Manifestations of Love and Hate in American Culture and Literature: 38th Conference of the American Studies Association of Turkey
Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey, 1-3 November 2017
Deadline for proposals: 3 March 2017
35th Anniversary Conference
“It is a curious subject of observation and inquiry, whether hatred and love be not the same thing at bottom. Each, in its utmost development, supposes a high degree of intimacy and heart-knowledge; each renders one individual dependent for the food of his affections and spiritual life upon another; each leaves the passionate lover, or the no less passionate hater, forlorn and desolate by the withdrawal of his object. Philosophically considered, therefore, the two passions seem essentially the same, except that one happens to be seen in a celestial radiance and the other in a dusky and lurid glow.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
Two of the most perennial topics in art and literature throughout human history, love and hate, in their multifarious forms and contexts, have always appealed to a large number of readers and audiences. Not only inspiring thousands of works of art and literature, but also giving birth to genres and sub-genres, love and hate have been essential elements of all popular cultural forms, including music and cinema. American literature and culture are no exception in terms of its keen interest in this binary. Some cultural critics have even pointed out the uniquely American way of dealing with matters of the heart. For instance, both Henry Adams in the well-known “The Dynamo and the Virgin” chapter of The Education of Henry Adams, and Leslie Fiedler in Love and Death in the American Novel, have pondered, with a critical tone, why American society has always been uneasy with the topic of love. Whether it is an uneasiness, as Adams and Fiedler claim, or another distinctive characteristic that distinguishes love in the United States, this conference hopes to stimulate discussion about representations of love, and its antitheses, in the American context.
We invite the submission of individual abstracts, panels, and proposals by
graduate students from any branch of American Studies. Possible areas may
include, but are not limited to:
- Literature/literary criticism
- Gender and queer studies
- Cinema, (social) media, communication
- Music, art, theater, and performance
- Cultural studies
- Life writing (travel writing, journals, diaries, and memoirs)
- History of emotions
- Psychology and psychoanalysis
- Visual culture
- Environmental studies/urban studies
Proposals should be sent to the American Studies Association of Turkey (email@example.com) and should consist of a 250–300 word abstract, three to five keywords, as well as a short (one paragraph) biography for each participant. The time allowance for presentations is 20 minutes. An additional 10 minutes will be provided for discussion.
While the conference language is English, we will accept a limited number of abstracts in Turkish for a Turkish-language panel at the end of the conference.
Deadline for proposal submission: March 3, 2017
All presenters residing in Turkey must be/become ASAT members.
Selected papers will be included in a special issue of the Journal of American Studies of Turkey (JAST) based on the conference theme.*
More information will be posted on our website as it becomes available: http://www.asat-jast.org
(posted 12 October 2016)
Space, Place and Hybridity in National Imagination (Colonial and Postcolonial English-speaking World, 18th – 21st century)
Grenoble-Alpes University, France, 23-24 November 2017
Deadline for proposals: 6 January 2017
The research group ILCEA4 is pleased to announce the organisation of an international conference on “Space, Place and Hybridity in National Imagination” to be held at Grenoble Alpes University. It proposes to examine the notion of hybridity or cross-fertilization in the highly controversial field of national identity–namely the spaces, figures and historical events that best symbolize it, as exemplified in the cultural productions originating from a nation or an ethnic or community group. The concept of “third space” as developed by Homi Bhabha in his seminal book The Location of Culture, is particularly productive in that it suggests a vision of space based not on confrontation, binary oppositions or antagonistic relationships of lordship and bondage, but on interactions involving exchange, transfer and mediation.
The conference shall examine the foundations of any “imagined community” (Benedict Anderson) and the ways in which artistic productions cause this set of images, values and references to evolve. These both reflect a history and a heritage but also expose their inherent limitations and underlying ideology, thus paving the way for the progressive transformation of such national figures, values and spatial representations.
All the elements pertaining to culture in a general sense and commonly considered as representative of national identity are within the scope of the symposium:
- Iconography: flags, posters (nationalistic or otherwise), emblematic figures (specimens from the local flora and fauna for example), the representation of the national landscape in painting or photography, allegorical figures of the nation.
- The short form as a medium for the national sentiment: national anthems, songs, poems.
- Literature in a general sense: fiction, children’s and young adult literature, textbooks, political speeches, philosophical essays, history books.
- Places, types of geographical spaces but also historical events crystallizing what the nation is supposed to represent (map making, memorial ceremonies, official events).
- Cultural productions: film, dance, street art.
