Over_Seas: Melville, Whitman, and All the Intrepid Sailors
July 3-5, 2019
School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon

Herman Melville (1819-1891), sailor and writer, plowed the ocean as a tablet to be read, gazing at
the white page where unfathomable characters surface to the eyes of the puzzled reader. “Captain”
Walt Whitman (1819-1892), on the other hand, writing “in cabin’d ships at sea,” broke open and
passed the divide between in- and out-of-doors, as he urged his book to “speed on.” Both were
born 200 years ago.

ULICES’ Research Group in American Studies is pleased to announce the international conference
and exhibition “Over_Seas: Melville, Whitman and All the Intrepid Sailors,” to be held on 3-5 July,
2019. We aim to foreground the international afterlife of both authors and their contribution to the
interconnectedness between the arts, sciences, human philosophy and history, with a
special focus on the imagination and memory of the oceans. In line with one of the group’s
main axes of research, “(Re)imagining shared pasts over the sea and across borders: dialogue,
reception and projections between the USA, the Americas, and Europe,” the title “Over_Seas”
accommodates an eagerness to pore over the depths of wild and cultured nature(s), as well as the
transatlantic and transnational dynamics that Melville, Whitman, and various writers on both sides
of the Atlantic have helped to shape. The events will take place at the School of Arts and
Humanities of the University of Lisbon, the Portuguese National Library, and other public spaces
devoted to cultural dissemination and to the promotion of the vital resources within our ocean(s).

This bicentennial celebration aims to bring together scholars with expertise not only in nineteenth century
American literature and culture, but also in areas related with the broader and
interdisciplinary themes envisaged by the conference itself. Participation of junior researchers and
students is especially welcome. We invite submissions of abstracts for panel sessions (up to
1000 words), roundtables, papers and posters (up to 300 words) to be sent to
melville.whitman2019@gmail.com, with the following information:

. full title of paper, panel or poster;
. full name of author;
. institutional affiliation;
. individual e-mail address(es);
. brief bio (max. 5 lines).

Suggested, but by no means exclusive, topics are:

– Dialogue and tension in Melville and Whitman: their texts as an ocean and/or vessel;

– Home, overseas and at sea: Melville, Whitman, and/or other 19th century US writers (also in
dialogue with writers overseas who addressed the sea in their writings);

– The ocean(s) and/or sea in literature, arts and sciences;

– The ocean(s), what goes on within, down deep, what moves across and more – wilderness,
chaos, death, shipwreck, rage vs. fantasy, freedom, voyage, nourishment, commerce;

– To and fro: Atlantic trade, finance and industry;

– Bridging borders – translation, transatlantic (textual) commerce, Indic and Transpacific
influences, literary transformation;

– Transoceanic wave-sounds, wave-lengths, wave-motions;

– Women across borders, overboard, and at sea;

– The Anthropocene, Whitman, Melville, and/or other sailor-writers – environmental
sustainability / crisis and ecological protection;

– Changes, interchanges, and dialogues across oceans, continents, peoples.

Deadline for abstracts: March 11, 2019
Notification of acceptance: March 30, 2019

Common Ground 2018: Divided Selves and Societies in Irish and American Literature and Culture

26th, 27th October 2018

Queen’s University, Belfast

This event brings together postgraduate and early career researchers from across the
humanities and the world at Queen’s University Belfast, to explore the theme of divided selves and societies in 20th and 21st century Irish and American literature and culture.

Friday 26th October:

  • Gender and Northern Ireland
  • The Abject, Ruins, Resistance and the Body
  • Keynote by Dr Oona Frawley
  • Challenging Female Stereotypes
  • Race and Migration
  • Wine Reception and Creative Readings

Saturday 27th October:

  • Heaney and Division
  • Freedom and Sovereignty
  • Keynote by Dr Sinéad Moynihan
  • Performing Borders
  • Sexuality and Gender

View the full programme

Register for the conference


for an international interdisciplinary conference
The conference will be held on November 26, 2018
at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” in Sofia, Bulgaria
The conference Reading Practices in the Digital Age aims to explore reading across many different platforms: from book to screen, by examining the role of the medium, and of multimodality marked
by the interplay between text, image, and sound.
We invite individual abstracts and panel proposals in an array of topics, discussing but not limited to the areas below:
 What has happened to reading in the age of the Internet?
 How did the “digital turn” affect the usages of free time? What is the place of reading practices in the digitized contemporary usage of free time and its market-driven hierarchies?
 How have readers’ attitudes and behaviors changed as texts migrate from page to screen, and from the print medium to the digital ones: e-books, tablets, computer screens?
 What are the changes in the reading tempo and rhythms?
 How is reader-response affected?
 How are attention and concentration ability affected?
 How is comprehension and memory affected by reading on screen?
 Do the interactive features of the digital platform distract readers from the textual content
or do they facilitate comprehension?
 How are digital reading practices located between the poles of “reading-for-pleasure” and “reading-for-practical-goals” (cognition, information etc.?)
 What is “the future of the book” – elegiac or optimistic?
 What are the pedagogical implications for reading on a digital screen?
Proposals for twenty-minute presentations or for panels to be submitted by 1 November 2018. The official language of the conference will be English.
Please include the following in your submission:
 Name:
 Affiliation:
 Email address:
 Title of Paper or Panel Proposal:
 Abstract (250 words):
 Bio (100 words):

Please address emails to: readingpractices.conference@gmail.com

The Cultural Center of Sofia University Team led by prof. Alexander Kiossev, Department of History and Theory of Culture, Sofia University &
Assoc. Prof. Alexandra Glavanakova, Department of English and American Studies, Sofia University & Executive Director of AFEAS
Confirmed keynote speakers:
Tatiani Rapatzikou, Assoc. Prof. at at the Department of American Literature and Culture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.
Talan Memmott, Professor of Creative Digital Media at Winona State University, USA.

American Islands:
Outposts of Security, Prosperity, and Culture
Roosevelt Institute for American Studies
Middelburg, The Netherlands
22 May 2019

Throughout the twentieth century, the United States has built what historian Daniel Immerwahr
has defined as a “pointillist empire” consisting of an intricate web of incorporated territories,
islands, and overseas bases. Expandable from a territorial point of view, these possessions have
nevertheless served as fundamental springboards for the worldwide projection of American
military, economic and cultural hegemony. As Brooke Blower has put it, “the United States has
always been at heart a nation of outposts.”

This conference aims to further investigate how the many “little Americas” spread all over the
world – broadly conceived as military or economic enclaves, missionary communities, research
and cultural centers, etc. – have actively disseminated typical elements of the American lifestyle,
acted as unofficial ambassadors, supported the expansion of American businesses, exported the
linchpins of American culture, and simultaneously challenged the traditional class, gender, racial,
and power relationships of their surroundings.

The conveners would like to discuss papers that, by adopting a bottom-up approach, may assess
the overall socio-economic, cultural, environmental or political impact of such American
outposts. The permeable insularity of these American communities overseas has indeed
alternatively favored the promotion of, smoothened the adaptation to, or spurred the resistance
against American visions of peace, stability and progress. For this reason, the conference invites
scholars to reflect on the polysemous nature of American security and prosperity as a core
component of the ethos of the American Century, as a crucial element of modern globalization,
and as a catalyst for contacts and exchanges between different cultural heritages.

Please submit proposals (maximum 500 words) to rias@zeeland.nl by 15 January 2019. The
conveners aim to publish the selected papers, but the format of the conference output will be
decided collectively. The RIAS will provide the invited scholars with board and lodging.

The Influence of American Freemasonry and Fraternalism on 20th Century Politics, Society and Culture

October 3, 2020

University College Roosevelt, Middleburg, The Netherlands

At the start of the 20th century, the USA still lived in what some have qualified as the “golden age of fraternity”. Indeed, joining fraternal societies such as the Freemasons, the Odd Fellows, the Knights of Pythias and many hundreds like them was an essential feature of social and cultural life in the country. Although membership has declined since the 1930s, fraternal societies have continued to be more prevalent in American society than in Europe. Freemasonry and other similar orders have always proclaimed an apolitical stance, yet their political influence cannot be dismissed. This is not a concession to conspiracy: America was not secretively run by the lodges. But that does not imply that fraternal societies could not have more modest political objectives or that politicians did not try to mobilize support within their ranks. Already in the 19th century several examples are known of fraternities being founded to back up specific party tickets. Some orders were actively opposing immigration of particular groups. Even within apolitical societies, men running for public office did not hesitate to approach their brethren to obtain their votes. Was this still the case in 20th-century America? Did fraternal societies intervene in the electoral process? What fields of decision making were prone to see fraternal societies use lobbying tactics to foster their interests or values? Did the orders defend specific ideological positions? How much were sectional, religious, ethnical, gender and racial divisions relevant to the issue? The event will contribute to the inclusion of the study of fraternal societies as a serious, empirically grounded sub-section of political history.

University College Roosevelt (UCR) will host an international and interdisciplinary conference to explore these matters. The College was named after the American presidents Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who were both members of American masonic lodges. The conference will focus on the political influence of fraternal societies and the wider social and cultural significance of this. The conference will also include an undergraduate research session, where students from UCR (and other liberal arts colleges) can present their capstone work or undergraduate research thesis.

