CAAS 2012: Geographies of Promise and Betrayal–Land and Place in US Studies (Deadline: 15 March 2012)

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all still working off the excitement and energy of CAAS 2011, because we’d like to present the Call for Papers for CAAS 2012!  Next year’s conference will take place in Toronto, Ontario, co-hosted York University and the Centre for the Study of the United States, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto .  The conference takes place October 25-28, 2012 at the Centre.

Geographies of Promise and Betrayal: Land and Place in US Studies

25-28 October 2012, Centre for the Study of the United States, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

Sponsored by the Canadian Association for American Studies, York University and the Centre for the Study of the United States, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto at the University of Toronto

What makes a house a home? What makes a home a good investment? What makes a real estate “bubble” burst? Who “owns” the streets? The water? The land? What makes this land your land, my land, or our land, from California to the New York Island, or beyond? How do you “occupy” Wall Street?  How can you “walk for the cure”? American mythologies and narratives are traditionally reliant upon the presumed availability of space (the frontier thesis) and American identity typically defined through the occupation, subjugation, conquest, or mastery of space. In Critical Regionalism (2007), Douglas Reichert Powell points out that “‘senses’ of place and region are not so much essential qualities, imparted by singular events, practices, or topographical features, as they are ongoing debates and discourses that coalesce around particular geographical spaces.”  How is land/earth/terrain understood and used? What are the distinct debates, discourses, and spatial practices that have defined American culture and society in the past, and how might they be changing today?

Topics/Themes might include but are by no means limited to the following:

  •  Real Estate versus Housing
  • Gardens, Fields, Forests, Parks
  • Critical Regionalism (the south; Appalachia; the Great Plains; the west, California, etc.)
  • The Politics of Occupation
  • Architecture
  • Land and Music
  • Mobility
  • Conquest
  • Culture and the Environment: After (?) Eco-criticism
  • The City, the Edge City, the Suburb, the Exurb, and the Country
  • Farming in the 21st Century
  • Interior Decorating
  • American Nomads: Commuters, Drifters, and Consumers
  • Planned Communities and Communitarian Utopias
  • American Pastoral
  • What Lies Beneath: Extracting Resources
  • Working Spaces          Leisure Spaces            Animal Spaces            Shopping Spaces
  • Outer Spaces               Gendered Spaces        Historical Spaces         Pedagogical Spaces
  • Burial Grounds          Underground Spaces
  • The Location of the Law
  • Confinement, Incarceration, Renditions, Prisons
  • Moving People: Streets, Lanes, Highways; Ships, Busses, Airports
  • Stopping People: Walls, Gates, Fences, Perimeters, Police Lines, Security Checks
  • Shrines, Memorials, and Public Monuments
  • The Whole Earth and Digital Culture
  • Whatever Happened to Environmental Initiatives, Anyway?
  • Walking, Running, and Bicycling for Charity
  • CGI: Imagined Landscapes
  • Migrants, “Illegals,” and Domestics

This is only a partial list – topics from all areas of American Studies will be considered

 To participate, submit a 300 word abstract by March 15, 2012 to aredding@yorku.ca.

Please include in the body of the email: your name, institutional affiliation, and contact information.

(Click here for a pdf of the call suitable for printing.)

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  1. 2011 Robert K. Martin book prize: call for submissions (postmark deadline: 17 March 2012) « CAASblog

    […] the United States, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.  See the conference CFP here.  The recipient will also be congratulated  in a future issue of the Canadian Review of American […]

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