Neoliberalism has ushered in new forms of global insecurity, which instill in American citizens the desire for enforced security. Through tightened border controls, antiterrorism laws, the expansion of the prison system, the war on drugs, and other measures, the U.S. government both provokes and assuages American insecurities about imagined and real terrors, both foreign and domestic. Often, these measures erode welfare institutions that actually provide a degree of safety against economic and social uncertainty, thereby perpetuating a vicious cycle intrinsic to neoliberalism’s creative destruction.
What are the origins of the insecurity state, and how has it shaped American culture? More broadly, what does it mean to imagine the United States as a secure homeland? Can non-indigenous Americans ever feel at home in North America without inventing abject social categories meant to contain their insecurities?
The 2016 CAAS conference invites proposals for papers on the topic of Homeland Insecurities. We welcome approaches to this theme from all disciplines, fields, and historical periods. Papers on other topics relevant to American Studies will also be considered.
To participate, submit abstracts of 300-words to the conference organizers, Stephen Schryer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jennifer Andrews (email@example.com), by March 15, 2016. Please include a brief bio. Panel submissions will also be considered.
Topics and themes might include but are not limited to:
The Prison Industrial Complex
Crime and Poverty
The War on Terror
The War on Drugs
Post 9/11 Narratives
The Rise and Fall of the Middle Class
The Welfare / Warfare / Prison State