American Colors: Across the Disciplinary Spectrum (University of Southern Denmark)
Color defines America. First of all color defines America through ideas of slavery, race, and civil rights. W.E.B. Du Bois’ claim that ‘The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line’ is certainly hard to deny in an American context. Yet American Colors are far from all about race. The respective colors of the Democratic and the Republican Party, since 1976 partitioning the country into demographics of blue and red, are significant reminders of the power of American Colors to divide and contrast. On the other hand, American Colors are not necessarily divisive, even if they stay distinct. Whether it is in the color of the rainbow, as seen on the pride flag of the LGBT community, or in the idea of ethnic and racial diversity, the notion of colors mixed as well as existing in diverse unison is key to the idea of America. To this, we can add shades of black and green too. On the one hand, modern America is constructed on, and by, ‘black gold’ (oil). On the other hand, it is precisely due to the success of motorized industry that the ‘green movement’ in its contemporary iteration had its beginnings in America, just as it is the yardstick of any contemporary debate on the gray matters of waste and pollution. As the largest consumer of energy worldwide and with the world’s largest ecological footprint, America is the extreme against which both local and global perspectives of all ‘green’ discourse must necessarily be measured.
Confirmed keynote speakers
Professor George Lipsitz, University of California, Santa Barbara, Department of Black Studies
Professor Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, English Department
Confirmed plenary speakers
ASANOR: Associate Professor Zeljka Svrljuga, University of Bergen, Department of Foreign Languages
DAAS: Professor David Nye, University of Southern Denmark, Center for American Studies,
FASA: Academy Research Fellow Rani-Henrik Andersson, Academy of Finland, University of Helsinki, Department of World Cultures
SAAS: Professor Danuta Fjellestad, Uppsala University, Department of English
Further information available here.