Call for Papers

Special issue: ‘Horrific bodies: Surveillance, screens and screams’ Edited by Susan Flynn, University of the Arts, London and Antonia Mackay, Oxford Brookes University

Body horror concerns narratives in which the corporeal uncanny is produced through the destruction or annihilation of the natural human body. The contemporary screen contains countless examples of horrified and terrified bodies; watched, tracked, analysed, transformed and degenerated, these ‘horrific’ bodies speak to the angst of the current social, cultural, political and technological world in which we reside. The practices of surveillance, both diegetic and non-diegetic, offer new versions of modern horror; while the horror genre itself has been generously theorized and analysed, its intersection with practices of surveillance opens up new avenues for discussion and the possibility for radical critique of representational systems. Surveillance, of and within horror narratives, offers a particular nuance to our readings of the genre, and the critique of surveillance itself may help us to excavate how we construct notions of gender, race and power, as well as the psychological terror and fear of surveillance itself. The focus of this special edition of Northern Lights, therefore, is the intersection between the horror genre and practices of surveillance, and this edition seeks to promote emergent approaches to screen analysis.

Notions of surveillance have long captivated the creative imagination and been envisioned at multiple sites, through narratives, images and performances. Whilst surveillance studies as a field of enquiry ostensibly concerns the production of new theoretical and empirical understandings of human behaviour vis-à-vis a burgeoning field of technological development, the project of this issue of Northern Lights is to employ cultural surveillance studies to better understand the human, psychic and bodily affects/effects and manifestations of the practices of surveillance. Operating within the paradigm of cultural studies, we seek to delve into the realm of surveillance as it is portrayed on screen so that we may explore the critical juncture at which surveillance renders bodies ‘horrified’.

The ubiquity of surveillance within horror narratives, one might argue, is perfectly placed to draw attention to cinematic processes, while at the same time, denaturalizing the human body. The editors are particularly interested in transgressive visions of surveillance from within the horror genre that also consider the ways in which the surveillant field emerges from beyond the lens. Areas of exploration may include architecture and horror (haunted houses for instance) as sites of surveillance; the body as a corporeal manifestation of visibility from within the discourse of slasher and gore narratives; the use of omnipotent watching as a dystopian motif in contemporary cinema (and its links to political and cultural change); and the manifestation of surveillant practices in horror that stem from geographical or topographical positions (prisons, schools, suburbia, cities, etc). Recognition of the prevalence of surveillance not only in our past but also in our future requires that we acknowledge the ubiquity of surveillance in our cultural products and psyche and attest to the manipulation of the gaze present in on-screen horror. We seek new and original approaches that move beyond traditional theories of surveillance, and of horror.

Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

• Radical readings of horror through surveillance

• Feminist horror criticism for the digital age

• The new horror of digital interference

• The corporeal, biotechnology and the digital

• Slasher films and surveillance

• Contemporary psychological terror

• The abject and the corporeal

• Architectural constructions of the ‘horrific’

• The watching of othered bodies from within a transgressive surveillant lens

• Television series and use of the nostalgic as a lens by which to critique the contemporary

• Postcolonial readings of film that speak of the viewing of racial bodies and their ‘use’ and ‘appropriation’ within the horror genre

• Spoof horror and B-movies and their application of surveillant lenses from within the skewed and comedic

• Transitional spaces and the borders and territories of the horrific (motels for instance)

• Movement and the supernatural as a means by which to transgress the lens

Abstracts of 400–500 words, together with a brief biographical note, should be submitted by 10 February 2019.

Please email these directly to

Complete papers of 6500–7000 words are due on 1 July 2019.

