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 (email@example.com), Emily Brady
(firstname.lastname@example.org), and Megan Hunt (email@example.com) 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.
History, American History, American Studies, Film and Film History, Literature, Black Studies, Gender
Call for Nominations/Expressions of Interest:
IAAS Executive Committee Vacancies
The Irish Association for American Studies is calling for nominations for the following positions on the Executive Committee by 22nd April 2024.
Please note that in accordance with the ethos of the IAAS, the committee especially welcomes nominations for members from under-represented groups, backgrounds, and ethnicities.
We are looking for executive committee members who have experience and familiarity with our activities, ideals, and membership, and who have some experience in committee participation and organisation. There are many ways to get involved with the IAAS, and new members are very welcome at Association events.
- Nominations must be made by a member of the IAAS
- Nominees must be members of the IAAS
- We accept self-nominations
- All nominations will need to be seconded by an IAAS member
- All executive committee members, aside from fulfilling duties specific to their role, will be expected to attend all IAAS committee meetings throughout the year (there are usually 5 meetings per annum)
- The positions will be elected by members of the IAAS during the AGM (3rd May 2024, University College Dublin). Attendance at the AGM is required. The roles commence on same.
- Please email your nominations, expressions of interest, or any queries to our Secretary Dr Sarah McCreedy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a full description of role responsibilities, click here.
After Words: Reconsidering Narratives of Trauma and Violence in the Humanities
School of English Postgraduate Conference
Trinity College Dublin – Trinity Long Room Hub
9th February 2024
Organizers: Ginevra Bianchini and Elena Valli, PhD Researchers TCD English
Final Programme here
The way violence is represented always influences its reception and integration within the cultural imaginary. The narration of violence is ingrained in our perception of ourselves and our communities, and those who report traumatic events then carry the responsibility of how they are received and memorialised.
Just as the world emerged from the COVID-19 crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine turned the general atmosphere of hope for a new beginning into an even darker and more oppressive state of uncertainty, fear, and sorrow. As scholar Judith Lewis Herman has observed, “[t]he conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.” How do newspapers and media reports choose which pieces of information are to be shared with the public? Why are certain stories considered more important than others? On which premises are specific pieces of news discarded? How geographically, culturally, and socially inclusive are these narratives? And, most importantly, when it comes to trauma, how ethical and accurate can its depiction be when told by someone else?
These questions are more and more relevant in the present age, when it has become extremely easy to both share information and instrumentalise or sensationalise it against its original purposes. This topic of discussion, however, has been central to literature and the arts for much longer. As Michel Foucault observed in “What is an Author?” (1969), any writer or artist is the creator of a reality which is at least partly influenced by their choices, a god-like creature who directs the life of its characters. This becomes especially problematic when suffering and trauma are retold by those who did not experience them. The possibility to ‘become someone else’ through a work of art is one of the great gifts of literary and creative expression, encouraging empathy and mutual understanding while helping elaborate trauma. At the same time, can one truly and faithfully narrate someone else’s most tragic memory?
Moving from these premises, this conference wishes to bring together a wide community of young scholars from all backgrounds working on literary and cultural representations of trauma and violence across historical periods, genres, and contexts. What are the methods, difficulties, and limitations of representing and memorialising violence, and its traumas? How does violence impact our perception of others, ourselves, and interpersonal relationships? How do we, as young scholars, deal with a world constantly rifled by conflicts, and how can we incorporate these topics effectively and ethically into our work?
The Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC) offers research fellowships of up to three weeks a year to promote the interpretation of Virginia and access to its collections. Thanks to a matching grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and generous gifts from individuals, fellowships carry a weekly stipend of $1,000 and $500 for local mileage. A week is defined as five days in the E. Claiborne Robins, Jr. Research Library, which is open 10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday. The deadline for applications is Friday, January 26, 2024. For information about the research fellowships and how to apply for 2024, please visit the following page on the VMHC website: https://
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 pgengconference20
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 email@example.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
Evolutions and Involutions of Human Rights in the Americas
Trinity College Dublin – Trinity Long Room Hub
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 email@example.com, is Monday 9th, October 2023.
