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


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
( 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 ( before October 15 2018.

SANAS Biennial Conference

The Genres of Genre: A Conference on Form, Format, and Cultural Formations

Nov. 2 and 3, 2018, Lausanne

North American Studies have always had an intense but ambivalent relationship to genre, as these narrative patterns have participated in nationalist processes as well as in narratives of resistance. Emerging at the beginning of the twentieth century from concerns about naturalism and realism, American literary scholarship after WWII avoided the politicized post-war atmosphere by making the ‘romance’ the quintessential American novel genre, while cinematic genres such as the musical or the Western contributed to amplifying the mythic dimension of American self-definition. Since then, American Studies scholars have pioneered influential work on melodrama, the American Gothic, the jeremiad and other genres. Concurrently, Canadian literature’s prominent nation-building narratives were framed as documentary tales of regionalism, historical novels and social realism before evolving into dystopian and postmodern fiction, most famously by Margaret Atwood. Thus, among the recurring questions posed by genre is the conflicted relationship between literature/art and its social, historical, and cultural context. Terms such as ‘the political unconscious’ (Jameson), ‘cultural work’ (Tompkins), ‘narrative mode’ (Williams) and ‘performative’ (Austin, Turner) have been centrally determining, over the years, to help us understand how genres work and what they do. This conference therefore seeks to explore what roles genre plays in American and Canadian nation-building and counter-narratives, and how it evolves nowadays.

While the cultural concept of genre has been crucial in creating North American national literatures and identities, it shows equal potential for resistance, subversion and transformation of these constructed national characters. Thus, how does genre reconcile this seemingly contradictory potential for creating narratives of nation-building as well as counter-culture? How do feminist, queer, Indigenous, Latino/a, African-American/Canadian and Asian-American/Canadian writers use, appropriate, and subvert specific genres to resist and protest social injustices. How do they use genre to imagine alternative models or redeem social injustice? With Prof. Linda Williams (UC Berkeley), Prof. Ronald Schleifer (University of Oklahoma), and Prof. Sarah Henzi (University of Montreal), experts on the role of genre in North American studies as our keynote speakers, this conference proposes to be a space for a renewed discussion about what genre has meant for North American studies as well as American and Canadian culture, and what its future might be.


Possible topics could include, but are not restricted to:

  • How specific genres (e.g. the Western, social melodrama, crime fiction, rap, inaugural speech, jeremiad, combat film) have changed or been renewed
  • New genres that have emerged in recent years (e.g. the series, video games, cli-fi, petro-fiction)
  • The critical viability of the term ‘genre’ as opposed to ‘mode’ or narrative ‘form’ or other
  • Theme-oriented vs. form-oriented genres (e.g. asylum fiction vs. found-footage films) – are these ‘really’ genres?
  • Assessment of recent scholarly work on form (e.g. Caroline Levine)
  • Revisiting of older scholarly work and its influence (e.g. Fredric Jameson)
  • Narrative/poetic forms and national identity
  • Hybridity and intersectionality of form
  • Genre and gender
  • Genre and race
  • Genre and imperialism (e.g. adventure, imperial gothic)
  • Genre and environmentalism/ecology (e.g. cli-fi, petro-fiction, eco-gothic, the naturalist essay, nature poetry, etc.)
  • Genre and resistance or subversion
  • The continuous revival and repurposing of the fairy tale
  • New developments in the North American short story

Please send panel or paper abstracts of 200-300 words and a short biographical note of 100-150 words byApril 30, 2018 to For more information visit


28-29 September 2018






Second Call for Papers

The Department of English and American Studies at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” invites scholars to submit proposals for the international conference Traditions and Transitions – to be held in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The conference is dedicated to the 90th anniversary of the Department of English and American Studies at Sofia University and the 130th anniversary of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. People celebrate anniversaries in order to commemorate what has been achieved so far and to envision what should be achieved in the future. The event aims to look back at a distinguished past, and ahead to a challenging future.

The conference seeks to bring together young and established scholars, and professors emeriti from academic institutions in Bulgaria and abroad, giving them a venue to debate and exchange views on traditions and transitions in the research in and the teaching of English-language-related disciplines.

The field of English and American Studies is in transition, as it seeks new approaches, and re-examines older ones, in order to address the multiple issues facing the development of English-language related disciplines required for participation in today’s global community. The organizers of this conference encourage papers using a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to developments in the field and a wide range of analytical perspectives (historical, artistic, literary, political, esthetic, ethical, linguistic, sociolinguistic, cognitive, etc.).

We invite individual abstracts and panel proposals in an array of topics, discussing traditions and transitions in any of the areas below:


Abstracts for twenty-minute presentations and proposals for panels/workshops/ roundtable discussions to be submitted by 1 May 2018.


Please include the following in your submission:

  • Name;
  • Affiliation;
  • Email address;
  • Title of Abstract or Panel Proposal;
  • Abstract (250 words)
  • Bio (100 words)


Please address emails to

For further information refer to the conference website:

10th Biennial Conference of the
Swedish Association for American Studies (SAAS)
“Open Covenants: Pasts and Futures of Global America”
Stockholm, September 28–30, 2018

2nd Call for Papers

*Extended deadline March 1, 2018*

The Swedish Association for American Studies (SAAS) will hold its 10th biennial conference
in Stockholm on September 28–30, 2018. Confirmed keynote speakers are David R. Roediger
(University of Kansas), Sylvia Mayer (University of Bayreuth), and Frida Stranne (Halmstad

We hereby invite proposals on any subject in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies.
The overarching theme for the conference is “Open Covenants: Pasts and Futures of Global
America,” which highlights central tensions in American culture and politics: the relation
between isolationism and internationalism, openness and closure, migration and borders,
exceptionalism and universalism. We particularly welcome submissions engaging with this
broader theme.

SAAS is an academic network that encourages scholarship in the multidisciplinary field of
American Studies. SAAS seeks to develop a critical understanding of the role, position and
meaning of the United States and Canada. In Sweden, research about North America is
conducted in many different disciplines; the SAAS conference thus functions as an important
forum for interdisciplinary exchange and provides American Studies scholars with an
opportunity to meet and network. We welcome papers from junior and senior scholars on any
topic related to the study of the United States and North America from both a historical and
contemporary perspective. Areas of interest include but are not limited to:
Visual Culture
Film and Media Studies
Cultural Studies
Popular Culture
Gender Studies
Political Science
US or North American History

The year 2018 marks the one hundredth anniversary of president Woodrow Wilson’s famous
“Fourteen Point Speech,” where he described his vision for a world of peace and unity.
Wilson’s first “point” was a call for “Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at.” Nine months
after the US entrance in World War I, the principles of free trade, democracy, and national
autonomy formed the foundation for the postwar peace negotiations and the establishment of
the League of Nations. Although Thorstein Veblen noted just one year later that “the
President’s proud words have gone whistling down the winds,” Wilson’s internationalism stand
in sharp contrast to the current president Donald Trump’s agenda of “America First.” As
Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen has pointed out, these changes are not only
political but also aesthetic, ultimately affecting the public discourse through manipulations of
language and culture. Notions of United States internationalism or isolationism are intimately
connected to American exceptionalism, to immigration, race, and ethnicity, and fundamentally
to the perception of America at home and abroad. The theme of this year’s SAAS conference
invites participants to engage both with a national American and a global horizon in exploring
notions of “Open Covenants” in history, politics, literature, film, cultural studies, and other
areas of American Studies.

Proposals for Individual Papers
In order to submit a proposal for general consideration, please provide us with an abstract
(200-250 words) with a title that clearly outlines the topic of the paper, along with a brief
biographical description of the presenter (max 100 words), including address details. Paper
proposals should be sent to Deadline: March 1, 2018.

We also encourage prospective presenters to submit papers to the following, already
accepted, panels:
– “American Horror and Gothic across Borders”
– “The Territoriality of Global America: The U.S.-Mexico Border in Contemporary
Cultural Production”

For a full description of these panels, please see the abstracts attached at the end of this CFP.
If you wish to submit a paper for one of the panels, please indicate so clearly in your proposal
submission. Although the paper will be evaluated by the SAAS organizing committee,
inclusion in a specific panel is made at the discretion of the panel organizer.
Notification of acceptance will be sent to individual paper presenters by March 31, 2018.
For more information about the conference, please visit our website:


American Horror and Gothic across Borders
Organizers: Morten Feldtfos Thomsen, Karlstad University, Sweden: Maria Holmgren Troy,
Karlstad University, Sweden; Sofia Wijkmark, Karlstad University, Sweden

This panel deals with American horror and Gothic in terms of the crossing of borders of
different kinds. It can be said to relate to the theme of the conference in the general sense that
it shows that there are always interchanges, negotiations, adaptations, and cross-fertilizations
going on between and within media and between cultural expressions of different regions or
nations. Isolationism is not an option for cultural workers and critics, or at least an extremely
reductive approach.
The papers explore intermediality in American horror films as well as different relationships
between American and Nordic horror and Gothic in different media: TV series, movies, and
literature. American horror and Gothic have had a large impact on Nordic productions, but at
the same time Nordic Gothic – as well as Nordic Noir – has become extremely popular in the
US. Among other things, this panel demonstrates how a comparative approach with a focus
on the setting can shed further light on American Gothic and how intermediality is central to
an aesthetics of horror.