Northern Lights: Film & Media Studies Yearbook is published by Intellect. Please refer to the style guide here:

Call for Papers

White Supremacy in the United States:
Politics, Economies, Histories, Affects, and Poetics

The online journal Current Objectives in Postgraduate American Studies (COPAS), dedicated to publishing the work of early career researchers in American Studies in Germany and beyond, turns twenty in 2019. In 1999, when COPAS published its first issue, Gloria Anzaldúa was revising her article “The New Mestiza Nation,” which opens with an observation that sounds all too familiar twenty years later:

[W]e face a backlash and a dangerous regressive state inside and outside of education. The visibility of hate groups, the KKK, neo-nazis and other white supremacy groups has increased in the last few years. They proclaim that racial/ethnic others, working-class people, people of color are taking over their white territory and are using affirmative action to drive them out of jobs. […] They denounce the wave of multiculturalism on campuses, referring to it as a new tyrannical form of being ‘politically correct.’ When some of us criticize racism or homophobia in the academy they respond by pointing the finger at us and shouting their right-wing buzzwords like political correctness to silence dissenting voices.[1]

Heeding Anzaldúa’s subsequent call to counter this backlash, we dedicate our anniversary thematic issue to investigating the United States and American Studies under the auspices of the concept of ‘white supremacy.’ As a seismograph of German postgraduate American Studies research, COPAS invites contributions on white supremacy as a central organizing principle of American society and culture, past and present, from all academic disciplines concerned with American Studies.

We understand white supremacy as a pervasive formation that comprises institutional, political, economic, social, symbolic, physical, affective, and epistemic structures. White supremacy enables, maintains, and naturalizes oppression and dominance, which unfold from the violent making of ‘America’ as colonial modernity and persist through various permutations until today.[2] With recent political developments in North America and Europe where nationalist-populist and outright racist political powers have been on the rise, white supremacy has once more proven to be, as Michael Epp argues, “perhaps, the most enduring form of public feeling, cultural practice, and political aspiration in the history of the United States.”[3] On the one hand, longstanding racist practices such as blackface live on in contemporary American culture because they cater to desires of antiblack domination.On the other hand, the interventions of counterpublics by Black people and people of color are delegitimized as unwarranted outbursts of anger. In light of the “affective turn”[4] in American Studies and other fields, this COPAS issue thus proposes the need to analyze the ways in which notions and practices of white supremacy are intertwined with not only feeling but the politics, economies, histories, and poetics of whiteness. Thereby, we follow Claudia Rankine’s analytic axiom that “to name whiteness is to name dominance.”[5] Critical questions arising in this context, among many others, are: What does it mean to feel, to sense, and to experience white supremacy? Which emotions does white supremacy engender and how? How does systemic white supremacy construct individuals’ affects and how do these affects relate to the distribution of economic, social, and symbolic capital? How do affects of ‘white guilt,’ ‘white power,’ and ‘redemption’ shape public discourse, legal policies, and the representations of US history? Who writes, interrogates, confronts, and deranges those (hi)stories of whiteness and how?

We seek article proposals that range from historical, political, and cultural perspectives to transnational and comparative approaches. Theoretical pieces as well as case studies are welcome, particularly with regard to the ways in which institutionalized white supremacy is connected to intersecting discourses of gender, sexuality, queerness, transness, class, age, ethnicity, origin, and disability. Additionally, this call is open to creative submissions (such as poems or short stories) and to proposals that engage with the ethics of doing American Studies from certain positionalities and localities. Topics may include but are not limited to the following fields of inquiry:

  • white supremacy and cultural expression (e.g. film, literature, photography, performing arts, music, and social media)
  • Antiblackness and other racist and discriminatory discourses and practices (against e.g. Black, Indigenous, LatinX, and ‘undocumented’ people) as well as their transnational ramifications
  • racial capitalism as well as intersections of white supremacy and class (e.g. discourses of ‘white trash’ and the persistence of a ‘white elite’)
  • the entanglements of white supremacy, settler colonialism, and genocide
  • social justice movements and their concepts of and actions towards a just and free society
  • white supremacy and questions of gender and sexuality (e.g. femonationalism, homo­nationalism, queer liberalism)
  • the body politics of white supremacy (e.g. scientific racism, ableism and ablenationalism, eugenics and genetic testing)
  • white supremacy, globalization, and environmental destruction

Please send your submission to For scholarly papers the submission deadline for 500-word-proposals is January 1,2019. Members of the editorial team will review all proposals and inform applicants about the outcome by January 30, 2019. Upon acceptance, full articles of about 5,000 to 8,000 words length will be due June 15, 2019. The articles will be peer-reviewed. Creative submissions are also due January 1, 2019. In addition, we kindly ask authors of creative submissions to send us a brief artist’s statement (1000-1500 words) by June 15, 2019. Open access publication is scheduled for November 2019. Please see for our editorial policies and submission guidelines.

