Deadline for submissions: January 5, 2018
Full name/name of organization: Swedish Association for American Studies
Contact email:

10th Biennial Conference of the Swedish Association for American Studies (SAAS)

“Open Covenants: Pasts and Futures of Global America”

Stockholm, September 28–30, 2018

Call for Panels and Papers

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 University).

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 panels 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:


  • Art
  • Visual Culture
  • Film and Media Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature
  • Musicology
  • Popular Culture
  • Gender Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Political Science
  • Religion
  • 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 Panels and Individual Papers

In order to submit a panel proposal, please provide us with a title for the panel, the name, email address and brief bio of the panel convener, and a description of the topic (200-500 words). If the convener already has one or more panelists, please also provide the name, email and bio of individual presenters (max 100 words) as well as a title and abstract (of 200-250 words) for each presentation. Panel proposals should be sent to Deadline: January 5, 2018.

Notification of acceptance will be sent to panel conveners by January 15, 2018. Panels that have been accepted will then be posted on our website, and a separate call for papers will be announced for these panels, with a later deadline, in consultation with the panel conveners.

In order to submit an individual paper, please send in 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 Deadline: January 5, 2018.

Notification of acceptance will be sent to individual paper presenters by February 1, 2018.

For more information about the conference, please visit our website: