Southeastern American Studies Association
Looking Back, Talking Back, Moving Forward
Emory Conference Center and Hotel
Black Lives Matter, the #MeToo Movement, the Women’s March, DREAMERs, the March for Our Lives. In recent years, we have witnessed—whether on the ground or via social media—a diversity of individuals and groups speaking up and talking back publicly in response to systemic intimidation and violence that has marginalized certain populations within and beyond the United States. Some say that we are at a watershed moment in U.S. history, but are we? Who and what have come before, and in what ways did they succeed and/or fail? How do the writers, speakers, and activists of today build upon the work of writers, speakers, and activists of yesteryear? And—in what ways—do new technologies impact social movements and the backlashes against them?
For the 2019 SASA conference, we invite interdisciplinary papers and roundtables that explore moments (whether literary, historical, and/ or cultural) of “talking back” within national and transnational contexts. Where does public intellectualism/public scholarship fit into the research and teaching agendas of American Studies scholars? Where, when, and how do we speak up and talk back? With its 2018 theme, “States of Emergence,” the American Studies Association “emphasizes that our sense of crisis must be thought alongside our constant commitment to challenging the calamities that beset us and to producing alternative—indeed better—worlds.” In that spirit we welcome papers and sessions that explore how your scholarship, teaching, and/or service contributes to producing such worlds within and beyond your particular academic setting.