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Feb. 1 | CFP 2015 Annual Meeting
Click here. The submission site will automatically shut down at 11:59 PM (Pacific) on February 1, 2015.

Mar. 1 | Vote in the 2015 ASA Election
All votes must be cast by 11:59pm EST on March 01, 2015

Mar. 1 | 2015 Franklin Prize
Nominations for 2015 John Hope Franklin Publication Prize for the best-published book in American Studies due

Mar. 1 | 2015 Romero Prize
Nominations for 2015 Lora Romero Publication Prize for the best-published first book in American Studies due.

Mar. 1 | 2015 Community Partnership Grants
Applications for the 2015 Community Partnership Grants Program to assist American Studies collaborative, interdisciplinary community projects due

Annual Meeting: Call for Topics 2015

The theme of the 2015 annual meeting is The (Re)production of Misery and the Ways of Resistance.

The American Studies Association invites members to advertise possible sessions for the 2015 annual meeting to be held October 8-11, 2015, Toronto, Canada.  Interested members are invited to examine these abstracts and contact the authors to construct session proposals for the 2015 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 2015 ASA Program Committee.  In fact, the Program Committee will not have seen the abstracts prior to their publication. 

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”) using our topics submission form   Please limit your topic abstract to a maximum of 200 words. 

Submit your final proposal using our proposal submission form. The ASA submission site will open on December 1, 2014 and should be used only for the submission of final proposal.  The final deadline for actual session proposals will be February 1, 2015.

All proposal submitters must be current ASA members (or an affiliated international American studies association) at the time of submission.  Each panel submission should also include a second current ASA member (in addition the panel organizer) at the time of submission. 

All other panelists, including chairs and commentators, must become current individual members of the ASA (or an affiliated international American studies association). All participants must buy *both* a membership and a registration in order to be properly registered for the conference.

WORKS IN PROGRESS (2015 Annual Meeting Call for Topics)

Just Deserters: Allegiance and American Desertion
Even as late as 1928, Ella Lonn found it necessary in Desertion During the Civil War to offer the qualified hope that the question of desertion, “which could scarcely have found a tolerant reading a few decades ago,” might be received by a more generous audience. This panel echoes Lonn’s qualified hope as it asks for papers that consider desertion not in terms of cowardice, but in terms of allegiance. To whom or to what is the deserter allied, and how might that allegiance operate as a way of resistance? Does the willingness to leave one site of misery for another, potentially more miserable, site provide an alternative logic of desertion? What are the consequences of the act of desertion and what might the implications of desertion counter-narratives be? This panel seeks papers that respond to the above questions through valences including, but not limited to, race, class, technology, and religion. Papers stretching across the breadth of American history—from the Revolution to Bowe Bergdahl—will be considered. Please send 300 word abstracts and a 1 page CV to Nathaniel Windon (NathanielWindon@gmail.com) by 25 January 2015.

Polarization on the Potomac and the Jordan: American Political Cultures and Israel-Palestine Gridlock
Since its modern founding in 1948, Israel has received bipartisan endorsement for US economic and military support through seasons of war, terrorism, and territorial expansion.  That endorsement, however, has recently become contested, with the movement for Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) of Israel gaining traction, including at the ASA.  This call for collaborators seeks presenters on the history of this transition, the role of America political cultures and lobbying groups in foreign policy and of the media in reflecting and shaping public opinion, the legacy of the Holocaust and the fear of terrorism in the American imagination, the differences among religious groups, the transnational character of the BDS movement, the relation of fear and security and of social justice and post-colonialism, the role of Anti-Semitism and of Islamophobia in these trends, and more.  The 2014 program included panels on the ASA Boycott Resolution itself and the cultural groups involved; this panel will evaluate the political cultures of the controversies, generally issuing in gridlock, both in Washington and in the Middle East.  While public discussion often remains polarized, this panel seeks to provide a forum for hearing out the arguments and the passions of each side.  Please submit 500-word abstract and a brief CV or biographical information by January 25, 2015 to Paul Croce (pcroce@stetson.edu).

Talking Back or Suffering in Silence: Female Misery and the Resistance of Voice
This panel (brief papers with small group discussions to follow)  will explore the complications of silence and speech in the context of female suffering particularly the misery of bodily and emotional pain. The material female body is implicated in identity, sexuality, maternal identity, wholeness, beauty as well as other ideological structures. When that body is compromised what resistance strategies are available to regain emotional equilibrium at least and empowerment at best? Must those strategies include voice or can silence be a powerful site of resistance? When the emotional self is compromised, does silence or voice best serve resistance? How do women negotiate the miseries of abortion, miscarriage, rape, violence, abuse, breast cancer, hysterectomies and the like? What are their strategies, physical and emotional? What constitutes resistance or acquiescence on such a journey? If the personal is political, how does that concept hold up when the personal is profound loss, grief, or despair? We are interested in looking at this topic from a wide variety of fields in order to host an interdisciplinary discussion. Please send a 250 word abstract and one page CV to Dana Dudley at (dana.dudley@pepperdine.edu) by January 25, 2015.

Virality: Media, Affect, Ecology
Scholar Jussi Parikka has said, “we can regard the viral as a specific mode of action, as a logic of contagion and repetition that can be used for questioning issues of assemblages of the object and the complex ontology of contemporary capitalist culture.” Virality, then, is both methodology and artifact, a means towards alternative understandings of the contemporary mechanisms of capital, politics, ethics, and ontology. By employing a viral methodology and interrogating that which is viral we can uncover complex modes of being and relationality that might otherwise go unnoticed. With this in mind, this panel aims to mobilize a viral way of thinking in order to trouble the manufactured borderlands between “human” and everything else, making productive particular media as ethical/ontic sites in and of themselves. How might we unshackle misery and other affects from the realm of the human, think productively about non-human relations and non-human media? This panel, therefore, seeks interdisciplinary works that address virality and that question the normative starting point of the human animal for american studies scholarship. Of particular interest are those papers eschewing traditional humanities methodologies, particularly those centralizing: animals, organisms, objects, viruses, or media. Please email a 300 word abstract and short bio to (stephen.mcnulty@rutgers.edu) by January 26, 2015.

