The Princeton Program in American Studies invites proposals for a graduate conference, “Southern Nation,” to be held April 23-24, 2010. The conference will feature a keynote address by University of Virginia historian Grace Elizabeth Hale.
The Program Committee welcomes graduate student submissions from all disciplines, and particularly from the traditional American Studies-related disciplines of History, Literature, Art History, Music, and Religion, for individual papers that explore the complex and sometimes ambivalent relationship between the American South and the American nation, either historically or in the present. Examples might include an examination of how "southern" cultural forms became “national" -- such as southern bluegrass or jazz music – or topics that implicate southern separatism, such as the law of slavery, the Confederate flag in American memory, or the role of southern civil rights struggles in national politics. Other proposals might discuss how southern politics or literary and artistic works can be both national and distinctively regional – such a proposal, for instance, might examine the extent to which Richard Wright, William Faulkner or Mark Twain, each recognized as a paradigmatic "American" author, address specifically southern themes, or way in which the "national" and "southern" were combined in the writings of W.E.B Dubois. Other avenues for research might include the ways in which the American South has become "globalized" through the presence of multinational corporations, including manufacturers of everything from automobiles to soft drinks and retailers like Wal-Mart. Finally, we also welcome papers that examine the ways in which the experience of a "Southern diaspora" has produced meditations by intellectuals, authors, politicians and activists on the relationship between region and nation.
Proposals of 250 words or less, accompanied by a curriculum vitae, should be submitted to Jessica Lowe at email@example.com no later than December 1, 2009.
129 Dickinson Hall
Princeton, NJ 08540
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