Interested participants should send an abstract (250-500 words) to the local organizer of the conference, by e-mail: b.mosselmans@ucr.nl. All proposals will be reviewed by the members of the scientific committee (see below). The deadline for submitting the abstract is 1 November 2018. Participants will be informed before 1 February 2019 whether their proposal was accepted. The final paper must be submitted before 1 February 2020. A discussant will be assigned to each paper. At the conference, the author of the paper should present a summary in 20 minutes. Then the discussant will have 5 minutes to provide comments, and another 5 minutes will be reserved for questions from the audience. Selected papers will be peer-reviewed and published in a special issue of Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism.

The members of the scientific committee are:
Jeffrey Tyssens (chair) Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium)
Kristofer Allerfeldt University of Exeter (UK)
Jan C. Jansen German Historical Institute, Washington (USA)
Kees van der Pijl emeritus University of Sussex (UK)
Albert Clement University College Roosevelt (Netherlands)
Giles Scott-Smith Roosevelt Institute for American Studies (Netherlands)
Bert Mosselmans University College Roosevelt (Netherlands)
(local organizer)


The conference will start on Saturday at 8:30 with coffee. The conference will be
officially opened at 9:00 (in the gothic “Burgerzaal”) and start with a commencement
lecture by our keynote speaker. Starting at 10:00, different sessions with paper
presentations will be held in the UCR conference rooms. Lunch will be served at 13:00 and dinner at 19:00. The conference will coincide with the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the masonic lodge “La Compagnie Durable” in Middelburg. There will be some side events, such as a guided city tour for partners (including a visit to the lodge building), music performances and art presentations. Conference participants can reserve a room in one of the many hotels that are available in Middelburg, a list will be provided by the organizers.

The contribution to the Conference will be €80, which includes coffee, lunch, dinner and conference materials. The Conference will be located in the Roosevelt Conference Center, in Middelburg, the Netherlands. The Roosevelt Conference Center, part of University College Roosevelt and Utrecht University, is housed in one of the Netherlands most beautiful buildings: the former, late gothic-style, city hall of Middelburg located centrally on the “Markt” in Middelburg. The Conference Center is an exclusive location for congresses, (international) events, receptions and workshops aimed at science & education, governmental & social organizations and NGO events.

CFP: Music and Social Movements symposium, Northumbria University, November 30, 2018

This symposium, funded by the US Embassy and Northumbria University, will bring together academic historians, graduate students, and secondary school teachers to examine the role that music played in oppositional social movements that were active in the post-World War II period in the United States. This includes (but is not limited to) religious movements, the gay rights movement, labor organizations, and the African-American and Latino activist communities.

The event aims to share scholarship and pedagogy with the wider teaching and learning community and hopes to foster lasting connections between its participants. In particular, the symposium hopes to promote the work of graduate students and early career academics. It will facilitate this through bursaries to cover travel and accommodation. The day will include a series of academic papers and a ‘Teaching History with Music’ roundtable. Please send 250-word abstracts to Joe Street (joe.street@northumbria.ac.uk) before September 28, 2018 and please indicate whether you seek a travel bursary. Please note that postgraduate students will be prioritized for receipt of these funds. Registration for the symposium is free – and will include lunch and refreshments – but numbers are limited so please move quickly to reserve your place athttps://store.northumbria.ac.uk/conferences-and-events/arts-design-social-sciences/conferences/music-and-social-movements-symposium-at-northumbria-university-2018

For more information, please contact Joe Street.

18th International Academy Conference

July 5-7, 2018, International Conference, Amerikahaus Munich

The State of Human Rights: Historical Genealogies, Political Controversies, and Cultural Imaginaries

The BAA’s 2018 international conference investigates the role of human rights, both in diachronic and synchronic perspectives and with an interdisciplinary research design. Since their proclamation in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, human rights have become a dominant language in controversies over ethics around the globe and a normative basis for concepts of a just society and ideas of the public good. This concerns a variety of issues, from slavery and warfare through fights over indigenous rights and disputes over preserving the heritage of minorities, to same sex marriage debates or current conflicts over asylum law and the status of refugees. What is the state of human rights both within and beyond the boundaries of the nation state and how can it be considered from a multidisciplinary angle?

This conference offers perspectives from literary and cultural studies, history, political science, philosophy, sociology, and law, looking at historical controversies on human rights as well as at its current political and imagined state. Contributions reflect theoretical implications of interdisciplinary work on human rights agency and also take into account the significance of cultural texts in envisioning and critically reflecting the ‘state of human rights.’



CFP: 14th SAAS (Spanish Association for American Studies) Conference






17) “9/11 – An Image Which Continues to Shape Twenty-first-Century United States Culture”

Panel Chair: Clair A. Sheehan

Institution: University of Limerick, Ireland

E-mail: clair.sheehan@ul.ie

If, as the current SAAS conference theme, “The Image and the Word”, suggests, “[o]ur 21st century stands under the aegis of the image” (Boletin 27), then the most significant guiding cultural image of twenty-first century America has to be the hauntingly repetitive film of domestic passenger jets colliding with the physical embodiment of twentieth-century US power, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre.