We look forward to your submission!

[1] Anzaldúa, Gloria E. “The New Mestiza Nation.” The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader, edited by AnaLouise Keating, Duke UP, 2009, p. 203.

[2] Sexton, Jared. “The Social Life of Social Death: On Afro-Pessimism and Black Optimism.” InTensions Journal, vol. 5, 2011, pp. 1-47.

[3] Epp, Michael. “Durable Public Feelings.” Canadian Review of AmericanStudies, vol. 41, no. 2, 2011, p. 179.

[4] Clough, Patricia Tincineto. “Introduction.” The Affective Turn: Theorizing the Social, edited by Patricia Tin­cineto Clough and Jean Halley, Duke UP, 2007, p. 1.

[5] Rankine, Claudia. “The Racial Imaginary in Contemporary Art.” American Counter/Publics. 65thAnnual Conference of the German Association for American Studies, 27 May 2018, Seminaris CampusHotel, Berlin.

GSNAS 12th Annual Graduate Conference Presents May 22–24 | 2019

A M E R I C A N  A M B I G U I T I E S  I S  N O W  T H E  E R A  O F  O U R  D I S C O N S E N T ?


Whatever happened to consensus? In the wake of World War II, the United States came to occupy what many proponents of American exceptionalism have long asserted to be a unique place in modern world history. Official and quotidian versions of postwar American selfunderstanding became dominated by narratives of a nation dedicated to such liberal values as “freedom” and “justice,” both at home and abroad. With the cultural and legislative strides made by radical social movements of the 1960s and 70s, however, this narrative began to unravel. In light of this, American identity has since found itself in a state of persistent ambiguity. But what if this ambiguity was already present at America’s founding? What if this crisis of identity is to be located in the ambiguities of the Enlightenment itself, but has only recently become perceptible? What can we see when we look closely at the ambiguous image that is America?

The 12th annual Graduate Conference hosted by the Graduate School of North American Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin will explore the interdisciplinarity of American ambiguities and consider their relevance across numerous fields of research. How are ambiguous ideals of American freedom simultaneously modes of exclusion for certain groups? What effects have these ambiguities had on policy-making and public discourse? How have they been depicted through old and new literary and visual forms?

As an interdisciplinary institution, the Graduate School welcomes abstracts for individual 20- minute presentations from cultural studies, economics, history, literature, political science, and sociology, as well as other related fields of research. We especially encourage graduate students (MA & PhD) and early career scholars to apply. We hope to read proposals ranging in period from the colonial era to the present. Talks may explore, but are by no means limited to, the concept of ambiguity in the following contexts:

• formations of identity politics

• the rise of (science) skepticism and political echo chambers

• the crisis of journalism in a “post-truth” society

• attitudes towards social solidarity • judicial and constitutional interpretation

• the aesthetics of ambiguity in American literature, film, visual and popular culture

• the revival of socialist economic models

• the inheritance of the Enlightenment and theories of liberal consensus

Abstracts should be limited to 300 words and include the author’s name, email address, institutional affiliation (if applicable), discipline, and a biography of no more than 100 words. The deadline is January 31st, 2019. The conference committee will confirm the receipt of abstracts via email and will notify selected participants by the end of March.

For submissions and further information, please visit our website

Transatlantic Studies Association
18th Annual Conference
University of Lancaster
8-10 July 2019

Call for Papers

Submissions are invited for the 2019 Transatlantic Studies Association Annual Conference.

Plenary guests confirmed include:

Professor Brian Ward (Northumbria University)

The Beatles in Miami, 1964: Race, Class and Gender in the Atlantic World


Professor Kevin Hutchings (University of Northern British Columbia)

Transatlantic Romanticism and British-Indigenous Relations: 1800-1850


A Roundtable discussion on:

Transatlantic Relations in the Age of a Rising China


Following its first trip across the Atlantic for last year’s annual conference at the University of North Georgia, the TSA is returning to the UK for its eighteenth annual conference at the University of Lancaster.

