[UPDATE] Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders: A Graduate Student Conference in Transnational American Studies (Apr 19-20, 2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Binghamton University - English Department

Conference Title: Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders: A Graduate Student Conference in Transnational American Studies (4th Annual)

Theme: "Historicizing Difference in Globalized Subjectivities"

Dates: April 19th & 20th, 2013

Location: Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY

FEBRUARY UPDATE INFORMATION: This year's roundtable discussion will be held on Saturday, April 20th at the newly renovated University Downtown Center. The panel will include our keynote speaker, Branka Arsic, along with Binghamton University professors Susan Strehle, William Spanos, Praseeda Gopinath, and William Haver. They will discuss the past, present, and future of transnational studies, and participate in an extended question-and-answer period with the audience.

We've also expanded the space available for the conference. This allows us to formally accept abstracts for panels consisting of three to four papers.

Keynote Speaker: Branka Arsic, Columbia University

Roundtable Discussion:
Branka Arsic, Columbia University
Susan Strehle, Binghamton University
William Spanos, Binghamton University
William Haver, Binghamton University
Praseeda Gopinath, Binghamton University

"Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders" is an interdisciplinary graduate student conference dedicated to exploring the changing contours of the sphere of American Studies, including the crisscrossing currents between areas previously demarcated in separate disciplines. This year's focus, "Historicizing Difference in Global Subjectivities," examines the historical, temporal, and geopolitical foundations of identity and subject formation and the locations of their contestation. We aim to unearth and interrogate emerging perspectives on not only the histories of various formulations of difference, but also methods for reinterpreting or reimagining their deployments with and through each other. Taking as a premise the constant recurrence of the "global" within discourses of historical intersections between cultures, we are interested in the ways in which the concept of "difference" is constructed, packaged, disbursed, and consumed within a wide variety of discursive structures, and how that concept contributes to the construction of subjectivities. In seeking to interrogate the processes of formulating differences of subjectivity over time, this conference also draws on a variety of methodologies for imagining history, of theorizing the global, and the in/accuracies of the very concept of "subjectivity." Such a focus also brings into the foreground histories of the present, and possible modes of understanding contemporary global communities as both constitutive of, and constructing, history.

This conference will focus on these intersectional concepts with an eye toward the transnational, looking beyond simple formulations of difference and identity and expanding the range of narratives used to describe the emergence of difference. Such an aim emerges out of the call of transnational critics to analyze various historical instantiations of the concept of the "global." These methodological and content-based concerns produce a number of critical questions: What are the relationships between identities and difference across time? Are historical fluxes determined by constructions of the global, or do they direct those constructions? What are the limits to expressing and understanding any particular subjectivity insofar as it is conditioned or influenced by the historical moment and global positioning? Are there historical subjectivities more or less determined by global perspectives? We invite submissions that engage these and other questions and critiques about the emergence of difference within global contexts. In particular, this conference seeks papers that interrogate the methods of imagining history and subjectivity at the various sites of subjectivity, and strive to acknowledge the interplay between individual histories, geopolitical spaces, and the fluxes proper to each.

To submit a paper for review, please email shiftingborders@gmail.com with your name, school, and a 300-word abstract.

Submission deadline: March 1st, 2013

Please visit "Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders" on Facebook for further details.

Potential Topics Include:
Border Politics and the Production of Trans-Border Identities
The (De) Construction of National Identity
War, Stability, and the (Im)possibility of Subjectivity
The Exchange of Subjectivity and Global Capital
The Construction of Post- and Anti- Colonial Subjectivities
Differentiating Racial Identity
The Globalization of Gender Norms
The Policing of Global Subjectivity
American Exceptionalism and the Production of National Identity
The Arab Spring and the Deployment of Subjectivity
The Transoceanic Slave Trade
Queering National Subjectivity
Global Governance, the European Union, and the Construction of Transnational Sovereignty
The Nation State in Opposition to Globalization
The Global/ Local of Citizenship and its Impacts on Communities
Technology and the Production of Global Community
Global English and Literary Production
Sexual and National Instabilities
Global Diasporas and the Limits of Subjectivity
Transnational States and Hybrid Subjectivities
Poly-lingual Subjects and National Identity
Global Racial Histories
Multi-lingual Literature and the Construction of History
The Emergence of the Literary and the Emergence of the Global