When considering the evolution of the African American Civil Rights movement, 1963 looms large in

historical study and memory. In 1963, the Birmingham campaign (and the state violence wrought

upon it) captured national and international attention, and a quarter of a million people marched on

Washington D.C. and listened to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. The wider

struggle for civil liberties extended beyond the Civil Rights Movement, even while it remained

inspired by and crucially intertwined with it. From housewives inspired by the publication of Betty

Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique to white evangelicals protesting the secularization of public

education, 1963 was a year in which the struggle for civil liberties manifested in new forms and

adopted new rhetorics. As such, the year of 1963 demonstrates how broader changes in the

political, intellectual, media, and cinematic landscape provided a variety of societal groups with new

ways to interact with the civil rights story and to reimagine themselves as part of it.


This edited volume engages with and interrogates the historical concept of the calendar year,

capturing the breadth of diverse historical actors whose ideals and actions were inspired by and

interwoven with the Civil Rights Movement. The kaleidoscopic nature of 1963 – with interconnected

shifts at a micro and macro level – indicates the distorting and transforming impact of the year on

American life. This strict chronological focus, combined with a thematic breadth of papers, offers a

range of new perspectives on a crucial year for the Civil Rights Movement. However, it also

encourages students and scholars to reflect on the purpose, significance, and potential limitations of

the calendar year as a category of analysis in history.


We are seeking chapter proposals that interact with the concept of 1963 as a ‘watershed year’ in

the struggle for civil liberties. Whilst we will consider papers from a broad spectrum of topics, we

particularly encourage papers that address gaps in the current plan for the volume. These include,

but are not limited to:


• Students and student activism

• Women’s history and the history of feminism

• Cultural forms and their relationships to civil rights, including literature and literary figures


Chapter proposal submission:

Please contact the volume editors, Uta Balbier (uta.balbier@history.ox.ac.uk), Emily Brady

(emily.brady@rai.ox.ac.uk), and Megan Hunt (megan.hunt@ed.ac.uk) by March 1, 2024, if you are

interested in submitting a proposal for the volume.


Please include a proposal of 300-500 words, alongside a short biography (max. 300 words).


Deadline for abstract submission: March 15, 2024


Further information: We intend to conduct a workshop for authors which will take place in

September 2024 (in person or online depending on funding) to workshop draft chapters and to work

jointly towards a cohesive volume.


Subject Fields

History, American History, American Studies, Film and Film History, Literature, Black Studies, Gender


AfterWords: Reconsidering Narratives of Trauma and Violence in the Humanities

School of English Postgraduate Conference – Trinity College Dublin & Trinity Long Room Hub

We are delighted to annoAfterWords final poster hybrid versionunce that a postgraduate conference on the representation of trauma and violence in the humanities will be organised by Elena Valli and Ginevra Bianchini, two PhD researchers from the School of English in Trinity College Dublin, on the 9th February 2024 in person and online at the Trinity Long Room Hub.

We welcome abstracts of 300 words and a short bio of about 100 words to pgengconference2024@gmail.com from postgraduate and early career researchers working on any subject area of the humanities and social sciences by Monday 18th December. More information on the event and on suggested topics can be found in the attached poster.

The organisers can be reached at the above email address with any questions.



Irish Association for American Studies Annual Conference 

University College Dublin 

1-3 May 2024 

Conference Theme: “Dis/Trust” 


Keynote Speakers: Dr Imaobong Umoren (London School of Economics) Prof. Johannes Voelz (Goethe-University Frankfurt) 

“In God We Trust.” While these words, printed on every coin and banknote issued by the Federal Reserve, evidently speak to the importance of religion in the United States, they also acknowledge the centrality of trust to America’s self-image. Even for those thinkers whose interests have been more secular than religious, the special status and nature of social trust in the US has been a subject of comment and debate. In Democracy in America (1835/1840), Alexis de Tocqueville praised the American culture of voluntary association as an antidote to the loss of trust that came with the decaying of the old regimes and rising class conflict in Europe. In the late twentieth century, neo-Tocquevilleans including Francis Fukuyama (Trust, 1995) and Robert Putnam (Bowling Alone, 2000) argued that the high-trust character of communal life was crucial to American success but that it was coming under renewed threat in an age of economic globalisation. Today, the increasingly polarised quality of American cultural and political life, fuelled by bitterly contrasting media narratives, seems to indicate that social trust is indeed breaking down. 