Violence for the Greater Good? The Representation of Resistant Violence in Literature, Film, and Performance
In Terrorism for Humanity, Ted Honderich makes a case in support of political violence by outlining a “principle of humanity,” which he argues is the moral goal of human endeavor. Its primary end is “to make well-off those who are badly off,” by transferring means from the better-off, reducing inequalities, and allowing necessary violence (192). In his justification of political violence, or terrorism, Honderich posits that failing to act to stop an atrocity is morally wrong, and that “terrorism that has the aim of liberating a people from invasion and occupation” is morally justified (144-169). Omitted from his justification is the misery an act of violence causes to the individuals targeted for violence due to their vocational, symbolic, or relational status as members of the police, military, corporations, or other positions of power. This panel invites papers that interrogate this contested philosophical terrain in literature, performance, and/or film. Topics can range from workplace violence to ecoterrorism to guerilla violence. Questions to consider include:  How is the dialectical interplay of misery and political resistance represented?  What are the moral and ethical implications of—to oversimplify—advocating violence to reduce violence?  Email 200-word abstracts to Pamela Grieman (grieman@usc.edu) by January 27, 2015.

Death/Work: Afterlives of the Black Mortuary
We seek interdisciplinary papers for a proposed panel investigating “the black mortuary,” an analytic that considers the place of the black deceased within cultural, economic, and intellectual practices. Informed, in part, by Vincent Brown’s groundbreaking text The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery, this panel will explore the conceptual and constitutive work that racial death performs. We invoke a popular African American colloquialism, “who’s got the body,” to locate the contested ownerships of the (deceased) black body. And we ask, how might the corporeal remnants of blackness foreshadow new possibilities for myriad forms of oppositional action? Attending to the renewed interest in Orlando Patterson’s concept of social death—prompted by recent reminders of the long history of racial violence in the United States, linking the miseries of chattel slavery to police terror—we invite proposals that consider social death in transnational, global, or diasporic sites which extend or trouble the inquiries above. We seek to offer an intervention into ongoing conversations related to black studies, afropessimism, queer theory, postcoloniality, black feminism, and diaspora studies. Possible paper themes include: Visual, aesthetic representations of black death; Temporalities of racial death: “premature death,” untimeliness and inevitability; Political economies of death: slavery, capital accumulation, structural adjustment programs, and neoliberalism; Color, “markings” and signifiers of blackness; Spirituality and commemorative practices. Please send abstracts of 250-300 words to Jamal A. Batts (jbatts@berkeley.edu) and Brittany Meche (brittany.meche@berkeley.edu) by January 27th, 2015.

Miserable Violence, Violent Resistance
I am looking for 1-2 more panelists to fill out a panel proposal for the 2015 American Studies Association conference (http://www.theasa.net/submit_a_proposal). Drawing on the conference theme of “The (Re)production of Misery and the Ways of Resistance,” this panel proposes to explore how performances of violence—that is, violence that is meant to be seen—can work both to reproduce social miseries and also to offer methods for resisting the political and social systems that institutionalize the conditions of misery. Possible themes may include (but are certainly not limited to):

-      performances of everyday violence, or microagressions
-      performances in/of war, “theatres” of war
-      gun violence, gun control
-      violent vs. non-violent methods of resistance
-      spectacular violence, such as terrorism
-      reenactments of historical acts of violence
-      thanatourism
-      violence as entertainment

Papers from various historical, critical, theoretical, and geographical perspectives are welcome. Please send a 250-word abstract and 350-word biographical statement (see example here: http://www.theasa.net/example_of_a_biographical_statement) to Lindsay Adamson Livingston (lalivingston@byu.edu) by Jan. 28, 2015. Feel free to contact Lindsay with questions.

American Studies Abroad: Making the Transnational International
This panel explores how the field of transnational American Studies must re-evaluate how “transnationalism” as a field and a methodology in the United States must also value work in American Studies being done by scholars and institutions at international institutions. We want to interrogate the collusions, collisions, and clashes between “transnational” and “international” and what these potential disciplinary “contact zones” mean for the future of the field.  The goal of this panel is to facilitate international connections between American Studies scholars to deepen international ties betweens scholars and institutions in the United States and the best work in American Studies being done by scholars and institutions outside the United States.  We want to call for transnational American Studies to move beyond scholarship that compares literatures or histories across borders and argue for truly international collaboration that addresses the role and significance of American Studies as a global discipline.  Please email abstracts to Jennifer Reimer at jennifer.reimer@bilkent.edu.tr by Jan 29, 2015.

How does Trauma Travel?  Hemispheric Catastrophe and Indigenous-Latina/o Responses
This panel will address the question: How does trauma travel? How do catastrophic events and experiences ranging from natural disasters to social and political crises reverberate throughout the Americas? And how have various crises impacted cultural and artistic practices from literature and music to film? This panel will explore what happens when traumatic experiences are dislodged from their immediate surroundings—-delocalized and deterritorialized˜and become indirectly experienced so that one can speak of vicarious trauma. Can one think of suffering and misery as diasporic emotions? The panelists will consider how the experience of suffering changes when it is transported, disseminated and re-experienced elsewhere.  Please submit paper abstracts (250 words) and brief C.V. to Carrie Bramen (bramen@buffalo.edu) by January 30, 2015.