The New York Metro American Studies Association (NYMASA), in partnership with The New-York Historical Society, is seeking abstracts and papers for "From Tea Parties to Free Speech Zones: Activism and American Culture," a conference to be held at The New-York Historical Society on Saturday, October 30, 2004.
In imagining this conference we would like participants to engage with any combination of the following questions: how does activism get defined and named? How do representations of activist movements shift along historical, generic, and/or ideological boundaries (for example, how is one person's riot another's uprising?)? Is activism inextricable from explicitly political action? How do race, gender, class, region, and other categories of identity shape activist movements? What are the relationships between popular action and "the authorities"?
As well as traditionally understood forms of collective action, such as rebellions, strikes, riots, nonviolent protest, and boycotts, we are also interested in more broadly defined forms of activism: performative, pedagogic, artistic, literary, and even eccentric. We particularly encourage submissions that discuss activism before the 20th century, and presentations that cross historic and disciplinary borders.
Please submit abstracts by June 1, 2004 to Sarah Chinn via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or via U.S. mail at the address below:
Electronic submissions are preferred.
Possible topics may include:
Violent and/or nonviolent protest
The language of activism
Revolutions and their meanings
Crackdowns and paranoia
Pedagogy and activism
Activism across the political spectrum
Populism and demagoguery
Riots, mobs, and disorder
Activism and technologies
Sarah E. Chinn
695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
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