Yet to view the US as a high-trust society in present-day decline also involves overlooking those who have historically been excluded from its networks of social trust. While the American dream has traditionally offered immigrants a reason to trust in the possibilities of their new lives, American reality has often inculcated distrust more than trust. For marginalised and racialised groups – including but not limited to Native Americans and African Americans – it has been particularly difficult to trust in the benevolence of an American state founded on their destruction and enslavement, and to feel part of a shared history in which promises have been broken and treaties disregarded. The expansion of American Studies into a transnational and hemispheric discipline over recent decades has also drawn attention to trust and distrust of American power, particularly in the history and cultural production of peoples who have fallen within the ambit of that power.

Trust can be described as a feeling, an attitude, an atmosphere, or a relationship (Baier 1986, Hosking 2014). It has been considered a means to reduce modern complexity (Luhmann 1973), a cognitive-emotional coping mechanism that facilitates action in situations of uncertain outcome (Schloss 2021). Although a regular subject for social scientists, the fact that trust tends to be invisible and unconscious (especially when functioning well) makes it an equally appropriate subject for the humanities. Social trust provides “the ethical substance of everyday life” (Bernstein 2015) and becomes most evident only in its absence, when what was previously trusted becomes open to question. The present moment in the United States is arguably defined by a heightened consciousness of issues of trust and distrust: we invite papers that address this moment, but we are equally interested in papers that consider dis/trust at other moments in American history and culture. 

We welcome papers on the general theme of “Dis/trust” from all disciplines in American Studies, broadly defined. Possible paper and panel topics may include but are not limited to: – American histories of dis/trust 

– Literary histories of dis/trust 

– Dis/trust and American politics 

– Dis/trust and the visual arts 

– Dis/trust and disinformation 

– Interpersonal, institutional, and distributed trust in the US 

– Digital ecologies of dis/trust 

– American experiments in trust 

– Paranoia and dis/trust 

– Dis/trust, economy, finance 

– Dis/trusting American power 

– Dis/trust and the racial imaginary 

– Dis/trust in/of the American academy 

– Gendered histories of dis/trust 

– Queer(ing) American dis/trust 

Abstracts of 200-300 words for 20-minute papers, along with an author bio of c.100 words, should be submitted by attachment to trust.ucd@gmail.com by 1st February 2024. We also welcome joint proposals for panels of three papers, or panels with innovative formats. Applicants will be informed by the end of February as to their acceptance for the conference. 

The IAAS is an all-island scholarly association dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary American Studies in Ireland. We are dedicated to equality, diversity, and inclusion, and we welcome proposals from under-represented groups. We also encourage proposals from researchers who are based at institutions around the world, whose research stems from a variety of disciplines and languages, and who are at any career stage. Some IAAS bursaries are available to support the participation of early career and precariously employed researchers. You can apply for these at the IAAS website: https://iaas.ie/bursaries/ 

All presenters must be members of the IAAS to register for and attend the conference. More information is available here: https://iaas.ie/memberships/

This conference is held in association with the Irish Research Council-funded project “Imaginative Literature and Social Trust, 1990-2025.” The website is: www.trustlit.org.


Irish Association for American Studies
Postgraduate Symposium

Evolutions and Involutions of Human Rights in the Americas

Trinity College Dublin – Trinity Long Room Hub
In-person event
18th November 2023

Organizers: Ginevra Bianchini and Midia Mohammadi, IAAS PG Caucus co-chairs


For the 2023 IAAS Postgraduate Symposium we invite scholars across all disciplines of American Studies to reflect on the interlocked themes of ‘Evolutions and Involutions of Human Rights in the Americas.’ We seek to understand how, throughout history, backlashes have occurred in cyclical patterns and how thinkers, authors, human rights activists, and scholars have responded to these challenges.

