‘Foreign Bodies and Native Sons’

The Annual Conference of the Irish Association for American StudiesApril 27-28, 2018. University College Dublin

Call for Papers

Although the relationship between the ‘native’ and the ‘foreign’ has been a longstanding, evolving site of contention in American cultural history, the Trump presidency has brought both terms (and their histories) to a new level of exposure and debate. The assumptions about ‘foreign bodies’ that fuelled the recent election and its aftermath—from the ‘wall’ to the travel ban— invite sustained analysis, especially in relation to the construction of a seemingly antithetical body of ‘native sons’ that invokes superficial concepts of white working-class masculinity. The divisions and fault lines such constructions facilitate within the American ‘body politic’, in relation to race, ethnicity, sex-gender, class and sexuality, inform debate about contemporary American culture and form the basis of the conference. Although drawing on contemporary formulations of both concepts, the conference also welcomes papers offering an historical perspective on a particularly American etymology of ‘foreign’ and ‘native’ bodies.

IAAS conferences are wide-ranging interdisciplinary events and we are particularly keen to see this represented in the variety of topics discussed.

Topics and areas might include (but are not restricted to) the following:

  • Constructions of Citizenship in US History, politics and culture
  • Contemporary Social Movements
  • American Mythologies and Historical Narratives (from Colonial America to 9/11 and beyond)
  • Sisterhood and White Feminism
  • Race and Othering
  • Gender, Race and the “Alt Right”
  • Representations of Centre and Periphery
  • Deconstructing Political Rhetoric and Language of Terror
  • Gender and Power
  • Public Intellectuals, the University, the Press
  • Voting Rights & Disenfranchisement
  • Bodies in American Culture and History
  • Intersectionality and America
  • Incarceration, the State and the Subject
  • Sexism, Racism and Homophobia in America
  • Punishment and Retribution
  • Movement, Borders, and the Body
  • Travel and Displacement in American Narrative
  • Modes of Resistance
  • The American Body in Protest
  • Health and Illness
  • America and Globalisation
  • Labour Organization
  • Strategies of Strangeness or Defamiliarisation
  • Role of Document & Expertise in Post Truth Culture
  • Master Narratives in Mainstream & Alternative Media
  • Local & National Empathy & Affect
  • Reimaged Borders, Exile, Diaspora
  • Reimagining Political Participation & Democratic Systems

Scholars from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.

Proposals for individual papers or full panels are welcomed. Submissions should include:

  • A title
  • 250 word abstract for each paper submitted
  • A short bio and email for each presenter

Proposals must be submitted as Word documents
Please send proposals to conference@iaas.ie by Monday 22nd January 2018

Full Panel Proposals: Panel coordinators should submit a 200-word rationale for the panel as whole. For each contributor, please submit a 250-word abstract, a short bio, and contact information. Panels that include diverse panelists with a range of affiliations, career experiences, and disciplinary homes are strongly encouraged. Panels should include 3 papers.

Conference Statement: We hope to host a diverse, welcoming, open IAAS Annual conference. We understand diversity to include attendees as well as academic subject, approach, and field. We welcome comparative projects, though because of its smaller scale, this conference will be conducted in English.

Please direct all questions about the conference and the submission process to: conference@iaas.ie

For up to date conference details, find us at the IAAS website or on the IAAS Facebook and Twitter accounts.