The IAAS are delighted to announce the winner of this year’s WTM Riches Essay Prize. Christina McCambridge, an MA student at Queen’s University Belfast, has been selected as the overall winner for her essay entitled “‘Music dismantles history’: A Postcolonial Reading of Musicality and Temporality in the Chamber Poetics of T.S. Eliot and Ishion Hutchinson.”

The WTM Riches Essay Prize is awarded annually for outstanding work in any area of American Studies by undergraduate students and students in the first year of postgraduate studies. More information, including past winners, can be found here.

The IAAS Postgraduate Symposium
“The Land of the (Un)Free: Interrogating Democracy in America”
University College Cork
23
rd  November, 2019


This year, the Irish Association for American Studies Postgraduate Symposium welcomes proposals for papers that interrogate Democracy in America – in how it is constructed, understood, and the extent to which it is successfully enacted. Inspired by current events and political trends within the United States, from the strict abortion laws imposed in Alabama in February, to the on-going humanitarian crisis at the U.S.- Mexico Border, we seek papers that engage with and respond to the paradoxical relationship between the American ideal of democracy, and the actual practice of that democracy. We invite papers that consider the gulf between democratic principles and fundamentally unconstitutional behaviours, with a particular emphasis placed upon undemocratic and authoritarian actions that have both historically shaped America and continue to resurge in the Trump era.

“The Land of the (Un)Free: Interrogating Democracy in America” is a one-day interdisciplinary symposium that seeks to provide an opportunity for Postgraduate Students and Early Career Scholars to share their ideas and contribute their individual voices to the inclusive academic community of American Studies across the island of Ireland.

We welcome proposals for fifteen-minute papers which engage with the concept of democracy within the field of American Studies, encompassing Continental American perspectives (Canada and South America) as well as those related to the United States. Proposed topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Representations of American democracy, American people, and American culture in literature and film
  • Historical insights and social/political considerations regarding democracy and attacks on democracy, political polarisation and democracy
  • New perspectives on Alexis De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America 
  • The relationship between American exceptionalism and democracy
  • Philosophical conceptions of democracy and their application in the U.S. context
  • Explorations of democracy in American music, comics, popular culture
  • Issues of gender, sexuality, class & race in relation to American democracy
  • Democracy in visual culture

The deadline for submissions is Friday, 11th of October 2019. Proposals for papers should include a title, an abstract (max. 300 words), and a short biography. For more information, or to submit a proposal, please email postgrad@iaas.ie

The deadline for bursary applications is Monday, 4th November, 2019.
There are two bursaries available for symposium presenters. Application forms and information can be found at https://iaas.ie/funding-opportunities/. References are *not* required for this bursary application process.

Counter-narratives and Hidden Histories

Irish Association for American Studies

50th Anniversary Conference

Maynooth University, Co. Kildare

3-4 April 2020

CALL FOR PAPERS

As the IAAS turns 50 in 2020, we are delighted to announce that a special anniversary conference will be hosted at Maynooth University on 3rd and 4th April. In keeping with the Association’s ongoing ethos of providing space and opportunity to voices, stories, and bodies historically marginalised by dominant discourses, IAAS 2020 invites submissions on the theme of ‘Counter-narratives and Hidden Histories’.

Confirmed keynote speaker: Professor Amy Mooney (Columbia College Chicago; Terra Foundation for American Art Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford).

Abstracts for individual papers, panels, or roundtables are welcomed on topics related to this broad theme across all disciplines of American and Latin American Studies, including:

  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Education and pedagogy
  • Film
  • History
  • Literature
  • Music
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Theatre and Performance Studies
  • Visual Culture

The conference will also host a special roundtable session on ‘Anti-racist Teaching and Scholarship’, and welcomes submissions of individual abstracts considering, for example, whiteness in academia, academia and activism, teaching ‘race’, and other related subjects.

Individual submissions:

  • Please provide an abstract of no more than 250 words, along with your name and a brief biography.

Panel submissions:

  • Please provide a brief description of your panel (3 presenters), along with the names and brief biographies of the proposed presenters, and an individual abstract (250 words) for each paper.
  • The composition of panels should be diverse whenever possible, and all-male panels should be avoided.

Roundtable submissions:

  • Please provide a brief description of your roundtable (between 4 and 8 presenters), along with the names and brief biographies of the proposed presenters, and an individual abstract for each paper (no more than 100 words).
  • The composition of roundtables should be diverse, and all-male roundtables will not be accepted.

 

** There will be concession rates for students, ECRs, and scholars on fixed-term contracts.**

** Bursaries are also available. **

 

Deadline for submissions: 1st November 2019

Please send submissions to: IAAS2020conference@gmail.com

Please send enquiries to: Catherine.Gander@mu.ie

For a downloadable PDF copy of this CFP, please see the following link

CFP IAAS 2020

The IAAS Postgraduate Symposium
“The Land of the (Un)Free: Interrogating Democracy in America”
University College Cork
23
rd  November, 2019

This year, the Irish Association for American Studies Postgraduate Symposium welcomes proposals for papers that interrogate Democracy in America – in how it is constructed, understood, and the extent to which it is successfully enacted. Inspired by current events and political trends within the United States, from the strict abortion laws imposed in Alabama in February, to the on-going humanitarian crisis at the U.S.- Mexico Border, we seek papers that engage with and respond to the paradoxical relationship between the American ideal of democracy, and the actual practice of that democracy. We invite papers that consider the gulf between democratic principles and fundamentally unconstitutional behaviours, with a particular emphasis placed upon undemocratic and authoritarian actions that have both historically shaped America and continue to resurge in the Trump era.

 

“The Land of the (Un)Free: Interrogating Democracy in America” is a one-day interdisciplinary symposium that seeks to provide an opportunity for Postgraduate Students and Early Career Scholars to share their ideas and contribute their individual voices to the inclusive academic community of American Studies across the island of Ireland.

 

We welcome proposals for fifteen-minute papers which engage with the concept of democracy within the field of American Studies, encompassing Continental American perspectives (Canada and South America) as well as those related to the United States. Proposed topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

 

  • Representations of American democracy, American people, and American culture in literature and film
  • Historical insights and social/political considerations regarding democracy and attacks on democracy, political polarization and democracy
  • New perspectives on Alexis De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America 
  • The relationship between American exceptionalism and democracy
  • Philosophical conceptions of democracy and their application in the U.S. context
  • Explorations of democracy in American music, comics, popular culture
  • Issues of gender, sexuality, class & race in relation to American democracy
  • Democracy in visual culture

 

The deadline for submissions is Monday, 30th September 2019. Proposals for papers should include a title, an abstract (max. 300 words), and a short biography. For more information, or to submit a proposal, please email postgrad@iaas.ie

The theme of the 15th annual conference of the European Society for Textual Studies, held in November in Prague, was “Editor as Author; Author as Editor”. Since my research focuses on the work of literary editors, the conference featured high on my wish list for 2018 – and with the help of an ECR Bursary from the IAAS, I was fortunate enough to get there.

The main purpose of my visit was to talk about (or, as I like to say in funding applications, “disseminate”) my research. My book The Art of Editing: Raymond Carver and David Foster Wallace (forthcoming from Bloomsbury! available to preorder now!) examines two case studies of notable editorial interventions, and my presentation focused on the first of these. In Gordon Lish’s infamously severe revisions of Carver’s stories, the editor’s unusually heavy hand makes him, in the opinion of some critics, a “co-author” of sorts. I presented some examples of these edits, ultimately arguing that Lish’s role remains an editorial one; the phrase “co-author”, I believe, suggests a kind of collaborative dynamic and vaguely distributed agency that doesn’t accurately reflect the conflict visible in the manuscripts.

The conference offered a wonderful opportunity to speak with scholars with a similar interest in editorial theory and practice. My co-panellists were Elisa Veit, who discussed the blurring of authorial and editorial lines in editions of work by the Finnish/Swedish novelist Henry Parland, and Hans Walter Gabler (a pretty noted editor himself, most famously of the 1984 edition of Ulysses), who spoke about the theoretical problems involved in fulfilling an author’s intention in the Anglo-American tradition of “eclectic editing.” I saw a range of presentations that probed the border of author- and editorship. These included: Wim van Mierlo, who spoke about the limits of authorship, considering how collaborations like those of Eliot and Pound challenge assumptions of solitary creation; Susan Greenberg, whose new book A Poetics of Editing brings a much-needed overview of the practice of editing across multiple domains and calls for the establishment of “Editing Studies” as a distinct field; and Dariusz Pachocki, who spoke about censorship in Polish magazines of the post-war era such as Kultura and detailed how their editors wielded a degree of gatekeeping influence comparable to that of US editors.

One of the attractions of the conference, in fact, had been the range of papers focusing on American writers and editors. Bruce I. Weiner, for example, discussed Edgar Allan Poe’s editorial role at Graham’s magazine and Poe’s conceptualisation of editorial work in his “Chapter on Autography.” Gabler’s presentation explored the decisions made in editions of Stephen Crane’s novels; elsewhere, Jude Davies analysed editorial decisions made in editions of Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, examining the development of the editorial dynamic in the era of the “social text.” American literary history is full of examples of contested texts, editorial skirmishes, and posthumous editions, and I was able to learn about several case studies that I had been only dimly aware of. Overall, the visit was an enjoyable and generative one, enabling the kind of interdisciplinary thought and conversation only possible in a conference setting.

