Methods and Practice in American Studies: Postgraduate Symposium
The Centre for American Studies at the University of Kent invites postgraduate students and early career researchers to submit proposals for papers discussing, interrogating, analysing and advocating for innovative and creative approaches to American Studies scholarship in 2018. Respondents are welcome to refer to the specifics of their own research projects, and indeed encouraged to do so where it will assist in elucidating their papers, but the object of this symposium is not the conventional sharing of scholarship in and of itself per se. Rather, this symposium is intended as a forum in which to share some of the many novel and original methodological, theoretical, and practical approaches (and problems) currently informing, motivating, and underpinning the multifaceted work of a new generation of American Studies scholars. Some potential areas for discussion are as follows, but this list is not intended to be exhaustive, and all relevant proposals will be considered:
- The state of American Studies in the UK in 2018 – critically, institutionally, and politically;
- The historical development of American Studies as an academic discipline in the UK, and its enduring impact on the field today;
- Pedagogical approaches;
- Techniques and methods in archival research;
- Approaches to primary source-gathering and documentation, including oral history;
- (Big) data and statistics in American Studies;
- Outreach and impact, including American Studies in schools, the community, and the media;
- New theoretical/critical developments and their pertinence to American Studies;
- Methodological and practical implications of contemporary geopolitics for contemporary American Studies scholars;
- Activism and advocacy in American Studies;
- Ethics in American Studies research;
- The future of American Studies in a (possibly) de-Americanising world;
- Precarity and insecurity in the workplace for American Studies PhDs and ECRs;
- Impacts of race, gender, sexuality, disability, and mental health – both on critical approaches to American Studies and on individuals’ personal experiences of the environments, institutions, and cultures in which American Studies is practiced;
- Interfaces between creative practice and ‘traditional’ academic approaches to American Studies scholarship.
Plenaray Speaker: Richard King (University of Nottingham).
Please submit proposals for 20-minute papers to Jak Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Monday 2nd April at the very latest. Proposals must consist of an abstract of no more than 250 words, and a brief biographical note of no more than 150 words.
The symposium will be held at the University of Kent on June 11th 2018.