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.

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.

Unsettling Cather: Differences and Dislocations

17th International Willa Cather Seminar

June 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 2019

Shenandoah University, Winchester, Virginia


The 17th International Willa Cather Seminar will be held in the lush, complex place of Cather’s Virginia birth and first nine years. When she was born here in 1873, Cather’s family had already been in Virginia since the 1730s. Here, as observant daughter of a white family, she first encountered differences and dislocations that remained lively, productive, and sometimes deeply troubling sites of tension and energy in her writings. In this Seminar, we do not intend to root conversation solely in this particular locale. Instead, we hope to un-root or unsettle it through attention to such differences and dislocations as they marked Cather’s life and work, beginning in her undergraduate stories and culminating in her late-life return to Virginia in her last novel, Sapphira and the Slave Girl.

Highlights of the Seminar include:

  • Siobhan Somerville, keynote speaker
    Author of Queering the Color Line: Race and the Invention of Homosexuality in American Culture and professor of English, African American Studies, and
    Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois
  • Tours of Cather sites, including Willow Shade, her first childhood home
  • A day in Washington, D.C., with opportunities to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as other museums relevant to Cather’s writing

As always, the Seminar welcomes papers taking a broad array of approaches to Cather’s life and work. We especially invite fresh takes on the many forms of difference and the many moments of dislocation that her readers encounter. We aim to jumpstart a conversation that has been somewhat muted in Cather studies in recent years and to invite new voices and new perspectives into the discussion.

• Differences of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, class, region, and nationality are everywhere in Cather’s cosmopolitan fictional world. How do they signify? How do they intersect? How are they navigated? What is at stake in the writer’s explorations of difference?
• Cather’s characters are often on the move. Relocation tends to produce a sense of
dislocation that may be destabilizing and disorienting. What are the social and psychic resonances of dislocation in Cather’s writing?
• How has expanded access to Cather’s letters unsettled understandings of her life?
How does hearing Cather’s unmediated epistolary voice (rather than the cautious,
mediated voice of paraphrase) alter the sound or our sense of that voice?

Please send 500-word proposals of individual papers to the Willa Cather Foundation’s education director, Tracy Tucker, at ttucker@WillaCather.org, by February 1, 2019. If your paper is accepted, you will be notified by March 1, 2019. Papers should be 8-10 pages in length (20 minutes when read). The conference organizers also welcome proposals for roundtable panels and other formats; proposals for such alternate formats should be submitted no later than January 15, 2019. Graduate students will be welcomed to the Seminar and those whose proposals are accepted may apply for funding through the Willa Cather Foundation.

Program Directors:
Marilee Lindemann, University of Maryland
Ann Romines, George Washington University, emerita
Site Director:
John Jacobs, Shenandoah University, emeritus

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.’



The Annual General Meeting of the IAAS will take place at 4.30pm at University College Dublin on April 28th. All members are encouraged to attend if possible as your input helps to shape the future direction of the Association. A number of positions on the Executive Committee will be open for election at this year’s AGM.

We are particularly keen to encourage nominations from members who have not yet had an opportunity to serve on the committee. The IAAS is run entirely on a volunteer basis, and it can only continue through the involvement of its members. We would also encourage members from disciplines that are currently under-represented on the committee (History, Politics, Film, Social Studies, Art etc) to consider putting themselves forward. The Association has seen remarkable growth in recent years. New voices and points of view need to be heard on the committee so that the Association can continue to be relevant for its members. If you are interested in standing for one of the vacant positions, please feel free to contact any members of the current committee for more information.

Positions open for election at this year’s AGM are as follows:

  • Vice Chair
  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • EAAS Representative
  • Ordinary Committee Member (2 positions)
Other positions may become vacant as a result of these elections. If you are interested in serving on the Committee you must be a fully paid-up member of the Association before submitting your nomination. If you would like to nominate another member of the Association for any of these positions, you must have their written permission to do so.

Nominations should be emailed to the Secretary (dalyj5@tcd.ie) by April 27th.

Should more than one nomination be received for any position, an election will be held during the AGM. Only members present at the AGM will be able to vote.

The minutes from last year’s AGM are posted on the IAAS website here.


As a blossoming researcher occupying the void between MA graduation and the beginnings of a PhD, I was particularly grateful to be the recipient of this year’s IAAS Conference Bursary, which allowed me to present my research at the 2017 IAAS Postgraduate Symposium, held in the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute on 25th November. I would like to extend my thanks to the Prizes Sub-Committee for awarding me this bursary of €50 towards my travel costs.

Bright and early on the cold morning of Saturday 25th November, choice of caffeine in hand, the Early Career Researchers and Postgraduates attending this year’s Symposium, “A More Perfect Union?” convened. After some opening remarks from the organising committee, the first panel, “The Public Life of Post-Truth” got underway with an opening paper from Sarah McCreedy (UCC) discussing naturalistic false consciousness in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. With The Road bringing back fond memories of my undergraduate degree at QUB, I was fascinated to hear Sarah’s new, exciting take on what is arguably McCarthy’s most recognisable – if not quotable – novel. Okay? Okay.

