The New York Metro American Studies Association (NYMASA) and the Columbia Journal of American Studies (CJAS) announce a call for papers for our 2008 annual one-day conference:
Circulations: Economies, Currencies, Movements in American Studies
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Circulations: blood, ideas, books, money, people, contagions, politics, trade. All of these economies, both literal and figurative, operate within and across the porous boundaries of the United States. From the virtual circulation of futures markets and viral video to the embodied circulation of migrants and goods, the economies of the United States ride any number of waves of circulation, some voluntarily, some much less so.
The goal of this conference is to investigate, interrogate, interrupt, and intervene in the various circulatory systems that run through both the United States of America and American Studies. How do ideas, people, and goods circulate? How do different kinds of economies and currencies – monetary and otherwise – shape us and the field of American Studies? To what extent are metaphors of circulation useful in imagining intellectual networks, such as those produced by the Internet, trans-disciplinary (and transnational) collaborations, or academic activism? How, too, are limits on movement like incarceration and immigration restriction connected to enforced movements like extraordinary rendition and deportation? How do we theorize the metastasizing meanings of circulation? How do we study moving targets? What challenges does the study of circulations pose to traditional forms of knowing and scholarship, and what opportunities does it make available? How might we reconfigure Marxist, post-structuralist, or other theoretical approaches in American Studies to account for these new global, economic, and political circuits? How do we construct archives for studying such mobile phenomena?
In imagining this conference, we invite participants to engage with any of the following issues (or any other this topic inspires):
Circulating people: migration, displacement, diaspora
Political movements, political economies
Distressed economies: panics, depressions, recessions
Psychic economies: panics, depressions, repressions
Aesthetic economies and art markets
Transnational economies: remittances, tourism, global circuits
Knowledge economies: intellectual exchange, theoretical "waves"
Informal economies: mix-tapes, novelties, networks, survival crimes
Virtual circulations: viral video, memes, folksonomies, wiki wisdom
Bodily circuits, physical circulations
Circulating currents: electricity, excitement, change, technological movements
Print circulation: underground, academic, institutional
Circulating libraries, old and new
Circulars: periodicals, publications, pamphlets
Libidinal circuits: kinship networks, love triangles, prostitution rings, circuit parties, sex tourism
Congested circuits: traffic, density, crashes
Speculating in futures/speculating on the future
Fashions and fads: going into/coming out of circulation
Bad currency: loans, debts, IOUs
Recycling: biological and ecological recirculations (air, blood, power, water, waste)
Enforced movement and/or enforced stillness
Cornering the market
Corrupted circulation: fakes, frauds, plagiarists
Moving vehicles, moving violations
Legal tender: slavery, trafficking, exploitation
Contagion and epidemics, transmissions of affect
We will accept abstracts for individual paper presentations only, not preconstituted panels. We welcome papers on any historical period in American Studies, as well as 21st century topics. We particularly encourage presentations that circulate across historical and disciplinary borders.
Please send abstracts of 200-300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1. Please write “NYMASA Conference” in the subject line.
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