CFP: Graduate Conference at Binghamton U.

Following is some information on the upcoming Graduate Student Conference at Binghamton University. Graduate student conferences are a wonderful way to get some conference experience under your belt, a bit more low key than a professional conference. These are typically designed to help you get your feet wet and see what a conference application process and setting are like. Don’t forget that the St. John’s English Department will also host its own graduate student conference in the spring as well.

Conference Title: Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders: A Graduate Student Conference in Transnational American Studies

Theme: “Re-Imagining the New World(s)”

Dates: April 20th & 21st, 2012

Location: Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY

Keynote Speakers: Donald Pease, Dartmouth College
Daniel T. O’Hara, Temple University
(Closing address by William V. Spanos, Binghamton University)

Conference Description:

Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders is an interdisciplinary graduate student conference dedicated to exploring the changing contours of the field of American Studies. This year’s conference focuses on “Re-Imagining the New World(s),” an interrogation of the role of a variety of empires, most specifically the American and British empires, in the construction of culture, expression, and subjectivity. This conference will focus on the comparison of the imaginaries produced by empire(s), with a focus on cultural empire. It seeks to examine individual world empires, and to question how each individual power maintained, or maintains, itself when in conflict with its own marked Others and competing empires. These histories speak not only to past interactions of empires, but may also add to our understandings of current events such as Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring.
This conference will focus on the intersection of historical representation and political imagination, the question of re-historicization, and modes of looking beyond the simplistic dichotomies of “new world vs. old world” imaginings. Such a focus emerges out of the transnational basis of the conference, where the slippages between perspectives allow for a reading of cultural objects as they exist in conversation and competition with other empires. This conference seeks to examine the multiplicity of globalized empire. What are the founding discursive tropes of the new world, and how are they established or discarded in the contemporary globalized moment?  What are the rhetorical modes of discourse that are used to justify imperial cultural practices? How does empire represent itself and its Others across different areas of history? How is difference and subjectivity activated or deactivated by empire? What are the contemporary visions of the new world that may be used to re-imagine the direction of modern globalization? We invite submissions that engage these questions and critique the role of empire across a wide range of historical time periods in an effort to re-think our current global occasion, and imagine new futures for the field of American Studies.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

Narratives of Travel and Ages of Exploration
Mapping New Worlds (Cartography, “Worlding,” etc.)
Contextualizing Discovery (Scientific, Geographical)
Rhetorics of the “New World”
Producing New World Cultural Economies
Gender in the New World (Contemporary or Historical)
Historicizing Conquest
Historical Border Politics or History as a Border
Reconsidering Literary Historiography
Postcolonial Nationalisms
Reinventing Traditions of Exceptionalism
Subaltern Subjects of Empire
Reevaluating National Economies in a Globalized Context
The Emerging Public/Private Divide
Immigration or Citizenship Studies
Producing the Radical Imagination
Exploring Evolving State Fantasies
Global Capital & The End of History
Transnational Human Rights
The Multiplicity of Zionism
Arab Spring & New World Imaginings

Submissions: Send 300-word abstracts to Shawn Jasinski at (

Deadline: March 2nd, 2012

Visit “Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders” on Facebook for further updates.
About Steve Mentz 706 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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