UPDATE: [International] America: Real and Imagined (British Association of American Studies Postgraduate Conference)

full name / name of organization: 
A.P. Nelson
contact email: 

British Association of American Studies Annual Postgraduate Conference
Saturday November 15th, 2008
The University of Exeter
Exeter, United Kingdom

Keynote speaker: Professor Judith Newman (University of Nottingham)

The School of Arts, Languages and Literatures at the University of Exeter
is pleased to be hosting the annual BAAS postgraduate conference. We are
seeking proposals for 20-minute papers on all topics from all disciplines
within the field of American Studies, including history, music, literature,
philosophy, film studies, politics, sociology, popular culture, pedagogy
and language.

This year we are especially interested in papers presenting new ideas and
arguments that engage with the theme of “America and the West.”

The West is often used as a generic term for the civilization that grew up
and out of Greece, spreading first to Italy and then to northern Europe,
before crossing the Atlantic and taking root in the New World â€" principally
in the United States. This spread has been accompanied by the dissemination
of core values that originated in classical antiquity, including limited
constitutional government, civil liberties, the free exchange of ideas,
private property, capitalism and the separation between religious and
political/scientific thought â€" values all variously embodied in competing
and contested ideas about the United States. Yet within the U.S. there also
is a West, both real and imagined. Annexation, migration and expansion west
of the Mississippi was accompanied by theories about manifest destiny and
the movable frontier as the site of contestation between the competing
values of civilization and wilderness. Today, the “American West” can
alternately conjure images of cowboys in Texas or hippies in San Francisco.

Possible areas of inquiry might include, but are by no means limited to:

• The American West/America as the West
• American/Western myths
• American and Western politics
• America/the West as represented in visual media
• The West(ern) as genre
• Cultures of/bordering the United States
• The imagined West
• Mapping the West
• America and the heritage of classical antiquity
• America and its allies
• East and West
• Writing America and/or the West
• The movement of history
• Western/westernizing narratives
• Frontiers and borderlands

Interested postgraduate students are encouraged to submit an abstract of no
more than 200 words along with a brief biography (including institutional
affiliation) to baas_at_ex.ac.uk no later than June 30th, 2008. For more
information, please visit http://www.sall.ex.ac.uk/conferences/

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Received on Thu Jun 05 2008 - 03:56:56 EDT