2023 Conference

The 2023 Conference of the Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association

University of Sydney
December 1-3

Connection and conflict: making and unmaking political communities in the Americas

In the last two decades, new modes of social connectivity and disruption have altered the way people inside and outside of the United States live, work, study, socialise, and, consequently, engage with politics and political inclusion. Popular and scholarly attempts to interpret these transformations often reach for explanations in the shifting currents of technology and new media, demographics and identity, renewed political polarisation, or the resurgence of an authoritarian nationalism. Yet almost all these themes – technological connectivity, ethnonationalism, demographic change, and paranoid styles of political thought – predominate through the long histories of American politics and culture. So too do impulses toward political unity and social collectivism, the conflicted aspirations toward a good life, and the contested belief in a commonweal.

In 2023, ANZASA invites papers that historicise, transnationalise, interpret, or prognosticate on these connectivities and conflicts, as well as on the abiding yet ever-changing pursuit of political community in America. We welcome submissions from scholars working on all areas of American studies—from literature, film, and history to politics and international relations—and covering any time period. We encourage panel proposals, roundtable discussions, and individual paper proposals. This conference will be in person only.

Topics might respond to the following subthemes:

Forms of protest and dissent, past and present
Hopefulness, care, and communities of allyship
Whistleblowing and truth telling
The changing meaning or nature of protest
The creation of American democracy or attempts to revise the electoral process
Conspiracy theories and moral panics
The paranoid style in American politics
Millenarist and prophetic visions
Networked publics and the common good
Connectivity and conflicts, past and present
Corporations and/as the “town square”
Narrative form and the affordances of media technologies
Algorithmic culture and politics
Personality cults, authoritarianism, and crowd behaviour
Entertainment, social media, and political consciousness
Technologies of information and disinformation
Contestations over truth and history
Culture wars and identity politics
Misinformation, propaganda, and censorship
Distrust of public institutions, distrust of big tech
Dystopian futures and science fiction fantasies
Carcerality and escape
Anticolonial and decolonial movements
Fears of mass contagion
American influence in a contested world
AUKUS, alliances and regional conflicts
The crisis of American democracy
Prepping, fatalism, and fear of the future
Consensus-building and community formation

Proposals: Individual paper proposals should include a title and 250-word abstract. Panel and roundtable proposals should include a title, a 250-word abstract for each constituent paper, and an abstract of 250 words or less describing the panel as a whole, in addition to 250-word biographies for each participant which include institutional affiliation, where appropriate, preferred pronoun, if desired, and an email address for each participant.

Deadline for submissions: with the exception of students and early career academics applying for travel bursaries (see below), submissions should be emailed to ANZASA.2023@gmail.com no later than August 1, 2023.

Bursaries: The conference organisers will make available a limited number of travel bursaries for students or early career academics. Bursaries will be distributed based on a mix of financial need, proposal strength, and order of applications received. Those participants who wish to apply for a bursary should also include a max. 500-word budget and statement of need along with their paper or panel proposal, and submit via email to ANZASA.2023@gmail.com by June 15, 2023.

For enquiries, contact ANZASA.2023@gmail.com, or Lecturer of American Studies Aaron Nyerges aaron.nyerges@sydney.edu

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