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CFP American Circuits, American Secrets Sept 2014 Banff, Canada
full name / name of organization:
University of Alberta / Canadian Association of American Studies
According to a top-secret 2009 National Security Agency report leaked by now infamous former NSA and CIA employee Edward Snowden, approximately one third of all international telephone calls, and more than ninety-nine per cent of all internet traffic, are routed through the United States. At once a multi-media communications hub, a global waystation of cultural exchange, a nation of dynamic mobilities, and a synonym for commodity capitalism, “America” cannot be disarticulated from the very concept of circulation. But any movement through, and by, America conceals as much as it produces--otherwise, Snowden’s disclosures themselves would be insignificant. This is, after all, the nation that enshrined "don't ask don't tell" into law, where democratic disenfranchisement and the ravages of unfettered capitalism are open secrets, and whose literary history is an archive of gothic tales, detective fiction, spy thrillers, and tell-all memoirs. Public circulation and economies of publicity are central features of American life--inciting revolution, producing dominant ideologies, and giving life to counterpublics. But these same public circuits give rise as well to scandal, to gossip genres, to secret societies, to new religious forms, to covert operations, to Batman.
Conference paper proposals, due February 14, 2014, are invited on the timely topic of American Circuits, American Secrets. Please see our submission guidelines at www.circuitsandsecrets.com. We welcome approaches to this conference theme from all disciplines, fields, and historical periods and deploying a wide range of methodologies and theoretical approaches. Possible considerations may include:
• unwritten or shameful histories