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ASA 2017 Call for Topics

The theme for the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, “Pedagogies of Dissent,” emphasizes the conjuncture of education, politics, and intellectual work that has long been and remains central to the vibrancy of American studies.

The American Studies Association invites members to advertise possible sessions for the 2017 annual meeting to be held November 9-12 in Chicago, Illinois.  Interested members are invited to examine these abstracts and contact the authors to construct session proposals for the 2017 Annual Meeting.  These proposed abstracts are an excellent way for both established scholars working in new fields and graduate students seeking panel members to find and network with interested colleagues. 

Proposed topics should include a tentative session title, 200-word description, and proposer’s contact information.  Indicate your due date for receiving an abstract or paper. A staff member will review your submission for missing information prior to posting.

After the suggested topics have been published, individuals can send abstracts or papers to the session organizer who will then be responsible for accepting papers, finding a chair and commentator, and submitting the session for consideration to the Program Committee. In the recent past, the odds of acceptance of a pre-packaged session have been much higher than for acceptance of individual papers, which not only need to pass the test of excellence but also must fit with other individual papers to form a panel with internal coherence.

Pre-proposal networking circumvents this problem.

The session abstracts are posted on the ASA website as a service to the association’s members who are developing panel proposals for the annual meeting.  But this does not imply endorsement of the proposals by the 2017 ASA Program Committee.  The Program Committee will not see your topic abstracts. 

If you do plan to post a topic abstract please be aware of your responsibility to inform each person who may submit an abstract or paper directly to you, in a timely and collegial manner, whether or not you intend to include his or her abstract in your proposal.  This is important because each person is allowed to make and/or be listed as a participant on only one submission. 

Submit your topic abstract (“work in progress”) to our staff email address .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Please limit your topic abstract to a maximum of 200 words.  All persons submitting an abstract in response to the 2017 call for topics must be current ASA members (or an affiliated international American studies association) at the time of submission. 

Proposals are due on February 1, 2017.


WORKS IN PROGRESS 2017 Annual Meeting

Poetics of Dissent from the Revolutionary Era to the Present

Taking its cue from Meta DuEwa Jones and Keith Leonard’s critique of the marginalization of poetry in the study of multi-ethnic literature (2010), this panel addresses the marginalization of poetry in American studies. Specifically, it examines how African American poetry from the Revolutionary Era to the present has cultivated a tradition of dissent by addressing issues that are central to the American studies project of dismantling U.S. exceptionalism: imperialism and violence; exclusion and belonging; slavery and freedom; oppression and resistance; the shifting meanings of race, class, gender, and sexuality; the histories and practices of the dispossessed. Especially welcome are paper proposals that (1) examine how authors harness the materiality of print or other media for political critique or (2) interrogate the use of language, form, and genre as forms of dissent. My paper will be on Albery Allson Whitman’s Not a Man and Yet a Man (1877); depending on the submissions received, the panel may have a broad historical scope or it may focus on the long C19. Please send a 300-word abstract and a brief bio to Magdalena Zapędowska at (mzapedowskae@english.umass.edu) by December 12. Notifications by December 20.

Radical Print/Radical Pedagogy: Teaching Dissent in America

This panel will examine the ways that radical print culture functioned as a “pedagogy of dissent” in the twentieth century. By definition, radical print attempts to get at “the root” of ideologies and practices defining “America” and “Americanness,” challenging given ideas, unsettling normative practices, and ultimately working to raise awareness. Yet, it is not only the message but also the medium of radical print culture that has attempted to school Americans in the mechanisms dissent. The production and distribution of radical print suggests as much about its creators’ aims as do the words themselves. Pamphlets, broadsheets, flyers, posters, leaflets, handbills—what do they teach about dissent in America, how do they teach it, and to what end? How did different individuals, groups, and movements use print to not only effect change but also teach and empower others to do so themselves? What can we in our twenty-first century moment learn from previous generations’ dissent primers? Papers are invited to discuss any aspect of radical print culture—production, reception, distribution, thematics, politics—in relation to any movement, moment, or action in twentieth century America.  Contact: Kristin L. Matthews (kristin_matthews@byu.edu) by January 15, 2017.