Panel: The Soul of America: The Legacy of the Culture Wars

deadline for submissions: 
November 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Canadian Association for American Studies
contact email: 

CALL FOR PAPERS: CAAS at Congress 2020

Western University, May 30-June 1, 2020

The Canadian Association for American Studies invites paper proposals for our 2020 conference, which will be held in conjunction with the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. 

Panel: The Soul of America: The Legacy of the Culture Wars

Organizer: Andrew Woods, Western University

At the 1992 Republican National Convention, paleoconservative politician Patrick Buchanan declared that patriots and progressives were fighting one another in a culture war “for the soul of America.” As historian Andrew Hartman contends, the Culture Wars serve as “the defining metaphor for the late twentieth-century United States.” This panel invites proposals that corroborate, challenge, or critique the Culture Wars metaphor as a framework for American Studies. Papers may address cultural objects that either triggered controversy during the Culture Wars (i.e. Piss Christ (1987) or Do the Right Thing (1989)) or commented on cultural polarization in America (i.e. American Beauty (1999)).

Possible topics of interest include (but are not limited to): Culture Wars and counter-culture; Culture Wars and the status of race; Culture Wars and the Canon Wars; Culture Wars and popular music (i.e. rap and heavy metal); Culture Wars and decoloniality (i.e. #decolonizethisplace); Narratives of cultural decline or liberation; Nostalgic visions of “normative America”; Political Correctness versus Patriotic Correctness; the return of the Culture Wars in the age of Trump; issues of gender, family, and sexuality; metapolitics.

Please send 250-word abstracts and 100-word bios to

Deadline for Paper Proposals: November 15, 2019