Russia and/in America

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Ashley Rattner
contact email: 

Since the dawn of the Cold War, U.S. popular culture has been saturated with narratives that pit a morally-righteous United States against a sinister, duplicitous Russia–a binary foundational to postwar American Studies. In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine–and the attacks on democracy and human rights that it entails–the image of a menacing Russian presence is once again salient. Rather than redeploying a Cold War logic designed to disavow the sordid histories of the United States, this panel asks how we might approach the intertwined histories of Russia and the U.S. as a way of strengthening our critique of the oppression and exploitation perpetuated by both nations. To that end, this panel seeks to trace a more nuanced picture of the complex relationship between Russia and the U.S. in the 19th through 21st centuries. In keeping with the ASA annual conference’s emphasis on solidarity across communities, modes of engagement, and national boundaries, we are interested in representations of cross-cultural networks, protests, and social movements that register in literary, artistic, and cultural texts. We invite proposals that interrogate:


  • Russian and U.S. imperialism

  • Histories of serfdom, slavery, and abolition

  • Incarceration and prison labor

  • Exile or refugee narratives

  • Colonialism and Indigenous resistance/activism

  • Reception of Russian literature or art in the U.S.

  • Reception of American literature or art in Russia

  • Environmental exploitation and resource extraction

  • Archipelagic/oceanic approaches

  • Travel narratives


This is a proposed panel for the 2023 American Studies Association annual conference that will be held in Montreal, Quebec from November 2-5. For consideration, please send a CV and ~300-word abstracts to Ryan Charlton ( and Ashley Rattner ( by Sunday, January 15, 2023.