British Association for American Studies


‘Negotiated Territories: Remapping America’s Boundaries’ (York St John University)

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‘Negotiated Territories: Remapping America’s Boundaries’ (York St John University)

June 23, 2016

De-Grey Lecture Theatre
Please note that booking closes on the 17th June!

Recent debates over immigration in the United States, and elsewhere, have led to renewed interest in the meaning of borders, frontiers, regions, and the spaces and places in-between. The study of borderlands has become of crucial intellectual concern to scholars in the humanities as they seek to move beyond the rigid construct of the nation-state and understand the impact of globalisation. The 2016 Presidential election campaign has brought many of these issues to the forefront of public attention. At the same time, issues of race, gender and sexuality continue to dominate American political discourse, where the boundaries of power are continually being challenged, built on specific concerns that are often local and regional in origin, within specific historical and cultural contexts.

On 23 June 2016, York St. John University will host a one-day conference that focuses on American borders (broadly defined). It seeks to question the fixity of the national and regional borders that define the United States, exploring how these interact and intersect with personal and collective identities that are constructed and contested around race, gender, class, ethnicity and sexuality.

Through multi- and inter-disciplinary approaches, and within the framework of regions and borders, the conference will be structured around a number of sub-themes that interrogate the meaning of territories through local, regional, national and trans-national perspectives. The panels will move from personal territories to regional identities and from the national to the international. Individual papers will be discipline and inter-disciplinary in focus within specific panels, thus providing an overall multi-disciplinary perspective across the whole day. Papers will explore one or more of the following questions:

– How have American identities been, and continue to be, shaped by gender and race?
– How have U.S. regions and borders been embodied, imagined and represented history, literature and film?
– How do transnational approaches influence how we think about American borders and regions, and thus American exceptionalism?

An exploration of these questions will therefore enable discussion of a much broader issue: where the boundaries of ‘America’ lie in social, cultural and political terms. Given America’s global influence, it remains important to debate the meaning of ‘America’, and this conference will provide a perfect forum for such a debate to occur that is both rigorous and accessible in approach.

More information can be found here.


Dr Stephen Robinson


York St John
Lord Mayor's Walk
York, YO31 7EX United Kingdom
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