The morning’s second panel, chaired by Jennifer Daly, examined the state of health in the union, with Matthew O’Brien (UCD) and James Doran (UCD Clinton Institute) both forwarding new frameworks within which to understand the muddied waters of healthcare in the USA, the former examining the Chicago Black Panther Party and Health Care and the latter exploring presidents, their rhetoric, and health care policy. Particularly interesting was Matthew’s claim that the mistreatment of poor, black patients indicated that medical attention was for “wealth not health”– a mantra which sounds frustratingly familiar in Trump’s America.

Rounding off the morning’s panels was “Imperfect Union in Postmodern Society,” with Rebecca Murray (UCC), Anne Mahler (UCC), and Eva Burke (TCD) all presenting papers. A personal highlight of this panel was Anne’s paper, which focused on the Columbine Perpetrators and literary constructions of the hypermasculine school shooter. Taking Todd Strasser’s Young Adult novel Give a Boy a Gun (2002) as a starting point, Anne read this epistolary tale through the lens of R.W. Connell’s theories on hegemonic masculinity to put forward the idea that, in the high school setting, the masculinity celebrated is that of physical dominance. She also noted the fusion of hypermasculine entities through co-operative nature of the planned Columbine shooting – a fragile union. With my primary research interests lying in contemporary American YA fiction, as well as the representation of gender, masculinity, and femininity in those texts, Anne’s paper sparked new ways of thinking about my own work – thank you!

After a leisurely lunch, kindly provided by the committee, came my own panel, “Trauma on Screen,” chaired by Dara Downey. Here I presented alongside two UCC scholars: Sean Travers and Caroline Schroeter. Sean, whose work I always look forward to hearing, gave a paper entitled “’You’re not alone’: Trauma, Communal Healing and America in Contemporary Science Fiction,” focusing on the notions of metanarrative and the ‘flashes between’ two narratives in Netflix series Sense8. Caroline’s interesting paper on representing African Americans in cinematic slave narratives gave particular precedence to the ways in which trauma often confounds these kinds of narratives.

Finally, as the nerves almost became too much, it was time for my own paper. Entitled “’Welcome to your tape’: Union and Disunion in Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why,” this paper used the work of scholars such as Jason Mittell and Roberta Seelinger Trites to explore the various strands of union and disunion woven throughout Thirteen Reasons Why, both in its literary and televisual forms. In particular, I addressed the united front formed by the other recipients of Hannah Baker’s tapes. All the while, protagonist Clay actively resists this union, instead forming a complex, problematic one with Hannah. My paper examined the ways in which these unions highlight and intersect with issues of power, and also considered the role that the blurring of temporality and perspective plays. Finally, I asked how we can situate Thirteen Reasons culturally, particularly in the wake of its mixed critical and online receptions. The Q&A session after the panel was particularly helpful, allowing me to draw interesting parallels between the other two panellist’s work and my own, particularly in regard to the notion of duality upon which all three papers seemed to draw.

The last panel of the day, “Man on Stage: Masculinity and Performance,” was also of great interest (and help!) to my own research. Ciaran Leinster (University of Seville), Natalia Kovalyova (UCD Clinton Institute), and Catherine Casey (UCD) all provided interesting means of reading and understanding (hyper)masculinity in America, with Catherine’s paper offering readings of Trump through traditional theories of (American) masculinity, from the ‘self-made man’, to the ‘man’s man’, and beyond.

And with that, equally excited, inspired, and depressed, the symposium came to a close. We then retired to the upper level of the Long Room Hub for the presentation of the WTM Riches Essay Prize, some conference bursaries, and some well-earned drinks and nibbles.

I would once again like to extend my thanks to the IAAS for awarding me this bursary, as well as to Sarah Cullen and James Hussey for organising such a wonderfully successful symposium.

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 saasconference2018@gmail.com. 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.

The IAAS is delighted to announce that Professor Tom Moylan will deliver this year’s W.A. Emmerson Lecture.

You can listen to a recording of Prof. Moylan’s lecture here.

Prof. Moylan is the Glucksman Professor Emeritus at the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Limerick. In 2016, Prof. Moylan was the recipient of the Pilgrim Award for lifetime achievement in Science Fiction research.

His lecture, ‘“A life worthy of human beings in the darkness”: Reflections on Radical Nonviolence and Utopian Agency,’ will take place at 4.30pm on Friday, March 23rd at the University of Limerick. Further details will be announced in due course.

The W.A. Emmerson Lecture is named in honour of one of the IAAS’s founding members and is a highlight of the association’s events. Information on previous lectures can be found here. The lecture is free and all are welcome to attend.