 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)
We are delighted to announce that the esteemed Professor Philip McGowan will be delivering our 2023 W. A. Emmerson lecture in person, in The Graduate School, Queen’s University Belfast.
What more can there really be to say about F. Scott Fitzgerald? With The Great Gatsby turning 100 in 2025, what more remains to be said either about that novel or Fitzgerald’s wider legacy? Philip McGowan offers some thoughts on where work on F. Scott Fitzgerald may be heading next.
About the speaker:
Philip McGowan is Professor of American Literature at Queen’s University Belfast and is President (2016-24) of the European Association for American Studies. He edited the centenary edition of This Side of Paradise for Oxford UP (2020), The Great Gatsby for Penguin USA (2021), and is co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald (2025).
About the IAAS W. A. Emmerson Lecture:
Beginning in 2014, the IAAS Lecture is an annual event, hosted at a third level institution on the island of Ireland, and presented by an invited member of the IAAS on a topic of their choosing. In 2015, the lecture was renamed the W. A. Emmerson Lecture, in honour of our much-loved late Treasurer. Broad in its remit, the IAAS Lecture appeals to both academic and non-academic communities, and promotes the long-standing interest in and connection to American culture in Ireland.
The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney currently invites applications for an open-rank appointment in American Studies. We recognise the value of diversity and inclusion and strongly support a culture where everyone can thrive. We welcome applications from women, people of all ages and from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, LGBTIQ+ individuals, people with disability, refugees, and veterans.
In this exciting role your key responsibilities will be to:
- contribute to outstanding educational design, delivery, and outcomes within the Centre’s teaching programs
- apply scholarship and knowledge of contemporary pedagogical practice to inform innovative educational practice in and beyond the discipline of American Studies
- undertake independent research with the aim of securing grant funding and publishing peer-reviewed work that meets the standards of the Centre and University
- contribute to a positive workplace culture within the Centre and University
- contribute to educational and administrative activities of the Centre and University
- engage with the media and undertake outreach activities related to your educational practice.
To be successful in this role you will need:
- a PhD in American Studies or any related discipline (including but not limited to Anthropology, Art History, Business, Critical Ethnic Studies, English, Education, Economics, Gender Studies, Film Studies, History, Media and Communication, Law, Political Science, International Relations, Political Economy, Sociology)
- teaching experience at tertiary level in American Studies or a cognate discipline
- demonstrated track record for excellence in research and teaching, including recognition of achieving outstanding student outcomes
- an ambitious and achievable three-year research plan
- experience with a diverse student body, including local, career-change and international students
- a commitment to teamwork in curriculum development and other areas of academic administration
- experience working in a collegial and effective manner with colleagues at department, faculty, and University level, as well as with external stakeholders
- evidence of your ability to undertake independent or participate in collaborative scholarly projects with demonstrated impact
- a demonstrated capacity for engagement in outreach activities in American Studies or US history, politics, economics, or culture (e.g., public talks, debates, and media commentary).
Desirable for appointment is:
- a scholarly teaching profile in gender studies, in social, economic, or environmental history, or in critical ethnic studies
- a capacity to collaborate and teach across faculties, including with Arts and Social Sciences, Business, Law, or Engineering
- experience in a multidisciplinary American studies environment.
Please indicate in your application materials whether you would like to be considered for appointment as Lecturer (Level B) or Senior Lecturer (Level C). The successful candidate will hold an ongoing appointment in the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, subject to the completion of a satisfactory probation period for new appointees. Remuneration package: Base salary of 120k to 150k + 17% superannuation based on candidate’s experience.
Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies 2024
Call for Papers
Trans(–)Turns in Nineteenth-Century Studies March 21-24, 2024
Hyatt Regency Hotel
“across, through, over, to or on the other side of,
beyond, outside of, from one place, person,
thing, or state to another”; “beyond, surpassing,
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: