CFP: Crash/Landings: Friction & Flow in the U.S. City (5/1/06; NYMASA, 10/28/06)

full name / name of organization:
contact email: 

The New York Metro American Studies Association (NYMASA)
invites papers for our annual one-day conference:

Crash / Landings: Friction and Flow in the American City
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Deadline for abstracts: Monday, May 1, 2006

As we've seen from the New Orleans flood, the NYC transit strike, and the
Oscar-winning film "Crash," the U.S. city is a site of multiple collisions--of
race, class, ethnicity, generations, desires, fears, and expectations. It is
also, as Mary Louise Pratt and others have argued, a contact zone--an
improvisational space of often surprising cultural exchange and creativity. To
explore these contradictions, the 2006 NYMASA conference invites papers on the
sometimes violent but always productive juxtapositions that occur in urban

We are interested in presentations that address the American city as a site
of contact, collision, and community. What kinds of movements--of peoples,
capital, knowledge, and culture--distinguish the city? What instant or
enduring intimacies are generated from the friction of crowded streets, subways,
freeways? How is the eco-system of the city reshaped by gentrification or
zoning disputes--and enriched by aesthetic and political responses to specific
socio-economic conditions? How have urban social movements shaped American
cities historically, and how are they remembered, memorialized, replayed, and
recast? How do images, narratives, histories, maps and other representations
make urban friction and flow (in)visible?

We also invite considerations of American Studies as a site of collision,
friction and flow. Are there zoning restrictions implicit in American Studies
as an (inter)discipline, and how are they being contested? What
methodologies and theoretical approaches are required to grasp the complexities of the
city as a contested zone? How do urban challenges enable us to rethink the
objects of study in American Studies?

We particularly encourage submissions that discuss urban spaces before the
20th century, and presentations that cross historical and disciplinary
boundaries. We welcome presentations on transnational topics, but papers should
demonstrate some connection to the study of the United States.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
--Landing in the city: migration/immigration, city as refuge and asylum,
city as "mecca"
--Diaspora and the global city: transculturation, appropriation, tourism
--Imperialism, policing, surveillance and the occupied city
--The economics of urban "flow": labor and capital in the city
--Aesthetics of urban experience: fashion, art, music, dance, theatre
--Culture clashes, subcultural frissons: hip hop, reggaeton, graffiti; drag,
--Geographies of urban culture and motion
--Final landings: urban burial sites, memorials, landfills
--City as landscape or ecosystem: wildlife, community agriculture,
--Zoning disputes: defining and arranging city space, demolition,
rebuilding, gentrification
--Catastrophe, disaster, violence
--Political frictions: tensions between local and national politics
--Urban social/political movements: riots, strikes, demonstrations,
--Crashing the party: social climbing, scandal and gossip,
physical/economic accessibility
--Cities in transit: walking in the city, biking as resistance, commuting,
car culture
--Urban intimacies: sex clubs, red light districts, queering the city, new
--Imagination or reality? Representations versus experiences of the urban
--Sensory experience and urban affect: feeling (in) the city
--Theoretical contact zones: intersectionality, activist theory, collisions
of theory/practice
--Documenting urban flow: ethnography, journalism, film, indie media,
activist video

Abstracts (300 words) for proposed presentations are due Monday, May 1, 2006
via email to Sarah Chinn (_sarah.chinn_at_hunter.edu_
( ).
Please note: The conference will take place in New York City; exact
location will be announced at a later date.

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Received on Tue Mar 21 2006 - 14:13:36 EST