CFP: [American] âDivided We Stand; United We Fallâ: Perspectives on Inclusions and Exclusions in America

full name / name of organization: 
Silke Hackenesch

Graduate School of North American Studies
Freie Universität, Berlin

Friday, June 27 and Saturday, June 28, 2008.

In collaboration with the Department of American and Canadian Studies and
the Centre
for US Foreign Policy, Media, and Culture, The University of Birmingham;
the William Jefferson Clinton Institute for American Studies, University
College, Dublin; and the Department of American Studies, University of Bonn

The third in a series of annual international seminars, this conference is
designed to bring together leading scholars and top graduate students from
around the world to discuss “America” in historical and contemporary contexts.

Thomas Jefferson's inversion of the national maxim “United We Stand,
Divided We Fall” was meant to underline the importance of religious
diversity in America. Nearly 200 years later, as Americans again have taken
to sing “The Liberty Song” in which the original quote appeared this
rearranging of words remains as controversial as ever. Who is included and
who is excluded in the post-9/11 call for national unity and the rejection
of difference? How is American national identity construed in a fragmented
space of immigration, culture wars, discrimination, patriotism, religion,
securitization, socio-economic tensions and neoliberalism? Is the exclusion
of certain groups of people from the national identity, both historically
and currently, an exception to the inclusive principles of the American
myth or the very foundation on which this myth is based? And how do
categories of race, class, gender, and sexuality operate in this dynamic?
What is becoming of the inclusionary power of the American cultural
hegemony in the face of the ‘war on terror’? And how do we address the
irony of proliferating exclusions in a new supposedly transnational world
(dis)order? These are some of the questions this conference aims to address.
Graduate students and other scholars in American Studies are invited to
submit abstracts of 300 words for the first annual graduate conference of
the newly founded Graduate School of North American Studies at the Free
University Berlin. Following the interdisciplinary tradition of the
John-F.-Kennedy-Institute, we welcome papers that discuss the contradictory
dynamics of inclusions and exclusions in the United States from a variety
of angles and disciplines.

Possible topics might include but are by no means limited to:
-Representations of identity in the arts
-Civil liberties after 9/11
-Immigration, citizenship, and democracy
-Rise of the Christian Right
-Minority rights and social justice
-American Exceptionalism
-Legacy of slavery
-Postcolonial perspectives on American imperialism
-Politics of recognition
-The New Imperialism

Please submit abstracts of 300 words and a brief CV, including your
affiliation and contact details, by March 15, 2008 to

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Received on Thu Jan 31 2008 - 16:23:23 EST