"Hearts and Minds": US Cultural Management in Foreign Relations in the 21st Century (05/15/2014)

full name / name of organization: 
Matthew Chambers/University of Lodz
contact email: 

Title: "Hearts and Minds": US Cultural Management in Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

Editor: Matthew Chambers

Publisher: Peter Lang (American Studies and Media Series)

The phrase “hearts and minds” has widely circulated since 2001 in the context of American foreign policy and military strategy. Far from being an empty slogan, “hearts and minds” has emerged as a widespread way of thinking about America’s relations throughout the globe. While it has retained its militaristic association, it has extended out into other sectors such as cultural programs as well as NGO involvement in relief, infrastructure-rebuilding, and educational efforts. The question becomes to what extent can we frame the intent and consequences of this term as a coherent policy? How does it reflect an exceptionalist attitude, in the sense of the drive to manage the global terrain as the non-exceptional Other? How can we think about foreign policy strategies that implicitly or explicitly involve the management of “cross-cultural” relations? And finally, how do affects, as underlying the slogan “hearts and minds,” enable ideologies that frame cultural management in foreign relations?

This CFP accepts writing that addresses political and cultural efforts to frame, manage, and administer America’s interests throughout the globe. Essays that incorporate more recent affect theory evaluations will be particularly welcome. Of specific interest are works that focus on the following:

*The cultural turn of the US military (COIN, Human Terrain Systems, etc.)
*USAID & NGO involvement/Embassy “missions” (especially cultural attaches/American Corner, and other such cultural outreach programs)
*Academic institutions (Fulbright, Rhodes, and other like scholarships; American University and other like academic institutions)
*Affect theory approaches to governance
* Feminist approaches to NGOs and other like cultural programs and/or the impact of such programs on institutions of gender
* Counter-narratives from the perspective of recipients of American aid or development programs

Please submit a 250-300 word abstract with brief bio and institutional affiliation by 15 May 2014 to Matthew Chambers (mjc6@buffalo.edu). Papers for accepted proposals should be ready for submission by Fall 2014.

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