Protest: Resistance and Dissent in America
BAAS Postgraduate Conference, Saturday 16 November 2014
University of Sussex
Professor Will Kaufman (University of Central Lancashire)
Dr Joe Street (University of Northumbria)
In Notes of a Native Son, James Baldwin wrote: “I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.” Baldwin’s words encapsulate the tension between patriotism and resistance that permeates American history and culture, and they also hint at the blurred boundary between words of criticism and acts of disobedience. Protest has taken both public form, in a history of marches and demonstrations, but has also occupied private, silent, or imaginative spaces. It has been embodied in the American Revolution, and the Occupy Wall Street campaign, but is also present in the African American oral tradition, or the songs of protest against the Vietnam War. This conference aims to explore the sites of resistance that have shaped the country, to consider the question of how we might define American protest, and to ask whether dissent can be reconciled with nationalism.
This is a one day interdisciplinary conference for postgraduate students with an interest in American studies, from a variety of disciplines including; history, literature, politics, gender and sexuality studies, law, music, media studies, critical theory, and cultural studies. The organisers would like to invite proposals for a 20 minute presentation on a topic that relates to the theme. This might include, but is not restricted to, the following:
- Patriotism and disobedience
- Religious dissent and nonconformism
- Non-violent versus violent activism
- Newspaper coverage of political demonstrations
- Gender, sexuality and activism
- The art of the placard and/or the protest poster
- Underground or covert resistance
- Protest and disability
- Cultures of protest
- Protest literature
- American Protest music
Please email an abstract of 250-300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions should include your name, institution, email address, a short profile, and the title of your proposed paper. The deadline for submissions is 1st September 2014.
Enabled by the generous support of the British Association for American Studies, the organising committee will be charging a minimal fee of £10 for attendance, in order to keep costs low for postgraduate attendees.
For further information on the conference, please follow them on Twitter (@ProtestinAm), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ProtestinAmerica), and visit the web site at www.protestinamerica.wordpress.com.