CFP 2 America and Deep Time: Alternate Geographies, Temporalities, and Histories

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Polish Association for American Studies
contact email: 

America and Deep Time: Alternate Geographies, Temporalities, and Histories

25-27 October 2023

In Other Continents: American Literature Across Deep Time (2006) Wai Chee Dimock proposed a radically new way of interpreting American texts. The scholar argued that the current practice of reading American literature and culture within their customary context, the national boundaries of the U.S., should be replaced by interpreting these subjects through alternate, more widely dispersed, geographies. This would loosen up the critical hold of such exceptionalist narratives as Puritan colonization, the American Adam or the frontier; it would be more sensitive to placing American texts within a global totality and within a world literature. Dimock also argued that the short time-frame of history within which criticism of American texts is usually penned up (starting from 1620) ought to be replaced by a more extensive concept of “deep time”. These concepts invite us to look at America from wider points of view, which seems a reasonable response to the recent surge of global crises.

We invite papers about American themes, written from perspectives that present the U.S.A. as a “planetary entity” (Spivak), part of a wide and complex network of events and processes, often beyond America’s control, imaginary power, or understanding: global biology and epidemiology, Anthropocene, global warming, transnational politics, cosmopolitan wealth and poverty, global migration flows, new historical epochs and timescales, global crime networks, fluctuating global energy and food markets. Such themes and events call for a new timescale, or a new spatial perspective.

Specifically, but not exclusively, we invite papers on the following issues:

  • Deep time, deep past, deep memory, deep future

  • Planetarity, glocality, wide and complex networks of events

  • Quantum realities, speculative realities, fractal spatialities

  • Permeation of cultures, overlapping territories

  • Migration, immigration, diasporic cultures and writing

  • Hybridity, assimilation, creative appropriation, adaptation, and translation

  • Creolization of languages and cultures

  • Borderlands cultures and histories, contact zones

  • Modifications by periphery cultures of genres and plots from core cultures

  • New readings of “the international theme” in American literature and culture

  • Non-standard cartographies, imaginary geographies

  • Global environmental change, global extinction events, climate change and the related

    ecoglobalist affects and traumas

  • Aesthetic narratives of catastrophies and extinction, e.g., the elegy, the sublime, the

    tragic, the pastoral

  • Apocalyptic visions and narratives

  • Discourses of the self-conscious Anthropocene/ Capitalocene/ Chthulucene

  • The past and the current pandemic discourses

  • Time and narrative

  • Arrows of time

  • Synchronic and diachronic realities

  • Ultra-long timescales in history, longue durée, paleontological and geological

    perspectives in history

  • Values and evaluations of past events, the use of non-American timescales and

    epochs, polycentric historiographies

  • Elusive, forgotten, neglected, and repressed events and historical relations

  • The literature and history of slavery as a transatlantic phenomenon

  • The long history (histories) of Native Americans

  • Indigenous topological knowledges

  • Critical perspectives on American archeology and anthropology

  • Multispecies histories, interspecies responsibility

  • The posthuman and more-than-human ontoepistemologies

  • Ecosophical and ecocritical approaches to American literature and culture

  • Blue Humanities, the oceanic turn, the oceanic archives, Wet Globalization

  • Ocean narratives as global narratives (for example, Melville, Poe, Katherine Anne

    Porter, Toni Morrison)

  • Foreign interference in American politics

  • The Global North and the Global South

  • The US and world religions

  • Digital activism, algorithmic cultures, digital citizenship, metadata society, networked affects, partial communities

  • Medianatures

  • Transnational sonic phenomena, network noise, bioacoustics

  • American visual, film and (new) media studies, including ecocinema and ecomedia, from a transnational perspective

  • Transnational and transcultural relations, cooperations, movements, and trends

  • The transnational model in Black and African American studies

  • Transnational America and women’s studies

  • The transnational model in gender and queer studies

Keynote speakers: Prof. Wai Chee Dimock, Harvard Center for the Environment, Harvard University, USA; Prof. Julia Fiedorczuk, University of Warsaw, Poland; Prof. Wiesław Kuhn, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland

The auxiliary event for Ph.D. students: The conference will be preceded by an online workshop, co-organized by The Faculty of English and The AMU Doctoral School of Languages and Literatures, and aimed at Ph.D. students participating in the conference. The workshop will be devoted to the methodologies of cultural and literary studies relevant to the topic of Deep Time. The workshop will be held via Zoom, on October 24 , and conducted by two scholars: prof. Paweł Frelik, from The University of Warsaw (part I), and our keynote speaker, prof. Wai Chee Dimock, from Harvard Center for the Environment (part II). The enrollment for the workshop will be possible as a separate option via the conference registration form.

The language of the conference and of the workshop is English.

Abstracts (ca. 250 words) or panel proposals together with a short bio (up to 100 words) should be sent to paas2023@gmail.com by June 15, 2023. For panel submissions, please include the title of your panel, the bios of each participant as well as the short bio of the panel chair.

Notification of acceptance will be sent by June 30, 2023. 

Deadline for registration and payment of the conference fee: September 3, 2023.

The conference is planned as an in-person event.

Conference venue:

The Faculty of English
Collegium Heliodori Święcicki
Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań ul. Grunwaldzka 6
60-780 Poznań

Conference website: http://paas2023.amu.edu.pl 

Conference email: paas2023@gmail.com

Organizing Committee:

Paulina Ambroży

Elżbieta Wilczyńska

Ewa Łuczak

Jacek Fabiszak 

Paweł Stachura

Wiesław Kuhn

Kornelia Boczkowska

Katarzyna Macedulska 

Małgorzata Olsza