The TSA is a broad network of scholars who use the ‘transatlantic’ as a frame of reference for their work in a variety of disciplines, including (but not limited to): history, politics and international relations, and literary studies. All transatlantic-themed paper and panel proposals from these and related disciplines are welcome.

The conference is organised around a number of subject themes, each of which is convened by members of the conference programme committee (indicated below). If you would like to discuss your paper or panel proposal prior to submission, please contact the relevant programme committee members. This year’s subject themes are:

  1. Diplomatic and international history

(David Ryan,, Chris Jespersen,, Thomas Mills,


  1. Political and intellectual history

(Gavin Bailey,, Philip Pedley,


  1. Social, cultural and religious history

(Kristin Cook,, Constance Post,


  1. International Relations and Security Studies

(Luis Rodrigues,, David Ryan,


  1. Literature, film, and theatre

(Donna Gessell,, Finn Pollard,, Constance Post,


  1. Business and finance

(Thomas Mills,, Philip Pedley,


  1. Latin America in a transatlantic context

(Thomas Mills,, David Ryan,


  1. Ethnicity, race and migration

(Kristin Cook,, Gavin Bailey,


Special subject theme:


Transatlantic Romanticisms

Proposals are welcome for 20-minute papers on any aspect of Romanticism in a transatlantic context. Possible topics might include (but are not limited to) comparative romanticisms, ecological romanticisms, romantic natural histories, romantic travel and exploration, romanticism and colonialism, romanticism and critical theory. Please send a 300-word abstract, 100 word author biography, and 2-page CV to Kevin Hutchings, University Research Chair, Department of English, University of Northern British Columbia (

In addition to the subject themes above, we welcome papers and panels on any aspect of transatlantic studies. Interdisciplinary papers and panels are particularly welcome, as are innovative formats, such as roundtables / multimedia presentations.

Submission Instructions

Panel proposals should constitute three or four presenters and a Chair (as well as a discussant if desired). Panel proposals should be sent by email as one document attachment, and include:

  • 300-word overview of the panel theme;
  • 300-word abstracts for each of the papers;
  • 100-word author biographies;
  • 2-page CVs for all participants.

The subject line of the email for panel proposals should read: ‘TSA Proposal-[Last name of panel convenor]-[Subject theme]’ (state ‘Other’ if not falling under listed themes) (E.g. ‘TSA Proposal-Smith-Diplomacy and International History’).

Individual paper proposals should be sent by email as one document attachment, and include:

  • 300-word abstract for the paper
  • 100-word author biography;
  • 2-page CV.

The subject line of the email for paper proposals should read: ‘TSA Proposal-[Last name of presenter]-[Subject theme]’ (state ‘Other’ if not falling under listed themes) (E.g. ‘TSA Proposal-Smith-Other).

Travel Grants

The TSA particularly welcomes proposals from new members and junior scholars. Travel grants are available to support early career scholars presenting a paper at the conference. If wishing to apply for a travel grant, applicants should indicate this in the body of the email when submitting their paper or panel. In addition to the materials requested above, travel grant applicants should include a brief statement explaining why it is important for them to attend the TSA conference, and an outline of the principal costs entailed. For further details about TSA travel grants, see the TSA website:

All paper and panel proposals, and travel grant applications, should be sent to the conference email:

Deadline for panel and paper proposals: 20 January 2019

The Conference Location:

Lancaster’s transatlantic connections date back to the eighteenth century when the city was a significant port for trade with the West Indies. Today, Lancaster is a thriving market town with a wide selection of pubs, restaurants and shops. Situated in north-west England, Lancaster is surrounded by beautiful countryside, including the Forest of Bowland, the Yorkshire Dales, and the Lake District. Described by Woodrow Wilson as ‘a region … so irresistible in its beauty’ during one of his several visits to the area, the Lake District is home to Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum. To the south of Lancaster are the cities of Manchester and Liverpool, with world-class museums including the People’s History Museum, and the International Slavery Museum. To the west lies Morecambe Bay, home of the art-deco Midland Hotel, the location for the conference dinner.

