full name / name of organization:
Special Issue of the European Journal of American Studies
freitagf[at]uni-mainz.de and ksandrock[at]phil.uni-goettingen.de
Earlier discussions of literary and cultural regionalism in North America have frequently tended to cluster around specific regions and their relations to the nation. By contrast, this thematic issue of EJAS seeks to explore new perspectives by focusing especially on transnational approaches to regionalism in North American literary and cultural studies. We aim to gather articles – general theoretical investigations as well as individual case studies – that, following Krista Comer, “figure regions and regionalism in far more comparative and multilingual ways” (2003, 117) and that consider regional writing and critical regionalism in transnational, hemispheric, and even (anti-)global contexts.
We are particularly interested in comparative approaches to regionalism in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico that shift the focus away from the region-nation dichotomy towards more dynamic and, we believe, more productive concepts of regionalism that can generate empowering, pluralist discourses of regionalism rather than dualist hegemonies of regions vs. nations. Such concepts may draw on perspectives offered by, for instance, postcolonial theory, gender studies, Native Studies, borderland studies, Pacific and Atlantic Studies, ecocriticism, history and historiography, human geography, Gloria Anzaldúa’s concept of the “mestiza consciousness” (1987) or any other methodological framework that allows us to broaden the theoretical foundations of regionalist studies and include previously marginalized voices.
Areas of investigation may include North American literary and cultural regions that cross national borders, from the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes, and the Prairie/Plains in Canada and the U.S. to the concept of the Amérique française, Native American regions, and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, North American micro-regions such as the urban centers of New Orleans or Toronto in their transnational connections, and instances of regional literary movements crossing national borders, as in the case of the “local color” movement or Chicano/Chicana literature.
Topics to be dealt with include, but are by no means limited to:
— the development and reception of regionalist studies in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
— regionalist “phases” in North American literary and cultural history
— (comparisons of) the discursive construction of specific regions in North America
— (comparisons of) North American cross-border regions
— transnational connections between North American authors of regionalist fiction and poetry
— transnational cultural connections between particular North American regions
— transnational regions that span from North America around the world
— theoretical approaches to regionalism as a transnational discipline
— the cultural institutions of transnational regionalism in North America
Please send proposals for contributions (two pages maximum) to both ksandrock[at]phil.uni-goettingen.de and freitagf[at]uni-mainz.de by October 31, 2013. Contributors will be notified about the acceptance of their proposals by November 20, 2013. Finished manuscripts will have to be handed in by April 30, 2014. Contributions selected for publication by the guest editors will undergo blind peer-review by EJAS’s readers.