CFP: ‘Foreign Bodies and Native Sons’ (University College Dublin)

The Annual Conference of the Irish Association for American Studies
April 27-28, 2018
University College Dublin

IAAS Annual Conference

Although the relationship between the ‘native’ and the ‘foreign’ has been a longstanding, evolving site of contention in American cultural history, the Trump presidency has brought both terms (and their histories) to a new level of exposure and debate. The assumptions about ‘foreign bodies’ that fuelled the recent election and its aftermath—from the ‘wall’ to the travel ban— invite sustained analysis, especially in relation to the construction of a seemingly antithetical body of ‘native sons’ that invokes superficial concepts of white working-class masculinity. The divisions and fault lines such constructions facilitate within the American ‘body politic’, in relation to race, ethnicity, sex-gender, class and sexuality, inform debate about contemporary American culture and form the basis of the conference. Although drawing on contemporary formulations of both concepts, the conference also welcomes papers offering an historical perspective on a particularly American etymology of ‘foreign’ and ‘native’ bodies.
IAAS conferences are wide-ranging interdisciplinary events and we are particularly keen to see this represented in the variety of topics discussed.
Topics and areas might include (but are not restricted to) the following:
Constructions of Citizenship in US History, politics and culture
Contemporary Social Movements
American Mythologies and Historical Narratives (from Colonial America to 9/11 and beyond)
Sisterhood and White Feminism
Race and Othering
Gender, Race and the “Alt Right”
Representations of Centre and Periphery
Deconstructing Political Rhetoric and Language of Terror
Gender and Power
Public Intellectuals, the University, the Press
Voting Rights & Disenfranchisement
Bodies in American Culture and History
Intersectionality and America
Incarceration, the State and the Subject
Sexism, Racism and Homophobia in America
Punishment and Retribution
Movement, Borders, and the Body
Travel and Displacement in American Narrative
Modes of Resistance
The American Body in Protest
Health and Illness
America and Globalisation
Labour Organization
Strategies of Strangeness or Defamiliarisation
Role of Document & Expertise in Post Truth Culture
Master Narratives in Mainstream & Alternative Media
Local & National Empathy & Affect
Reimaged Borders, Exile, Diaspora
Reimagining Political Participation & Democratic Systems
Scholars from all disciplines are encouraged to apply.
Proposals for individual papers or full panels are welcomed. Submissions should include:
A title
250 word abstract for each paper submitted
A short bio and email for each presenter
Proposals must be submitted as Word documents
Please send proposals to by Monday 22nd January 2018
Full Panel Proposals: Panel coordinators should submit a 200-word rationale for the panel as whole. For each contributor, please submit a 250-word abstract, a short bio, and contact information. Panels that include diverse panelists with a range of affiliations, career experiences, and disciplinary homes are strongly encouraged. Panels should include 3 papers.
Conference Statement: We hope to host a diverse, welcoming, open IAAS Annual conference. We understand diversity to include attendees as well as academic subject, approach, and field. We welcome comparative projects, though because of its smaller scale, this conference will be conducted in English.
Please direct all questions about the conference and the submission process to:

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