CFP: The 2023 Conference of the Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association

The 2023 Conference of the Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association Connection and conflict: making and unmaking political communities in the Americas

University of Sydney
November 30–December 2

In the last two decades, new modes of social connectivity and disruption have altered the way people inside and outside of the United States live, work, study, socialize, and, consequently, engage with politics and political inclusion. Popular and scholarly attempts to interpret these transformations often reach for explanations in the shifting currents of technology and new media, demographics, and identity, renewed political polarization, or the resurgence of an authoritarian nationalism. Yet almost all these themes – technological connectivity, ethnonationalism, demographic change, and paranoid styles of political thought – predominate through the long histories of American politics and culture. So too do impulses toward political unity and social collectivism, the conflicted aspirations toward a good life, and the contested belief in a commonweal.

In 2023, ANZASA invites papers that historicize, trans nationalize, interpret, or prognosticate on these connectivity’s and conflicts, as well as on the abiding yet ever-changing pursuit of political community in America. We welcome submissions from scholars working on all areas of American studies—from literature, film, and history to politics and international relations—and covering any time period. We encourage panel proposals, roundtable discussions, and individual paper proposals. This conference will be in person only.

Topics might respond to the following subthemes:

  • Forms of protest and dissent, past and present
  • Hopefulness, care, and communities of allyship
  • Whistleblowing and truth telling
  • The changing meaning or nature of protest
  • The creation of American democracy or attempts to revise the electoral process
  • Conspiracy theories and moral panics
  • The paranoid style in American politics
  • Millenarist and prophetic visions
  • Networked publics and the common good
  • Connectivity and conflicts, past and present
  • Corporations and/as the “town square”
  • Narrative form and the affordances of media technologies
  • Algorithmic culture and politics
  • Personality cults, authoritarianism, and crowd behavior
  • Entertainment, social media, and political consciousness
  • Technologies of information and disinformation
  • Contestations over truth and history
  • Culture wars and identity politics
  • Misinformation, propaganda, and censorship
  • Distrust of public institutions, distrust of big tech
  • Dystopian futures and science fiction fantasies
  • Circularity and escape
  • Anticolonial and decolonial movements
  • Fears of mass contagion
  • American influence in a contested world
  • AUKUS, alliances and regional conflicts
  • The crisis of American democracy
  • Prepping, fatalism, and fear of the future
  • Consensus-building and community formation

Proposals: Individual paper proposals should include a title and 250-word abstract. Panel and roundtable proposals should include a title, a 250-word abstract for each constituent paper, and an abstract of 250 words or less describing the panel as a whole, in addition to 250-word biographies for each participant which include institutional affiliation, where appropriate, preferred pronoun, if desired, and an email address for each participant.

Deadline for submissions: submissions should be emailed to no later than June 1, 2023.

Bursaries: The conference organizers will make available a limited number of travel bursaries for students or early career academics. Bursaries will be distributed based on a mix of financial need, proposal strength, and order of applications received. Those participants who wish to apply for a bursary should also include a max. 500-word budget and statement of need.

For enquiries, contact, or Lecturer of American Studies Aaron Nyerges

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Posted: January 11, 2023
Tagged: Calls for Papers