The Territoriality of Global America:
The U.S.-Mexico Border in Contemporary Cultural Production
Organizers: Birgit Spengler, University of Wuppertal; Markus Heide, Uppsala University,
Eva Zetterman; University of Gothenburg

The U.S.-Mexican border is a place where the territoriality of law (Giorgio Agamben, Homo
Sacer) and ideas of state sovereignty intersect with the push and pull factors of globalization
– and, thus, a site where structural and systemic problems that underlie processes of inclusion
and exclusion violently come to the fore. It is an area where neoliberalist practices (cf. Aihwa
Ong, Neoliberalism as Exception), the militarization of policing forces (cf. Reece Jones,
Violent Borders), and the suspension of civil liberties (cf. Todd Miller, Border Patrol Nation)
threaten to create Agambian “states of exception” on both sides of the national divide and
where security technologies not only materialize as a new boom industry but also provide a
taste of possible futures. At the same time, the borderlands have always and continue to be a
contact zone, a place where the continual exchange of people, objects, and ideas not only
manifests the futility of attempts to render the border impermeable, but also the fruitfulness
of the complex interrelations, interdependencies, and interactions that result from its
permeability. As such, it is a terrain that has – and continues – to challenge us to move
beyond conceived patterns of political and academic compartmentalization and to view our
existence and cultural production as “relational” and “globally embedded” (Judith Butler,
Precarious Life) rather than sovereign – an approach exemplified, for example, in interAmerican,
transnational, and hemispheric studies.

Following the SAAS’s 10th Biennial Conference’s thematic emphasis, we are looking for
proposals that focus the ways in which recent border art, broadly conceived, addresses the
United States’s course between “isolationism and internationalism, openness and closure,
migration and borders, exceptionalism and universalism” by exploring, problematizing, and
negotiating the state and status of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Recovering May Alcott Nieriker’s Life and Work | A One Day Conference. June 28, 2018, Université Paris Diderot

Keynote Speaker | Dr Daniel Shealy (UNC, Charlotte)

Call for Papers | Deadline 31st January 2018

May Alcott Nieriker was a nineteenth-century American painter who lived as a single woman in Paris between the years of 1870-1879. At a time when women were not admitted to the beaux arts and were forced to pay double in tuition at the private ateliers, May daringly travelled alone to pursue a career at the age of thirty. She made a great impact on the Parisian art scene: being exhibited at the Paris Salon twice (1877, 1879), and publishing a book, Studying Art Abroad and How to Do It Cheaply (Roberts Brothers 1879), providing practical advice for other young American women who wished to pursue careers in painting in Europe. Beyond Paris, her career began with a book of sketches of the homes of famous authors from her hometown of Concord, Massachusetts (Concord Sketches, 1869), and she also lived for a short period in London—being exhibited at the Dudley Museum (1877), where she was also allegedly hailed by Ruskin as ‘the only artist worthy to copy Turner’.

However, May continues to remain in the shadow of her more famous sister, Louisa May Alcott, and, as Judy Bullington has observed, her life and achievements are consistently ‘enmeshed’ with the fictional character of Amy March of Little Women (‘Inscriptions of Identity,’ 2007). Recovering May Alcott Nieriker’s Life and Work is a one-day conference, opportunely held in Paris, that aims to gather new interest for, and invite new perspectives on, any aspect of the life and work of this forgotten transatlantic artist, a painter and a writer and a figure of the troubled Parisian scene of the 1870s. Of particular interest are the new contexts of reception of her oeuvre, both her painting and her writing, new archival work, the question of co-authorship (notably with her sister Louisa) and creditation, the mapping of (transatlantic and European) artistic networks in the 1870s.

The symposium will feature the work of postgraduate students of the AHRC CHASE consortium. It is open to academics, independent researchers and international postgraduates from a variety of disciplines: Americanists, nineteenth-century historians, biographers, literary scholars, art historians and artists with an interest in the Alcott family from across the world.