Finally, it seems appropriate to add a word on the nature of (and necessity for) this award. The IAAS’s Early Career Bursary is a recent creation, devised to address the grim realities of contemporary post-PhD employment. Conditions for early career researchers are, to borrow a phrase favoured by the 45th US president, “not good”. Today’s early career researcher (or, if you like, “precarious researcher”; I’ve seen the former phrase criticised for its ageist connotations and the way it risks avoiding/normalising the enormous problem of casualisation in universities) is required to absorb many of the institutional hassles facing all 21st-century academics – the bureaucracy, the out-of-hours unpaid administrative work, the astonishingly intricate funding applications – often while maintaining the teeth-grinding financial anxiety of a PhD student and enjoying an even lower level of job security than a current White House staff member.

These days the institutional structures providing a pathway from PhD to full employment seem creaky to say to the least, and actively hostile to anyone without a good helping of luck and privilege. Until these structures are reformed, bursaries such as this one will be not only helpful but very necessary in supporting research by academics without permanent employment. I thank the IAAS Prizes Subcommittee for their generosity.

 

Tim is currently a Lecturer/Assistant Professor in American Literature at the School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin, Ireland. His new book, The Art of Editing, is available to preorder from Bloomsbury now.

The Prizes Subcommittee of the IAAS is delighted to announce the winner of this year’s WTM Riches Essay Prize. Eva Isherwood-Wallace, an MA student at Queen’s University Belfast has been selected as the overall winner for her essay entitled “‘Seeming Strangeness’: Mina Loy’s Poetics of Disruption and Julia Kristeva’s Semiotic/Symbolic Model.”

The Subcommittee also awarded Honourable Mentions to Robyn Gilmour (English, Drama, and Film, UCD) for her essay “Exploring Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man as a Post-Modern Take on the Coming of Age Genre,” and to Jasmine McCrory (Literary Studies, Queen’s University Belfast) for her essay “’I Remembered the Cry of the Peacocks’: Buddha-Dharma, Meditation and Enlightenment in Wallace Stevens’s Harmonium.”

The WTM Riches Essay Prize is awarded annually for outstanding work in any area of American Studies by undergraduate students and students in the first year of postgraduate studies. More information, including past winners, can be found here.

2018 EBAAS CONFERENCE, KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, UK, 4th–7th of April, 2018

 

The months of March and April turned out to be a very busy but truly inspiring time for me. I had just returned from academic conference travels to Indianapolis, stopped over in Dublin for a night to catch up with jet lag, and then boarded the plane to London to speak at the 32nd European Association for American Studies and 63rd British Association for American Studies Conference.

The events of this year’s conference took place at Kings College London, the British Library and University College London, and offered a great variety of presentations, talks, round table discussions and networking opportunities. Indeed, the conference provided a platform and many intriguing occasions to engage in stimulating conversations with international scholars and listen to the latest developments in American Studies research across Europe and the world.

It was difficult to choose which events to attend from the program because of the exceptional diversity of available panels. On Wednesday, I attended panel A7 on ‘Constructing Antebellum Race and Gender’ which was aligned closely with my own research. Lawrence McDonnell from Iowa State University discussed ‘The Hanging of Pauline, a Bad Slave’; Iulian Cananau from the University of Gävle presented a remarkable paper on womanhood and citizenship entitled ‘A Conceptual-Historicist Approach to Antebellum Women’s Literature of Protest’ and Shane White from the University of Sydney delivered a captivating talk entitled ‘A Crossdresser and Con Artist in Antebellum New York’. During the afternoon, I had to do some panel-hopping because the times of several talks I was adamant on seeing clashed. Thus, I first went to see Panel B6 about Anti-Slavery Networks, enjoying a paper by Thomas Mareite from Leiden University about ‘Conditional Freedom: US Fugitive Slaves in Mexican Texas, 1821-1836’ and by Charlotte James from the University of Nottingham, who spoke about ‘“Heroic Souls”: The Memory of Tubman, Truth and black female abolitionists’. Second, I sat in on Panel B13 about the ‘peculiar institution’. Elizabeth Barnes from the University of Reading kicked the panel off with her talk about ‘Environments of Abuse: the Farm, the Plantation, and Sexual Violence under Slavery’. A thought-provoking second presentation was given by Matthew Griffin from University College London about ‘The Climatic Theory of Slavery and the Wilmot Proviso Controversy’. Lastly, Edward Mair from the University of Hull presented his talk about ‘The Impact of Hostile Environments on the Parameters of Slavery: The Seminoles and Florida, 1780-1822’. The panel-hopping continued into the evening Parallel Session C as I attended the lively Panel C7 with discussion about how the US South has changed American politics since 1968, and an invigorating Panel C8, debating the role of radicalism, protest and patriotism at the turn of the 20th century. The last highlight of the day was the keynote by Bettye Collier-Thomas from Temple University entitled “From King to Trump: The Enduring Legacy of White Supremacy for American Democracy”—a very current and personal exploration of recent and not-so-recent events and developments in the US.

