The New York Metro American Studies Association (NYMASA)
The Columbia Journal of American Studies (CJAS)
2007 annual conference
Feeling American Studies
Saturday, November 3, 2007, 8:30am-5:30pm
Alfred Lerner Hall, 3rd Floor, 2920 Broadway (at W. 115th Street)
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. Feelings are part of our daily lives yet abstract, broadly understood and intensely personal. Yet the knowledge that feeling provokes has often been limited within specific disciplines. What can American Studies contribute to the scholarly conversation on feeling? How does the critical lens of emotion help us to reenvision the inquiries that shape American Studies as a field--including identity, aesthetics, history, empire, narrative, media, and public culture, as well as explorations of sentiment and its connections to race and gender?
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? Can feeling be mapped? Could we imagine an emotional cartography of the nation or of US imperialism? How do historical and cultural contexts shape and condition feelings, and how are emotions organized around/by race, gender, ethnicity, and national identity? Does emotion have an archive? Why has so much recent writing about emotion dealt with negative affect: loss, mourning, boredom? Why not joy, pleasure, satisfaction?
8:30-9:00am: Registration and Breakfast
9:00-10:30am: Session 10
Chair: Cynthia Wachtell (Yeshiva University)
Katherine Biers (Cornell University): "Writing as Will: Stephen Crane, Yellow Journalism and the Spanish-American War"
Amanda Lashaw (University of California, Berkeley): "The Radical Promise of Reformist Zeal"
Susan Scheckel (University of Iowa): "Theorizing New York Nostalgia: Modern Homesickness and Identity-Machining in Howells's A Hazard of New Fortunes"
Chair: Jordan Alexander Stein (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Leigh Claire La Berge (New York University): "The Affective Division of Labor: Capitalism, Psychoanalysis, and the Value of Feelings"
Justine S. Murison (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): "All That Is Enthusiastic: Revival, Reform, and Religious Feeling in Antebellum America"
Rebecca Schein (University of California, Santa Cruz): "Educating for Overseasmanship: The Peace Corps and the Invention of Culture Shock"
Kate Stanley (Columbia University): "Between Shock and Habit: An 'Ethics of Surprise'"
10:45am-12:15pm: Session 2
Genealogies of Feeling
Chair: Shifra Diamond (George Washington University)
Kate Culkin (Bronx Community College, CUNY): "'It Is Pleasant to Feel Our Patriotism, Our Growing Love of Art': Harriet Hosmer's 'Zenobia in Chains' and the Analysis of Emotion"
Anna Mae Duane (University of Connecticut): "The Revolutionary Child: Slavery, Affective Contracts and the Future Perfect"
Susan Lanzoni (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): "The Origins of 'Empathy' in American Thought and Society"
Mark Noonan (New York City College of Technology, CUNY): "Feeling Victorian: Revisiting America's Gilded Age"
Chair: Dan Webb (Columbia University)
Michael Dowdy (Hunter College, CUNY): "A Transnational Geography of Feeling in Puerto Rican Poetry"
Toni Wall Jaudon (Cornell University): "A Reasonable Heaven: The Spatiotemporality of Sympathy in Late Nineteenth-Century U.S. Imperialism"
Neill Matheson (University of Texas, Arlington): "Democracy's Restless Desires: Tocqueville, Hawthorne, and the Pursuit of Pleasure"
Katherine E. Sugg (Central Connecticut State University): "Cuba's Encrypted Diasporas: Writing, Affect, and the Nation"
1:15-2:45pm: Session 3
Chair: James Davis (Brooklyn College, CUNY)
Erin Forbes (Princeton University): "Anger and Faith: The Provocations of Skepticism in David Walker's Appeal"
Deborah Gould (University of Pittsburgh): "On Feeling Bad and Acting Up: Despair in Activism"
Matthew Sandler (Columbia University): "Jean Toomer's Oceanic Feeling"
Archives of Feeling
Chair: Elizabeth Abele (Nassau Community College)
Karen Karbiener (New York University): "Pfaff's Cellar: Walt Whitman's Dive Deep and Inside"
Mark J. Miller (Hunter College, CUNY): "'A Strange Flexibleness': Varieties of Religious Feeling in the Great Awakening"
Joey Orr (School of the Art Institute of Chicago): "Reading Transtemporal Desire in the Archive"
Michael Thompson (University of Sydney, Australia): "Intellectual History and the Affective: Feeling Crisis in the Pages of 1930s Christian-Left Journal, The World Tomorrow"
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