Roundtable CFP ASA 2014 "The Practices and Politics of Exuberant Homecomings"

full name / name of organization: 
American Studies Association Conference

American Studies Association Conference
November 6-9, 2014
Westin Bonaventure, Los Angeles, CA

In light of recent work on homecoming, return, and dispossession (Hirsch and Miller, Butler and Athanasiou, Hayes, Sturken) this roundtable seeks to explore how aesthetic responses to loss and nostalgia might ground a resistance to the institutionalization of biopower. Can this kind of nostalgic return – one that we often think of as conservative – work to imagine an escape from neoliberal limitations, thereby activating a creative critique based on exuberance and belonging rather than desperation and exile? Embracing aesthetic productions from the nineteenth through twenty-first centuries and addressing national, trans-national, and post-national sources that intersect with North America, we wish to explore the ways in which communities imagine diverse forms of attachment to ideas of home (from the national to the informally communal to the corporeal). Aesthetic representations may include, but are not limited to, slave narratives, travel memoirs, utopias, manifestoes, or activist websites that address problems of displacement, exile, or impossible homecomings through exuberant resistance or reparative justice.
In order to effectively engage experiences of home across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and across national borders, we propose a seminar roundtable in which each speaker will post a paper one month in advance of the conference as well as respond to one of the other papers. Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words to both and by January 26th.