American Frontiers: British Association of American Studies Postgraduate Conference (November 12th, 2011)

full name / name of organization: 
British Association of American Studies / University of Birmingham
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November 12th, 2011
Keynote: Professor Liam Kennedy (University College Dublin)

The British Association of American Studies (BAAS) welcomes papers for its annual postgraduate conference, to be held at the University of Birmingham on November 12th, 2011.

The general theme of the conference is ‘American Frontiers’. The notion of the frontier has permeated the history of the United States, from colonial expansion to the optimistic rhetoric of the Kennedy administration. Moreover, the meaning of ‘America’ and its place within the world has been a site of ongoing negotiation in geographic, political, economic, military, intellectual and cultural terms.

The conference hopes to outline and begin to redefine contemporary and historic American frontiers. It aims to examine pioneering ideas, transnational entanglements and cultural boundaries, seeking out fresh perspectives on past understandings, ultimately asking the question: “Where does America end and the world start?” We hope that the conference will also provide an opportunity for postgraduates to consider new critical, practical and theoretical approaches to American Studies as a discipline in the 21st century.

We are seeking proposals for 20-minute presentations and welcome papers from across the field of American Studies. We especially encourage submissions that move beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries and engage with innovative methods of presentation.

Suggestions for possible topics include:

  • Frontiers of Expansion and Contraction: Mapping material and discursive boundaries, international interventions, transnational and transregional analysis
  • Representing Frontiers: Exploring frontier imagery and literature
  • New Frontiers: America in the 21st century, America and the world wide web
  • Historical Frontiers: American expansionism, rethinking the pioneers, border studies
  • Encountering 'America': Cultural reception, America and the international community, coca-colonization, un-American frontiers, marketing brand USA, diplomatic influence
  • Aesthetic and Conceptual Vanguards: Pushing artistic, literary, cinematic, theatrical, musical and theoretical boundaries
  • Frontier Subjects: Redefining or effacing class, gender, race, sexuality and disability
  • Rethinking American Frontiers: Post-colonial and neo-colonial perspectives, interrogating the frontier thesis, decentering America, analysing frontier rhetoric
  • Frontiers in American Studies
  • Please e-mail abstracts of no more than 300 words, to Katie Barnett, Rebecca Isaacs and John Horne at Abstracts should include your name, institution,
    e-mail address and the title of your proposed paper. The deadline for submissions is August 1st 2011. Selected conference papers will be published in the conference issue of US Studies Online, the BAAS Postgraduate Journal.

    For more information, please email the organisers or see the conference website:

    For more information on the British Association of American Studies and US Studies Online, see:

    cfp categories: 
    modernist studies