Written by MARK RIFKIN
Published: 18 May 2015
Envisioning American Studies:
An Anniversary Conference
March 18, 2016
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
The Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan announces a call for papers that highlight new approaches and emerging research at the forefront of American studies. Selected papers will be presented at a conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan on March 18, 2016.
This conference will feature recent Ph.D.s from around the world who are poised to advance American studies scholarship in the coming years. Together we will celebrate the 80th anniversary of our department and the emergence of the field. We seek papers that demonstrate original approaches, a wide range of emerging fields of scholarly inquiry, and compelling work in all branches of American studies. We are especially interested in scholars who have not yet published their first books, as we will be inviting editors of several academic presses to attend. We welcome proposals for papers or for panels (conventional, roundtable, state-of-the-field).
This anniversary recognizes recent archival research revealing that Michigan’s American Culture program is the oldest of its kind in the nation. In 1935, several U-M faculty launched a concentration in the “Development of American Culture” that was committed to an interdisciplinary exploration of national meaning and belonging. In subsequent decades, American Culture has embraced a capacious approach in which American studies has been inextricably bound up with questions of social justice. Building on this rich tradition, our program brings together African American studies, Arab and Muslim American studies, Asian and Pacific Islander American studies, digital studies, Latina/o studies, and Native American studies under the umbrella of American Culture. In addition, these interdisciplinary pursuits continue to encompass history, literature, disability studies, media studies, and queer studies. Intellectually and methodologically, our department, like the field, has been marked by a critical forward-looking perspective and a climate that promotes academic scholarship with the potential to influence social change.