There are many examples indicating these cyclical recurrences in the United States. For instance, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (1789) initially pledged equal treatment for all Americans regardless of gender, race, or social class; however, it took seventy-four years, many lives, and a destructive Civil War for the 13th Amendment to be ratified. Even after legal emancipation, Black people have endured persistent racism and injustice. The arduous struggle for justice found expression through the Civil Rights and Black Power movements in the 1960s and 70s, an ongoing pursuit that still persists. As a part of systematic, racialized police violence, the brutal murder of George Floyd aggravated the backlashes against the revindication of Black people’s rights. It returned the ongoing activism of the Black Lives Matter movement to the forefront, proving once again that continual, political, and cultural work is necessary to preserve fundamental human rights in America.

The backlashes against human rights go beyond the streets and are taking place in the legal arena too, as several of the rights gained during the 20th century are being revoked. The overturning of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court in 2022 and the anti-LGBTQ laws passed in the same year – which add to the ongoing challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals in numerous states – serve as crisis-level reminders of the erosion of hard-won, established rights within the US. These contemporary examples repeat and revise a long history of backlashes against fundamental human rights. Margaret Jay Jessee’s Female Physicians in American Literature (2022), for example, illuminates how late 19th-century America witnessed backlashes against the advancement of women’s rights and how abortion was made illegal under the pressures of heteropatriarchy, xenophobia, and racism. Throughout the 20th century, researchers and activists have continued to draw attention to the ongoing backlashes against women’s rights, as seen in Susan Faludi’s influential work Backlash (1991), which explores the historical challenges faced by women’s rights in the US. In short, these are just two representative examples of how the US has long proven to be prone to backlashes against fundamental human rights, and this symposium is interested in examining the reasons for it.

Delegates are encouraged to reflect on the contexts and significance of these evolutions and involutions and how they have been narrated and represented in the cultural imaginary. When and why do backlashes occur? How have diverse constituencies in the US responded to them in given historical moments? How have political and social backlashes been represented, debated, or silenced in American cultural productions? How are these impacting contemporary society?

Paper and panel topics may include but are by no means limited to:

  • Investigations of the causes and origins of backlashes against fundamental human rights/judicial decisions concerning human rights and flouting and/or breaking of human rights’ legislations throughout the Americas[1] and/or within the USA.
  • Analysis of the portrayal of backlashes against human rights in cultural productions (literature, film, TV series, visual arts, music).
  • Comparative analysis of parallels and connections between current backlashes and historical incidents.
  • Examinations of the impact of legal decisions and policy changes on the perpetuation or mitigation of backlashes against human rights.
  • Analysis of the depiction of backlashes in the mainstream media and popular culture.
  • Explorations of the influences of colonialism and decolonialism on the development of backlashes.
  • Impacts of capitalism and consumer culture on the perception of freedom and fundamental human rights.
  • Relations between gun control, domestic terrorism, and ideas of freedom and human rights.
  • Impacts on marginalized communities of human rights’ backlashes, including women’s rights, LGBTQIA+’ rights, and the rights of people of color, immigrants, and religious minorities.

The symposium is scheduled as an in-person event and will be hosted by Trinity College Dublin and the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute. The Trinity Long Room Hub can be reached by public transport to city center and is fully accessible.

The IAAS and the Postgraduate Symposium are dedicated to diversity, equality, and inclusion, and we welcome papers from under-represented groups. You can read our code of conduct at this link: https://iaas.ie/blog/iaas-annual-conference-code-of-conduct/.

All presenters must be members of the IAAS to register for and attend the symposium. More information is available here: https://iaas.ie/memberships/.

The IAAS is an all-island scholarly association dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary American Studies in Ireland. The annual Postgraduate Symposium, run by Postgraduates, aims at fostering a supportive and discursive environment for more junior scholars to share their research, exchange ideas, and create lasting connections and networks.

For more information, email us at postgrad@iaas.ie or join the IAAS Postgraduate Discord: https://discord.gg/jasEAMKJ4b.

The IAAS offers two bursaries of €50 each for attendance at the Postgraduate Symposium. Applicants must be presenting a paper in person at the symposium and should express their interest and reasons when submitting their paper proposal. The bursary recipients will be delegates without additional funding who are traveling the farthest distance to attend the symposium. 

Submission Details

We welcome 300-word proposals for fifteen-minute papers or 500-word proposals for three-person panels, along with a short academic biography (150 words) in the same document, from postgraduate and early career researchers across all disciplines of American Studies, including literature, history, film, politics, music, art, media, geopolitics, geography, and more.

