Continuities and Changes
The British Association of American Studies Annual Postgraduate Conference
Saturday 14th November 2009, Northumbria University
Keynote speech by Prof. Sara M. Evans (University of Minnesota)
The School of Arts and Social Sciences at Northumbria University is delighted to be hosting the annual BAAS postgraduate conference. We would like to invite proposals for 20 minute papers from postgraduates studying any topic within the field of American Studies. Papers from British or overseas postgraduates in all disciplines will be considered, including: History, English, Film Studies, Politics, Sociology, Philosophy, and Language.
This year we are interested in papers presenting new ideas and arguments that engage with the theme of ‘Continuities and Changes’. The 2008 U.S. presidential election campaign was indeed an historic event as for the first time a black man and a woman emerged as viable candidates for the Presidency. Whilst on the surface this appeared to represent real progress in equality, both campaigns suffered from overt racism and sexism. Despite this, the election of Barack Obama as the first African-American president and the record numbers of people who engaged in the political process suggest that this is a period of change. Throughout his campaign and in his inauguration speech, President Obama has spoken extensively of the core values and the principles of America and, in particular, this appears to underpin his administration’s approach to foreign policy. Values he has referred to include: honesty and transparency, ethical governance, investment in the economy and education, renewed diplomacy in foreign policy, the continued advancement of civil rights, the eradication of poverty and the need for alternative energy supplies to sustain the environment but do these values represent continuities or change?
Scholars in American Studies have long debated and contested these values amongst others in efforts to describe and explore the complex processes of social change in America. It is through the lens of these values in the context of progression and regression, periods of war and peace and the functions of a society that this postgraduate conference will explore. Areas of inquiry might include, but are by no means limited to:
• Women in America
• Race in America
• America and Islam
• Literature and Society
• America in Film
• America’s War on Terror
• Media Representations of America
• Politics: Home and Away
• Society and Change
• East meets West
• Allies of America
• On the Border of America
• Reclaiming History
• America at War
• Protest and Resistance
Postgraduate students interested in participating are encouraged to submit an abstract of no more than 250 words with a brief biography (including institutional affiliation) to:
FAO Helen Mitchell, BAAS Conference, History and Politics Office, Northumbria University, Ellison Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, no later than Friday 26th June, 2009. The review panel will take place during the month of July and successful candidates will be notified by 1st August 2009. Abstracts must be submitted with full payment for attendance.
All are welcome and for those delegates wishing to attend but not present a paper, registration must be received by Friday 16th October, 2009.
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