Topics can include, but are not limited to:

  • May Alcott Nieriker’s visual art, especially her portrayal of enslaved and freed people in such works as La Négresse (1879) and the lost portrait, “The Prince of Timbuctoo” (1877)
  • The political dimension of her art in the context of French and international politics.
  •  May Alcott Nieriker’s epistolary output and life-writing, housed at the Houghton Library, Harvard, her articles for the Boston Evening Transcript and Youth Companion, and her unfinished novel, An Artist’s Holiday (1873), co-authored with Louisa May Alcott.
  • The importance of Studying Art Abroad: And How To Do It Cheaply (1879) (notably in shaping our understanding of the lifestyle and challenges facing nineteenth-century woman artists, especially those who were expatriates)
  • Mapping May Alcott Nieriker’s Paris.
  • May Alcott Nieriker and her contemporaries (artistic networks, expatriate networks, influence of, and on her peers)
  • May Alcott Nieriker’s life: relationship with her husband Ernst Nieriker, her attempts to combine an artistic career with domestic life.
  • May Alcott Nieriker’s influence on Louisa May Alcott’s portrayal of female artists in such works as A Marble Woman (1865), the Little Women trilogy (1868-1886), Psyche’s Art (1868), An Old Fashioned Girl (1869), and Diana and Persis (1879).
  • May Alcott Nieriker’s relationships with the wider Alcott family: her father Bronson Alcott and mother, Abigail May, and her three sisters, Anna Bronson, Louisa May and Elizabeth Sewall.
  • May Alcott Nieriker’s reception from biographers and critics, and her portrayal in popular culture and fiction, including works such as Jeanine Atkins’ 2015 novel, Little Woman in Blue, and Elise Hooper’s 2017 novel, The Other Alcott.

Scientific committee: Azelina Flint (University of East Anglia), Cleo Humphreys (University of East Anglia), Cécile Roudeau (Université Paris Diderot-LARCA), Christopher Timms (University of Essex), Heather McKnight (University of Sussex), Elise Hooper, author of The Other Alcott (2017)

This conference is sponsored by the University of East Anglia, the Université Paris Diderot, the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE), the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the University of Essex and EKCCHO

Association Française d’Etudes Américaines (AFEA) / French Association for American Studies
Graduate Student Symposium 2018 – University of Nice, May 22, 2018
Call for Presentations

The French Association for American Studies invites doctoral students in American studies to take part in the Graduate Symposium (“Doctoriales”) specifically organized on their behalf during its annual conference. This year’s workshops will be held on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 (9am-5pm) at the University of Nice (France). The conference will take place on May 23 to 25, 2018. For further information, please check our website:

Since 2008, the AFEA has been encouraging the internationalization of its Graduate Student Symposium by offering grants (up to 500 euros each) for a maximum of ten European candidates (other than French) to help cover their travel expenses. All students are, in addition, invited to attend the whole conference free of registration charges. As part of its partnership with the AFEA, the United States Embassy provides funding for one doctoral student coming from an American university.

The symposium provides an opportunity for PhD students to present their research in a less formal setting than that of a full conference panel, and confront it to that of other European scholars. Doctoral students may be at an early or more advanced stage of their research. The proposals will be responded to by professors specializing in related fields. Candidates are invited to give their presentations in English within one of the two workshops offered: 1) American literature, or 2) American “civilization” (history, sociology, political science…). Proposals relevant to both fields (film studies, visual arts or music, for instance), or to another field (such as translation studies or linguistics) can be sent to either of the co-chairs.

Candidates must send a Curriculum Vitae and a 500-word abstract summarizing their dissertation proposal, plus an estimated budget of traveling expenses and funding otherwise available to them. They must mention when they began their PhD, and the name and affiliation of their advisor.

– Proposals in civilization studies must be sent electronically to both Professor Françoise Coste ( and Professor Romain Huret (
– Proposals in literary studies must be sent electronically to both Professors Mathieu Duplay ( and Anne Ullmo (

Deadline for application : February 15, 2018. The symposium organizers will respond to all applicants by March 15, 2018.

Professors Françoise Coste, Mathieu Duplay, Romain Huret, Anne Ullmo.


Madness, Mental Illness and Mind Doctors in 20th and 21st Century Pop Culture

3rd & 4th May 2018

University of Edinburgh


“Sometimes it’s only madness that makes us what we are.” Grant Morrison, Batman: Arkham Asylum (1989)

In Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault writes that “madness fascinates man”. Indeed, examples of this dark allure are present throughout the ages. From tales of those who paid a penny on Sundays to view the insane held at London’s Bethlem Hospital in the early nineteenth century, to ever popular portrayals of mental illness and madness in the literature, television, and film of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, representations of psychiatric illness remain loaded, highly visible, and deeply entrenched in Western pop culture.

