Post-American City (New England ASA), Lowell, MA, Oct. 16-18 2009

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New England American Studies Association
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Call for Papers
New England American Studies Association
Lowell, Massachusetts, Oct. 16-18, 2009

The Post-American City

Taking our cue from Fareed Zakaria's The Post-American World, the New England American Studies Association invites submissions of individual papers and panels on historic and contemporary understandings of the city in global contexts. Our site in Lowell, Massachusetts, looks back to colonial and early national interactions of an emerging Atlantic World, and to the economic and cultural shifts of the Industrial Revolution. At the same time, our call directs us forward, to the urbanizing and globalizing forces that have brought 21st century immigrants and refugees to Lowell and other cities.
This sweeping transnational topic signals our desire to bring together academics from a range of disciplines, including history, literature, economics, political science, environmental studies, urban planning, law, and film and visual cultural studies, as well as community organizers, artists, architects, teachers and policy makers. We hope that Zakaria's argument that the "rise of the rest" has left the United States less dominant provokes dialogue rather than simply agreement. At the same time, we are particularly interested in proposals which connect American urban lives, cultures, economies, policies, and spaces to the rest of the world, and consider the city, past and present, in terms of immigration, globalization, and cosmopolitanism. Questions which guide NEASA's 2009 conference call include:

•How, and to what degree, has a post-American city developed?
•How has globalization changed the city as a site for forming national identity and other kinds of identity?
•How might cities in China, India, South America, or Africa be post-American cities?
•To what extent has the U.S. city always been a hybrid and transnational site?
•How have political and cultural struggles rooted in post-American contexts transformed urban spaces and communities?
•How have shifts in American political and economic power affected particular cities or the idea of the city?
•How is the post-American model different from other models for understanding the city (multicultural, global, cosmopolitan)?
•What are key sites and texts for understanding and shaping the post-American city?
•How have American cities developed individual identities? How have those identities been represented, reified, or challenged?
•In what ways have American cities been distinct from other world metropolises? In what ways have they been similar?

Proposals should include a one page abstract with title, as well as the author's name, address, and institutional or professional affiliation. For panel proposals please include contact information for all participants, as well as a brief (no more than two page) description of the session. Submit proposals by March 31, 2009 to
Proposals or queries may also be sent to:
Mary Battenfeld, NEASA President
Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 879-2369