The University of Lancaster is located three miles outside of the city, amidst 560 acres of landscaped parkland. Home to the Ruskin Library and Research Centre, the campus also boasts a wide selection of shops, bars and eateries.

For convenience, delegates are advised to stay on campus for the duration of the conference. Delegates will be able to choose between campus Guest Rooms or the four star Lancaster House Hotel. Blocs of rooms have been reserved at both and will be bookable when registering for the conference via the TSA website:

Lancaster is easily accessible by train, with direct connections from London (2.5 hours), Manchester (1hr 20 mins), and Edinburgh (2hr 20mins). Manchester Airport has direct flights from locations throughout North America and Europe.

Contact details and further information

Vice-Chair of TSA / Local Organiser: Thomas Mills:

Chair of TSA: Christopher Jespersen:

  XXXI Annual Conference of Polish Association for American Studies

               October 23-25, 2019, University of Opole, Poland

The Sound of Silence in American Literature, Culture and Politics


The thematic focus of the XXXI Annual Polish Association for American Studies conference falls on cadences of speech and silence in American literature, culture and politics. In its original signification captured by the 1964 Simon and Garfunkel song, “the sound of silence” stands not only for thwarted communication, inability of people to communicate, the dissonance between speech and silence, but also alternative, non-verbal means of communication, hinting at a whole myriad of possibilities that the original curse of silence does not immediately suggest. Possible lines of investigation into the conference topic may include variations upon the following research themes:

  • communication and dissonance traced in communication,
  • verbal and non-verbal representation
  • suppression of the voice and reclaiming of the voice,
  • the unspeakable,
  • the subaltern,
  • the significance of speech and silence in American Ethnic Literature,
  • the Postmodern denigration and appraisal of various senses,
  • gender studies related topics,
  • submerged narratives,
  • storytelling,
  • reading between the lines,
  • innuendo,
  • shame,
  • affect,
  • survivor studies,
  • trauma studies,
  • word,
  • image,
  • sign,
  • the aural and the auditory versus the visual,
  • transnational studies related topics,
  • narratology,
  • mnemonic techniques in oral poetry,
  • rhetoric,
  • the significance of speech and silence in public discourse and negotiations.


You are strongly encouraged to pursue the topics grounded in the leitmotif of the conference. Yet if you wish to present a paper tangential to the conference topic, we will be happy to welcome you as well. Polish Association for American Studies can boast a tradition of more than thirty years of annual conferences and multifaceted cooperation with scholars from all over the world. The intention of the organizers representing University of Opole and Polish Association for American Studies is to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere and make you feel at home on the grounds of the main University building, Collegium Maius, University of Opole, in the very city center of Opole, just a stone’s throw away from the XIII century-town- hall square, the Piast Tower, all major monuments and city attractions.

Please send an abstract of around three hundred words to by April 30. For logistical reasons, the organizers appreciate all early submissions, even if they are not yet fully fledged paper proposals, but only paper topics. If you intend to come, send us your paper topic as early as possible and you will be able to supplement an abstract at a later date. Conference proceedings will be published, possibly in one of the special issue journals catalogued across diverse academic research databases.


For sights and sounds of the upcoming conference and its immediate location as well as neighboring locations, visit the links below.


Virtual tour of the conference site, Collegium Maius, University of Opole:

The city of Opole website:

Polish Association for American Studies website:

University of Opole website:

The Institute of English Studies, University of Opole website:


The sights and sounds of the adjacent Lower Silesia region (Dolny Śląsk):


See You in Opole, October 23-25, 2019!

Call for papers

The return of the Rust Belt and the populist moment

Université de Paris-Est Créteil, June 20-21 2019

This conference considers the “Rust Belt” through various thematic, methodological and disciplinary angles. The Rust Belt is a rather loose name for the deindustrialized region around the Great Lakes, encompassing all or parts of the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania as well as several northwestern counties of New York state.

Because of its mining and industrial past, this region used to be a solid Democratic stronghold, clearly out of the reach of Republicans, at least at the level of presidential elections. Its demographic decline after World War 2 led to a lesser weight in the electoral college and it seemed to have lost any decisive role in nationwide ballots. However, the working class has increasingly drifted away from the Rooseveltian coalition and poor people have seemingly been voting against their economic interest. Moreover, the sense of dispossession and abandonment has contributed to boost populism, as the Trump vote as well as the Brexit vote have illustrated.

