Transnational America(s)


May 18 2013

Trinity College, Dublin


Transnationalism holds particular resonance for American studies. Emerging from fragmented narratives of diaspora and fluid borders, it forms part of the foundational mythology of theUnited States. The term has a long history of use in racial dialectic, but its resonances permeate every aspect of contemporary (inter)national, cultural and economic identity.


Definitions of transnationalism pre-date the racial redefinitions of American identity presented by Paul Gilroy’s Black Atlantic (1993) or Cedric Robinson’s Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition (1983). Indeed they stretch back at the very least to Randolph Bourne’s seminal “Trans-National America” essay from 1916 that challenged the validity of ‘the melting-pot’ and redefined what ‘America’ and ‘Americanisation’ meant in the world of the hyphenated-identity. 


Global economics and the pluralist trajectory of dominant economic, social and cultural conditions have now pushed transnationalism beyond a solely ‘racialised’ arc vide Robert A Gross’ “The Transnational Turn” and Shelley Fisher Fishkin’s 2004 ASA Presidential address “Crossroads of Culture: The Transnational Turn in American Studies.”  Such thinking recognises the cognitive and multicultural diasporas that augment and exist independently from the physical diasporic traffic which definedAmerica.  While the globalised, social media-powered geopolitics of the early twenty-first century require that America participates in more sustained, and sustainable, conversations with the wider world, such transnational, and transoceanic, exchanges of ideas, and the hybridic socio-cultural spaces they map, arguably privilege internationalist readings of America.


The IAAS postgraduate and early career scholar conference invites proposals for 20-minute presentations from across the disciplines of American Studies. Suggestions for topics may include, but are by no means limited to:


–                      Exile, Migration, Expatriation and the “Exilic”

–                      Heterotopia

–                      Borderland Studies

–                      Transnational Identity

–                      Transnationalism and Empire

–                      Sovereignty and Globalisation

–                      Comparative Imperialisms/Exceptionalisms


Please direct all enquiries and/or abstract submissions to marked for the attention of Louise Walsh and Kate Kirwan.


Please note that the deadline for receipt of abstracts is 30 April, 2013.

A downloadable copy of this CFP is available here.