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Home/Not Home: Centering American Studies Where We Are, November 17-20, 2016

We are writing on behalf of the 2016 ASA Program Committee to say how much we hope you are planning to join us November 17-20 in Denver for an annual meeting that will feature compelling sessions on vital topics, including transphobic bathroom laws, Colorado’s ADX Florence supermax prison, the legacies of the Sand Creek Massacre, and more.

The annual meeting is an expression of the collective knowledge and connective analyses of ASA members, and we are grateful to the hundreds of our colleagues from across the globe who submitted proposals this year. The meeting theme, “Home/Not Home: Centering American Studies Where We Are” generated thoughtful, incisive session proposals, including many on indigeneity and place, the politics of homelessness, prisons as not home, and the determinative power of race and migration on defining at-homeness, among many others. The program also features many sessions that do not match the theme but demonstrate the ongoing and emerging agendas of scholars who work in American studies.

The committee was not, of course, able to accept all submissions. The program includes 296 sessions that the committee accepted from the 328 session submissions. The percentage of accepted session submissions is consistent with what has happened in recent years. This year we received an unusually high number of proposals for individual papers (418). In spite of the high volume, the committee accepted a record percentage of proposals for individual papers. Those accepted proposals turned into 71 sessions.

The program committee also developed sessions that highlight the theme and emerging issues, including the proliferation of campus carry laws, the status of queer of color critique, whiteness and indigeneity, and blackness and the precarity of home. Several sessions will mark the enduring impact of figures who died since we last met, including Cedric Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Prince, Grace Lee Boggs, and Patrick Wolfe.

We remember these extraordinary figures in the midst of our annual routine, which somehow becomes more extraordinary every year. Whether ASA is your intellectual home, professional refuge, or your home/not home away from home/not home, we appreciate the opportunity to spend the past year working on your behalf as the association’s members and sustainers.

Robert Warrior
ASA President

Sharon P. Holland
J. Kēhaulani Kauanui
Jean M. O’Brien
Co-Chairs, 2016 ASA Program Committee

Program Book for the 2016 Annual Meeting
View the 2016 Annual Meeting Program (Interactive Version)
View the 2017 Annual Meeting Theme and Planning Committees (PDF)

HOME/NOT HOME: An American Studies Art Exhibit

Call for Submissions

HOME/NOT HOME: An American Studies Art Exhibit / Denver, Colorado/Colorado Convention Center November 17-20, 2016

HOCH E AYE VI Edgar Heap of Birds and Robert Warrior, Curators

“Nah-kev-ho-eyea-zim.” This Cheyenne language phrase appears on a wall half of a mile from the hotel and convention center in Denver, Colorado where the American Studies Association will hold its annual meeting November 17-20, 2016. That wall stands behind “Wheel,” a 50-foot diameter 2005 sculpture the Denver Art Museum commissioned Cheyenne/Arapaho artist HOCH E AYE VI Edgar Heap of Birds to make. Heap of Birds learned the phrase from his grandmother, Lightning Woman, who used it to refer to the way Cheyenne people find their way back to the places they are from for a reason and with a purpose—“We are always returning home again.”

This short statement about home helps clarify the theme for the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting: Home/Not Home: Centering American Studies Where We Are. Heap of Birds, who will attend the meeting as Artist in Residence, and Robert Warrior, ASA President, are co-curating an art exhibit that will be in an area adjacent to the meeting’s book exhibit. This call for submissions is an invitation to propose art pieces in any media for the exhibit. Along with selections from the submissions, Home/Not Home will feature work by the curators, Norman Akers, and Melanie Yazzie.

Home is a primary category in the Indigenous world, in Native art, and in Native studies, but Home/Not Home is meant to evoke breadth and depth not limited to indigeneity, race, gender, or other cateogories of identification. Home/Not Home is a reminder of those in downtown Denver whose “home” is the streets.  Home/Not Home gives voice to the persistence of violence, absence, rejection, and psychic violation even as it reaches toward peace, balance, respect, and integrity—often through and within each other. Home without Not Home risks romanticized nostalgia, false consciousness, and loss of the context of place and of what home has become and is becoming.

Art undercuts conventionality while sometimes participating in it. “Wheel,” which remembers the Indigenous histories of the Colorado region, sits on a site of Cheyenne and Arapaho removal, a place that was home and is still remembered as such, but which is also at a significant distance from the contemporary homes of most Cheyennes, Arapahos, Osages, Utes, and other Indigenous peoples whose homelands make up the palimpsest upon which the gleaming city of Denver has inscribed itself, framed by what has only relatively recently become the US state of Colorado. A basic premise of this call is that the sculpture’s public utterance about returning home with purpose and for reckoning is an aesthetic intervention linking Indigenous memory, the homeless denizens of Denver’s streets, and the material conditions that make home possible and impossible in the Americas and, thus, in the places where we are when we invoke the American in American studies. Home/Not Home: An American Studies Art Exhibit is an invitation to grapple with Toni Morrison’s searing Nobel Prize lecture supplication, “Tell us…what it is to have no home in this place. To be set adrift from the one you knew. What it is to live at the edge of towns that cannot bear your company.”

We invite all artists to respond to this call by submitting electronic images of existing artwork (no more than four artworks) with detailed descriptions of the work and a short statement about what makes them compelling for “Home/Not Home.” The exhibit will utilize easels for display, so we cannot consider submissions that are larger than 48” wide and 36” tall or more than ten (10) pounds unless the pieces are free-standing. Shipping costs for accepted work will be paid by the exhibitors. We will begin considering submissions immediately, and we will give full consideration to all submissions received by October 26, 2016.

Submissions, questions, and other inquiries can be addressed to Robert Warrior at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

More From the Editors


Visual Culture Caucus Guided Tour of RedLine (Denver)

ASA Critical Disability Studies Caucus Graduate Student Paper Award

new grad-student rep on SASA’s board AND new deadline for Critoph Prize

Given the change in plans for our next biennial conference—the ASA’s southern-regional chapter will meet March 2-4, 2017, at William and Mary, rather than in North Carolina, thanks to that state’s pernicious HB2 legislation—there’s a new deadline for grad students to enter the competition for our next Critoph Prize. That deadline is still at noon on the first day of the conference, March 2, and submissions will still go to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Meanwhile, our officers and Board welcome our new graduate student representative, Matt Swiatlowski, of UNC-Chapel Hill.

Details about our org, about our biennial conferences, and about the Critoph Prize abound at our website, http://www.southernamericanstudiesassociation.org, and yes, we certainly have a presence on Facebook!—Dennis Moore, SASA’s rep on the RegionalChaps.Comm

CFP: Framing the “American Century”: Wars, Migrations, Social Justice (Due Sept 15, 2016)

The American Studies Association (ASA) and the Japanese Association for American Studies (JAAS), with support from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission (JUFSC), are pleased to announce a competition open to ASA members (U.S. citizens). We plan to select two ASA delegates (pending funding) for participation in the annual JAAS conference to be held at Waseda University, Tokyo, June 3-4, 2017. We invite proposals for papers to be presented at the JAAS conference and for the two-day pro-seminars in Japan. The dates of two pro-seminars are not set yet. The award covers round trip airfare to Japan, housing, and modest daily expenses.

Originally posted June 26, 2016

ASA Minority and Indigenous Graduate Student Travel Grant

This award will provide travel reimbursement of $500 to an advanced graduate student who is a member of the ASA and plans to attend the 2016 convention in order to present a paper related to critical ethnic and/or indigenous studies. Graduate students who have no support for convention attendance and are members of an under-represented group are particularly encouraged to apply.

The application should have two parts:  (1) a cover letter of no more than two pages that includes a brief autobiographical description, the title of the applicant’s paper and the session to which it belongs, and confirmation that the applicant will not receive any other financial support from his/her/their institution; and (2) a curriculum vitae.  Please send your application by Wednesday, September 14 to Ralina Joseph, chair of the critical ethnic studies committee, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

ASA Critical Ethnic Studies Prize

The American Studies Association’s Committee on Critical Ethnic Studies calls for submissions for the 2016 Critical Ethnic Studies Prize, awarded to a participant in the annual meeting of the American Studies Association. Any paper given at the meeting is eligible for consideration, provided that it does not exceed 15 pages, including the notes. The paper should be a work-in-progress.  The author of the winning paper will receive a $500 award at the annual meeting to be held November 17-20 in Denver, Colorado.

Relevant submissions will contrast or connect the process of race-making or the experiences of racialized communities with similar processes or experiences inside or outside the United States. All essays must focus on the power of race/ethnicity to shape the lives of diverse groups of people.

Papers should be submitted electronically by Wednesday, September 14 to Ralina Joseph, chair of the c ommittee, at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  Late submissions will not be accepted.