Mid-America American Studies Association – Call for Papers
“Studying ‘America?’ Critical Conjunctures for the 21st Century”
with Special Session in Honor of the Retirement of David Katzman
and a Special Focus on African American Life and History
March 26-27, 2010 – University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas
“In 2010, MAASA will mark the 50th anniversary of American Studies with a conference examining generative moments and regenerative possibilities in scholarship about culture and society in the U.S. This milestone arrives at a time of economic upheaval and self-reflection not only for the U.S. as a nation among other nations, but also for educational institutions and individual departments. Thus, this anniversary provides an opportunity to critically examine American Studies and American Studies as sites for producing ideas about what it means to study America: What is “American Studies” eliding or omitting as it constructs “America” as an object of inquiry? What does it privilege? As departments and institutions downsize, expand, and rethink their missions, questions about the purpose and possibilities of interdisciplinary inquiry become critical. Taking the archive represented by fifty years of American Studies as a starting point—but not an endpoint—we hope to thoughtfully investigate the political, cultural, and economic ramifications attending current and past paradigms for studying “America.
In addition, the conference will honor the retirement of David Katzman, longtime editor of the journal American Studies, and author of Before the Ghetto: Black Detroit in the Nineteenth Century (1973); Seven Days a Week: Women and Domestic Service in Industrializing America (1978); 3 edited collections; and, with Mary Beth Norton and William M. Tuttle, People and a Nation (1982).
We seek panels, workshops, discussions, or other forms of creative expression that may address the conference themes by 1) investigating past, present, and potential paradigms of interdisciplinary work in publications, in the academy, in the media, in public performances, and in the community or 2) modeling the variety of contemporary ways of engaging the study of America.”
Proposals are due on or before December 15, 2009. Proposals for complete panels/discussions are preferred over individual submissions. Panel proposals should include 1) session title, 2) session abstract (250 words or less), 3) titles of individual papers, 4) abstracts of individual papers (250 words or less), and 5) information for each participant (name, contact information, affiliation, 1-page CV). Proposals for discussions or creative presentations should include 1) Session title; 2) session abstract (500 words or less), and 3) information for each participant (name, contact information, affiliation, 1-page CV). Proposals should be submitted electronically via the MAASA website at http://www.midamerica-asa.net .
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