The deadline for submissions, to be sent to postgrad@iaas.ie, is Monday 9th, October 2023.

[1] The word Americas in this context refers to the countries of North and South America, considered together. (Cambridge Dictionary, s.v. “Americas,” accessed September 08, 2023, https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/americas)


Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies 2024  

Call for Papers  

 Trans()Turns in Nineteenth-Century Studies  March 21-24, 2024  

Hyatt Regency Hotel  

Cincinnati, OH  



“across, through, over, to or on the other side of,  

beyond, outside of, from one place, person,  

thing, or state to another”; “beyond, surpassing,  

transcending” (OED). 

Whether in bridging divides or leaping over  

them, contesting a binary or dismantling it,  

“trans(-)” linguistically registers changes of state 

as well as movements in time and space; it  

indexes communication or traffic that puts  

places, persons, and things in new relations to  

one another and, perhaps, to themselves. 

Building on INCS’ rich history, this iteration of  

the conference will seek to explore the “trans(-)”  

alongside and in productive tension with the  

“inter-.” Proposals on a wide array of topics from 

all areas of nineteenth-century studies will be  



Read the full CFP below:



The Spatial Imagination in Postwar and Contemporary

American Literature and Art


A two-day international conference at the University of Strasbourg funded by the Institut Universitaire de France

Dates: 21-22 March 2024

Venue: University of Strasbourg, France

Confirmed keynote speaker: Dawn Raffel is a writer whose most recent book is Boundless as the Sky (2023).

Other keynote speakers TBC.

Seen as an emblematic feature of the United States, American space has been represented, interpreted and questioned along multiple lines. Yet, these lines of critical inquiry often remain separate and discrete, treated from perspectives that do not take into account their interaction. They are also spelt along a particularly white, male trajectory. While it is generally agreed that ‘space’ is a major component of the American imagination, literary representations and artistic practices of space in postwar US have rarely been treated together as intersecting narratives. This conference sets out to consider postwar and contemporary conceptualizations and material practices of space in American literature and art, with the prospect of opening larger and more interdisciplinary vistas. The conference builds on the 2018 conference in Paris on The cartographic imagination. Art, literature and mapping in the United States, 1945-1980.

What are the prevailing and the underrepresented spatial imaginaries in postwar and contemporary America, and how are they represented in literature and art? How do these expressions relate to various Indigenous and colonial traditions of the spatial imagination? How do issues of whiteness, race, and the racial imagination shape spatial practices and imaginaries? What does the dialogue between literary texts, visual studies and art historical practices bring to the understanding of the construction and experience of space in American postwar and contemporary contexts? What are the major paradigms that arise? How do national and transnational, local and global, official and alternative narratives of space intersect in literature and art? How do the contexts of US imperialism and militarization play out in the representation of Cold War and ‘war on terror’ geographies?

We invite proposals that highlight the ways in which literature and art, and more generally literary and art historical studies as disciplines, can be fruitfully and innovatively brought together and made to interact. This conference will be a venue for discussing interdisciplinary and creative methodologies. An important, exploratory aspect of the conference consists precisely in determining the possible intersections between art and literature that deserve to be further explored.

We invite interdisciplinary proposals on the following topics:

  • Intermediality and space;
  • The legacies of literary and artistic modernisms and their investigations of space;
  • Indigenous and minoritised spatial discourses and practices;
  • Spatial practice, whiteness, race;
  • US militarization, imperialism and Cold War geographies;
  • Popular literary and graphic genres and the spatial imagination;
  • Liminal spaces, meta-spaces, horizontal and vertical spaces;
  • Site-specificity and the disturbance of the gallery and museum;
  • Comparative literary and artistic representations of exploration, displacement and exile;
  • Alternative constructions of American geography;
  • Discourses of place informed by environmentalism and ecology in literature and art;
  • The local and the global;
  • Mapping and counter-mapping;
  • Artists’ writings and artistic practice;
  • The digital turn in literature and art, systems, cartographies;
  • The notion of “space” broadly (re)imagined.

