Trans-Formations: Theorizing Class and Race in the 21st Century - Postgraduate Panel (June 17, 2010-June 19, 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
University of Freiburg, Germany - Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies/Department of North American Studies

The Department of North American Studies at the University of Freiburg and the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies announces a call for papers from postgraduate students working with issues of class and race.

The three day conference, entitled Trans-Formations: Theorizing Class and Race in the 21st Century will take place from June 17, 2010 to June 19, 2010 at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. Confirmed speakers include: Henry Louis Gates (Harvard), Melissa Harris-Lacewell (Princeton), Gavin Jones (Stanford), Chris Newfield (UCSB), and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Columbia).

The conference will host one postgraduate research panel (on Friday, June 18, 2010) where participants will be given 15 minutes to present their research. Questions will follow. Students invited to participate in the postgraduate panel will also be invited to attend the lectures being given by the professors listed above. Small travel grants (approx. €200) will be extended to those chosen and accommodation (either a hotel room or a home stay) will be arranged.

Presentation proposals/abstracts should be no more than 500 words, accompanied by a CV, and should be submitted by April 30, 2010. The conference description can be found below:

Marked as it was by 9/11, the Bush presidency, Hurricane Katrina, the financial meltdown, and the election and presidency of Barack Obama, the first decade of the new millennium has been a time of rapid change in American cultural and societal life. The rise of postcolonialism, black, gender, and ethnic studies was among the most pertinent critical interventions in the late twentieth century. These new disciplines left an indelible mark on the fields of literary and cultural studies as they led to a fundamental rethinking of the concept of representation. Working from the premise of the Aughts as a decade of transformations, this conference will present cutting edge research currently working towards the further reconceptualization class and race in the new millennium. Scholars who shaped and are shaping the critical framework in this project will convene to share their current research. This conference aims, then, to define a new critical paradigm for theorizing race and class.

Graduate students working with literature, culture, history, politics, economics, sociology, and other applicable disciplines with a focus on race and class in contemporary American literature and culture are welcome to apply. Possible areas of focus may include, but are not limited to: Diaspora Studies, Poverty Studies, Critical Race Theory, Whiteness Studies, race and class in mass media/popular culture, depictions of race and class in visual culture, the place of race and class in American Studies as well as any number of interdisciplinary approaches.

Please forward abstracts/CVs (by April 30, 2010) and direct any questions to