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CfP: What Happened? Continuities and Discontinuities in American Culture, NAAS Biennial Conference (Uppsala, Sweden)

September 15, 2020

What Happened?
Continuities and Discontinuities in American Culture

The 27th Biennial Conference of NAAS & the 11th Biennial Conference of SAAS
Uppsala, Sweden, May 20-22, 2021

While it appears to be perennially tempting to see one’s own time as exceptional and unprecedented, it is nevertheless safe to say that our present time is perceived by many as characterized by crises of different kinds (democratic, humanitarian, environmental, medical, and economic crisis) to an unusually high degree. As a result, the stakes are high when it comes to identifying causes and cures and the political, media and academic communities are all concerned in their different ways with constructing narratives that make sense of what is happening: Backlash, renewal, apocalypse? Whatever their political, ideological or theoretical underpinnings or agendas, all mobilize tropes of either continuity – understood for instance as progress, degeneration or intensification – or discontinuity – understood for instance as a break with previous values, a dramatic shifting or an unprecedented development, or of both at the same time.

In a specifically North American context these narratives draw on a long tradition of speaking of the nation as renewing itself, as becoming again what it was (meant to be). In our academic contexts, a number of “turns,” often framed as oriented away from traditional human-centered or rationalist concerns, can be understood as a response to a sense of crisis and raise new questions for the field of American studies.  A focus on continuities and/or discontinuities provide opportunities for discussing both the specificities of American developments and their place in larger cultural, historical, and political contexts.

The 27th biennial NAAS conference welcomes panel and paper proposals that engage with continuities or discontinuities in American social, political, historical or cultural life or within the field of American studies. The organisers seek contributions in a wide array of disciplines, including, but not limited to history, politics, literature, film and media studies, sociology, art history, visual studies, gender studies, critical race and ethnicity studies, the environmental humanities etc. The organisers also welcome papers on any topic related to American studies.

The conference will take place at Uppsala University, Sweden’s first university, located some 70 kms north of Stockholm, easily accessible by train or by flight to Stockholm-Arlanda airport. The conference is open to scholars and students from all countries, but we offer lower registration fees to members of NAAS (Nordic Association for American Studies), EAAS (European Association for American Studies), and ASA (American Studies Association in the U.S.)

In order to submit a paper proposal, please provide the organisers with title, abstract (200-300 words) a brief bio and contact information.

In order to submit a panel proposal, in addition to the information listed above for each individual presentation, please provide us with a title for the panel, the name, email address and brief bio of the panel convener, and a description of the topic (200-500 words).

Submissions should be sent to naasinfo2021@gmail.com.

Deadline for proposals: September 15, 2020.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by November 15, 2020.


September 15, 2020
Event Category:


Nordic Association for American Studies
View Organizer Website