We invite:

  • individual paper proposals for 20-minute papers (abstracts of no more than 350 words, plus 100-word biography)
  • panel proposals for 1.5 hour panels (panel abstracts of no more than 350 words, plus paper abstracts of no more than 250 words each, plus 100-word biographies). Panels of no more than 3 presenters are recommended.
  • suggestions of interdisciplinary panels or roundtables (a mix of critical and creative practitioners are welcome)

Please submit your proposals and biographies to Gwen Cressman (cressman@unistra.fr) and Monica Manolescu (manoles@unistra.fr) by September 30, 2023.

Registration for the conference will be free of charge.

Organizers: Sandrine Baudry (University of Strasbourg), Chloé Bour-Lang (University of Strasbourg), Gwen Cressman (University of Strasbourg), Catherine Gander (Maynooth University), Hélène Ibata (University of Strasbourg), Monica Manolescu (University of Strasbourg/Institut Universitaire de France), Will Norman (University of Kent).

Bodies and Boundaries in Irish and American Literature, to be held in Dublin City University on September 05-06, 2023, entirely in person.
This conference intends to explore twentieth and twenty-first century literature through the lens of literary geography and theories on space, place and embodiment. Indeed, by using the different approaches of literature and geography to “think beyond taken-for-granted categories, levels, and terms” (Hones, 688), literary geography allows a discussion that redefines not only the genres but also how one experiences a text according to different spatialities and bodies. 

Papers addressing the following themes are especially welcomed and encouraged: 

  • Literary geography in relation to Irish literature, American literature, or Irish-American literature (20th-21st centuries) 
  • The body as a boundary 
  • Bodies and boundaries in literature 
  • Fictional accounts on: race; sexuality; gender; disability; social status; the “future body” 
  • Ecocriticism 
  • Political/ non-political bodies
  • Gendering bodies and boundaries 
  • Keynote speakers: June Caldwell, Nessa Cronin, Sophie White and Emilie Pine. 
If you are interested in participating in the conference, whether by giving a presentation or organising a panel, please send an abstract (300 words maximum) and a short biography (100 words) to: laetitia.nebotdeneuville2@mail.dcu.ie. If you want to attend the conference, please send an email to the same email address. Please specify your home institution for both cases. 
Deadline for abstract submission and attendance registration: May 22, 2023.

Full details here:

Bodies and Boundaries CFP



Irish Association for American Studies

Annual Conference


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.

Heidelberg Center for American Studies 20th Annual Spring Academy Conference

Heidelberg, Germany, 20–24 March, 2023

*Call for Papers * 

The twentieth HCA Spring Academy on American Culture, Economics, Geography, History, Literature, Politics, and Religion will be held from March 20-24, 2023. The Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) invites applications for this annual one-week conference that provides twenty international Ph.D. students with the opportunity to present and discuss their Ph.D. projects.

The HCA Spring Academy invites participants to work closely with experts in their respective fields of study and offers workshops held by visiting scholars.

We encourage applications that pursue an interdisciplinary approach and range broadly across the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Papers can be presented on any subject relating to the study of the United States of America. Possible topics include American identity, issues of ethnicity, gender, transatlantic relations, U.S. domestic and foreign policy, economics, as well as various aspects of American history, literature, religion, geography, law, musicology, and culture. Proposals should include a preliminary title and run to no more than 300 words.

Participants are requested to prepare a 20-minute presentation of their research project, which will be followed by a 40-minute discussion. The presentations will be arranged into ten panel groups.

In addition to cross-disciplinary and international discussions during the panel sessions, the Spring Academy aims at creating a pleasant collegial atmosphere for further scholarly exchange and contact.

Accommodation will be provided by the Heidelberg Center for American Studies.

Thanks to a small travel fund, the Spring Academy is able to subsidize travel expenses for participants registered and residing in soft-currency countries. Scholarship applicants will need to document the necessity for financial aid and explain how they plan to cover any potentially remaining expenses. In addition, a letter of recommendation from their doctoral advisor is required.


START OF APPLICATION PROCESS:                                          August 15, 2022

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS:                                                November 15, 2022

SELECTIONS WILL BE MADE BY:                                                January 2023

PLEASE USE OUR ONLINE APPLICATION SYSTEM:             www.hca-springacademy.de

MORE INFORMATION:                                                                 www.hca.uni-heidelberg.de

FOR FURTHER QUESTIONS:                                                        springacademy@hca.uni-heidelberg.de