Call for Papers, East-West American Studies Conference from June 24 to June 27, 2004.
The question of the relation of arts, morals, and politics is relevant independent of the form of political power artists and intellectuals are confronted with. In any society artists will have to position their work on a scale whose poles are known as l'art pour l'art and l'art engagé, and intellectuals will have to decide whether or not to leave the sheltered realm of the ivory tower and enter the public sphere. And whether living in communist, fascist or democratic societies, once they devote their lives and creativity to political ideas or social aims and start voicing dissent, artists and public intellectuals have to wrestle with opposing forces employing a broad range of intimidating strategies that threaten their reputation, their careers or even their lives.
It is only when these issues are studied on the basis of concrete historical situations that they can be fully assessed. To offer an opportunity to do so, the Center for North American Studies (Zentrum für Nordamerika-Forschung - ZENAF) at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany, will host its 5. East-West American Studies Conference from June 24 to June 27, 2004. We invite junior scholars who are at present working on a research project in American Studies (a dissertation, a habilitation, or any other book-length research) on topics such as the intellectual class and the attraction of master ideologies, art and propaganda, the role of art in political and social struggles and / or the representation of such struggles in art, democracy and censorship, (dissenting) intellectual leaders and the media, or political commitment and disengagement in the social history of intellectuals. Research based on a comparative approach between Eastern and Western countries is also welcome. In any case, scholars from Eastern and Western European Countries and from North America working in the field of American Studies should be willing to present their work in progress and also be prepared to engage with the projects of their colleagues.
In order to allow for lively debates the number of participants will be kept small, i.e. up to 15. You will be asked to present your projects in written statements of about 15 pages, which could be either representative chapters and / or outlines of the project. This statement, sent to all participants before the beginning of the conference, will be the basis of discussion. At the conference, each participant will summarize his or her argument in a 5-10 minute talk. The subsequent debate will be chaired by a distinguished American scholar yet to be announced.
Please send a short (one page) proposal introducing your research and a CV. You may send your proposal either by mail or email; in either case it should arrive no later than January 30, 2004 at the address given below.
The conference will be sponsored by the Volkswagen-Stiftung and allows us to cover the costs of accomodation and food for all. We will also cover travel expenses of scholars from Eastern Europe and expect those from Western Europe and America to apply for matching funds.
Prof. Dr. Christa Buschendorf
Institut für England- und Amerikastudien
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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