In the United States, the 2016 presidential election has unquestionably put the Rust Belt back on the electoral map and has reawakened long-gone media interest in it. Indeed, small majorities in a few Rust Belt states enabled Donald Trump to carry those states and their electors and gave him a majority in the Electoral college, despite trailing Mrs Clinton in the popular vote.

Stanley Greenberg, who identified the “Reagan Democrats” in the 1980s, interviewed the “Trump Democrats” in 2016 – those voters who used to cast ballots for Democratic candidates but chose to support Trump this time. Other investigations have shown that voters in such Midwestern states as Indiana as well as in the Rust Belt could vote for a local Democrat as well as Donald Trump for President on the very same day.

More recently, in March 2018, the victory of “blue dog” Democrat Conor Lamb in a Pennsylvania district that Trump had carried easily in 2016 reignited the debate around the Democrats’ ability to reconquer what had come to be known as “Trump country.”

If populism is not to be found exclusively in deindustrialized areas such as the Rust Belt, it remains clear that “Rust Belts” are fertile soil for populist movements on the left as much as on the right of the political spectrum.

It is in this context of rising populism in the United States and in Europe that the Rust Belt becomes (again) an invaluable object of interest in the political and cultural landscape in the United States. Yet it is also a region that has been undergoing tremendous (urban) renewal, whose economy has adjusted to the new Millennium, far from the Manichean stereotypes of decay and a region that had been long been ignored by journalists and politicians as opposed to the Sun Belt, from California and Texas to Florida and Virginia.

This conference, to be held in June 2019, aims to reexamine the Rust Belt between the midterm elections of November 2018 and the presidential and congressional elections of 2020, where the role of the Rust Belt may again be decisive.

Proposals should try to fit one or several of the following categories:

— The rebirth of cities and its electoral impact (urban renewal, gentrification, transportation, technological and industrial innovation). Electoral impact is understood at the federal level (Presidency, Congress) and at the local level (state assemblies, especially in cases of split voting, e.g., Trump Democrats).

— The transformations in the various rings of suburbs and exurbs (demographic, social and political diversification).

— Economic and health challenges (“deaths of despair,” decreasing life expectancy, opioid crisis) affecting rural communities and small towns.

— The impact of two years of “Trumponomics” on the US-Canada border in the context of NAFTA and its renegotiation, the transborder connections and fluxes between the US and Canadian metros and provinces.

— Local political changes, in particular in the context of anti-labor, “right-to-work” laws.

— The battles around gerrymandering and the partisan distortion of local representation, in the context of Court decision invalidating exaggeratedly partisan maps (Pennsylvania, North Carolina).

— Energy (coal – clean or not – and shale oil) and environmental issues, as well as their impact on jobs and elections.

— The perceptions and representations of the Rust Belt in films and TV series since 2000.

— We also invite comparisons with neighboring regions (the more rural Midwest, Appalachia) as well as with other Rust Belts in Europe (mining regions in Britain, North and Eastern France, the Ruhr in Germany).

Proposals, about 300 words, should be sent to, by Dec 1, 2018, along with a brief bio / bibliographic introduction.

Organizing committee : Guillaume Poiret (UPEC), François Vergniolle de Chantal (Université Paris Diderot), Lauric Henneton (UVSQ)

Scientific committee :

Frédérick Gagnon (Chaire Raoul Dandurand, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada)

Justin Gest (George Mason University, United States of America)

Brice Gruet (Université Paris –Est-Créteil, France)

Lauric Henneton (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France)

Donna Kesselman (Université Paris-Est-Créteil, France)

Denis Lacorne (CERI, Sciences Po Paris, France)

Renaud Le Goix (Université Paris Diderot, France)

Guillaume Marche (Université Paris–Est-Créteil, France)

Michael McQuarrie (London School of Economics, UK)

Guillaume Poiret (Université Paris-Est-Créteil, France)

François Vergniolle de Chantal (Université Paris Diderot, France)