American Fantasies and Dreams

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American Studies Association of Turkey
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American Studies Association of Turkey
36th International Conference

American Fantasies and Dreams
May 14–16, 2014
Atatürk University
Erzurum Technical University
Erzurum, Turkey

The scientific study of human dreams is generally considered to have started with the publication of Freud's legendary Interpretation of Dreams. Yet, interest in what dreams and dreaming signify is as old as humanity itself. Regardless of whatever form in which they may appear—i.e., dreams, nightmares, daydreams, visions, trances, illusions, hallucinations, delusions, mirages, fantasies, and fictions—dreams have helped individuals understand, interpret, make sense of and sometimes completely deny reality. Hence, without understanding the dreams and fantasies of society, it is impossible to understand its realities. From the ubiquitous American Dream to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s inspiring oratory, from Native American dream interpretation to the science fiction tales of the space age, dreams and fantasies similarly manifest various aspects of American society and culture.

This conference wishes to explore the relationship between dreams and fantasies, particularly focusing on the dichotomy between fantasy and reality. The American Studies Association of Turkey thus invites proposals that consider American fantasies and dreams, broadly conceived. We particularly encourage abstracts which incorporate transdisciplinary explorations of the subject, and welcome submissions from any branch of American Studies. Possible themes include, but are not limited to:

• Science Fiction and Fantasy
• Problemetizing the American dream/nightmare
• Immigration and borderlands
• Utopian visions and social reform; Dystopias/war and conflict
• Fantasies and dreams in literature/literary criticism
• The poetics of fantasies and dreams; Magic realism
• (Post)modern/(post)colonial fantasies and dreams
• Psychoanalysis and dream theory; Fantastic narratives and language
• Transcultural/transhistorical fantasies and dreams
• Fantasizing and dreaming from the margins
• Mythic, sacred, symbolic, spiritual fantasies and dreams
• Subversive/resistive fantasies and dreams
• Underground fantasies and dreams
• Consumerism and the American dream
• Ethics and the environment
• The semiotics of fantasies and dreams
• Cinematic/media adaptations of fantasies and dreams
• Fantasies and dreams in cyberspace (virtual realities, gaming, blogs, social media and identity construction)
• Music, art and theater as stages for the performance of fantasies and dreams
• Comic books, graphic novels and political cartoons and their use as critical tools
• Oral traditions (griots, storytelling, folktales, street poetry)
• Domestic arts (quilting, weaving, pottery, and needlework)
• Life writing (travel writing, journals, diaries, and memoirs)
• Technology and science; Architecture and design
• The limits of fantasies and dreams

Proposals should be sent to the American Studies Association of Turkey ( and should consist of a 250–300 word abstract in English, as well as a 1 paragraph biography for each participant. The time allowance for all presentations is 20 minutes. An additional 10 minutes will be provided for discussion. Deadline for proposal submission: November 30, 2013. Notification of proposal acceptance: February 1, 2014.

All presenters residing in Turkey must be/become ASAT members. Selected papers will be included in a special issue of the Journal of American Studies of Turkey (JAST) based on the conference theme.

More information will be posted on our website as it becomes available: