THe iaas postgraduate symposium 

Call for Papers







Register for the conference below- please note all presenters MUST be IAAS members. You can purchase a non-recurring membership in the registration or if you’re interested in a recurring membership you can set this up in our Memberships section

Conference dinner (you pay for this on the night)
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The above registration form is for the in-person session on 5th November. To register for the online session on 4th November, including the Funding Workshop (presented by the IAAS ECR Caucus), please click here.



Irish Association for American Studies

Postgraduate Symposium

“Rupture and Repair”

Maynooth University

Co. Kildare

Hybrid event: virtual and in-person

4th/5th November 2022

 For the 2022 IAAS Postgraduate Symposium delegates across all disciplines of American Studies will reflect on the twin themes of ‘rupture and repair.’ There have been many unprecedented and deeply divisive events in the Americas in recent years, as well as longer-standing issues of social atomisation, incarceration, gun crime and mass shootings, accelerated climate crisis, and growing social and financial inequality. Christina Sharpe has powerfully described how Black lives are lived ‘in the wake’ of slavery, and of the temporal breaks this creates: ‘In the wake, the past that is not past reappears, always, to rupture the present’ (9). Layli Long Soldier writes of how Native Americans and settler descendants ‘share a country but live in alternate nations’ (np). All of this leads to what Judith Butler has termed ‘precarious life,’ and a declining faith in the concept of progress. One of the definitions of ‘rupture’ is ‘the breach of a harmonious relationship’ – a concept that is ripe for exploration in our current context.

But rupturing can also be the start of a process of repair or strengthening. Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick writes in favour of ‘reparative’ instead of ‘paranoid’ reading – a position that “undertakes a different range of affects, ambitions and risks” that teaches us “the many ways selves and communities succeed in extracting sustenance from the objects of a culture – even of a culture whose avowed desire has often been not to sustain them” (150-1). A variety of papers will reflect on reparative change, the things that are salvageable from dark events and that sustain us through seemingly hopeless situations: narratives of recovery in film, literature and TV, protest movements past and present that are energising a new generation of activists, the creation of inclusive social spaces, or the consolations of art in all its forms. This includes rupture and repair of form and genre: as cultural categories peak and decline, we ask how they can be ripped apart and started afresh, with all the possibilities that new media, streaming and other means of digital dissemination present. We will also explore historical moments that speak to rupture and repair or echo the issues of our present day.

Friday 4 November will be completely online, including paper presentations and a workshop with the ECR Caucus. Registration will be free.

Saturday 5 November will be completely in person at Maynooth University. There will be no online element to this day of the Symposium and there will be a small registration fee.


Works Cited:

Long Soldier, Layli. “Whereas.” Poetry, January 2017.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky. Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity, 2003.

Sharpe, Christina. In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2016.