Feeling American Studies: The New York Metro American Studies Association (NYMASA) and the Columbia Journal of American Studies (CJAS) invite papers for our 2007 annual one-day conference, to be held on Saturday, November 10, 2007, 9:00AM-5:30PM, in New York City. (Exact venue to be announced.)
Feeling, emotion, affect, sensation, passion: the pervasiveness of these terms in current American Studies suggests that feeling is no longer taken as the opposite of thinking and that, indeed, emotions provoke, produce, and even embody knowledge. Although feelings are simultaneously part of our daily lives yet abstract, broadly understood and intensely personal, the knowledge that feeling provokes has often been limited within specific disciplines. Notwithstanding important explorations of sentiment and its
connections to race and gender, American Studies has come late to the scholarly conversation on feeling, despite the fact that the inquiries that shape American Studies as a field--including identity, aesthetics, history, empire, narrative, media, and public culture--can and have been fruitfully pursued through the critical lens of emotion by scholars in other disciplines.
The purpose of this one-day conference is to invite dialogue on the place of feeling in American Studies. What might attention to feelings add to the field? What might it compromise? What kinds of feelings does American Studies--or, more broadly America--provoke?
While these methodological questions are central, we also invite papers that might approach methods through specific examples or case studies. And in imagining this conference, we would like participants to engage with any of the following issues (or any others that the topic inspires):
**What is the place of feeling in academic research and writing? In teaching?
**Why has so much recent writing about emotion dealt with negative affect: loss, mourning, boredom? Why not joy, pleasure, satisfaction?
**Does an analysis of feeling lend itself more readily to some disciplines (literary study, philosophy) that to others (history, geography)?
**Does emotion have an archive?
**Can feeling be mapped? Could we imagine an emotional cartography of the nation, or of US imperialism?
**Can emotions be historicized? How does historical and cultural context shape and condition feelings?
**Are there such things as specifically American feelings?
**How do other nations feel about the United States? Or about Americans abroad? Or about the project of American Studies?
**How is emotion organized around/by race, gender, ethnicity, and national identity?
We particularly encourage submissions that discuss emotion before the 20th century, and presentations that cross historic and disciplinary borders.
Papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in a special issue of the Columbia Journal of American Studies.
Please send abstracts of 200-300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 1, 2007.
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