As Amy Kaplan has suggested, the events surrounding U.S. interventions and acquisitions in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, and Hawai’i in 1898 were not an imperialist “aberration” from the course of US history. Research focusing on the Spanish-American War of 1898 has exposed important continuities between these overseas sites and domestic U.S. politics and culture. Scholars such as Kaplan, Ann Laura Stoler, Victor Bascara, Alfred McCoy, and Francisco Scarano have investigated the “intimacies of empire,” the “anarchy” it fosters, and the various ways in which the nation’s new unincorporated territories served as a “colonial crucible” for new developments in covert policing, surveillance, public health, and environmental management. Others—such as E. San Juan Jr., Vera Kutzinski, and Frances Negron-Muntaner—have uncovered political and literary continuities connecting 1898 with longer independence struggles in Cuba and the Philippines, and to subsequent developments such as the racialized migration of Filipinos and Puerto Ricans or the ongoing foreign interventions that have characterized the U.S.’s informal empire. Still, much work remains to be done in synthesizing and theorizing the range of cultural responses to the consolidation of U.S. imperialism in and around 1898.
This Special Forum for the Journal of Transnational American Studies will bring together cultural and critical perspectives from a range of locations in order to further our understanding of the reconfigurations of cultural and social space brought about by discrete but interconnected events including the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, the annexation of Hawai’i, the occupation of American Samoa, and the U.S. assisted Panamanian declaration of independence. Possible contributions include considerations of visual, historical, and literary archives; theoretical essays that reframe understandings of U.S. empire, comparative anticolonial struggles, and the post/colonial literatures of 1898; new translations, with commentary, of significant texts that address events surrounding 1898; studies of domestic transformations precipitated by U.S. empire; analysis of gendered strategies of rule and resistance; comparative discussions that draw connections between differently positioned groups; and speculations on the resonances between 1898 and subsequent U.S. interventions.
Proposals for essays of 6,000-7,500 words should include a 1-page description of the contribution and a brief CV. Proposals are due by January 15, 2010, and should be submitted by email to Hsuan L. Hsu (firstname.lastname@example.org). Completed essays, due by July 30, 2010, will be peer reviewed.
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