This panel for the SAAS Conference in 2019 is calling for submissions which explore how the now iconic image created by the 9/11 terrorist attacks impacted on American society. Papers that track the origins of this incident within late 20th-century literature, and/or consider the limitations these events placed on writers who chose to use their work to address the shifting socio-political climate of the early 21st century, will be especially welcomed. The panel is particularly interested in papers which imagine how popular authors, both within the United States and across the world, have chosen to revisit this historic episode and its aftermath, but it will give equal consideration to submissions which compare the manner in which these events were interpreted and depicted in literature and film.

Potential authors could include, but are in no way limited to, Don DeLillo, Jonathan Safran Foer, Joseph O’Neill, Phillip Roth, Paul Auster, William Gibson, Khaled Hosseini, Salman Rushdi, Art Spiegleman, Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Waldman, Mohsin Hamid, Jonathan Franzen and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.


Deadline for papers: October 15th

Call for Papers

Sound Collectives: The Acoustics of the Social in American Film and

An International Conference

Dec. 7-8, 2018

Catholic University of Eichstaett-Ingolstadt

Sound positions individuals as social subjects. The presence of human
beings, animals, objects, or technologies reverberates into the material
and virtual spaces we inhabit and produces distinct soundscapes that
render social practices audible. The assessment of a sonic phenomenon as
noise or music, as rallying cry or offense, as reassuring or disturbing
event reveals the social paradigms that govern our perception. As
Michael Bull and Les Back write in /The Auditory Culture Reader/, paying
critical attention to ?sound makes us re-think [?] how we relate to
others, ourselves, and the spaces and places we inhabit? (4). When sound
travels through space, it becomes a repository for the relational
activities that define a living environment. Narrative media like film
and literature can be considered as cultural sites where the capacity of
sound to register and to expose the stratifications and constitutive
processes of society is negotiated.

This conference wants to facilitate the interdisciplinary exchange on
acoustic concepts, discourses, and practices related to the social in
narrative media. It seeks to address the increasing interest in sound
studies as a research area for American studies, particularly when it
comes to American film and literary studies. Which sound collectives do
films and literary works register and how are these represented or
mediated? What are the societal functions of sound, noise, and music in
film and literature? What kind of debates, methods, and theoretical
approaches on sound are currently developed in the respective scholarly
fields? And how can film and literary studies learn from each other or
even join forces in their critical engagement with sound?

Possible topics could include, but are not restricted to:

– literary or cinematic orchestrations of sonic communities and
polyphonic soundscapes

– politics of sound and social critique in literature and film

– sounds of resistance or subversion

– social narratives in film scores or soundtracks

– aural representations of the public sphere

– sound, social formations, and aesthetics

– power relations, agency, and sound

– sound and ethnic or racialized formations

– sound and class

– sound and gender

– practices of silencing

– ethics of listening

– acoustic practices of participation

– sonic sites of migration, globalization

– sonic nostalgia or futuristic soundscapes in film and literature

Please send a 300-word abstract and a short CV to Nathalie Aghoro
(nathalie.aghoro@ku.de) by June 20, 2018.




“The Image and the Word:

Interactions betweenAmerican Literature, Media, Visual Arts and Film”

Panel: The Image and the Word in Early America

The interaction between word and image has been a transcendental issue in America since the first European settlements. From the Puritan sermons in which vivid images of Hell were used to terrify the audience in the churches to the first illustrated publications of the 18th century, the interaction between these two formats has been crucial for the development of the American collective imagination. However, the overwhelming word-image interactions from the 19th century to the present has often neglected the attention paid to those early productions.

Multidisciplinary studies have become one of the main strengths of the Humanities in the present, so a panel on this topic can be a good forum to discuss in-progress works or already complete studies. The aim and goal of this panel is to explore how “America” created hybrid productions from colonial days to 1800. Papers on illustrated editions are welcome as well as studies concerning Early American aesthetics, the vocabulary of “painting with words” in Early American oeuvres, etc.

Useful information:

  • Panelists will have a maximum of 20 minutes for their presentations.
  • Papers must be delivered personally and cannot be read by third parties.
  • Non-members of SAAS (of all nationalities) are welcome to submit a panel proposal, but will be required to pay membership dues for one year (40 $) as well as the conference registration fee. Members of ASA (American Studies Association), need only to pay the conference registration fee.
  • The organization of the conference is considering the publication of a volume with a selection of the papers presented there. However, this volume will not be a collection of proceedings and, consequently, the pre-selection process shall be rigorous. The acceptance of a paper proposal does not automatically guarantee its publication.

Please, send proposals for individual paper along with a short biographical note to Dr. José Manuel Correoso-Rodenas (JoseManuel.Correoso@uclm.es) before October 15 2018.