Calls for Contributions

Need some inspiration? At U.S. Studies Online we are looking for blog posts on the topics listed below. 

This list will be updated regularly, so do come back!

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Call for Contributions: 2016

Critique, Outreach, Practice – American Studies in 2016

The public spheres both in the UK and the US have been left reeling after two votes in 2016, suggesting the rise of what has been called ‘post-truth’ politics, even more troubling given its often equally post-ethical nature. We would like to invite you to debate how the humanities in general, and American Studies in particular, can help critique the present moment – but there is an even more pressing issue:

How can we re-define democratic agency and re-shape the terms of a public discourse in severe crisis? Speaking from our position as researchers, valuing complexity, methodological rigour and debate, how can we meaningfully respond to, and offer an opposition to, the wave of populism that has swept the US?

Understanding this as a laboratory for an intellectual practice based on communication, outreach, and engagement, we are interested in hearing your ideas:

Practices – have you been involved in, or have any ideas for, practices and activities that engage with these challenges?

Concepts – as researchers in American Studies, which concepts do you find worth discussing in the present moment? How can we re-invigorate these concepts with a stronger public significance?

Research – are you currently conducting research in/about the US that ties in with these issues, and would like to share your experience?

International Researchers, Transnational American Studies – USSO goes European!

This is a call for European graduate students and early career researchers who are bursting with ideas and in need of an international platform to share them. Our European Representative, Katharina Donn, would love to hear your ideas for blogs in response to the call below – but we are also interested in any other suggestions or ideas, and in hearing from anybody who might want to contribute in the future.

Call for posts: Transnationalising American Studies

When thinking about transnationalism, current sociopolitical tendencies could not be more divergent: the upsurge of an isolationist nationalism reflected in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign jars with a global condition defined by migration movements both forced and voluntary. We are interested in how related debates about the ‘transnational’ or ‘transcultural’ affect American Studies as a discipline. This raises broader questions about how to define key concepts central issues such as the ‘border’,  ‘cosmopolitanism’, ‘center’ and ‘periphery’, both within and beyond the Americas.

We are particularly interested in research ideas, research reports, manifestos, meditations on any of the following issues, and from the perspective of any relevant American Studies discipline:

 –  Cosmopolitanism, Globality, Planetarity? Matters of Terminology

–  The Black Atlantic and beyond – histories, representations and politics of forced migration

–  The role the arts– can reading, as Wai Chee Dimock suggests, reflect a form of transnational Civil Disobedience?

–  Forced cosmopolitanism? Nationalism, populism, and the refugee experience

–  Towards a transnational discipline of American studies – challenges and opportunities

–  Concepts of the nation

Over the next few months the editors welcome topic-specific blog posts in these areas:

  • Important Dates in 2016

If there is an important date in 2016 that intersects with your research get in touch with us at usso[at] with a 700-1200 word post.

An important date can be the birthday or date of death of a person of note; a milestone anniversary of an event, historical moment, publication or show; a public holiday or annual observance, like black history month, international women’s day, labour day.

  • Professional Development

As mentioned in last year’s AGM at the 2015 BAAS conference, we are also looking to publish more posts on professional development issues so if you think you could contribute a post on issues such as interviews, job applications, teaching, event organisation, public engagement and mentoring, then get in touch.

In particular, we welcome expressions of interest from more senior academics who are interested in drawing on their experience to provide guidance to postgraduate and early career researchers.

Contact the editors if you are interested in writing a post on any of the above topics, or check out our more general call for submissions if you have something else in mind. Don’t be shy!

For all queries and submissions, contact the editors at

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