015

Alliances Un/Common Causes and the Politics of Participation May 7–9, John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin   Seventy years after the United States aligned themselves with the Soviet Union to move together against Nazi Germany, unusual alliances continue to shift power relations and fundamentally transform our societies. Born out of crises, such upheavals often extend beyond economics and national politics into the allocation of rights and issues of legitimacy, justice, and everyday livelihood. Recently, global events have prompted popular mobilization and participation across various cultural, socioeconomic, and political boundaries. Ferguson (Missouri), Tahrir Square (Egypt), Zucotti Park (New York), and Ayotzinapa (Mexico) have transcended different materialities, on- and offline, and turned into tropes for larger transformative demands, forging real and imagined communities in the process. On a different scale, global economic, environmental, and geopolitical challenges are fostering unusual bonds between unlikely allies. Evolving modes of collaborative production, such as crowdfunding, are changing the way we relate, create, and consume. Volatile web crowds and conflicting coalitions are contesting traditional notions of allegiance and loyalty while allowing for an astute discerning of historical patterns. All these developments call for an updated understanding of alliances in the field of North American Studies. How can we situate, frame, and conceptualize alliances today? Are there plausible rhetorical links to be drawn between, for instance, protesters in Hong Kong and the inhabitants of Ferguson? What would they tell us about a sense of shared experience and the politics of empathy? Is there a way—or a need at all—to describe the formation of these kinds of transversal linkages with a vocabulary outside the liberal humanist tradition of solidarity? And how have cultural producers who align themselves with social and political causes facilitated the emergence and evolution of aesthetic forms, e.g. in documentary fiction in literature and film?   This conference explores the histories, presences, and futures of alliance making. Transdisciplinary and transnational in scope, it foregrounds the complex interplay between the imaginary and the material. We invite speakers to think with, through, and beyond the following issues: hegemonic alliances vs. grassroots organizing mobs, crowds, and gatherings: performativity and agency in numbers fragmented, operation-based initiatives and intersectional justice movements cultural resonances and literary representations of alliances the aesthetics of co-option and cooperation delinking strategies and dissolving coalitions peer-to-peer finance (e.g. crowdfunding) and other collaborative investments networked materialities, virtual and posthuman alliances alliances and social participation in historical perspective Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words and a short CV to alliances@gsnas.fu-berlin.de. The proposal deadline is February 28, 2015. Selected presenters will be notified by March 17, 2015....

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Call for Papers: DGfA Annual Meeting “Knowledge Landscapes North America”, Bonn, May 28-31, 2015
Nov25

Call for Papers: DGfA Annual Meeting “Knowledge Landscapes North America”, Bonn, May 28-31, 2015

Deadline January 15, 2015. All members of the association and those interested are invited to submit paper proposals for the 2015 Annual Conference of the German Association for American Studies “Knowledge Landscapes North America.“ The 2015 Annual Conference endeavors to map North American knowledge landscapes from the perspectives of literary, cultural, and media studies, history, political science, sociology, and economics as well as through the arts. For further information on the general topic and the venue please consult the DGfA homepage https://dgfa.de/annual-meeting/ or the the conference homepage http://gaas2015.com/. Please send your paper proposals directly to the workshop organizers listed below. Each workhop will have six slots for presentations. A minimum of two presentations have been submitted in advance and will appear in the workshop descriptions below. The deadline for further submissions is January 15, 2015. Speakers at the conference must be members of the Association or of one of its international sister organizations in American Studies. It is not necessary to become a member until the paper proposal has been accepted. Please find the list of workshops here...

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