Irish Association for American Studies
University of Limerick
Hybrid event: virtual and in-person
28-29 April 2023
The Irish Association for American Studies is an all-island scholarly association dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary American Studies in Ireland. It invites paper and panel proposals for its 2023 Annual Conference, which will take place 28-29 April at the University of Limerick. The hybrid event will be the first IAAS Annual Conference since 2019 to include an in-person element.
“There are others out there on whom my life depends, people I do not know and may never know. This fundamental dependency on anonymous others is not a condition that I can will away. No security measure will foreclose this dependency; no violent act of sovereignty will rid the world of this fact” (Judith Butler, Precarious Life xii).
The theme for the 2023 IAAS Annual Conference is “In/Security.” Inderpal Grewal argues that “constructs of security have come to dominate everyday life in the US imperial state” (Saving the Security State 2). Certainly, questions of security have dominated the US news agenda this year, from the inquest into the breach of the Capitol on 6 January 2021; to geopolitical threats of energy shortages, a cost-of-living crisis, cyber-attacks, and nuclear war; to the FBI’s retrieval of documents endangering national security from a former President’s home. Actual and perceived threats to security – personal, institutional, and technological – have increasingly become the norm in US politics, as allegations of voting fraud and campaigns of intimidation continue to reverberate across elections. Meanwhile, the rising risks of wildfires and storms are a reminder that climate change represents an existential threat to human society that requires us to act now to secure a liveable future.
This year, we invite proposals that consider security, safety, defence, and protection, as well as their opposites: insecurity, precarity, vulnerability, and danger. We will think about security at various scales, the various senses and feelings of terms like “security” and “safe,” and the different ways in which notions of security and its absence structure cultural, social, political, and economic discourses in the Americas.
We welcome papers from all disciplines in American Studies, broadly defined. Possible paper and panel topics may include but are not limited to:
- Texts and events that dramatize questions of (in)security at various scales: personal, societal, national, global
- Levels and forms of security forces, threats, risks, defences, protections, allies, and immunities
- Senses (meanings and feelings) of security and insecurity, vulnerability, and precarity
- Resource (food, water, energy, housing) security and insecurity, and the geopolitics of resource security
- Securing the (environmental, biodiverse, just) future; risking the future
- Financial securities and insecurities
- Job security, precarity, safety nets, and their absence; welfare and wellbeing
- Technologies of security – drones, doorbells, digital systems – and their ownership
- Home security, domestic threats, and safe spaces; private security, personal safety, and safekeeping
- Questions and definitions of care: carefree (secure, from the Latin securus, meaning without care), careless, and caregiving
The conference organisers welcome individual proposals or panel proposals. Individual participants should submit abstracts of no more than 300 words for a 20-minute paper. Panel proposals will normally consist of an overall proposal of 200 words, plus individual abstracts of no more than 150 words for each of 3 papers for 1½-hour sessions. However, proposals for innovative, alternative panel formats are also encouraged. All proposals should include a short academic biography (50-100 words) for each presenter. Please also indicate if you prefer to attend online or if you are able to attend in person. Priority for online presentations will be reserved for those with accessibility issues or those who are outside of Ireland. Due to limited capacity, we may not be able to meet all requests for online presentations.
Papers from all disciplines in American Studies are welcome, including literary studies, history, politics, economics, geography, science, philosophy, media studies, film studies, photography, art, music and dance, cultural studies, international relations, and others, and from any theoretical or practical perspective. The IAAS and the Annual Conference are dedicated to equality, diversity, and inclusion, and we welcome papers from under-represented groups. The deadline for submissions, to IAAS2023@ul.ie, is 31 January 2023.
All presenters at the Annual Conference must be members of the IAAS. More information is available here: https://iaas.ie/memberships/.
The 2023 IAAS Annual Conference will be hosted by University of Limerick and run by Tim Groenland, David Coughlan, and Clair Sheehan. For more information, contact us at IAAS2023@ul.ie.