Every nation perceives itself as articulated around the concept of origin: a choice then emerges between a founding myth specific to it (a sort of self-generation devoid of any hybridity), and an impure, problematic genesis, born out of the contact with another cultural, historical and geographical sphere. Thus, within the British world itself, Scotland for example can be said to have been defined, both historically and culturally, in close relation to its rival and double, England. Similar considerations are relevant for Ireland and Wales.
More generally, former colonies of the British Crown have founded themselves in an ambiguous relationship to the “motherland” while trying to free themselves from its influence. After the colonial period, the goal was for the settler colonies (the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa) to found their identity antagonistically to that of the motherland, especially by focusing on their new land and the type of relationship they had with it so as to invest both with distinctive national characteristics.
An interesting and contentious point of study is the undeniably hybrid character of such early identity formations devoid of any cultural heritage or history except for those bequeathed by the motherland. Another essential and no less challenging issue is that of the relationship to the Indigenous populations of the colony whose culture and values, whose very existence sometimes, were voluntarily erased. The question of a possible hybridization between the culture of the colonizer and that of the colonized could be seen as a form of defilement, corruption or degeneration. Conversely, the appropriation and even the instrumentalization of symbols, places and values specific to Indigenous peoples in national mythologies is a highly controversial issue deserving careful scrutiny.
In what is commonly referred to as the “postcolonial” period, the discussion often centres on the denunciation or re-definition of national figures, symbols and places as well as the great texts and events constitutive of the core of a nation’s identity. Examining those shows how much they have evolved, across generations, through an underlying hybridization allowing greater representativeness, not only of the first inhabitants but also of new migrant communities or minority groups.
Space and place are not to be apprehended as exclusively geographical or referential but also as textual, thus enabling new hybrid subject positions within national mythologies. The rewriting or new adaptation of famous works into other forms (with generic, gender or modal variations) characteristic of the postmodern approach also allow the reevaluation of what constitutes the core of a nation’s identity, changing it into a field of experimentation and cross-fertilization. The contribution of historians, geographers, sociologists and semiologists will also enable the conference to examine the complexity and variety of the forms and functions of hybridity in national representations.
The deadline for proposals is 6 January 2017. Please send an abstract (max. 300 words) either in French or in English, and a short biographical note (max. 150 words) to both Christine Vandamme (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Cyril Besson (email@example.com) by January 6, 2017. The notification of acceptance will be sent by February 10, 2017, at the latest. Selected papers will be considered for publication (in English).
(posted 24 June 2016)
Thinking the Sea in the Global World: Discourses and Practices
Brest, France, 23-24 November 2017
Deadline for proposals: 15 March 2017
The international conference “Thinking the sea in a global world: discourses and practices” aims at examining the convergences and the tensions between the representation of the sea in global discourses, whether from the media or from the political, advertising or environmental spheres, and the sea as a space shaped by the everyday practices and the arts of the local populations. Three major areas of research can be identified:
1. How sea discourses are built
Even though the sea may be indifferent to mankind, human beings have always sought to project upon its surface or on its shores their desires and anxieties. Marine debris materialize, to a certain extent, those human projections. As Pierre Cassou-Noguès in Métaphysique d’un bord de mer argues, “the sea has been humanized […] we leave oil spills and all kinds of waste, bottles, cans, beach balls, etc”. Pollution, like global warming, is a worldwide phenomenon, which may obscure the question of its exact provenance. Contributions are invited to examine how sea imaginaries in various cultures seize those global phenomena and voice or construct their own sea discourses.
• How do aesthetic theories influence the way we look at and conceptualize the sea?
• What concepts, ideas, values shape our aesthetic consumption of the sea?
• How can we analyse cross-cultural phenomena in relation to the sea?
• How is the sea taught in school curriculums and innovative projects? How are the seas and oceans represented in children’s literature or TV series?
• How can “sound practices” in relation to the sea be defined? What is their final objective, and how are they spread? (one may here think about leisure fishing, the protection of coastal systems, sailing, maritime transport, marine protected areas,…)
2. The sea in practice: a consumer resource?
We invite contributions that question the definition of the sea as a source of minerals, fossil fuels, vegetable matter, food, but also of landscapes, services, leisure, tourism, culture and identities. Do all human practices in relation to the sea amount to a form of consumption?
• Can the sea envisaged as a resource accommodate the idea of the sea as a living entity?
• How do advertising, environmental and health discourses influence our consumption of sea products?
• Can we identify normalized and normalizing discourses on the sea? How different are they from one culture to the next?
• Does maritime tourism take the risk of turning sea cultures into commodified simulacra?
3. Conflicts, resistance, creativity
As the space of various forms of both exchanges and conflicts, the sea generates original patterns of social organisation or artistic creation that may lead in turn to new uses and practices. Contributions may identify and analyse these original social and cultural uses of the sea, as well as the instances of one-sided, partisan representations. Contributions may also examine how discourses and representations affect cultural forms related to the sea, whether in the field of sociality or art.
