To be held at the site of the Massachusetts Historical
Society, one of the country's oldest and most respected
archives, the 2002 NEASA conference will explore the
connections between cultural institutions, evidence, and
the process of instituting culture throughout the American
experience. The theme of this year's meeting (the title of
which comes from Warren Goldstein's review of Dutch,
the fictionalized biography of Ronald Reagan by Edmund
Morris) raises such issues as:
What counts as facts, data, or evidence?
How have facts been used in American culture to construct
mythologies of race, class, gender, or power?
What is the role of evidence in academic research, and
particularly in interdisciplinary approaches such as
American Studies? When is it appropriate to interweave
fact and fiction? How do we reconcile different elements
of scholarship to create a braided narrative? How has the
construction of a usable past marked American thought,
and American Studies scholarship?
How (either historically, or now) do gatekeepers of facts
such as the Massachusetts Historical Society, the
Smithsonian Museum, the United States Information
Agency, or local historical societies, influence
American culture? How have people in the United
States and abroad responded to such cultural institutions?
Sadly, the topic conceived last spring now seems all the
more pressing in the wake of the attacks of September 11,
2001. We have invited papers that address those tragic
events, and the continuing aftermath.
As always, NEASA welcomes participation by public
intellectuals and activists without university affiliations --
e.g., secondary school teachers, journalists, community
organizers, archivists, curators, artists, and independent
scholars. To enable broader participation in the
conference, and to reward excellent papers (the award
carries a stipend), NEASA again will offer the Mary Kelly
Prize for the best paper by a graduate student or non
tenure track scholar.
Proposals, including a one page abstract and a
C.V., should be received by Friday, January 8, 2002.
Organized by: New England American Studies Association
Lisa MacFarlane, NEASA Program Chair
Department of English
Hamilton Smith Hall
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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