On Thursday and Friday I was faced with the same difficult decision to choose from an excellent range of papers. I decided to join Panel D8 which shared new perspectives on protest and resistance during the Civil Rights Movement. Next, I participated in an energetic debate about ‘Intersection of Women, Place and Protest’. Panelists shared their research ‘Chisholm ‘68: Black Protest and Left-Liberal Politics’ (Anastasia Curwood, University of Kentucky), Transatlantic Feminist Reform Networks in the Mid-20th Century’ (Ann Schofield, University of Kansas) and ‘African American Women and Washington, DC as a Site of Protest’ (Kim Warren, University of Southern Denmark). This second day of full-time conferencing concluded with a keynote by Jo Gill from the University of Exeter. In UCL’s Logan Hall, she gave a passionate talk about American poetry in the Jet Age.

I also had the opportunity to participate in a panel myself as part of a round table discussion on Friday about ‘American Studies in Europe: The Experience of Postgraduate Students and Early Career Researchers’. While I have attended many different conferences since I enrolled in college in 2005, I have long pursued events that encourage and focus on networking and exchange between postgraduate students and early career researchers in the field of American studies in Europe. I was especially interested in contributing to this event because I have been a student in a German, an American and now an Irish university environment, progressing from BA to PhD. This enabled me to offer comments on challenges and best practices in the different universities and departments and to share my own experience. Together with Francesca Razzi, Natalia Kovalyova, Kostantinos D. Karatzas, Marta Duro, and Aleksandra Kamińska, I discussed the current situation of American Studies in European member states and what we can do to improve communication and collaboration among ECR and PhD students in American Studies across Europe. Our chairs, Lorenzo Costaguta of the AISNA Graduate Forum and Katerina Webb-Bourne from King’s College London and PG Representative BAAS, guided the discussion and a lively and very interested audience participated actively in the round table. We also collected a long list of fellow researchers who are interested in future collaborations, and established a Slack group for European American Studies ECR and PhD students, free for anyone who is interested to join. Moreover, we were joined by Philip McGowan, senior lecturer in American literature at QUB, who, as President of the EAAS, had an open ear for all our concerns and was ready to support us wherever he could. In addition to our panel, ECR and PhD students also had the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company and share ideas at the PG social events on Wednesday evening and the BAAS and EAAS joint Postgraduate Lunch on Friday right after our round table.

My participation at EBAAS conference not only helped me establish dialogue with interdisciplinary and international researchers and attend talks and discussions about my PhD research as well (e.g. ‘Prisons, Protest Culture, and Radical Politics’, ‘Black Protest and American Studies’, ‘Questioning Blacks’ Existence in America’, ‘Using Runaway Slave Advertisements to Teach Slavery’, ‘African American Memory and Place’ and the others I mentioned above), it also allowed me to disseminate my research with diverse group of international scholars. Moreover, it allowed me to share my experience as a woman in academia. I attended the Women in American Studies Network (WASN) and EAAS Women’s Network Joint Lunch during which we discussed the upcoming conference the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece in 2019, and other issues concerning a closer collaboration between female researchers in European member states to increase the visibility of women and gender in academia.

The EBAAS conference thus allowed me to participate in the current scholarly conversation in the field of American Studies by offering new perspectives and my own experience in studying North American literature and film in Europe in the last 13 years as well as receiving feedback, inspiration and motivation to develop my overall research as well as my PhD project, and serve to establish and strengthen my academic network.

For all of these opportunities, and so much more, I am grateful to the IAAS. Without the financial support of the travel bursary I was awarded and their generosity, it would not have been possible for me to attend these two truly thought-provoking conferences, the PCA/ACA conference in Indianapolis and the EBAAS conference in London.

 

Caroline Schroeter is a final year PhD candidate and recipient of the UCC PhD Excellency Scholarship. Her upcoming publications include “From Griffith to Parker: Constructing race and the history of the US South” (Kentucky UP, 2018). She is the Editor-in-Chief for Aigne Journal and an Editor for Alphaville.