• What discourses, what forms of action are deployed against dominant economies and ideologies?
• How is conflict between users of the sea played out? What are the discourses used by the different parties involved?
• To what extent have the concepts of ‘environment’ and ‘ecosystem’ been recycled, and their meaning altered, by political discourses?
• How is the sea expressed in popular art forms, from sea shanties to leisure painting?
• Are certain practices or users linked to the sea changed into myths, or on the contrary made invisible, in keeping with current dominant visions of the sea?
• How are the practices linked to the sea represented in literature?
• Can the practice of writing or other forms of art reshape a globalized perception of seas and oceans?
• How can the sea help us rethink our understanding of the artistic practice?
Abstracts of no more than 1,500 signs for 20-minute papers in English or in French must contain the following:
• First and last names, contact e-mail.
• Academic affiliation
• Research interests and recent publications
• A provisional title for your paper
Proposals should be sent no later than 15 March 2017 to: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Notification of acceptance will be given around 15 April 2017.
A selection of papers will be published in a collective work.
(posted 7 January 2017)
Beyond the Ruin: Investigating the Fragment in English Studies: 10th International Conference of the Hellenic Association for the Study of English (HASE)
Department of English Language and Literature, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, 23-25 November 2017
Deadline for proposals: 31 March 2017
Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
- Apostolos Lampropoulos, Université Bordeaux-Montaigne
- Carl Lavery, University of Glasgow
- Jyotsna Singh, Michigan State University
- Julian Wolfreys, University of Portsmouth
The ruin and the fragment have enduring, interconnected, yet also distinct legacies, as historical realities, material and/or aesthetic objects, and as categories of thought. The ruin predominantly recalls a classical or distant past, and is valued as a silent yet privileged ground for the reconstruction of the past. On the other hand, the fragment is primarily a conceptual category and a stylistic form, a metonymy of nostalgic wholeness, and a metaphor of and for a modernity that contemplates wholeness as irreversibly lost. In response to historical vicissitudes, the literary and the artistic imagination turned to the fragment in all its forms, as an expression of dislocation, fragmentation, and fragmentariness in modernity. In the wake of the ruin of representation in postmodernism, ruins and fragments may operate as tropes of relatedness and separation, discontinuity and destruction, uniqueness and multiplicity, open-endedness and incompleteness. Whether literal or metaphorical, ruins and fragments bear dualities that are continually recuperated and revisited as they speak of creation and destruction, recovery and silence, memory and forgetting, war and catastrophe, classicism and avant-gardism.
As divisions and conflicting notions about our past and our present are now tokens of our own despair; as quests to restore an illusory wholeness persist; as the tension between the timeless and the crumbling is becoming all the more manifest; as violence and uncertainty are all around us; as ruins make invisible vulnerability visible, this conference invites reflection on the histories, theorisations, and representations of fragments and ruins in Anglophone literatures and cultures.
Possible topics include, but are not restricted to, the following:
- Reception, representations, and the significance of ruins through the ages
- The dialectic between the ruin and the monument
- Fragments and ruins in travel writing
- The ruin as metaphor/metonymy
- Fragments, ruins and incompleteness
- The (un)timeliness of the ruin: silence, erasure, and memory
- Ruins and melancholia
- Fragmented states of consciousness
- Colonial and postcolonial ruins and fragments
- Cultural appropriation, recovery, and/or destruction of ruins
- Narratives of destruction and catastrophe
- Fragments, ruins as palimpsests
- The ruin and/or fragment as spectacle
- Morality, ethics, responsibility, solidarity vis-à-vis the ruin
- The (un)ethics and the politics of material and cultural devastation
- Terrorism as/and the creation of ruins
- Textual fragmentation and contemporary literature
- The fragment in new technologies and the media
The conference will be held at the Main Building of the University of Athens (http://en.uoa.gr/)
The deadline for the submission of proposals for individual 20-minute papers (200-250 words) and of proposals for panel sessions (no longer than 500 words) is March 31st, 2017. Please send a short biographical note (circa 150 words) together with your proposal. Prospective panel organisers should also send the panelists’ names, paper titles, and short bio notes for each panelist and their contact details.
Confirmation of acceptance: 30 April 2017
Proposals should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emmanouil Aretoulakis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), email@example.com
Anna Despotopoulou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), firstname.lastname@example.org
Stamatina Dimakopoulou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), email@example.com
Efterpi Mitsi (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference Website: http://www.beyondtheruin.net
(posted 16 January 2017)