Mental illness – and more colloquially, madness – often functions metaphorically as representative of a subversive liminality that delegitimizes protest against the status quo. Characters like John Givings in Richard Yates’s novel Revolutionary Road, for example, are ultimately neutralized as political agents through psychiatric diagnosis. Other more recent filmic and televisual representations of mental illness utilize such psychiatric tropes in alternative but highly recognizable ways. Television shows such as Sherlock and House emphasize the connection between madness and genius, while Fight Club and the television series Mr Robot focus on the social equation between mental illness and criminality. The American true crime podcast Sword and Scale has been accused of demonising victims of mental illness. In Andrew Solomon’s Noonday Demon, Allie Brosh’s webcomic Hyperbole and a Half, and Kabi Nagata’s manga My Lesbian Experiences with Loneliness, the line between pathology and pathography, medicine and memoir, has blurred.

This conference will examine these representations, and explore the ways in which madness, mental illness, and those who are both affected by, and striving to treat, psychological maladies are depicted in twentieth and twenty-first century popular culture. We ask: how have fluctuating historical conditions and attitudes influenced the ways in which madness and mental illness are portrayed in the media? What kind of relationship exists between medical understandings of psychological disorders and popular depictions of such illnesses? Do contemporary portrayals of “madness” in popular fictions work to demystify and destigmatize mental illness, or do these representations reinforce negative stereotypes, further obfuscating our understanding of psychological disorders?

We welcome proposals for 20-minute presentations from a range of disciplines that engage with popular conceptions of madness and mental illness in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Proposals that include visual arts or other media, as well as the traditional paper, are welcomed. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Depictions of mental illness in film, television, literature, podcasts,  graphic novels, and video games.
  • Madness as political/protest (social conformity as ‘true’ madness)
  • Women/gender and madness
  • Madness and creativity
  • Pop culture vs. medical establishment
  • Psychiatry in popular culture
  • Madness and horror/the Gothic
  • Madness, confinement, and physical space
  • Asylums, community care, and deinstitutionalization
  • Madness as metaphor
  • History of psychiatry and antipsychiatry
  • Freud and the history of popularization of psychoanalysis
  • Post-war psychiatry
  • The politics/impact/importance of life narratives
  • The “myth” of mental illness
  • Medical humanities and medical science
  • Mental health and contemporary politics
  • Madness and confessional narrative

Please submit abstracts of 300 words, along with a short biographical note (150 words), to by 2nd February 2018. Further information at

Follow us on Twitter @madpopculture or Facebook, under “Madness in Pop Culture PG Conference”.

CFP: Transoceanic American Studies

by Benjamin Fagan

Transoceanic American Studies

May 17-18, 2018

Conference at the German Historical Institute, Washington, DC

Conveners: Juliane Braun (University of Bonn/GHI Washington); Benjamin Fagan (Auburn University/GHI Washington)

“Transoceanic American Studies” seeks to bring together scholars working in Atlantic, Pacific, and Transoceanic Studies in order to develop a set of practices and principles for exploring the interconnectedness of the Americas to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and of those oceans to one another. Such a transoceanic approach brings together two major strains of American Studies scholarship. Scholars have explored the multiple ways in which the United States shaped and was shaped by happenings in and across the Atlantic Ocean, while recent has also focused on the influence of transpacific networks on the United States. Work connecting the United States to happenings in either the Atlantic or Pacific worlds has decisively upended the vision of an American nation isolated from its neighbors by two oceans, but Atlantic and Pacific studies remain largely separate endeavors. Bringing together the insights of scholars working in these fields, “Transoceanic American Studies” will stimulate conversations exploring how events in the Atlantic and Pacific worlds influenced one another.


In addition to hosting a conversation between scholars working at the intersections of Atlantic and Pacific Studies, this conference will explore the particular methodological underpinnings and opportunities of a transoceanic approach by considering some of the following questions:


What are the key differences between Atlantic Studies and Pacific Studies approaches? What are the key similarities between Atlantic Studies and Pacific Studies approaches? What are the strengths and weaknesses of these two approaches? How might we combine Atlantic Studies and Pacific Studies approaches into a transoceanic methodology? What are the benefits, and the potential costs, of such a combination? What are the primary topics or subjects that would especially benefit from a transoceanic approach (i.e. the China trade, the slave trade, the overlap of the East and West Indian Companies)?


We invite papers showcasing a transoceanic approach to American Studies, as well as work explicitly interested in the methods of transoceanic studies. The conference will be conducted in English, and the organizers expect to be able to cover the transportation and accommodation costs of conference participants.


The deadline for proposals is December 15, 2017. Please send a short abstract of your proposed contribution (no more than 500 words) together with a brief academic CV in a single PDF file to Susanne Fabricius at If you have questions concerning the conference, please contact Benjamin Fagan at